Review: Dunkirk

The man who gave audiences Memento, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, The Prestige and Interstellar returns to take audiences back in time to a small, but not insignificant chapter in the history of World War II.

Nazi Germany has enveloped 400,000 French and British soldiers to the beaches of Dunkirk and the possibility of escape is practically perilous in every direction. Pinned to just one location, the enemy takes their time picking off their forces and destroying whatever hope of escape in their wake. Land, sea and air, the Allied Forces are in a bind, and the British government at the order of Prime Minister Churchill has little alternative but to requisition and commandeer civilian water craft to travel across the channel and bring their boys home.

Christopher Nolan’s take on these accounts is segmented into three perspectives on this account of history. The Mole follows a young French and British soldier navigating the beaches trying to find someway back home; The Sea features a father and son and a friend in their sea vessel crossing the channel upon hearing the order to rescue as many men as they can; The Air follows two fighter pilots soaring through the skies above the madness, shooting down German fighter planes bent on sinking anything that floats. These three perspectives all tie together to illustrate the power of the human instinct of survival. These three perspectives are the crux of Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk.

dunkirk-poster

Image by Warner Bros. and Syncopy

Nolan told this story in three parts; I will describe this movie in three words: elegant, explosive and unyielding.

Going into this movie, I was concerned that Nolan’s take on this war story would be too clean and that might hinder its appeal as a war movie when compared to a classic war dramas such as Saving Private Ryan, The Hurt Locker or last year’s Oscar winning Hacksaw Ridge because those movies truly captured the essences of war; the gore, the graphic imagery, the bloodshed, the need to illustrate that war is hell upon seeing it unfold all around the characters for the audiences to witness themselves. Dunkirk was my boom or bust movie of the year and after seeing it, in IMAX which is the way it was intended to be seen, this movie went BOOM! A loud, resonating BOOM upon the senses that did not let up in the slightest!

My concerns going into this movie? Decimated as I watched it unfold before my eyes! Just because Nolan didn’t go excessive on bloodshed, doesn’t mean he hindered this movie; you don’t need blood or grandiose practical effects to illustrate the horrors of war! Every time a bullet fired, I jumped. Every time I saw a bomb go off or a missile or a torpedo down a ship, I was jolted. Every time a dogfight happened in the sky, I held my breath! Every time the situation became more and more dire in these three arcs, the tension just kept building and building and the suspense was as remorseless like the wind and rain in a hurricane! Nolan just brought his strengths as a filmmaker and storyteller to depict a “back against the wall” situation where individuals had to use whatever resources they could to see tomorrow and the need for bodily harm or horror was not necessary in the slightest to accomplish that.

What’s more impressive about Dunkirk is that the enemy’s presence is felt rather than seen. From the first frame, audiences see the little fliers floating from the sky onto the soldiers saying “We surround you!” you don’t see the enemy, but the presence of danger is felt every second and the tension of this film feeds off that tension for strength.

Nolan intended for Dunkirk to be seen as a story of survival and he wrote and executed this core aspect of the picture with extraordinary distinction! The focus of Dunkirk was never about winning, it was about bringing these soldiers home from extreme danger and knowing that in surviving, they were victorious! I had my doubts whether or not he could pull this off but with this powerful script, impeccable execution, the stunning cinematography of Hoyte van Hoytema, the awesome music of Hans Zimmer giving this picture atmosphere where dialogue is scarce, the sound effects, Lee Smith’s editing which came together beautifully as the film went on, Nathan Crowley’s production design, Dunkirk is an outstanding achievement in filmmaking and should become the crown jewel in Christopher Nolan’s body of work so far.

This movie isn’t so much about the actors but what the actors do in the film, in these roles. The collection of Fionn Whitehead, Damien Bonnard, Aneurin Barnard, Barry Keoghan, Mark Rylance, Tom Glynn-Carney, Tom Hardy, Jack Lowden, Kenneth Branagh, James D’Arcy, Cillian Murphy and Harry Styles all do a solid job with the parts they have been given, but the true star of the show is the suspense and the tension that fills up the screen when all of the technical aspects behind the camera come together.

Dunkirk is elegant is how it is shown and heard on screen but the subject matter is brimming with explosive technical execution, resulting in an unyielding cinematic experience that should not be missed! It is the most phenomenal experience I have had this year at the movies!

