I came away from this huge movie with good feelings and some little quibbles.

From the director of Inception, Christopher Nolan, this movie is a massive project that explores humanity’s next steps away from Earth and out into the stars.

No space monsters here, just a gripping story of desperation and exploration that avoids one of the pitfalls of some hard science fiction by focusing on believable main characters. The movie never loses sight of the fact that it is a story of individual characters as well as of humanity in general.

The depiction of wormholes and other planets was beautifully done, and felt very real to this non-scientist. The spaceships and other tech had an almost tactile reality. Trying to figure out why, I happened upon this article from last March that gets further into depth as to why the space scenes worked so well.

Interstellar gave me the same feeling of wonder I used to get when I saw the shuttle launch, or even when I watched the original Cosmos series long ago.

That said? There’s no reason the movie had to be so long. It tended to be too earnest and self-important at times. And the sound was an issue for me, as the soundtrack competed with and overwhelmed some of the dialogue, and seemed to be intruding.

But in general, high stakes and a great story make this a movie worth seeing.

More info on Interstellar from IMDb and the movie website.