If "A.I. Artificial Intelligence" was Steven Spielberg doing Stanley Kubrick, then "Interstellar" is Christopher Nolan doing Steven Spielberg doing Stanley Kubrick. It's no surprise to learn that Spielberg himself was attached to the "Interstellar" screenplay for years before it wound up in Nolan's hands, and that quintessentially Spielbergian sense of maudlin sentimentality is never far removed, no matter how many weighty moral dilemmas and dialogues about quantum physics Nolan manages to cram into his film.

"Interstellar" begins in America's heartland sometime after "the blight" has destroyed most of the world's agricultural production, leaving the planet covered in swirling sandstorms with little other than corn still able to be farmed.

Cooper, played by Matthew McConaughey, is a former NASA pilot and engineer who, like most of the world's population, has turned to subsistence farming. Since his wife died, he's been raising his two kids (Timothee Chalamet and Mackenzie Foy) with the help of their grandfather (John Lithgow). A series of coincidences that wouldn't be out of place in an M. Night Shyamalan film lead Cooper to a clandestine NASA bunker where he meets old friend Dr. Brand (Michael Caine), who wastes no time in telling Cooper that Earth is doomed, and mankind's only hope lies in finding a hospitable world in a distant galaxy.