Review: Spectre

What if everything in the Daniel Craig era of James Bond movies led to something bigger, more resolute? All the death and destruction from Casino Royale to Quantum of Solace to Skyfall, what if there was something that connected everything and Bond is finally exposed to something menacing that lurks in the shadows? These questions are ultimately answered in the 24th James Bond film titled Spectre.

Image by Sony and MGM

The future of MI6 is at a crossroads, especially the 00-program courtesy of a man named Max Denbigh, played by Andrew Scott, and Bond certainly isn’t making things easier for M, played by Ralph Fiennes, but Bond is on to something bigger when he finds a man named Sciarra and connects him to this wide-reaching yet sinister organization led by a man named Oberhauser, played by Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz, who strikes a chord in Bond’s memory.

Bond, accompanied by the fetching Dr. Madeleine Swann, played by Léa Seydoux, set out to uncover the terrible truth about Spectre before their wicked schemes are set in motion, which could pit the future of global security in their hands.

Sam Mendes’ previous Bond film, Skyfall, set the bar extremely high for Bond films to come, especially Spectre. Is Spectre as good as Skyfall? No, but it has all the classic motifs and trademark features to classify it as an homage to the classic 007 features known by fans of the franchise and I enjoyed Spectre because it felt familiar to the classic Bond movies.

Image By http://www.GlynLowe.com from Hamburg, Germany, via Wikimedia Commons

Despite all the turmoil and the uncertainty of the future with the character, I’m a fan of Daniel Craig as James Bond and in watching Spectre you get the feeling that his journey with the character is coming to an end yet the door is open for him to return if he elects to do so. I hope he does return-in fact, I believe he is under contract for one more James Bond movie-yet I completely understand if he should walk away.

The returning cast including Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Rory Kinnear, Ben Whishaw and Jesper Christensen, they do as well as can be expected considering we know them in these roles already.

The cast of newcomers including Waltz, who may not give a Hans Landa-level villain performance but is satisfying-particularly when the (not-so)-unexpected twist of his character is revealed-from start to finish. The Bond woman Lucia Sciarra, played by Monica Belluci, and the Bond girl Dr. Swann, played by Seydoux, give adequate performances, yet Stephanie Sigman’s character is kinda left high and dry. Dave Bautista’s Mr. Hinx may not have any speaking lines but he is an imposing figure in the feature, derived from many iconic henchmen villains from classic Bond lore, such as Jaws.

The thing to understand about Spectre is the theme is staunchly different compared to the theme of Skyfall. In Skyfall, the overarching theme is that Bond is back and I believe that that theme was derived from the turmoil the studios were facing during pre-production and when the film was greenlit, they were trying to bring Bond back with a bang and did so splendidly. With Spectre it was a touch different.

Image by Angela George, via Wikimedia Commons

In Spectre, the ghosts of Bond’s past, particularly the ghosts in the Daniel Craig era, they are resurrected to steer his character towards something that connects everything together and I found this a very cunning device for Sam Mendes to use, a thoughtful gesture on his exit from the Bond series.

I think the writing of Spectre was very proper. John Logan, Neal Purvis, Jez Butterworth and Robert Wade truly did well in creating continuity from the previous Bond films to lead to something rather significant and I think the writing of the film makes sense. Sometimes the writing of the film opts to take the easy way out and thus compromises the film’s integrity, but there was no lasting damage.

Hoyte van Hoytema’s cinematography is superb. The opening Dia De Los Muertos sequence is a fluid and seamless long-take/tracking shot and he truly flexed his creative muscles at balancing giving Spectre artistic beauty yet honing in on the raw slam-bang action that comes with a James Bond film. Lee Smith’s editing is adequate enough to showcase what Hoytema caught on camera but the skills to edit this movie don’t measure up to getting the footage on camera.

To recap, I classify Spectre as a traditional James Bond movie, that is more shaken than it is stirred and I encourage readers to see it if they haven’t done so already. It isn’t Skyfall. Skyfall set the bar pretty high, but it is worth seeing and it has a lot of the classic James Bond tropes.

Sidenote-This review is something of a milestone for me because I started this blog after my mom gave me the idea to blog about movies after we left a screening of Skyfall three years ago. How far we’ve come!

