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'Interstellar' Is Christopher Nolan's Space-Time Epic


Earlier generations of science-fiction films fretted about nuclear radiation or alien invasion. What powers Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar" is a more up-to-date concern. Film critic Kenneth Turan has this review.

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: "Interstellar" has the rarest beast in the Hollywood jungle. It's a mass audience picture that's intelligent as well as epic. It's as interested in emotional moments as immersive visuals, which is saying a lot. "Interstellar" is a near-future story of an intergalactic search for other planets that might support life and the way we've become accustomed to. Matthew McConaughey stars as Cooper, a former test pilot who is now a farmer struggling to raise his two children. Cooper follows a hunch and finds a secret underground bunker where a group of government scientists, led by Michael Caine, know that Earth's days are numbered.


MICHAEL CAINE: (As Professor Brand) We must confront the reality that nothing in our solar system can help us.

TURAN: The scientists have discovered a wormhole near Saturn, a shortcut through space and time to a totally different galaxy, and an interstellar expedition is being mounted to check it out. The only thing missing is, yes, an experienced pilot. Cooper is beyond eager to take this on, but there's a catch - he'd have to leave his family behind. And they might die by the time he returns - if he returns at all. A fellow crew member played by Anne Hathaway sums it up.


ANNE HATHAWAY: (As Amelia) You might have to decide between seeing your children again and the future of the human race.

TURAN: "Interstellar" is impressive to look at, but its greatest accomplishment is that all those visuals don't stand in the way of the personal dimension. This is a story that understands that the qualities that make us human are the most special effects of all. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Kenneth Turan is the film critic for the Los Angeles Times and NPR's Morning Edition, as well as the director of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. He has been a staff writer for the Washington Post and TV Guide, and served as the Times' book review editor.
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