Okay, here I go.
I'm trying to find the right word to begin this word with. I suppose the first thing that comes to mind is "beautiful." It's a must-see film, if only so you can see the visuals. From the corn fields of Earth, to the alien worlds. From the interior shots of a child's bedroom, to the most incomprehensible wonders of nature. Interstellar is an absolute feast for the eyes, at times breath-taking. Even without having the chance to see the film in IMAX, I was absolutely captivated by the imagery. There are certain points where the film felt three-dimensional, moreso than most films relying on 3D as a crutch. It's what I can imagine 2001 would look like if made with today's tech.
However, films aren't all visuals. There's a script, actors, a director. Do they pull their weight in comparison to the imagery? For the most part, yes. Many argue about how Christopher Nolan handles emotion, but this is arguably one of the most emotional films I've seen in a long time. Despite the grand stakes and larger than life locations, at the core of it are the characters and their flawed, human nature. For the most part, the characters' actions are understandable. They're relatable.
Now the script can falter a wee bit. There are certain lines that have a cheesy scent to them, and can distract. Even just certain word choices prevent a scene from reaching its full potential. Although these flaws stick out like a sore thumb, there are points where the writing does shine. One of them, is a certain character that I won't spoil, since the promotional materials that I've seen have featured nothing from him. But he's essentially a comic relief character that works. It's rare for one of those archetypes to work in an action film, so to have them work in a film about the unknown, family, discovery and survival, is a real accomplishment. He helps to balance out some of the more serious parts of the film, which can get very intense.
Speaking of intense, I mean that in two ways. The emotionally-draining tension, and the adrenaline-pumping tension. There are points in this film that are just heart-breaking, one scene in particular bottles up an absurd amount of emotion and lets it all out in one scene featuring a brilliant Matthew McConaughey utilising no dialogue from him whatsoever. Yet you feel every punch he feels. And of course, there's the "action." I put it in quotations because it's not your typical action. There's no gunfire, no massively choreographed fight or chase scenes. They're hard to talk about without spoiling, but there's one in particular where the music just keeps building as you grip the cinema armchairs harder. It was worth glancing away from the screen for just a second to see just how nervous everyone watching was.
I've already talked about Matthew, but the rest of the cast is great. . . for the most part. There's two actors, one of whom is one of my personal favourites, John Lithgow, that don't really get the chance to do much. Their characters are fairly flat and it feels like a waste to have them used for such bit roles. However, everyone else makes up for it. Jessica Chastain is great, Anne Hathaway is great, and Mackenzie Foy proves herself as one to watch. An impressive performance, considering how rare that is for child actors.
Now for my biggest problem with the film; the structure and length. It really feels like it could have been reworked. Certain scenes could have been condensed and the film as a whole could have been a tighter package. This is much longer than Inception, and while I feel that Inception was at the perfect length for what it was, Interstellar could have used some trimming around the edges. It doesn't drag, per se, but you can see the film suffer ever so slightly for being stretched too thin.
In conclusion, is it Nolan's worst film? Nope. Is it Nolan's best film? Nope. It's somewhere in the middle, sitting comfortably. Interstellar won't be everyone's cup of tea, in fact I was surprised by the turnout at the cinema. For those who the film will work for, it will really work. One of the most inventive use of science-fiction in a long time, and one that feels more real than it has any right to be.8/10