The Critics Choice for Best Cinematography is:

The 20th Critics Choice Awards are underway

The nominees:

  • Emmanuel Lubezki-Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Robert Yeoman-The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Hoyte Van Hoytema-Interstellar
  • Dick Pope-Mr. Turner
  • Roger Deakins-Unbroken

Winner: Emmanuel Lubezki-Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

And on to (predicting) the Critics Choice Awards!

The 20th Critics Choice Movie Awards are almost upon us.

Last night, the Golden Globes happened. Je Suis Charlies and shots at North Korea were taken, not in the literal sense, but it was a frivolous evening all the same. There were some surprises and not-so surprising turn of events, but its history. The future now turns to the Broadcast Film Critics Association, where the 20th Annual Critics Choice Awards will be telecast this Thursday, the same day when the nominees for this year’s Academy Awards will be announced, and this could be the event that paints a picture of who might win on Oscar night. What separates the Golden Globes from the Critics Choice Awards is that the Critics Choice Awards have a more wide-ranging field of categories, including technical achievements, instead of just acting, writing and directing. I will pay attention to most of the categories rather than just all of them when it comes to my predictions. Here is my idea of how things will turn out:

Best Score:

  • Alexandre Desplat-The Imitation Game
  • Jóhann Jóhannsson-The Theory of Everything
  • Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross-Gone Girl
  • Antonio Sanchez-Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Hans Zimmer-Interstellar

Winner: Antonio Sanchez-Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Best Song:

  • “Big Eyes,” by Lana Del Rey-Big Eyes
  • “Everything is Awesome,” by Jo Li and the Lonely Island-The LEGO Movie
  • “Glory,” by Common and John Legend-Selma
  • “Lost Stars,” by Keira Knightley-Begin Again
  • “Yellow Flicker Beat,” by Lorde-The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt I

Winner: “Glory,” by Common and John Legend-Selma

Best Documentary:

  • Citizenfour
  • Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
  • Jorodowski’s Dune
  • Last Days in Vietnam
  • Life Itself
  • The Overnighters

Winner: Citizenfour

Best Foreign Language Film:

  • Force Majure Turist
  • Ida
  • Leviathan
  • Two Days, One Night
  • Wild Tales

Winner: Force Majure Turist

Best Animated Feature:

  • Big Hero 6
  • The Book of Life
  • The Boxtrolls
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • The LEGO Movie

Winner: How to Train Your Dragon 2

Best Visual Effects:

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Hobbit: the Battle of the Five Armies
  • Interstellar

Winner: Interstellar

Best Hair and Makeup:

  • Foxcatcher
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Hobbit: the Battle of the Five Armies
  • Into the Woods
  • Maleficent

Winner: Guardians of the Galaxy

Best Costume Design:

  • Milena Canonero-The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Mark Bridges-Inherent Vice
  • Colleen Atwood-Into the Woods
  • Anna B. Sheppard-Maleficent
  • Jacqueline Durran-Mr. Turner

Winner: Milena Canonero-The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Editing:

  • Stephen Mirrione and Douglas Crise-Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Sandra Adair-Boyhood
  • Kirk Baxter-Gone Girl
  • Lee Smith-Interstellar
  • Tom Cross-Whiplash

Winner: Stephen Mirrione and Douglas Crise-Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Best Art Direction:

  • Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Inherent Vice
  • Interstellar
  • Into the Woods
  • Snowpiercer

Winner: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Cinematography:

  • Emmanuel Lubezki-Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Robert Yeoman-The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Hoyte Van Hoytema-Interstellar
  • Dick Pope-Mr. Turner
  • Roger Deakins-Unbroken

Winner: Emmanuel Lubezki-Birman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  • Gillian Flynn-Gone Girl
  • Graham Moore-The Imitation Game
  • Paul Thomas Anderson-Inherent Vice
  • Anthony McCarten-The Theory of Everything
  • The Coen Brothers, Richard LaGravenese and William Nicholson-Unbroken
  • Nick Hornby-Wild

Winner: Gillian Flynn-Gone Girl

Best Original Screenplay:

  • Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo-Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Richard Linklater-Boyhood
  • Wes Anderson-The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Dan Gilroy-Nightcrawler
  • Damien Chazelle-Whiplash

Winner: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo-Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Best Young Actor/Actress:

