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Movie Review

Interstellar

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some intense perilous action and brief strong language.

Reviewed by: John Decker
CONTRIBUTOR

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Primary Audience:
Adults Teens
Genre:
Sci-Fi Adventure Mystery IMAX
Length:
2 hr. 49 min.
Year of Release:
2014
USA Release:
November 5, 2014 (limited)
November 7, 2014 (wide—3,500+ theaters)
DVD: March 31, 2015
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Relevant Issues
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Humanity certainly does have serious problems and does need help from above.

Does mankind’s ultimate future depend on NASA?

Is man our ultimate savior? Are we ultimately our own gods?

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What does the Bible say is the ulimate hope of mankind? —Jesus Christ

We are not alone in the universe, God is with us, He has a purpose and plan for us, and He is in ultimate control.

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Discover God’s promise for all people—told beautifully and clearly from the beginning. Discover The HOPE!
God

the majesty and laws of the universe point to its Creator

If God made everything, who made God? Answer

Is Jesus Christ God? Answer

Is Jesus Christ the answer to your questions?
Discover the good news that Jesus Christ offers
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Love

Is Love, itself, a transcendent reality, or is it just an emotional reaction inside us?

the ultimate power of love / Human love can fail, but God’s love does not. (1 Corinthians 13

self-sacrifice

Should you act altruistically or just act to ensure my own survival?

courage

forgiveness

parent and children relationships and legacies / intergenerational relationships

reconciliation

It is best to stay at home and raise a family or better to sacrifice that role of parent to go out and “save the world,” if needed?

Truth

lying and truth

Is it okay to lie to give others hope in a desperate situation?

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Environment

EARTH’S ENVIRONMENT—Should Christians be concerned about the environment? Answer

What is man’s responsibility to the environment? Answer

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Theoretical physics and astronomy

Einstein’s theory of relativity

theoretical physics

physicist Kip Thorne’s theories of gravity fields, wormholes and black holes / Thorne was “raised Mormon but later on became an atheist

theory of wormholes, space-time warp and space human space travel

Cosmologists Step from Science to Science Fiction

Physicist Receives Million-Pound Prize for Predicting a “Hypercosmic God”

Astronomy FAQs

astronomy in the Bible

ASTRONOMY—Can astronomy lead a person to God? Answer

Featuring: Matthew McConaugheyCooper
Anne HathawayBrand
Jessica ChastainMurph
Matt DamonActor (uncredited)
Michael CaineActor
Casey AffleckTom
Elyes Gabel … Actor
Wes Bentley … Doyle
Mackenzie Foy … Young Murph
Topher GraceActor
Ellen BurstynOld Murph
John LithgowDonald
David Oyelowo … Principal
William DevaneOld Tom
Collette Wolfe … Ms. Kelly
more »
Director: Christopher Nolan—“The Dark Knight,” “Dark Knight Rises,” “Inception”
Producer: Legendary Pictures
Lynda Obst Productions
more »
Distributor: Paramount Pictures

The visuals, the sound and special effects of “Interstellar” are highly commendable. I saw “Interstellar” at an IMAX theater. It is a fun and intense movie. It’s meaningful, thoughtful, very intriguing scientifically, and it sticks to you. I recommend it for most ages. I suppose in the case of “Interstellar,” I am mostly in agreement with the PG-13 or perhaps 11 age suggestion because some of the activity would appear occultic to a very young mind that doesn’t follow the story well.

The trailers for “Interstellar” don’t give away the bulk of the movie. Kudos for that, if, like me, you prefer to be surprised. What lies within “Interstellar” doesn’t contain a whole lot of direct theological controversy. That is, it doesn’t highlight any particular philosophy, save that of man being his own mortal savior.

There is little to no allusion to immortality or an afterlife. It is the plight of every strict non-believer that we are alone, and man is his only solitary answer. There is a strong theme of that in the movie. After all, it certainly does not point to Christ nor to faith in God in any general sense.

Is there a greater intelligence out there in the universe, or are we all there is?

What if the cosmos is all that there is? Answer

How can we know there’s a God? Answer

The “Interstellar” story is set in a time when the Earth is becoming uninhabitable. Uninhabitable due to what is somewhat unclear, but food is becoming scarce and variety of food is being lost. Fending for himself, man carves out his destiny in space. Looking for another planet, he struggles for the love he left behind.

There is one strong, strict evolutionary plug in “Interstellar,” but it is for the learned ear. If you’re concerned that “Interstellar” may go beyond the likes of common science fiction regarding the nature of life and its existence beyond Earth—if that theological boundary concerns you—particularly for the younger audience, I believe you can take comfort that it does not do so.

