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A friend of mine asked what I thought about Interstellar and I replied with something quick that, looking back, pretty well summarizes my thoughts on the the film without spoiling anything. I figured it’d be easy to just post that reply (with a couple minor edits).

So, keep in mind that I’m a sucker for space movies and I’m not bothered by slow pacing. I also really, really liked Gravity. So if you didn’t like that, you might not want to take my opinion on Interstellar. That being said, I did really enjoy Interstellar. I thought it was as good or better than Inception, if only for the amazing visuals and mostly-accurate physics. Better than Gravity? I don’t know. It was definitely more epic – bigger – and the stakes were higher. But Gravity was so perfectly intimate and all about small-scale, personal tragedies. Interstellar is like the Lord of the Rings to Gravity’s Stand By Me.

I haven’t had time to go back and read all the reviews that I had saved, so I don’t know what kinds of problems people had with Interstellar. It was a little slow to start. And I can see how some people might find a few parts a bit schmaltzy (I mostly disagree). McConaughey was great and Hathaway was okay – this was not her best role, which is a shame. As much as we as Americans are supposed to love her, looking back she may have been the worst part of the movie.

Like any Nolan movie, in hindsight it’s easy to find plot holes and question whether he could have handled a scene a little better. But he’s a master at making you forget that while you’re watching—it was totally entertaining and it didn’t feel like it was pushing 3 hours at all. I could have watched another 20 minutes or so of it without complaining—as long as that 20 minutes was part of the middle act.

I saw it on a mini-IMAX screen with a digital projection that was barely bigger than a typical stadium screen, but I’d say it was worth seeing on as big a screen as you can. Those 70mm shots are spectacular.