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Inception More at IMDbPro »

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22 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Obsolete idea

1/10
Author: laurenthoutent from London, England
24 January 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So, it's all a dream.

When in high school, I remember one of our English teachers putting a ban on essays that turn out to be a dream. His argument was that one could just write all sorts of nonsense and take the easy way out by revealing at the end that it was a dream.

Overlong seemingly pointless car chases and gun battles... Plenty of these in re-runs of the A-Team...

All this messing about in the hotel, fighting guards, tying up bodies and moving them around. These guys aren't very creative / resourceful in their dreams, are they? However attractive Marion Cotillard is, the sub plot became very irritating indeed. The grenade launcher should have been used on her early in the dream! As for the end, an easy cop out: it's a dream, folks.

I won't go into the cgi / scenery designs. There was stuff just as good in computer games designed for the Amiga and Atari.

There was great potential, but this movie is a mess.

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18 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

great idea, poor and shallow work and perfect for the majority

3/10
Author: pukasan from Seattle
10 September 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I can't believe this movie is voted #4 best movie, this movie start with such an interesting topic and I truly hoped for a amazing, sophisticated and well executed movie but...,

the story could be sublime however the execution is just clumsy, the director tried too hard and wanted the movie to be big. But beside dreams, this movie is nothing but a collage of scenes with major capitol cities; crime involves rich person dying; repetitive, half ass architectural and interior designs, and of course, endless people and car chasing plus everlasting fights..

this movie is a combo of many movies, you don't need to see this movie if you have seen some of the followings: 80's James Bonds, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Memento, butterfly effect, Ronin, the day after tomorrow (another really lousy movie)..., the worst thing is many scenes in Inception are quite directly replicated from those movies.

the art design of the movie is terrible, I can see the art director only knows M.C. Escher and may consult some mediocre architects, I highly recommend he or she to try some acid or just simply ask people about how their dreams are like.

by the way, in the theater seeing this movie, I felt annoyed every time when i see a logo, especially seeing the logo of Hyundai a thousand times, I started thinking about how much money Hyundai endorse and forgot the car chasing is still going on! Also I keep wondering about this: considering 5 minutes equal one hour per layer of a dream, do those people feel thirsty or wanting to go to the bathroom in their 50 year long dreams?

For people saying that we should have some imagination to appreciate this movie, I truly believe that these people are just finding excuses for this movie and for themselves too. sorry I just can't stare at a pile of crap and imagine that's filet mignon :p

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20 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Almost a waste of time

4/10
Author: Avanti16 from United States
1 November 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The 150 minutes in the theater seemed like 1500 minutes.

Great idea. Good visuals. Horrible production. After all, what was I watching? Whom I liked? Who was the bad guy? Why were things happening on the screen? And, why for so long? That last never-ending sequence on ice. Had no idea who was doing what and why.

I did understand the concept as I was prepared for it after hearing from so many people about the 'complex' script. But to me, it was plain stupid. The producers had money and wanted to use it in action sequence and special effects. Did those fit the plot? Not really. This movie didn't need much action, to be honest. The movie should have stimulated our brains, not ear drums.

Anyway I went because of the hype. Should have known better. But then, it was a dollar theater and Sunday night when Texas Rangers and Steelers both were losing. So, it was OK.

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94 out of 179 people found the following review useful:

Dumb! Dumb! Dumb!

1/10
Author: secondchrist777 from United Kingdom
29 July 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Dumb! Dumb! Dumb! was that enough DUMS! for you to make you feel sure this is the greatest film of the 21st century, Christpher Nolan's multi-layered visionary masterpiece? No? Dumb! Dumb! Dumb! Come ON! Surely that must be enough DUMS! for you to realise that you're witnessing a tour de force from a director at the pinnacle of his genius? It's a film of transcendent majesty! A mind blowing spectacle utterly thrilling to the senses and deeply fulfilling to the intellect! And if you're not convinced of this, I can do what Christopher Nolan does, and just keep going Dumb! Dumb! Dumb! until you are!

It's a trick that seems to have worked on most people as they wander out of the cinema like wide eyed happy zombies, eager to write their adoring review on IMDb and give praise to Christopher Nolan who has now basically attained to them the status of God, but it doesn't work on me. I don't know why, but for some reason the idea that this film is a mesmeric piece of shimmering cinematic brilliance hasn't been 'incepted' into my mind.