  • Ellar Coltrane-Boyhood
  • Ansel Elgort-The Fault in Our Stars
  • Mackenzie Foy-Interstellar
  • Jaeden Lieberher-St. Vincent
  • Tony Revolori-The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Quevanzhané Wallis-Annie
  • Noah Wiseman-The Babadook

Winner: Ellar Coltrane-Boyhood

Best Supporting Actress:

  • Patricia Arquette-Boyhood
  • Jessica Chastain-A Most Violent Year
  • Keira Knightley-The Imitation Game
  • Emma Stone-Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Meryl Streep-Into the Woods
  • Tilda Swinton-Snowpiercer

Winner: Patricia Arquette-Boyhood

Best Supporting Actor:

  • Josh Brolin-Inherent Vice
  • Robert Duvall-The Judge
  • Ethan Hawke-Boyhood
  • Edward Norton-Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Mark Ruffalo-Foxcatcher
  • J.K. Simmons-Whiplash

Winner: J.K. Simmons-Whiplash

Best Actress:

  • Jennifer Aniston-Cake
  • Marion Cotillard-Two Days, One Night
  • Felicity Jones-The Theory of Everything
  • Julianne Moore-Still Alice
  • Rosamund Pike-Gone Girl
  • Reese Witherspoon-Wild

Winner: Rosamund Pike-Gone Girl

Best Actor:

  • Benedict Cumberbatch-The Imitation Game
  • Ralph Fiennes-The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Jake Gyllenhaal-Nightcrawler
  • Michael Keaton-Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • David Oyelowo-Selma
  • Eddie Redmayne-The Theory of Everything

Winner: Jake Gyllenhaal-Nightcrawler

Best Director:

  • Wes Anderson-The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Ava DuVernay-Selma
  • David Fincher-Gone Girl
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu-Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Angelina Jolie-Unbroken
  • Richard Linklater-Boyhood

Winner: Richard Linklater-Boyhood

Best Picture:

Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Boyhood

Gone Girl

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Nightcrawler

Selma

The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything

Unbroken

Whiplash

Winner: Boyhood

You can find the full list of nominees can be found through the provided ling. The 20th Annual Critics Choice Awards will be telecast this Thursday on A&E at 9:00 PM. Talk show host and NFL Hall of Famer Michael Strahan will host the event.

The Critics have their say

The nominees for the 20th Annual Critics Choice Movie Awards have been announced

First the Screen Actors Guild, then the Hollywood Foreign Press have submitted their nominees of who represents the best of the best of cinema in 2014. Now, the Broadcast Film Critics Association have made their selections, for the 20th Annual Critics Choice Movie Awards. Unlike the SAG and Golden Globes, this ceremony solely honors the best achievements in film for the past year, but they do carry some significant degree of respect. Here are the nominees:

Best Visual Effects:

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Hobbit: the Battle of the Five Armies
  • Interstellar

Best Documentary Feature:

  • Citizenfour
  • Glen Campbell: I’ll be Me
  • Jorodowski’s Dune
  • Last Days in Vietnam
  • Life Itself
  • The Overnighters

Best Foreign Language Film:

  • Force Majure Turist
  • Ida
  • Leviathan
  • Two Days, One Night
  • Wild Tales

Best Song:

  • Big Eyes-Big Eyes
  • Everything is Awesome-The Lego Movie
  • Glory-Selma
  • Lost Stars-Begin Again
  • Yellow Flicker Beat-The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt I

Best Animated Feature:

  • Big Hero 6
  • The Book of Life
  • The Boxtrolls
  • The Lego Movie
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2

Best Editing:

  • Douglas Crise and Stephen Mirrione-Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Sandra Adair-Boyhood
  • Kirk Baxter-Gone Girl
  • Lee Smith-Interstellar
  • Tom Cross-Whiplash

Best Score:

  • Alexandre Desplat-The Imitation Game
  • Jóhann Jóhannson-The Theory of Everything
  • Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross-Gone Girl
  • Antonio Sanchez-Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Hans Zimmer-Interstellar

Best Cinematography:

  • Emmanuel Lubeski-Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Robert Yeoman-The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Hoyte Van Hoytema-Interstellar
  • Dick Pope-Mr. Turner
  • Roger Deakins-Unbroken

