Before you see Interstellar, there are two very important things to know. One, the movie is almost three hours long. Two, seemingly half of that running time is devoted to exposition. First John Lithgow explains things. Then Michael Caine explains things. Then Anne Hathaway explains things. Finally, once we’re in the third act, Jessica Chastain starts explaining things. But what’s bad for the movie’s Oscar chances is good for your bladder, as all those info dumps provide multiple wonderful opportunities to duck out and hit the restroom. (And if you think you won’t need to, good luck — an hour in Interstellar is like seven years for your bladder.)
But will the movie make sense if you miss the exposition? Buddy, the movie makes no sense even with the exposition. Here’s your guide to the perfect times to hit the stalls and engage docking procedure. (Note: There are mild spoilers for every one of the film’s acts.)
Bathroom Break Option No. 1
Presumably you went to the bathroom sometime before arriving at the theater, or failing that, during the interminable infomercials of Regal FirstLook. But if you didn’t, don’t worry: You can duck out and go to the bathroom any time during Interstellar’s first 20 minutes. If you’ve seen even one trailer, you know the deal: Crops are dying, technological progress has stalled, and everything is very, very dusty. In the film itself, everyone repeats these facts to each other over and over again. There are even fake-documentary talking-heads to drive the point home. If you’re looking for the perfect moment to leave, make your excuses once you hear the words “parent-teacher conference.”
Bathroom Break Option No. 2
Once stay-at-home dad Matthew McConaughey has made his improbably swift transition back to the workplace, you’ve got a second opportunity to head out. You’ll want to leave when the second the team of astronauts makes it into space, as there’s a solid ten minutes of plot action that’s all basically skippable. They dock with a space station, enter hypersleep, then wake up two years later. You’ll be back by the time they enter the wormhole, which is a fun, trippy action sequence.
Bathroom Break Option No. 3
Despite what the haters might say, Anne Hathaway is pretty good in Interstellar! But near the film’s halfway point, she’s saddled with an embarrassing monologue about how her love for a character we’ve barely heard about just might be the most powerful cosmic force in the universe. It goes on for a long time, and the movie’s better off without it. If you’re squirming, leave right when the camera starts to dolly in on her face. (If you’re a Hathaway fan or a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, wait instead for one of the many scenes of Jessica Chastain doing math that happen around this point.)
Bathroom Break Option No. 4
We don’t want to spoil too much, but we will say that someone big makes a cameo appearance at the end of Interstellar’s second act. A lot of people don’t like it, but this sequence is integral in setting up the end of the film. After this person departs from the narrative, however, there’s a long scene that’s just Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway walking around an empty space station. Go to the bathroom now, and you’ll be back for the home stretch!
Bathroom Break Option No. 5
If you’ve made it past the two-hour mark and absolutely can’t hold it anymore, there’s one last opportunity for a bathroom break. At the film’s climax, Matthew McConaughey ends up adjacent to a location we’ve seen before. It’s pretty easy to figure out the implications of what’s occurring, but the script drags it out in painstaking detail. (The scene’s also intercut with interminable shots of Jessica Chastain and Topher Grace running around, which makes it even longer.) Duck out once you’ve put it all together, and as long as you return in time for the scene’s ending, you’re all caught up for the film’s conclusion. Congratulations — unlike an astronaut, you haven’t peed your pants!