There is talk of “ghosts,” but the outcome is not so much occultic as it is science fiction. I don’t want to say too much more about this, so as to not give away the story, but while “Interstellar” taps into the concept of other dimensions and beings beyond our reach, know that it does so with the hand of science fiction and not some religious or particularly occultic objective.

Humanist worldview / Secular Humanism—What Is It?

Pantheism—the erroneous belief that the universe and God are identical, and that God is not personal and as described in the Bible / Note: In reality, the universe is merely a creation of God and will be destroyed at the end of the Millenium, when God creates a New Heavens and New Earth.

“Interstellar” is devoid of sex, nudity or drugs. It contains less profanity than many PG-13 movies. Details below.

For many Christians, there is only so much about the good in a story they generally feel comfortable embracing or espousing unless the message points directly to Christ. This film does not point to Christ, but it points to love, endurance, charity, loyalty, family, humanity and tough choices in an inspiring manner, worthy of the labor of life we all share.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Moderate to heavy—“Jesus” (2), GD, OMG, damn, “You f***-ing coward,” s-words (5), “*ss” (5) / Sex/Nudity: Minor

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—My friends and I really enjoyed the movie—so many twists and turns, and some stunning visuals. Though over 2½ hours long, it didn’t drag, for us.

I also appreciated that the “Interstellar” script undertook some major themes about humanity—do you think it’s worth thinking about questions like these: “should I act altruistically or just act to ensure my own survival? Is it okay to lie to give others hope in a desperate situation? It is best to stay at home and raise a family or better to sacrifice that role of parent to go out and “save the world?” Is there some greater intelligence out there in the universe, or are we all there is? Is Love itself a transcendent reality or is it just an emotional reaction inside us?” And don’t forget that one haunting question that keeps us all up at night: “how can I cross-dimensionally change a watch into a cool morse code machine?”

We thought most all those questions worth pondering, and so we had some great discussions after the movie. However, be warned that the movie does a very uneven job of communicating insight on these questions, and, as the reviewer notes, its primary theme is that humankind is the ultimate savior of its own problems, even to the point ***SPOILER*** of revealing we evidently progress to the level where we can create our own interstellar black holes and then interlace them with three dimensional time travel realities—wow, we’re an awfully nifty species, given enough time to evolve sufficiently! ***END SPOILER*** more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Scott, age 60 (USA)
Positive—This movie is shot beautifully and has several intellectual puzzles for you smarties out there—to do with black holes, gravity, and time as a physical dimension. The majority of people/Christians would in no way be offended by this movie—only possibly a little sore on the backside—it is very long! HOWEVER it seemed like the director was waffling between making an awesome action-drama or something profound—and over halfway through the movie decided he wanted it to be more than entertainment—it should be profound! Unfortunately, with the late shift, and after having experienced more than a couple hours in the seats—the point of the whole movie will be lost on most people (and therefore inoffensive).

For those who are able to pay attention long enough this movies “profound” message that “we are our own gods” may be a little put out by the end of the film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Chandra, age 33 (USA)
Positive—The whole family loves Sci-fi. With this in mind we liked this movie. A bit slow at the start showing what’s going on with Earth. It changes quick enough. With space travel movies or books God or his creation is not normally mentioned. It was a clean movie, overall.

Just when you think you know what will happen next. Something else happens. As has been stated, twist and turns it does have. It was a long running movie but went by fast. Without giving anything away I really like the space ship design, and I’m sure NASA was taking notice.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Clark Julian, age 58 (USA)
Positive—I think that many of the reviews on “Interstellar,” particularly the negative ones, missed two key elements that drove the main character: love and sacrifice. Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is clearly a family man who was willing to give up his family in order to ensure their’s and the rest of humanity’s survival. ***SPOILER*** Compare that to the motivations of both Mann (Matt Damon) and Brand (Anne Hathaway). Both were driven by greed (in the case of Mann) and selfishness (in the case of Brand). Unlike Cooper, neither Mann nor Brand were capable of looking beyond their self-interests, and, as a result, lives were lost (Romilly and Doyle’s).

The epiphany that Cooper had, that a greater good was needed in order to prevent both “Plan A” and “Plan B” from failing, allowed him to sacrifice himself, thus allowing humanity to ascend to a higher state (i.e., the fifth dimensional beings). And it was because of this that these beings, beyond the comprehension of humans, that an emissary of theirs was used to save humanity from its own arrogance, as exemplified by Brand’s father, Professor Brand (Michael Caine), who thought he knew better than anyone else, to the point of not being honest with his own daughter. ***END SPOILER*** more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—DSWynne, age 43 (USA)
Positive—If you allow it, “Interstellar” is a powerful message of the impact one has on another’s life.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Luke, age 24 (USA)
Positive—As a big science fiction fan, I found this movie to be a treat. As a Christian, I found this movie both sad and intriguing. It is a story about the rescue of mankind by… mankind. It certainly leaves God out of the picture completely. Be aware of this fact, and you won’t be shocked. It’s an atheistic version of Redemption.

