This is a little hard to put into words. In one way, this is the best ‘hard’ science fiction we’ve seen in a while. In another way, it is not science fiction at all, but a (meta-?)romantic fairy tale. In one way, this is a new and imaginative film. But in another, it is a kind of remake of Kubrik and Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. In one way, it is a film with strong characters varying in age, race, gender and, indeed, cognitive style. But in another it is only the rebellious white male who eventually turns out to be able to rub two clues together (and even he gets it outrageously, unbelievably, wrong at one point, just to keep the story complicated).
So I think the advice is ultimately like that for 2001 (but less harsh): if you like the technical pretties, if you want the look and feel of hard science fiction, go and see it. If you want an interesting ride and an unusual (but, unlike 2001, not completely unforeseeable and incomprehensible) twist, go and see it. If you want to see science promoted over ignorance, go and see it. But if the hard science fiction vibe is going to be spoiled for you by things ultimately not making complete sense, or indeed you have the same concerns about validity of psychology and consistency of characterisation, you still might want to see it anyway, but only for the good bits.
And, Hollywood, can we please have some technical females who don’t just go yaaaahhhh when life gets tough?