Make no mistake, INTERSTELLAR is an excellent movie from Christopher Nolan which deserves the success and praise it is receiving. It will likely be one of the Top 10 earning films of 2014. That doesn’t mean it’s built like a mainstream movie which everyone will enjoy.

Keeping far from spoilers, I’ll do my best to explain why I loved it, and why a lot of people won’t.

It nears the 3-hour mark. By the time you get to your seats, watch a couple advertisements and another couple trailers, the entire in-seat experience will likely reach 180 minutes. That, right there, is enough for some people to see something else. This is not just a theory, it’s a fact I’ve witnessed. In my own household, to be exact. To be even more precise, not only will my wife not go see it, but neither will her good friend. The whole reason for avoidance? The film’s run-time. It happened with Titanic (194 min). It happened with Godfather (175 min). It happened with the entirety of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. And while long, long, long movies don’t bother me, I certainly don’t blame any of the dozens of people I’ve met who either lost interest in seeing INTERSTELLAR because of the length, or who soured a bit on the film because they got restless.

It deals with very complex theories involving time and space. While Einstein’s Theory Of Relativity has considerable bearing on the universe of science and would be vital to understand when on the topic of interstellar voyages, it’s not something that most movie-goers have ever considered to any significant extent. It’s completely understandable why it’s a vital portion of INTERSTELLAR’s plot, but it’s equally understandable why it might be off-putting to certain audiences. Mainstream franchises Star Trek and Star Wars have been smart to almost completely avoid including the topic in storylines. The fact that Neil Degrasse Tyson gave Nolan and the rest of the filmmakers credit for getting a lot of the complicated science aspects right speaks highly of the film, but also moves it further from the mainstream.

ChastainInterThe performances were great. Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey continues his stretch of great acting as the central focus of this film. While perhaps not as demanding a role as Dallas Buyers Club or True Detective, he was a strong core around whom the other actors gravitated. Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, and a third Oscar winner (whom I won’t name here, so as not to give away any surprises) also put their star-power to use in their supporting roles. That’s not even mentioning the excellent work from Academy Award nominated Jessica Chastain, Academy Award nominated Casey Affleck, or relative-newcomer Mackenzie Foy – whose work puts her on my watchlist (where she might have already been, had I seen The Conjuring or the last two Twilight films).Yet, even those Oscar winners shining bright in a film filled with emotion and stunning visuals, it’s not enough for some viewers to approach.

There’s no word as of yet what Christopher Nolan’s next project will be. He’s an advisory executive producer on the upcoming Batman Vs Superman film, but in terms of what he will write or direct (or both) next, it remains to be seen. Chances are good that, while the film isn’t likely to be as “mainstream” as the Dark Knight trilogy, it’s probably going to at least be as mainstream as the star-studded INCEPTION (which was a tad confusing for some, with its “dream within a dream” construct, but anything starring Leonardo DiCaprio is bound to draw large audiences).

Personally, I gave INTERSTELLAR a nearly perfect grade. A 96 out of 100, to be exact. I liked it more than INCEPTION, but I won’t be surprised if many viewers find it to be one of Nolan’s least entertaining films. The 74% it’s currently receiving on Rotten Tomatoes sounds about right, because 25% of critics are likely to get frustrated by it.

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