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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?
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: The robots, TARS and CASE, received a lot of praise, mainly for their unique design and charming personalities.
  • 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!
  • 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. Business in China has also been good, with its opening weekend there surpassing the opening weekends of Nolan's previous films.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: A copy of Stephen King's The Stand is prominently featured on Cooper's bookshelf throughout the movie. Shortly after the release of the movie, Matthew McConaughey became the frontrunner to play the central antagonist of the film series.
    • Matthew McConaughey previously appeared in Contact as the President's spiritual adviser who tried to convince Ellie Arroway to embrace faith over science. In this movie, Murph's relationship with Coop is more similar to Ellie's relationship with her father.
  • 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.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Dr. Mann crosses it when he attempts to kill Cooper and when he outright kills Romily with a bomb.
  • Narm:
    • Love is a physical force, as fundamental to the universe as gravity, turning the final act of this previously diamond-hard sci-fi story into A Wrinkle in Time.
    • 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.
  • 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). However, others have argued back that Brand's motivation was just plain love, rather than a need to be with a man, and that her character would work exactly the same if she was searching for a sibling, friend, or same-sex partner. Discussed in Chris Stuckmann's video. If it helps to soften the blow, Cooper also let his love towards his children influence his reasoning. There's also the fact that Brand's insistence that her voting to go to Edmund's world wasn't influenced by her feelings for him are vindicated in the end. Doctor Mann turns out to have Gone Mad From The Isolation and lied about the conditions on his planet in the slim hope that he might be rescued, and of the three planets, Edmund's turns out to be the only one capable of supporting the "Plan B" colony.
  • 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.
  • What an Idiot: Cooper arbitrarily shooting down Amelia's recommendation that the Endurance travel to Edmunds' planet, simply because he thinks there's a chance that she might be biased in her thinking. While he certainly couldn't have known that Mann was faking his data, it definitely wasn't a good idea to just ignore the advice of the crew's only trained biologist—the one most qualified to make a call about which planet was habitable.

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