The visual effects are great fun, so enjoy the ride. As a thriller, it is quite gripping, and, as an emotional story line, it is moving. The acting was superb and the plot twists were fun for science geeks and philosophically inclined believers.

So, if this is a godless version of the story of redemption, why do I, as a Christian, find the movie intriguing? Well, ***SPOILER*** the movie depicts a father, moved by love for his children, operates a dangerous rescue mission from outside the 4 dimensions (3 physical dimensions + the dimension of time). Sound familiar? ***END SPOILER***

I’ve always been fascinated when non-believers try and imagining large, epic-sized tales only to come up with very biblical story lines. Of course, it is done with the express removal of God from the picture and the elevation of man, but it points to the fact that even in our imaginations, we cannot out think God or His Word. Its scope is beyond even our wildest imagination! 1 Corinthians 2:9 “However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”[a]— the things God has prepared for those who love him…”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Emmanuel, age 41 (Canada)
Neutral
Neutral—Spoiler alert…It was a little scattershot; bits and pieces were brought up and dropped, one minute a cold fish character like whatserface on the spaceship suddenly started talking about love being the key, and they mention faith and belief in the latter half, but not in relation to anything to do with God. They were more intent on this gravity biz being the key and tried to tie that in with love?!

When the lead went into the black hole, it then, of course, became “2001”-like and also suggestive of Clarke’s sequel books (and I’d predicted he’d get back through the black hole earlier in the film). Overall, a bit of “2001,” “The Black Hole” (I enjoy “The Black Hole”!) “AI” (I enjoy this also), “Demon Seed” (those funny robot build-a-blocks a bit like Proteus in that film) and also elements I thought from my own published stories Juxtaposition and Juxtaposition II. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Dirk Wickenden, age 47 (United Kingdom)
Neutral—I really REALLY like movies about outer space (like “Gravity”). And I like science fiction. I found this film interesting and well done, but it is too long. There are suspenseful moments, the sound track is great, and I like the actors, but don’t look for a faith-affirming film here. It is very humanistic (we must save ourselves) etc. I cannot recommend it, but I wouldn’t bad-mouth it either. When I like a movie a lot, I always rent the DVD when it comes out. I will not be doing that with “Interstellar”.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Maggie, age 67 (USA)
Neutral—I’ve always been a fan of Christopher Nolan. His movies can go pretty deep, emotionally and philosophically. So far I haven’t seen his movies go too far deep, but “Interstellar” might be the exception. The story is good and it doesn’t go where you expect it to go. I think of it as a giant roller coaster with many, many hills constantly changing speeds. It’s not a bad way to watch a movie. In fact, I walked away with a smile on my face and a “Wow” in my mind, but also with some questions.

There is a lot of science in “Interstellar” and while I may not understand or comprehend the Scientology of the film, I did still appreciate the journey and the characters. Character development was overall well rounded, with the exception of the character Amelia (played by the very talented Anne Hathaway, whom I’ve come to respect and admire since “Les Miserables”). The performances were well done by all including a nice little cameo for Matt Damon’s character. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Alexander Malsan, age 24 (USA)
Neutral—If you want to be entertained, then go watch “Interstellar.” You want to see a Christian movie, well, rent one. O though, I’m a christian, I also like science and especially things like Black Holes, in which “Interstellar” has one. Fascinating the things the Universe has and that our Father has created. Rest assured, these were meant to be known also! What I don’t get is why it’s being rated on a Christian site. Anyways, it’s a great movie, twist and turns and a whole lot of factual science. The Black Hole graphics were done by an actual physicist from his equations. Meaning, that’s what an actual Black Hole looks like.

In a Biblical sense, it has nothing! Of course, it’s NOT a Christian movie. Overall, if you want to set aside any religious traditions and hardcore Christian fanaticism, then you should enjoy it. Believe me, you will not loose your salvation by watching this movie, as long as you heart stays focused on the one that died on the Cross of Calvary, Jesus Christ! …
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Ricky, age 38 (USA)
Negative
Negative—I think what we have here is the denial of God and the exaltation of Man. This story reflects Man’s belief in the false teaching of the end of mankind due to overpopulation and lack of resources. The truth is that Man is puny, and there are plenty of resources for all, if all would acknowledge God and follow His ways.

