Interstellar | Screen | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper


For all its flaws, this space-time thriller is pretty entertaining

Suited up: Matthew McConaughey in Interstellar
Suited up: Matthew McConaughey

In the near future, things are a mess on Earth, but the discovery of a wormhole might lead to a solution. So, in Insterstellar, an astronaut-turned-farmer (Matthew McConaughey) leaves his family behind to lead a small NASA team to the other side of the wormhole to look for potentially habitable planets. Things, predictably, go awry in deep space — and also back on Earth (which, by the way, is not on the same timeline as the astronauts, because relativity).

Christopher Nolan's thriller is certainly ambitious: a jumble of astrophysics, family melodrama, 2001: A Space Odyssey homage and a meditation on being human. It has some strong components: good performances (McConaughey tries out a new lachrymose setting, with good sniffly results), a decent mystery (what is out there?) and some whiz-bang special effects. But it's also overstuffed, and dialogue seems to veer between clunky scientific exposition and trite blather about the power of love (can it survive a blackhole?). Folks are gonna either love or hate the end — what if Cosmos aired on the Hallmark Channel? — depending, well, on whether you think love can survive a blackhole.

But for all its flaws, Interstellar is pretty entertaining — like Nolan's Inception, it's some head-scratching, popcorn-munching fun — so off to space we go!

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