Okay, so calling Interstellar (2014) the next 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) is an overstatement, but as director Christopher Nolan admits, Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece is a source of inspiration. However, it is safe to say that Nolan has created another cinematic innovation for his growing collection of existential science fiction dramas like Momento (2000), The Prestige (2006), and Inception (2010). Nolan is strange animal. He somehow manages to make commercially successful, accessible, smart, technologically innovative and expansive—if not epic—films. Alas, Interstellar is a somewhat predictable leap for the filmmaker and feels familiar if you’ve seen 2001 or a personal favorite Robert Zemeckis’ Contact (1997) starring Jodie Foster and Interstellar lead Matthew McConaughey. Contact was based on a book by astronomer Carl Sagan and focuses on the mystery of space exploration and human nature. Comparatively, Foster is at home in the mystery more than McConaughey who plays an action hero type in this new release. Interstellar takes place in a dystopian future where the earth is dying due to human folly. Preoccupied with survival all creative impulses are suppressed in favor of utilitarian skills like farming versus, say, intergalactic travel. McConaughey is a restless engineer turned farmer with unfulfilled promise. However, fate intervenes and he is thrust into an interplanetary adventure where he and characters both on Earth and in space test their faith in the unknowable. Nolan continues to elevate female characters (reuniting with Anne Hathaway and now Jessica Chastain) beside is usually male protagonists—I wish he would reverse that sometime. Another valuable piece is that there is a brother in space too (David Gyasi), but the future still looks pretty white… Nevertheless, if you’re interested in an escape this film is for you. But more so, if you want to experience a nuanced tale about humanity, our fate, our folly and mysteries beyond the stars you can find something to wet your whistle.