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Is it possible the makers understand how incredible this film is?
srcooper-756-64667122 December 2020
You only get to watch this for the first time once, so choose your state of mind carefully. It is a film about movies and dreams and reality, and what sort of life it is best to find when you leave the cinema and return to whatever you left to enter. It is spectacular, and brutal, and enigmatic and disturbing. It is beautiful and absorbing. It is about one of my favourite characters ever to grace the screen. I don't see it often, in case it's not as good as I like to remember it. That is my secret, that I lock away in my safe in the basement. That somewhere there is a perfect world for us all. For some, perhaps it is in the cinema watching this.
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Inception was only less shocking to me than the Matrix
mrmocun9 August 2021
When you wake up from a good dream, you feel the reality is harsh. When you wake up after a bad dream, you will be sentimentally attached to the beauty of reality. But as long as life is good, reality and dreams don't matter.
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My number one favorite movie
lhbaker-287834 June 2021
Inception is my number one favorite movie off my twelve years on earth! It's absolutely impossible to explain the incredible that Inception has. Inception is Sooooooooo dang exciting, edge of seat, mind blower, and I wish there were more movies like it and more Christopher Nolans out there. Congratulations to the well deserved best director, writer, and producer of films (in my opinion). Also the acting is fabulous, everyone did an amazing job, and Leonardo was fabulous at explaining the dream concept. Also the CGI and effects are amazing. Go watch Inception because it is incredibly amazing in every aspect, and is my number one film of my twelve years on earth. Bravo to the Inception crew and wow at this fabulous movie!
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konradbuczak1 February 2021
Wait, did i just watch this or is it just a dream?
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Sci-fi perfection. A truly mesmerizing film.
dvc515915 July 2010
I'm nearly at a loss for words. Just when you thought Christopher Nolan couldn't follow up to "The Dark Knight", he does it again, delivering another masterpiece, one with so much power and rich themes that has been lost from the box office for several years. Questioning illusions vs reality usually makes the film weird, but Nolan grips your attention like an iron claw that you just can't help watching and wondering what will happen next. That is a real powerful skill a director has. No wonder Warner Bros. put their trust in him, he is THAT good of a director, and over-hyping a Christopher Nolan film, no matter what the film is about, is always an understatement instead of an overestimate like MANY films before.

Not since the eras of Stanley Kubrick, Andrei Tarkovsky and Alfred Hitchcock has there been a more brilliant director than Christopher Nolan. He is, undoubtedly, one of THE most brilliant and gifted Hollywood filmmakers in history. Filmmakers like him come but just once in a lifetime. He has the ability to seduce our eyes, ears and most importantly, mind, and then delivers what he intends to deliver in full blast. Rarely have blockbusters have the gall to deliver such amounts imagination and intelligence at the same time. And yes, it is similar to the excellent anime film "Paprika" in the whole "invading dreams" plot, but the similarities end there as Nolan brings the film to a whole different level.

Visuals and intelligence rarely come together in movies at the same time, it's either all-visuals-no-smarts ("G.I. Joe", "Transformers") or the exact opposite ("Doubt", "Invictus"). In this film the excellently directed action sequences combined with immensely groundbreaking and jaw-dropping visual effects are combined smoothly with a heavy dose of intelligence and believability.

Although having an ensemble cast and financed by a Hollywood giant studio (Warner Bros), this film is a very personal film for Nolan, he wrote the film as well as directing it, and as you watch the film you get many glimpses of Nolan's perplexing, increasingly imaginative thoughts and dreams in the dialog that he writes and the plot that he sets up. Ideas have never felt more interesting and put to good use than in this film. This film is NOT for the popcorn muncher, rather it is a film for thinkers. Honestly I can't explain the plot for fear of spoiling the movie for you readers. Even the slightest hint will ruin the experience. The viewer will walk out of the cinema feeling dazed, confused and ultimately breathless. It's like a puzzle, both physically and mentally, and you have to pay attention throughout the film for the clues. However Nolan controls the spectacle of the film and is careful not to let it overwhelm the film's humanity, and this is where "Inception" shines. It is a very deep film that will have one thinking and asking questions for years to come. That's right, years.

Once the film ends, you'll want to watch it again, for there's something new every time. This is a film that requires multiple viewing for someone to truly comprehend the film's ambiguous themes, and will be discussed by many in the future. This is an original film, no adaptation, no sequel/prequel, no remake/reboot, which is extremely refreshing having gone nearly three years of mostly unremarkable visual effects roadshows ("Avatar" be damned).

