Interstellar ★★★★★

Christopher Nolan had tackled everything from dreams to magic to insane clown anarchists, but never space. In 2014, after leaving the hands of Steven Spielberg, he took up directorial duties for a space adventure called Interstellar, with a script helmed by his brother, Jonathan Nolan. With a resume as impressive as Nolan's, Interstellar proved to be his most daring and bold work yet - which is why I think it's a masterpiece. Let me explain.

Interstellar takes place in the not-so-distant future where humanity has kicked into Ultimate Survival mode as the planet's collapsing ecosystem means finite resources. Instead of fighting the good fight on Earth, NASA has plans to move the last remnants of Earth to a distant, inhabitable planet in another solar system. A group of explorers, led by Matthew McConaughey's Cooper, venture through a wormhole into another galaxy, hoping to find a new home.

Interstellar is perhaps Nolan's most philosophical film, but never pretentiously so. He cleverly masks these larger than life questions behind the facade of a space blockbuster, yet you can tell a lot more care went into it than your average sci-fi film. Amidst all the existentialism and themes about surpassing humanities limitations, there's a surprisingly potent and very emotional core here revolving around Cooper and his kids; particularly his bright daughter, Murph. This relationship is explored masterfully through clever science fiction tropes rooted in a lot of truth - and the emotions hit like a freight train. Interstellar is Nolan's most ambitious film, but also his most human. I shed more tears watching it than I want to admit.

Nolan directs the sh*t out of Interstellar, crafting masterful scenes of hair-raising tension, creative ideas, and big emotional pay-offs. The famous docking scene remains one of the most intense moments in cinematic history, bolstered by an outstanding score by Hans Zimmer that escalates in tension, mounts the suspense, and releases its bombastic orchestra to heart-pounding and cathartic degrees. However, the score also contains an incredibly haunting main theme that might possibly be Zimmer's best.

Interstellar asks a few big questions about our existence, but poses plenty of plausible answers that might divide some viewers. In my personal opinion, it hit all the right marks. It's that rare blockbuster that's deep and profound without ever trying too hard. Couple that with terrific visuals, imaginative planets with their own rules of gravity and time, and some masterful direction, Interstellar becomes Nolan's best - and importantly his most rewarding - movie yet.