I noticed in the theater that many people sat in a sort of hushed after glow while the credits were scrolling up the screen; many had even applauded. “Why are so many people still here?” I whispered to my husband. I think it’s because the devil has terrified them, and this story gives a false hope that Man is the solution, and Man’s technology will save them. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Patti, age 29 (USA)
Negative—I caught an early viewing of this movie, and I must say it is one of the longest, dumbest, and most boring movies I have ever seen. About 2 thirds of the way through the film I was reminded of a joke I heard as a kid—Question: Why did the man bring toilet paper into the twilight zone? Answer: Do-do-do-do Do-do-do-do My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Lee, age 34 (USA)
Negative—I have to disagree with the people who have said that there were no anti-Christian philosophies present in this movie, but first I’ll explain the other ratings. I rated the movie a 3½ for moviemaking quality, because it was a little above average, but, considering the budget that went into it and other movies produced by the same company, it seemed to fall alarmingly short, in most cases.

First, there were some plot holes that seem very contrived, based on the character of the protagonists going into the situation. ***SPOILERS AHEAD!!*** During the sequences leading up to their approach to the wormhole, it is revealed that the beacon from the first planet (Miller’s planet) that they visit was sending positive signals for 23 years before it suddenly stopped. When they reach the planet, they see that it is orbiting the singularity (Gargantua). A reading tells them that every hour on the planet surface will be 7 years for them outside the planet. Let’s piece together their knowledge so far. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Joel, age 30 (USA)
Negative—I read the reviews and thought I would try this movie, since so many said they liked it, but, honestly, I cannot figure out why, especially on a Christian site. I see A LOT of movies, so I am not an amateur at reviews here… this is literally one of the dumbest, more boring, lame, ridiculous movies I have ever seen! And I am an intellectual, too, so it’s not like it was “beyond” my understanding, it was just SO far fetched and stupid that I feel it’s 3 hours of my life I wasted!

The other reviewers that said the same thing are totally right! I tried, so hard to get into it, but it was just so stupid and boring, and I do not get bored easily. Most of the movie, I kept asking my husband if he had figured out what was going on yet, and he would just throw up his hands. “Inception” was the same way, the first time I saw it, but that movie, at least, had some really deep intellectual ideas about the mind; this was just so far out there, it was pointless. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Stephanie, age 40 (USA)
Negative—It’s one of the most boring, weird, sad, and unrealistic films I have ever seen. My wife and I regret wasting our time and money at the theater. Very disappointing, in that I like Matthew McConaughey and most of his films. It’s sad because McConaughey’s character abandons his daughter to pursue he dreams in space, only to return when she is much older.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1½
—Greg T., age 49 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—The movie “Interstellar” is just the right amount of science fiction and drama. The movie itself I found not offensive in the least, however, the very first part of the movie I found could be deceiving for the rest of the movie, since there is mention of a “ghost”. Just stick around, and wait for the rest of the movie. In “Interstellar,” there is also mention of a “population bomb,” where the scientists would drop human eggs, and they would raise themselves. This could be taken as offensive, because you could take it as humans trying to be their own gods.

Overall, the movie was beautifully crafted. The visual effects are stunning, and sometimes are even hard to believe it wasn’t real. I highly suggest this movie if you enjoy science fiction, and the laws that our world is built upon. This movie was quite a catch, and I, myself was surprised at how amazing I found it to be.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Lauren, age 15 (USA)
Movie Critics

…Even a cool cat like Christopher Nolan can cough up a furball — and with his sci-fi folly “Interstellar,” it’s blockbuster-sized. …caught not only in the time/space/gravity/love vortex of the film’s multiple dimensions, but also the dizzy inanity of a screenplay that whipsaws between John Steinbeck and Stanley Kubrick. …
—Peter Howell, Toronto Star Newspapers

…“Interstellar” is riddled with ridiculisms; the but how comes … never stop. …So much of “Interstellar,” baggy and beautiful in ragged measures, comes qualified: Its science-y info-dumps sound so serious one suspects they’re actually very silly; even the most predictable plot turn zings with Nolan’s master hand at tension-building; and if the script is overly enamored with front-porch poeticisms and turgid monologues about love—oh, how the heart aches when a child cries for her father. … [3/5]
—Kimberley Jones, The Austin Chronicle

…Awesome to awful at warp speed… Think Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” by way of M. Night Shyamalan’s “Signs” and you’ll get an inkling of how wildly uneven “Interstellar” is. …
—Liam Lacey, The Globe and Mail

…technically masterful, emotionally powerful at times and sometimes difficult to comprehend if you’re not conversant in real-life physics or sci-fi conceits. …you may feel as if your brain is dodging space debris as you sort out what is happening…
—Barbara Vancheri, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Sorry, no other viewer comments received yet. If you have seen this movie, PLEASE share your observations and insights with others to be posted here. GO