Actually I do know why. It's because it isn't a mesmeric piece of shimmering cinematic brilliance it's two and a half hours of sheer unadulterated boredom. There's no character development. The drama is unengaging. The action sequences are bizarrely devoid of tension. It's uninvolving. The characters waffle on and I don't care what they're saying. The gunfight sequences are tedious. The enemy characters frequently fire bursts of rounds but never manage to hit anyone despite ample opportunities. How many times does Nolan think it's a great idea to show a character floating around in a hotel corridor while fighting 'projections'? And someone please tell him that he can't prove to the world he's made the best film ever by going Dumb! Dumb! Dumb! over and over again. Except apparently he can.

The basic idea has the potential to make the stunning film so many people think it is, but Nolan wastes the opportunity with a dull storyline. Getting a business man to split up his company? Is that the most exciting thing he could think of? Couldn't he get a president to decide to launch a nuclear attack or something? Did it have to be something so mundane? And he weighs down the film with an abundance of under developed material and fails to create any sense of danger in the fights.

Why does everyone think this film is SO good? People don't seem to be able to tell the difference between a film that tries to be fantastic but fails, and a film that is fantastic.

Good things? yes it's had a lot of money spent on it. There are some striking images. Ellen Page is super pretty...erm...

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17 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Boring, inconsistent and pointless

1/10
Author: mikethevike from United States
5 January 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was really looking forward to watching this movie after all the positive reviews, the incredibly high IMDb rating and the raving of several friends who had seen it.

I will point out that I liked The Matrix, Memento, Batman Begins and the Dark Knight (although this last movie is quite overrated on IMDb). I also understood the plot of Inception from the start and never had any trouble following what was happening so it's not that I didn't "get it".

Inception is NOT a great movie and not even a very good one. The plot is not very clever or inventive contrary to what many IMDb raters have suggested and there are no interesting or surprising twists.

The characters are poorly developed and, as the viewer, I didn't really care what happened to them. There are no true "bad guys" to root against (all the bad guys are just "bad" dreams) and there is no real desire to see the "good guys" succeed because the object of the entire plot seems irrelevant (implant a thought in some guy's head so he will break up his father's corporation... I kid you not!).

The fact that everything happens in dreams removes the sense of danger and risk from all the action and makes it seem like a pointless video game, which is what several of the dreams appear to be anyway... unimaginative and repetitive. Are all Nolan's dreams just "shoot'em up" video games? The attack of the hospital/mountain fortress was as bad as it gets... looked like a CGI sequence from Medal of Honor/Call of Duty.

It was also infuriating to me that the rules of the dream universes are inconsistent. Creating an imaginary situation where normal rules don't apply is OK as long as the alternate universe functions according to logical rules, but in this movie the rules are constantly bent to accommodate the needs of the director.

A few examples:

The top is supposed to be an indication to Mal that she is in "her own dream" if the top spins forever because she has made it that way... If she is in someone else's dream then the top will topple since they don't know that in her dreams the top spins forever. So how does that indicate to Dom/the viewer that he is/is not in a dream/reality in the end scene?... but wow, that is sooo deep.

How did finding the top in the safe allow Dom to "incept" Mal with the idea that she was in a dream and needed to return to reality? No explanation... but wow, that is sooo deep.

In dream No.1 the van falls off the bridge causing weightlessness in dream No.2 - meaning that non-physical events (it's a dream) of a certain kind(?) carry through between dream layers. In dream No.2 the sleeping characters become weightless but somehow this state does not carry through to layer No.3 and No.4... but it's a dream anyway so who cares if it makes sense?

Why do you need a "kick" in each layer to wake up the characters? if weightlessness carries through the layers the "kick" would logically also carry through... If there was some logic to the rule wouldn't it be that only actual physical events in the real world carry through to the dreams? But in your dream you are aware that there is another reality - which is really another dream - so you dream that can feel the effects of the other dream although you are asleep and unaware of what's going on... but wow, that is sooo deep.

If a character is asleep in the first layer of a dream he does not know what is happening to him after he has fallen asleep thus would have no reason to dream that he is becoming weightless in layer two as he sleeps through the falling van dream... but wow, that is sooo deep.

Since the wake-up "kicks" are supposed to come through sensation in the inner ear and the "kicks" are not real but dreams, then I have to conclude that the inner ear must "dream" that it senses the imaginary kicks, which makes no sense at all... but wow, that is sooo deep.

So as you analyze the logic behind the dream rules you must conclude that the entire movie is just a dream (a nightmare) where no logic applies or that the "dream rules" are just nonsense and the whole movie is a pretext for stringing together a bunch of unrelated "cool" action sequences and special effects to make a massive Hollywood "pseudo-intellectual" blockbuster junk movie.

This movie was an even the greater disappointment considering that I was anticipating something better than "The Matrix" or "The Sixth Sense". The IMDb rating of 9+ is incomprehensible, this should rate in the 6.0-7.0 range. The rating must reflect a large number of users getting confused and rating it as a video game.

