In the near future, humanity is facing extinction; crops are failing and the situation seems hopeless. After a huge dust storm, former NASA pilot-turned farmer, Cooper, discovers a mysterious code in his home which leads him to a secret NASA base, where he finds out that there could be a chance to save the human race. Given the impossible choice of staying with his family where they will all face a tortuous death or leaving on a dangerous mission for an unknown length of time to try to save them, he heads out into space and the unknown.

Interstellar (2014) – Director: Christopher Nolan

Is Interstellar suitable for children

Rating: 12

Running Length: 169 mins

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine

Genre: Science Fiction

REVIEW

There were high expectations for Christopher Nolan’s first dabble into sci-fi and with a big budget, some top calibre actors and plenty of stunning visuals, ‘Interstellar’ ticks the boxes for highbrow science fiction. With nods to ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ and its sequel, ‘2010’, Nolan clearly intended to ramp up the tension gradually and instil a sense of hopelessness into a situation that desperately needs hope for survival.

Sadly, Nolan’s pretentiousness shines brighter than his storytelling and with only vague explanations, leaps of logic and an overly drawn out plot, ‘Interstellar’ does not make for easy watching. It is clear that Nolan has attempted to address the criticisms that his previous movies lack human feeling, but the way ‘love’ is forced into the story of ‘Interstellar’ makes it dull and unrealistic. Another problem with the movie is the overwhelmingly loud score which often makes it impossible to hear the dialogue and, as the music tends to swells at an important moment, this often means that vital parts of the plot are missed!

While ‘Interstellar’ isn’t exactly a ‘bad’ movie, it is very likely to test the patience of those who aren’t die-hard sci-fi enthusiasts and, at almost 3 hours long, even Nolan’s faithful fans may struggle to stay interested until the end.

IS ‘INTERSTELLAR’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

When Cooper discovers some coordinates in his daughter’s bedroom, his curiosity gets the better of him and he drives out to see where they take him. After he forbids Murph to join him, he finds that she has snuck into his car and he is unable to take her back. When they arrive at the coordinates in the dead of night, all they can see is a chain fence. Cooper approaches it and, while he is not afraid, the fact that he and Murph are alone in an unknown place could be a little frightening for young children. A bright light suddenly turns on and a loud, authoritative and voice demands to know who they are; Cooper attempts to explain that he is with his daughter but he suddenly stops talking and there is a sound indicating that he may have been tasered. Murph is extremely afraid and, when the thing that spoke to Cooper approaches the car, she screams in terror. It is soon revealed that both Cooper and Murph are safe.

When he is told that he is the best candidate to pilot the spaceship which could save humanity, Cooper has to break the news to his family. His father-in-law, Donald, and son, Tom, are upset but understand why he has to go; Murph is devastated and, although Cooper tries to reassure her that he will come back, he cannot tell her when and she is unable to forgive him. This emotional bitterness continues and he is forced to leave while she is still angry with him. There is no resolution to this and a family unit in tears could upset some children.

There is one particularly emotionally charged scene where Cooper is watching videos that have been sent from home. They span several years and, watching his family age and suffer loss is overwhelming for him and he sobs through the majority of the videos.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?

VERDICT

‘Interstellar’ is certainly a straight-faced science fiction movie which has little in terms of action or scares. The content itself is not too strong and is likely to be appropriate for most kids aged 8 and over, however, we feel that the majority of under 12s will quickly become bored and, with such a long running time, parents may wish to wait until this movie is on home media to show the movie to their kids.

  • Violence: 3/5 (one character unexpectedly attempts to kill another and suddenly attacks them, leaving them to suffocate. Another character is killed in an explosion)
  • Emotional Distress: 3/5
  • Fear Factor: 2/5 (one character is killed by a natural disaster and shortly afterwards their body is seen floating face down in some water. There are many intense scenes where it is unclear what is going to happen to the characters. One scene towards the end of the movie is quite scary when a character travels into unknown space)
  • Sexual Content: 0/5       
  • Bad Language: 3/5 (some infrequent mild to moderate cursing and blasphemy)
  • Dialogue: 2/5 (there are several mentions of what the future will hold for the people on Earth and that they will die suffocating)  
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of familial love, the end of humanity, space exploration, exploring uncharted territory, making a difficult decision, leaving your family in order to save them and the power of science over human limitations.

Words by Laura Record

Interstellar: The Official Movie Novelization


New From: £2.54 GBP In Stock

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