Most people know that I’ve been slowly sliding into the position of a Nolan skeptic over the past few years. After an astounding run of very good to great films right out of the gate, I felt he took a fairly egregious stumble with Inception and then plummeted right into straight-up awful territory with the really quite dreadful Dark Knight Rises. Well, Interstellar is a return to form, no question, even if it doesn’t really equal any of his pre-Inception work (with the possible exception of Batman Begins). He assembles an astonishingly great cast to tell a deeply human, emotionally rich story. The film is perhaps a hair too long; that climax in the deserted room takes a while to get where it’s going after the audience has already figured the scene out completely. But, on the whole, it’s a film of both intriguing ideas and emotional resonant. The special effects and the spectacle are there, in a refreshing change from Inception, in service of the story and not the other way around. For the vast majority of its running time, it’s gripping and engaging. Oh, yes, the themes. This movie definitely has them, themes of faith and family and courage and, above all, love and the way it ties us all together. It’s a film that’s flawed in some ways, I suppose, but not in any ways serious enough to cripple the film. It’s not a masterpiece on the level of Nolan’s earlier films, but, in its own way, it’s a masterpiece, just a slightly lesser one. Anyway, it’s a film I can highly recommend and I hope it signals that, just as humanity finds its way upwards in the film, Nolan is back on an upward path. 4 stars.
tl;dr – Nolan returns to form with an intriguing story that prioritizes human emotions above spectacle and special effects. 4 stars.