Critics Split on Nolan's Interstellar

Matthew McConaughey's latest is both 'remarkable' and a 'disaster'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2014 1:04 PM CST

Should we save Earth, or leave it? That's the question at the heart of Interstellar, which sees Matthew McConaughey suit up as an astronaut hoping to find other planets capable of hosting human life. Make sure to use the bathroom on your way in: This flick is a long one. Here's what critics are saying:

  • Joe Morgenstern at the Wall Street Journal argues Interstellar "never achieves lift-off." It chugs along at a "laggardly" pace with "unexceptional" visuals. "Christopher Nolan's 168-minute odyssey through the space-time continuum is stuffed with stuff of bewildering wrongness," he adds, calling this movie "a brain-number, as in numb from an excess of abstraction."
  • What haters like Morgenstern are missing "is how enthralling it is, how gracefully it blends the cosmic and the intimate, how deftly it explores the infinite in the smallest human details," writes Peter Travers at Rolling Stone. Sure, the script "turns clunky," but the plot is "full of deepening surprises." As for the actors, "McConaughey is on a roll. And he partners beautifully with the sublime [Jessica] Chastain."
  • David Thomson at the New Republic strongly disagrees, arguing McConaughey just doesn't fit the role of Gary Cooper in this "entertainment disaster." Mackenzie Foy, who plays his young daughter, is "the best thing in the picture, by light years." But on the whole, the movie is "a horribly prolonged picture without adequate story or commanding spectacle," Thomson writes. "About 90 minutes in, I was seriously considering walking out."
  • Kenneth Turan apparently saw a different movie. Interstellar is "altogether remarkable," he writes at the Los Angeles Times. "It's a mass audience picture that's intelligent as well as epic, with a sophisticated script that's as interested in emotional moments as immersive visuals. Which is saying a lot." The images especially shine when viewed in IMAX, Turan says.
(More movie review stories.)

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