Christopher Nolan's Interstellar is the last big blockbuster of the year. Or at least it's the last big blockbuster with the likelihood of uniting critical praise with popular fervor, absent some of the cultural crutches (superheroes; YA) that have bolstered most popcorn flicks these last few years. It helps that the last time a film did that, it was Nolan's own Inception.
Interstellar screened for select critics last week, and those early reviews were unleashed from under the studio's review embargo this morning. It's fascinating watching the critical consensus of a movie form right before your eyes. So far, the notices tend to be generally positive, though not rabidly so. In brief, the most frequent points of interest about Nolan's race into the far reaches of space to save humanity are:
Many critics seized on the sheer size and scope of Nolan's film, for understandable reasons. Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway travel to deepest space in order to find a new home since poor Earth is dying. Even among those who didn't think the movie ultimately succeeded, the breadth of Nolan's effort couldn't help but get applauded.
The best the film can hope for is that it will remind young viewers that there is something else besides this planet, and there is so much of this universe that we don't remotely understand, and if there's any hope for us, it is by looking up. Nolan's fervent belief in that message alone makes this something worth seeing, and if it can inspire a new generation of dreamers, then even better. - Drew McWeeney, HitFix
This is a film that takes genuine risks, sometimes succumbs to its own self-indulgence - it’s perilously close to three hours long - but strives unceasingly to put on one hell of a show. - Tim Grierson, Screen Daily
Interstellar aspires to the same cross-cut crescendo that made the last hour of Inception so momentous, but it doesn’t have the ingredients required to reproduce that feeling. - David Ehrlich, Little White Lies
Interstellar, for all its faults, is filled with sequences, moments and concepts worthy of deep, lengthy essays and arguments about morality. All of which will have to come after release. - Devin Faraci, Badass Digest
2001: A Space Odyssey