As for those who say the number of positive votes/reviews indicate it is a great movie I think you could likewise argue for McDonald's being the best food in the world.

I rated it a very harsh 1.0 only to help bring the IMDb rating back to earth. It is however a very mediocre movie.

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21 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

i would rather have been dreaming

1/10
Author: m_j_dampier from KC
7 October 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I really do not have anything new to add here. The negative reviews already posted say it all. If you thought this movie was good, you probably did not get it at all. If you know it sucked, then you understood it perfectly well. This was the biggest waste of time since Leonard part 6. Just because you are in a dream in a dream in a dream in a dream, that alone does not in any way make a movie complicated or good. Well crap, it says the review has to be ten lines or more, so here it goes. I have used this website for a long time and this is the first review i have ever done. The reason i felt so compelled in doing so is seeing how highly rated this stupid movie is. If you loved this movie for its "complex storyline," go ahead, turn on spike TV and wait for wwe wrestle mania to come on and write me a gushing 10 star review about the complex storyline and the butt kicking inside a butt kicking inside a butt kicking inside a butt kicking.

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22 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Many clever ideas ruined by a horrendously bad execution.

3/10
Author: GlassDoctor
26 August 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I will start by saying that Inception does indeed have a clever premise, or at least one that sounds good on paper: A group of people who steal information from people's dreams are hired to put an idea in someone's head. Cobb's back story and the way he was haunted by his mental image of his ex-wife was genuinely fascinating. However, all of these nice, fresh ideas are lost in a hurricane of absolutely awful and pretentious storytelling. People have often praised this film for having clever writing, but it strikes me that the film is just deliberately trying to be needlessly complicated to appear smarter than it really is. I say "needlessly" because, when you get right down to it, the overall plot of Inception is not all that complex, so the film just comes across as pretentious.

One of the first problems I had with the film is something I thought was present in Christopher Nolan's Batman films to a lesser extent (but those films had the benefit of having straightforward story lines and memorable characters): We are presented to a concept that could never happen in real life. That's not the problem. The problem is that the film delivers its ludicrous plot in such a straight-faced dead serious manner that it breaks my willing suspension of disbelief. In a film that took itself slightly less seriously, I might not wonder as much about where the technology to travel into someone's dreams came from, but here, it just begs for an explanation. If the film weren't trying to have a realistic atmosphere, I might buy that you can do this by injecting chemicals into your arm, then dream up more chemicals to travel into dreams within dreams, but here, it just comes across as absolute nonsense.

None of the characters in the film, with the possible exceptions of Cobb, Mal and Fischer, were interesting or memorable in the least. In fact, most of the characters don't really even feel like people as much as they feel like soulless chess pieces that exist only for the purpose of advancing the plot. As a result of this, I could not have cared less about what was happening in the film, and towards the action sequences at the end, I was on the verge of falling asleep. I'm sorry, but watching people with no personalities battling generic gun wielding masses (who, in a stunning lack of originality, are apparently supposed to represent Fischer's subconscious) just isn't entertaining.

Bottom line, Inception is a boring, pretentious and rather nonsensical film. It has a nice premise that sounds good on paper, which is why I really expected to like it, but found it a letdown.

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24 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

mediocre movie, terribly hyped-up

1/10
Author: demiroglu19 from United States
9 August 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie does not come close to Matrix I. It is sad that this is ranked so highly in the IMDb list.

This simply is an action movie. A decent one, maybe, but there are so many movies like this, really. Perhaps one difference is that this movie has some philosophical side to it (albeit junior high school level, "what if all of this is a dream?" type). I wonder why the thousands of viewers who gave a 10 to this movie liked this movie so much. Are those guys all from the UK :) ?! I was also bothered by the multitude of inconsistencies in the movie. For example, the husband and wife spend 50 years in the dream, which means that they must be in a third or higher level dream, which should require according to the movie a heavy chemical that prevents waking up from it in case of death. But they commit suicide and that wakes them up instead of sending them to Limbo, as we are later told in the movie should be the case when that kind of drug is used. As another example, the lack of gravity is felt in the first level of dream, but not in the second level when the van is falling off.

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25 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Seriously?

2/10
Author: tmeyer05 from United States
24 July 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie was terrible. It tried to be something ground breaking and emotionally challenging, but fell terribly short on all fronts, starting with the basic premise. I am expected to believe that a group of people smart enough to construct an elaborate plot involving breaking into other people's dreams are not smart enough to reunite a man with his family without getting stopped at customs? That's stupid. Fly to Mexico and walk. Or fly the kids to you. This giant plot hole is unfathomably stupid, as is most of the dialogue in this two and a half hour nightmare. I think my personal favorite line in the movie was when DiCaprio's character told his dream wife that he could not do her justice because he could not remember all of her perfections and all of her imperfections. You can't have both stupid. This movie is probably mindblowingly deep and meaningful if your education stopped in grade school, but if you have a least a GED, don't waste your ten bucks.