Of course, a film is not complete without the actors. Leo DiCaprio delivers an Oscar worthy performance, similar but better than his previous effort "Shutter Island". He shows glimpses of a flawed, grim, fragile man, who has knowledge about everything else but yet can't seem to come in grips with himself and his demons. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Michael Caine, Marion Cottilard, Pete Postlethwaite, Lukas Haas... Nolan really brings out the best in this unusual yet extremely talented group of supporting actors who make their roles their own.

Nolan is of course, a master behind the camera, a real virtuoso when it comes to film. His direction is taut, focused, gripping, and extraordinarily fascinating. The detailed and complex original script is no surprise from Nolan, considering the fact that he turned Batman the superhero into pop-culture art two years ago ("The Dark Knight"). The action sequences are unique, exciting and fresh, something absent from the cinema which has since been interested at things popping towards the screen and stuff blowing up every two milliseconds. The visual effects are awesome and imaginative, and best of all they do not bring down the movie's quality one bit, rather it makes the movie more fascinating to watch. The cinematography is absolutely, beautifully shot, so we can see the action and emotion in all their glory. Production design is top notch, with terrific design of sets and locations. Hans Zimmer's complementing music score is simply outstanding, and knowing the man, that's really all I have to say. Together all of these elements combine to deliver a mesmerizing movie experience like no other this year.

Christopher Nolan has once again outdone himself. He truly is a gifted filmmaker, arguably the most imaginative in Hollywood today. And "Inception" can proudly stand alongside "Blade Runner" and "2001: A Space Odyssey" as science-fiction masterpieces that push the boundaries for movie making and become a different experience altogether.

There are two types of films: the crowd-pleasing blockbuster and the intelligent indie/art film. Nolan has combined two of these tropes together into one exceptionally brilliant package, pulling off that rare, now nearly-extinct Movie Magic that has since been wiped off the planet by sequelitis and reboots. Movie of Summer 2010? Movie of 2010? Heck this is possibly the first masterpiece of the decade! Nolan is a genius and I applaud him for treating his audiences as intelligent people.

Missing this film and not getting the film's point is a crime.

Overall value: 9/10 (Excellent)
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Generation defining.
forzosky15 November 2021
The 20th Century had Casablanca, Star Wars, the Godfather, Blade Runner, and others - this is the first of the 21st Century masterpieces. Truly in awe at how amazing this movie is, an astounding show of all aspects of films. Amazing story and cinematography accompanied with actors worthy of telling the tale. Remarkable and breathtaking.
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Incredible-Nolan keeps improving and Inception is by far the best improvement!
drakula20059 July 2010
I saw Memento very recently, something that turned out to be a great miss.I saw it again, just to make a couple of thins straight-and i'll definitely do the same with Inception.

Christopher Nolan keeps improving himself, with even more complex and multilayer script like this.And i thought Memento was hard to reach by most of the viewers, but no.Inception will keep you mesmerized and captivated by the genius, that's hidden behind it.And not just directors and screenwriters (or with other words-Nolan), but with acting and sound-and effects and editing as well.

When you have a cast like this-i mean Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Lewitt, Michael Caine, or Marion Cotillard (a personal favourite), the movie just keeps going flawlessly.Most of the crew is the same the Nolan brothers worked with on TDK and earlier in Batman Begins.So the Oscar noms in those categories are a certainty for me.

The only thing one could have against the movie, is the headache one could have.See, most of my friends go to the movies for brainless action, they enjoyed Iron Man 2 and The A-Team, but this movie-you have to see it at least twice, to understand it.The levels and the layers on which thing are happening are so many, that one surely'll miss something vital.This is a reason for not fitting to the mass audience, but i hope that won't happen, because Nolan is one of my favourite directors/writers, and he showed, that the brainless action flicks aren't all of it.There are still movies like Inception out there and still people like the Nolans to make those movies, so it's not all lost.And i hope this movie could show the audience that the story is still important for the experience one could receive, not the endless, constant explosions.Because this is really a one of a lifetime event.

Saying that, i must say, that in a world full of remakes, reboots, sequels, prequels and God knows what, this is a unique chance to see something different and unmatched so far-a strong movie, that, surely will be Nolan's latest masterpiece! My Grade won't change-it's the same for all Nolan movies-sheer 10!
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Nolan at his most intelligent best.
marcusdean11813 July 2010
Inception is truly one of a kind. A concept which has long gestated in Christopher Nolan's mind, his eye for drama mixed with his large scale sensibilities ring true in Blockbuster season making Inception a true original in the sea of reboots, remakes and sequels.