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  • Gillian Flynn-Gone Girl
  • Graham Moore-The Imitation Game
  • Paul Thomas Anderson-Inherent Vice
  • Anthony McCarten-The Theory of Everything
  • Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Richard LaGravenese and William Nicholson-Unbroken
  • Nick Hornby-Wild

Best Original Screenplay:

  • Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo-Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Richard Linklater-Boyhood
  • Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness-The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Dan Gilroy-Nightcrawler
  • Damien Chazelle-Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress:

  • Patricia Arquette-Boyhood
  • Jessica Chastain-A Most Violent Year
  • Keira Knightley-The Imitation Game
  • Emma Stone-Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Meryl Streep-Into the Woods
  • Tilda Swinton-Snowpiercer

Best Supporting Actor:

  • Josh Brolin-Inherent Vice
  • Robert Duvall-The Judge
  • Ethan Hawke-Boyhood
  • Edward Norton-Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Mark Ruffalo-Foxcatcher
  • J.K. Simmons-Whiplash

Best Actress:

  • Jennifer Aniston-Cake
  • Marion Cotillard-Two Days, One Night
  • Felicity Jones-The Theory of Everything
  • Julianne Moore-Still Alice
  • Rosamund Pike-Gone Girl
  • Reese Witherspoon-Wild

Best Actor:

  • Benedict Cumberbatch-The Imitation Game
  • Ralph Fiennes-The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Jake Gyllenhaal-Nightcrawler
  • Michael Keaton-Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • David Oyelowo-Selma
  • Eddie Redmayne-The Theory of Everything

Best Director:

  • Wes Anderson-The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Ava DuVernay-Selma
  • David Fincher-Gone Girl
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu-Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Angelina Jolie-Unbroken
  • Richard Linklater-Boyhood

Best Picture:

Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Boyhood

Gone Girl

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Nightcrawler

Selma

The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything

Unbroken

Whiplash

The full list of nominees can be found by clicking the provided link. The 20th Annual Critics Choice Awards will be hosted by Michael Strahan and telecast on A&E from the Hollywood Palladium on January 15, 2015 at 9:00 PM

For the 24th time, Bond is Back!

The official title for the 24th James Bond motion picture is Spectre

I started this blog shortly after my mother and I saw Skyfall. Actually my mother suggested that I start blogging about movies when we were coming out of the screening for Skyfall and this was two years ago. What a two years it has been nurturing this blog, posting about movies both good and bad and posting news regarding films I’m interested in seeing. Anyway, going back to Skyfall, which I found to be the best installment of the Daniel Craig era of James Bond, I’ve been keeping a watchful eye regarding what will happen next to Bond and today, officially we have knowledge confirmed regarding what lies in store for Bond 24, or should I say: Spectre.

Sam Mendes’ second tour of duty navigating (directing) the prestigious waters of shaken-not-stirred vodka martinis, beautiful women, guns, knives, explosives, Aston Martins, exotic locales and the glamorous realm of espionage, harkens fans of the 007 franchise back in time to when Sean Connery and Roger Moore matched wits against the international crime organization: Special Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion led by the sinister Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

Returning to the 007 franchise, aside from Daniel Craig and director Sam Mendes, will be Ralph Finnes as M, Naomi Harris as Ms. Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw as Q and Rory Kinnear as Tanner. Joining Spectre as the new Bond baddie is none other than Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz as Franz Oberhauser, the son of a man who Bond admired as a father figure who could be the man who runs SPECTRE before Blofeld assumes control or Oberhauser could be Blofeld by another name; its unclear. Also on board for the 24th James Bond motion picture will be Dave Bautista as Oberhauser’s possible muscle Mr. Hinx, Lea Seydoux as Madeleine Swann, Andrew Scott as Denbigh and Monica Bellucci as the new Bond girl Lucia Sciarra. Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson will be producers, as usual, with John Logan, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade in charge of the screenplay. Personally, I’m excited that Hoyte van Hoytema will be the cinematographer for Spectre; big fan of his work on Her and Interstellar. Spectre arrives in theaters on November 6, 2015. Bond is back!

Review: Interstellar

We’ve always defined ourselves by the ability to overcome the impossible. And we count these moments. These moments when we dare to aim higher, to break barriers, to reach for the stars, to make the unknown known. We count these moments as our proudest achievements. But we lost all that. Or perhaps we’ve just forgotten that we are still pioneers. And we’ve barely begun. And that our greatest accomplishments cannot be behind us, for our destiny lies above us.

Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is perhaps his most powerful cinematic feat to date.

Dissecting this line from Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey from the new film directed by Academy Award nominee Christopher Nolan can be interpreted in so many ways. It can be an ode to the pioneer nature of humanity; the ability to go further than the boundaries we set for ourselves, it can be interpreted as the director attempting to break barriers where before he simply scratches the surface but whatever this line signifies, it serves as the backbone of Interstellar.

Cooper plays a single father of two children, Murph and Tom, living on a farm under siege from endless waves of dust. With climate change and overpopulation, the planet Earth is well into its twilight phase, unable to produce the necessary resources to sustain life for the human race. A series of strange astronomical events lead Cooper to the remnants of NASA, led by a professor named Brand, played by Academy Award winner Michael Caine, who has spent decades trying to find a solution to the calamity facing mankind.

Brand informs Cooper that the only way to save the human race is to make use of a newly discovered wormhole that connects our solar system to a distant galaxy with planets capable of sustaining life and Cooper’s background as a NASA test pilot qualifies him, Brand’s daughter Amelia, played by Academy Award winner Anne Hathaway, and two other scientists named Romily, played by David Gyasi, and Doyle, played by Wes Bentley, to undertake an expedition to survey these planets and determine whether or not they are worthy of becoming the new Earth, but this expedition comes at a price. The time they take to survey this new system, could mean that an unforeseen amount of time could pass on Earth meaning that by the time they potentially complete their mission, decades could have passed on Earth and humanity could be deep in the grave they call a planet.

Written by Nolan and his brother Jonathan, overseen by theoretical physicist and executive producer Kip Thorne, accompanied by the audaciously booming score of Hans Zimmer, photographed by Hoyte Van Hoytema, and edited by Lee Smith, Interstellar is complex, confusing, extensive and stupendous in terms of story, scope, visuals, pacing and attention to detail.

Christopher Nolan has hailed this film as the most ambitious work he has ever attempted and that ambition simply gushes from the screen onto the audience. He and his brother painstakingly attempt to craft this beautifully sentimental story about a father who must leave his children to undertake a dangerous journey to give them a better future around actual scientific theory regarding wormholes, black holes, temporal-spacial distortions, gravitational fluctuations using dazzling visual and sound effects to craft one of the most relentless and outstanding cinematic events of the year.

Matthew McConaughey is in command of the expedition to a new galaxy in Interstellar

Nolan himself admits that he made this film on the inspiration of the sci-fi classic 2001: A Space Odyssey and that inspiration is not lost on the audience as he takes a lot of cues from that movie as well as two of the most acclaimed technical cinematic achievements of the last few years: Gravity and Life of Pi; Interstellar is the next film that aims to follow in the footsteps of these two celebrated works of cinema in terms of visual effects, cinematography, editing, sound quality to name a few. Interstellar is worthy to be in the pantheon of these great cinematic achievements and one of the best science fiction films released to date, particularly for its use in interpreting what these astronomical events can look like; astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson apparently liked how Interstellar tackles some of these theories and possibly held the film in better standing than Gravity.

The diverse cast of the film including McConaughey, Hathaway, Caine, Gyasi, Doyle, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, Ellen Burstyn, Mackenzie Foy, John Lithgow, Timothée Chalamet, Topher Grace, David Oyewolo, are probably the best acting ensemble on screen so far this year. For a movie that highlights the science, and considering Christopher Nolan is a director who prides himself on grounding everything in a realist realm, there area certainly some strong acting performances in this movie, especially from McConaughey, Hathaway, Caine and Chastain.

The issue with Interstellar is that it is perhaps the most overwhelming film of the year in terms of going into detail about everything. The Nolan brothers showcase their dedication, but this movie just simply overwhelms its audience with the sheer size and scope of its gravity over these details; audiences are so subdued by the experience of witnessing an excursion of this unprecedented magnitude, brains are figuratively reduced to a puddle of goo.

Take my word for it: This movie is meant to be seen in IMAX format! If you see Interstellar in IMAX, it will count as one of the greatest cinematic experiences you will ever see. This movie is built on the backbone of scientific theory, it is suspenseful, it is beautiful, it is larger than life and it is one of the best films of the year.