YMMV: Interstellar

  • Accidental Aesop: Humanity being threatened with extinction due to a global blight sounds like an argument for disease-resistant GMOs and against corporate control of genetic diversity.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Was Dr. Mann a cowardly selfish figure who wasn't cut out for the job or a decent guy broken by the desolation of space and loneliness on the planet where he was marooned? Probably the latter, given how they talk about him earlier.
    • Was Professor Brand's decision to concentrate NASA's resources on Plan B a terrible betrayal of his species and cruel manipulation of his subordinates against their knowledge, or was he a leader faced with making the hardest of choices who did the best he could with the resources and knowledge available to him?
    • Did the teacher actually believe the Moon Landing was faked, or did she just want to keep her job?
    • Despite being brought to attention in school, Murphy wasn't in trouble for believing the Apollo missions were real, she was in trouble for fighting. Rewarding this behavior makes Coop look like a terrible parent.
    • Cooper's relationship with Tom. Did he love Tom as much as Murph and just gave Murph more attention due to her younger age, did he genuinely have a deeper connection with Murph due to their similar personalities, did he outright love his daughter more, or was just Tom a straight-up Unfavorite?
  • Anvilicious: The movie starts out as an examination of the ethics and biological drives of survival instinct vs altruism... then at the end they throw in The Power of Love just to make it clear that altruism is good. Also Anti-Intellectualism is bad — very, very bad (as in "potential means to save lives (anything from one person up to the whole of humanity) removed because of it" bad).
  • Award Snub: While an omission for a Best Picture nod at the Oscars is understandable, no nods for the film's cinematography is fairly baffling.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The second trailer used Evey Reborn from V for Vendetta.
    • Hans Zimmer's incredible, sweeping and highly emotional score. For example, the music that plays during the climactic scene where Cooper docks with the Endurance after Dr. Mann blows part of it up is nothing short of jaw-dropping, using a powerful mix of electronic, traditional sci-fi music and an epic church organ, the latter of which goes a long way towards establishing the cosmos as a reverent, awe-inspiring place.
      • This baby wasn't Oscar-nominated for nothing!
  • Broken Base: It's Christopher Nolan. This is bound to happen.
    • The emotion: genuine and real or shallow and manipulative?
    • The dialogue: brilliant or exposition-laden drivel?
    • On both points, some are wondering whether the trailer line "Love is the one thing that transcends time and space" is emotionally meaningful or clunky worthy of George Lucas. And when the film came out, fans are just as divided about the The Power of Love as they were from the trailers.
    • The ending is also a pretty big one. It's either a heartwarming finale or a bunch of incomprehensible sentimental nonsense. Complicated by how the film was originally intended for Steven Spielberg, causing the people who dislike the ending to have their own split about whether his far more sentimental and emotional directing style could have made it work.
    • Hans Zimmer's score: a moving symphony that meshes well with the film, or a bombastic, intrusive cacophony? And via that extension, the sound design even earned a divided response: Either those who felt the movie had zero issues and could hear everything fine or obnoxiously overloud to the point of drowning out important dialogue.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • The robots, TARS and CASE, received a lot of praise, mainly for their unique design and charming personalities.
    • Out of the human characters, Murphy is emerging to be quite popular.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Environmentalism is doomed, so you have to push forward with technological development to survive the environmental disasters that will happen anyway.
  • Friendly Fandoms: Despite being rivals at the box office, there's been some friendly interaction between the film's fans and the Big Hero 6 fandom due to their respectively popular Robot Buddies. There's even fan art of TARS and Baymax interacting with each other! We also have this.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The film turned out to be very, very popular in Korea, surpassing the record numbers made by Warner Bros' Pacific Rim and staying at number one for three weeks in a row. Business in China has also been good, with its opening weekend there surpassing the opening weekends of Nolan's previous films.
  • He Really Can Act: Even people who didn't like the film have nothing but praise for Mackenzie Foy's performance as young Murphy. Especially amazing considering her second most known project.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • HSQ: Several scenes, like the wormhole and Miller's planet,deliver this trope in spades.