To try and explain Inceptions many plot twists and incredibly intelligent arcs, would be a foolish task. As Nolan himself has been reluctant to. The best way to approach the film would be with an open mind, if you are prepared to be taken on a ride of a lifetime, then trust that you 100% will. If Avatar was a seminal film in technology (although coming out as a rather poor film, in my opinion), then Inception is seminal in it's storytelling. With a 148 minute running time, you would expect a lot to take place, but what you wouldn't expect is the pace of it all. I did not think at one time in the film about how long was left. I was simply blown away by the depth in every single part of the film. If my enthusiasm for the storytelling aspect of the film has left you worried about the spectacle, then don't worry. They are, as hinted in the trailer, incredible, looking real and unbelievable simultaneously. The most pleasing thing about the action set pieces, is that they are genuinely used to illustrate the story, rather than to blow stuff up a la Michael Bay.

With this complex movie in it's high concept, a stellar cast is needed. And Nolan as always, delivers with just that. This is vintage DiCaprio, perhaps only equalled in The Aviator, which is even more impressive as his role as Cobb in Inception is not a showy one, needing DiCaprio to be the constant at the centre of the film. And he pulls off Cobb's emotional contradictions sublimely. The rest of the cast members all shine in parts of the films, Cillian Murphy shows off his usually non-existent tender side, Gordon-Levitt bottles his usual charm for his confidently reserved turn as the reliable Arthur, Watanabe is devilish as the seemingly ambiguous Saito, Page shows why she's the next big female star and Tom Hardy revels in being the comic relief of the film compared to his recent turns as decidedly psychopathic characters.

Overall, Nolan has indeed surpassed himself. He has created a world as expansive as his Gotham, a plot dwarfing the intricacies of Memento and one which blows The Prestige's cinematic reveal out of the water. This is truly unmissable cinema. Revel in it, we've still got to wait a whole two years before Batman 3.
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Dream invasion is the focus of a strange and ambiguous film...
Doylenf21 July 2010
I'll be the first one to admit that INCEPTION is the kind of thinking man's thriller that has something going on every second of its two-hour and 28 minute running time. But only director Chris Nolan knows what it's all about and I don't believe I'll find out all the explanations until I get the DVD commentary.

It's a heady mixture of sci-fi, comic book stuff and fantasy and all of it is focused on the mastery of dream invasion in order to gather secrets held in the human mind. Foremost among the players is LEONARDO DiCAPRIO, playing his role in a very authoritative manner with no shortage of barking orders and furrowed brow, all highly intense, as he gathers a team around him to investigate the dreamscape.

There's plenty of action along the way, interspersed with quieter moments of explanatory dialog so the audience has at least some semblance of what's going on. But the whole concept of the story lacks the kind of credibility that would have made the film more engaging than it really is.

Credit the actors with doing their best despite the fact that none of them have roles that are fully fleshed out. And this includes Joseph GORDON-LEVITT, ELLEN PAGE, TOM HARDY, CILLIAN MURPHY, KEN WATANABE and TOM BERENGER.

If you're a MATRIX fan, you'll love this one. If not, you may wonder what all the fuss was about.

Frankly, I had more fun exploring dream invasion in NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, less intellectual but a lot more fun.
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Come Back Again!
Hitchcoc31 July 2010
If one goes to an art gallery to see a provocative piece, one sees something new each time. That's what true art is. That's why a black light Elvis is not art. This film is certainly a tour de force. It requires engagement at every step. LIke most works of art, it doesn't give it all away. I look forward to seeing this the second or even third time. First of all, the premise is wonderfully engaging. Our consciousness is layered as everyone knows who thinks they have awakened, only to find themselves in another nightmare--then they awaken again. We know that the subconscious by nature is out of our control. There you have a wonderful premise. Now layer that further with people who can flip in and out and use this to their own ends. While confusing, it's exciting. The amazing thing is that the director/writer pulls it off. Every nuance and event is picked precisely for its effectiveness. We have the luxury of watching from one precipice into the abyss. We do care about the people and not just because we want them to succeed. We care about the matrix of the dream levels. Great movie.
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A Potpourri of Vestiges Review: Buñuel meets Kubrick in Nolan's most ambitious venture, till date
murtaza_mma26 July 2010
Surrealism can appear to be ineffably bizarre, or inquisitively titillating, depending purely on the viewer's intellect. Though the realm of surrealism is highly nebulous and complex, but even a slight attempt at improvisation can sometimes go awry and open a Pandora's Box, making the task highly improbable and nigh impossible. This facet of reality may pose a handicap to the most gifted of the directors, but not to the genius of Christopher Nolan, who not only dabbles with the concept of surrealism, but also ingeniously blends it with the elements of Science Fiction in his latest wonder named Inception. Nolan created a niche for himself a decade back by unleashing a monster of a movie called Memento. He further substantiated his status by conjuring movies like Insomnia, The Prestige, Batman Begins, and The Dark Knight. His unremitting desire for innovation and uncanny craving to foray into the unexplored realms of imagination deservedly earned him an auteur tag, which gave him the carte blanche that a story-teller like Nolan desperately needs. It's highly apparent that Nolan takes every possible advantage of this liberty while filming Inception. Inception is not only dreamlike, but is a dream in itself and is superior to any other thing conceived on the silver screen. With its entwined layers, the movie for the most part serves as an unfathomable riddle and makes multiple viewing extremely essential. It incredibly does extremely well on both the humanistic as well as the technical fronts. In fact, the balance between human emotions and the elements of Science Fiction is so adequate that it's impossible to separate them.

