10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 days to go until Interstellar arrives in your local cinema, and congratulations on your good fortune if your theatre of choice just so happens to have an IMAX screen. Now that the review embargo is no more, the critics have finally been allowed to share their thoughts on one of the years most anticipated releases, and the consensus is its pretty good? With a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 73% and the Metacritic rating a shade higher, Interstellar is currently Nolans least critically favoured film to date, although theres still time for those scores to rise a bit. But before anyone gets too carried away, its worth mentioning that few films manage better scores, and some of the reviews have been positively glowing reports of a sci-fi experience unlike any other. A director of Nolans undoubted talents was always likely to produce something spectacular when tackling this genre, and his cerebral approach to cinema negate the possibility of his latest film being mistaken for an Armageddon sequel. It will come as no surprise that Nolan is something of a film buff and has made no secret of his appreciation and respect for directors past and present. It's a common occurrence for the director to screen several films at the start of each new production to convey the mood and style he's looking for, and things were no different prior to getting the cameras rolling on his space epic. In fact, of all of his movies to date, Interstellar is the one where Nolan's sources of inspiration are most apparent, and he has spoken at length about some of the films he has sought to honour and emulate. Time, then, to take a closer look at the sci-fi ancestors youd do well to check out before Interstellar checks in.