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YMMV / Interstellar

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  • Adorkable: Murphy. Not only during her childhood. Even when she's an adult, this shows up quite often, especially when she's happy or astonished. Her Eureka Moment late in the film stands out in particular.
  • Accidental Aesop: Humanity being threatened with extinction due to a global blight sounds like an argument supportive of disease-resistant GMOsnote  and against corporate control of genetic diversity.
  • Alternative 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.
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    • 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?
    • Brand accuses Cooper's decision to pursue Dr. Mann's planet over Dr. Edmund's as spiting her for delaying their mission on Miller's. While Cooper assures her that Mann's is the most logical pursuit, Cooper is prone to making decisions based on personal feelings instead of pure logic, and he is incredibly shaken that he missed his childrens' transition into adult life because of Brand's screw up.
  • Anvilicious: The movie contains many examination of the ethics and biological drives of survival instinct versus altruism... then at the end, the story comes down to The Power of Love just to make it clear that altruism is good. Also Anti-Intellectualism is bad, and will destroy potential means to save lives (anything from one person up to the whole of humanity). Then again, Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped.
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  • Award Snub: While an omission for a Best Picture nod at the Oscars is understandable (the same thing happened to 2001: A Space Odyssey), no nods for the film's cinematography is fairly baffling.
  • 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. This is compounded by the fact that Steven Spielberg was once attached to the project, with some arguing his 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.
    • The Dr Mann portion of the film. Some loved it and felt it added another layer to the story - namely by showing how a perfectly normal Nice Guy could be driven to madness by his hopeless situation. Others felt it added nothing to the film, since the main plot essentially gets put on hold, dragging the running time out even longer.
    • Even the pacing of the film is subject to this. Some people found it to be a Slow-Paced Beginning that gets better once the protagonists go into space. Others thought that the beginning was the best part, and that the film actually went downhill as it went on. And of course there are those who loved the whole thing or hated the whole thing.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • The robots, TARS and CASE, received a lot of praise, mainly for their unique design and charming personalities. Being a rare aversion of A.I. Is a Crapshoot also helps.
    • Out of the human characters, Murph is emerging to be quite popular.
  • Ending Fatigue: After Murph solves the equation, the film still drags on for another fifteen minutes with the denouement - establishing the new space station, Cooper's reunion with Murph on her deathbed and his eventual decision to fly off to find Brand.
  • Fanfic Fuel: It's stated that twelve individual Ranger missions were launched to different planets, but only the three involved in the plot sent back positive results. The fates of the other nine astronauts are never explored, aside from a (now-defunct) online text adventure.
  • 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 was also 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:
  • Inferred Holocaust: You don't think they actually were able to build enough of their starship-things for the entire human race, do you? Even if the human race is massively depleted by the blight or nuclear war, there were still bound to be loads of people left behind.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Mann. While he did kill Romily with a bomb and also tried to kill Cooper he was clearly desperate to go home after being stranded on a frozen planet for god knows how long only to die himself.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Even those who don't like the film admit that Matthew McConaughey's performance is one of the best things about it. Especially the harrowing scene where he has to watch twenty-seven years' worth of messages from Tom.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • 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, Cooper screaming "Mauurffff" at his daughter is pretty Narmy.
    • Murph as a name has drawn much laughter from viewers - even if Cooper does explain why he called her that. She was originally a boy in early drafts, explaining this somewhat.
    • Professor Brand's entire explanation about how "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space." In a movie advertised as Hard Scifi, having a character spout an inspirational New Age line made the viewing audience groan.
    • The notion that the world has disbanded its armies in the wake of the Blight. Even given the enormity of the crisis, it is still hard to imagine that the world's standing armies would be done away with, and in fact the struggle for sustainable resources would in all likelihood make them even more necessary to keep active in the conflicts likely to come of it.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • If you have claustrophobia or a fear of isolation, this film will not be kind to you.
    • Mann's breakdown over the length of his mission and Face–Heel Turn is both this and a Tear Jerker. The man just doesn't want to die, but a lot of the things he says and does once he's revealed to have gone off the deep end are pretty creepy.
  • Older Than They Think: The plot has been compared to the Queen song "'39" from A Night at the Opera, coincidentally released 39 years earlier. Brian May, who wrote the song, holds a PhD in astrophysics and attended the London premiere.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Timothee Chalamet would become far better known three years later for Call Me by Your Name, making his performance as young Tom a case of this.
  • The Scrappy: Tom, for keeping his family on the farm even after his first son dies from having too much dust in his lungs, punching out a doctor for telling him his family will die if they stay, and just holding the Conflict Ball in general for the events of the Earth plot.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The sequence on Miller's planet, particularly the race to escape the Giant Wall of Watery Doom, is among the film's most iconic (and intense) scenes.
    • Many fans 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. Some have even made sweded versions of the scene.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: This movie is probably the closest we'll ever get to a movie based on the song "'39" by Queen. Both Interstellar and "'39" involve Earth facing an ecological crisis, and a group of volunteers leaving Earth to find a new home for humanity. Both stories also have a Bittersweet Ending; though the volunteers in both the movie and the song accomplish their mission, Time Dilation has caused their families on Earth to age far faster than the volunteers themselves.
  • 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.
  • Trapped by Mountain Lions: While Murph is trying to solve the equation, she has to first set fire to the cornfield outside the house in order to distract Tom - who has suddenly become violent at the very idea of evacuating the farm.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Possibly Cooper in the end sequence. He never asks about his other child, or even displays any kind of angst about Tom not being there too. He also leaves the station without bothering to even get to know his descendants. The novelization mitigates this: Cooper learns that Tom died almost two decades prior to his arrival at the station. Furthermore, he's clearly shown thinking about Brand often and knows she'll need help with starting the Plan B project on Edmunds's planet, and he learns that no one from any of the Plan A stations has gone to help her, making it more understandable why he'd want to find her as soon as possible.
  • The Un-Twist: 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!: 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.


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