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Didactic, but nonetheless a good movie.

9/10
Author: Danielpotato
30 December 2016

Inception has a problem that I cannot bear: the constant that someone comes to explain the laws and how that world works. The creation of the character of Ellen Page (Ariadne) was for the sole purpose of explaining that to moviegoers. Not that it's bad, but at certain moments it seems like the movie becomes more class at school, to know how that universe works, instead of the characters in this movie live the adventure for themselves. In this aspect the film is didactic. And the space for the imagination is limited. In this aspect everything in this film is chewed, everything explained, where are the possibilities? I do not want someone to explain the universe, I want to see the characters live and react in this universe.

Yes the ending leaves open the question whether that is a dream or reality, but it is a cheap gimmick instead of letting them our imaginations fly. If at the end of the movie the experience of the characters was a dream, so it was waste of two and a half hour, at least the Matrix shows the characters in the real world, and that it was not a dream inside a dream. The tension and time invested would not be a waste of time

Not that it spoils the experience of the film, but it disturbs in some parts, mainly in the middle of the film, when the group is preparing for the assault. The concept is good, but it should be presented in a simpler way. Clearly Nolan was very ambitious in the concept of this film. But Nolan is quite integral in the proposal of his films, and he tries to put unknown concepts to the general public in such a cohesive way, even with the problem of trying to explain everything and other problems of pace are easily forgiven. Nolan tries to do his best in each of his films as if his movie was his last, as if his life depends on it. A great honesty on the part of Nolan, and this I can and I want to enjoy. Nolan is such an honest guy and scores points with me. It's the difference between the lousy movie director and an excellent director. The bad elements of Inception are not enough to spoil its qualities. The ambitious ideas of the filmmaker and the great sequences in parallel assembly that characterize his works.

Not that the idea of Inception is innovative, this idea has been copied many times in other works (Paprika, Synecdoche New York and The Matrix are the most practical and common examples). But it's the way Nolan puts these ideas in the big budget blockbuster. Let's be honest here. Smaller or lower budget films are not seen by the general public due to the absence of of large production values (a great soundtrack, great locations for filming or great special effects, etc). See these ideas or concepts in a great Hollywood blockbuster made with such quality and care, it is amazing. And these ideas are embedded in the drama of the film in such a cohesive and exemplary way; it is applauding Nolan's professional integrity. This is why Nolan movies are so well received, he tries to put in these Hollywood blockbusters something more, something common in indie or smaller films, but with the financial aspect of the great studios to provide a better technical quality.

Obviously there is quality on this movie; the large parallel sequences are exemplary. The parallel between the Van sequences, the hotel with the Joseph Gordon-Levitt (when character is awake in the elevator), the peak at the military base in the snow and the desolate city of Cobb and Mal is almost perfectly made with an all- encompassing soundtrack. Of course the sequences of action are lousy . And many dialogues are very weak. Two weaknesses in Nolan's movies.Bad things come with the good things. I suspect that the bad action scenes of Inception and Dark Knight were the reason why Nolan turned DKR into an action movie instead of trying to tell a good story, Nolan's ego should have been hurt by the criticism as he directs his action scenes in these two films. Particularly Inception and the action sequence in the snow with Tom Hardy. Too bad, sorry.

But the performances are amazing, particularly Marion Cotillard as Mal. There are many layers in the various characters which Nolan conducts with mastery and the way they are inserted into the film is almost perfectly. Particularly in the initial sequence (which I thought would be a scene to showcase special effects, and Nolan proved me wrong). Or in the scene between Ariadne and Cobb, when Cobb tries to explain how his wife dies, and then discovered new layers of the character to reveal that in fact, he did have to do with the death of his wife. Of course this will be important to the outcome of the film. It is this ability to put the scenes and the flashbacks in certain key moments of the plot that Nolan shows much quality, and one of his long lists of virtues.

Inception is a movie like any movie; it has its flaws, but also its virtues. But, for me the qualities overlap the defects, and in the end the movie is well worth watching. But is its legendary statute being worthy? If Inception was released in the 1980's would it have the same impact in that decade, as it had in 2010? Currently the commercial movies in Hollywood are in crisis. We live in an era of remakes, superhero movies and franchise fatigue without the studios or directors making an effort to improve with originality or at least with a little more original concepts. Inception's credit could be lower if today's Hollywood was not in such a decadent state. But nonetheless, Inception is still a good movie.

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