  • Hype Backlash: Due to the immense hype the film attracted, plus the very positive word of mouth on social media sites like Twitter, some felt the film did not live up to its high expectations and that of the pedigree Nolan has.
  • Inferred Holocaust: You don't think they actually were able to build enough of their starship-things for the entire human race, do you?
  • Memetic Mutation: "MURPH!" is very similar to Lost's "WAAAALLLTT!"
  • Moral Event Horizon: Dr. Mann crosses it when he attempts to kill Cooper and when he outright kills Romily with a bomb.
  • Narm:
    • A lot of Dr. Mann's Villainous Breakdown, especially his monologue getting cut short by exploding.
    • In the Tesseract with Cooper screaming "Mauurffff" at his daughter was pretty Narmy.
    • Brand's "We're not gonna make it!", coupled with her facial expression, makes for a milder example of this.
  • Signature Scene: Many nerds have taken to recreating the scene where Cooper docks the Lander to the rapidly spinning, damaged Endurance, complete with epic music in programs like Garry's Mod and Kerbal Space Program. Especially Kerbal Space Program.
  • Spiritual Licensee: Of the works of Arthur C. Clarke in general and 2001: A Space Odyssey in particular. Monolith-shaped robots, various shots of rotating spaceships and space stations docking, and the main character being put through a visual mind screw along with fertilized eggs being sent to start a new colony away from a dying earth and the enormous cylindrical space station.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Some people have taken offense to the portrayal of Dr. Amelia Brand, the female member of the Endurance's crew, who is revealed to be in love with one of the scientists who went through the wormhole, making it her primary motivation (in other words, she's led across the universe only so she can find a man). Discussed in Chris Stuckmann's video.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Tom Cooper. He gets considerably less attention from Cooper than Murph does, giving the appearance of Parental Favoritism. Doesn't help that in the finale When Cooper returns to Earth, there is no mention at all of Tom, and after saying his final goodbyes to Murph, Cooper heads straight back to space.
  • The Untwist: The "ghost" that leads Cooper to NASA is such an odd and incongruous plot element that everyone is likely put on guard that some twist with it is coming, leading them to peg it instantly once the subject of black holes comes up.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • TARS and CASE, themselves. To think that their movements were completely practical.
    • Approaching the wormhole and the journey through it are seen by many fans as the most breathtaking scenes in the film.
    • The view of the singularity with the suns being pulled into the black hole is incredible.
    • Miller and Mann's planets look pretty spectacular, with the former's immense tidal wave and the latter's creepily desolate regions.
    • The spacecraft in the film look very good, and very much like real spaceships, mostly because they are very large scale 3D-printed miniatures rather than CGI.
    • As the Half in the Bag review points out, many of the shots of the ships are from positions mounted on the ships themselves - as in real life mission film - rather than the "Star Trek" angle from next to the ship, thus giving an authentic feeling to the shots.
    • Going inside Gargantua and the Tesseract that Cooper and TARS wind up in. Probably some of the trippiest eye candy Nolan will ever make.
    • Gargantua is stunning. It being an entirely accurate representation of a black hole (to the point of actually showing an effect that physicists didn't know about before simply because they hadn't put the black hole equations into a computer program as high-quality as the one the movie used) seals it.
  • What an Idiot:
    • Amelia tries to convince the crew to go to Edmund's planet and presents them with the dilemma that Edmund's planet looks the most suitable for life but went silent, while Mann is the better scientist and is actively transmitting. When told to come clean about her romantic feelings for Edmund, she thinks that she can maintain her credibility by going on a poetic rant describing love as a force of nature, like destiny. Being surrounded by scientists, she's calmly removed from the discussion because of this. Of course, the movie also shows that she is correct about love being a connecting force of some kind. Edmund's planet is the only possible colony in the system, and Cooper's love for his daughter is what allows him to transmit the information that ultimately saves humanity. Maybe Dumbass Has a Point.
    • While the crew is on Miller's planet, Amelia insists on trying to retrieve the data log, despite Cooper warning her that the next wave was coming - which she could plainly see. Making her indirectly responsible for Doyle's death, since he sent CASE to save her and had to manually override the controls to the shuttle doors, mere seconds before being swept away.