The movie is about a futuristic world where the human mind can be intercepted through dream invasion. Cobb is an expert in the art of extracting information (stealing valuable secrets) from deep within the subconscious in the dream state. His proficiency in extraction is marred by a turmoil that begins with his wife's untimely death. He is forced to live the life of a fugitive away from his children. His only chance for redemption lies with a Japanese tycoon named Saitu, who wants him to do an inception (planting information into someone's mind). In order to accomplish this unprecedented task, Cobb and his team must overcome a labyrinth of unforeseeable challenges, where even a slight miss could trap them in a perpetual limbo. Any further revelation would be remissness on my part as the plot is filled with such intricacies that even expatiation would be incapable of justifying its profundity.

Leonardo Dicaprio gives a solid performance in the lead role, following his memorable performance in Shutter Island. He has brilliantly depicted the complexities and limitations of Cobb's enigmatic character highlighting his pain and mental trauma. Marion Cotillard is ravishingly scintillating as Cobb's whimsical wife, Mal. The rest of the cast has given a thorough performance with special mention of Ken Watanabe, Ellen Page and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Inception is incredibly brilliant as a movie and is a breakthrough in contemporary cinema. Nolan's creativity and his unparalleled execution definitely make it an object of great cachet, but whether it would become Buñuel's 'Un chien andalou' or Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey' and serve as a prototype for the movies to come is for the time to decide. Irrespectively, Inception is sine qua non not only for an aficionado, but also for the average viewer, who is willing to delve deep enough to savour the delight.

PS: One has to imagine it to believe it. 9/10
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Am I dreaming
jordandorothy-3073911 December 2020
Though this was a very good, on your toes, don't blink kind of movie. In the end, I had to ask myself, "Was it all a dream?". Acting superb and directing on point. Very good movie.
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Nolan's first true masterpiece
technofunkie12 July 2010
Usually I try to be careful with over hyping a film, or setting the expectations too high, as film geeks all are guilty for, however for Christopher Nolan's Inception, this really is not possible.

This is possibly one of the only perfect films I have ever seen. It is absolutely confident in every way, something which is extremely refreshing, even more so than Avatar. Christopher Nolan gets some slack for making great to look at but ultimately heartless affairs, which I for one do not agree with, however I do not think anyone can argue that here. The emotional aspect of this film not only ties it all together but is really the centre of this film, it is the focus.

I do not want to over simplify the film, by simply calling it Kubrick doing Bond, or Gondry on a huge budget, because I am sure it will be called that but it is far more than that, it is something I do not think Kubrick could have ever made. It is pure Nolan, and pure greatness.

I hate writing something which is pure fan-boy gushing, but its really difficult here. I did not find a thing I did not like about it, I am sure if maybe I saw it a second time, maybe I would find something about it I didn't like, but not the first time. The way it is cut, means that there is always action on screen, if not, then the visuals are interesting enough to keep your eyes glued.

The final hour of the film, is possibly one of the most complicated action sequences put on film. You have to constantly be paying attention to remember all of the layers of what is happening. Without spoiling anything, all I have to say is that is what this film is about, that is what makes this film so great, layers. Once you have seen this you will now what I am talking about.

All of the actors are fantastic too, Di Caprio is the stand out here. Yes, this is probably due to the fact he is the star and given all of the emotional weight, but he handles it perfectly, similarly to his performance in Shutter Island. Ellen Page, whom I usually hate, gives a great performance here. Tom Hardy gives a break out performance here, he is quite the bad ass.

I hope audiences are ready for a film like this, a pure auteur driven film which does not sacrifice a single frame for the studio. I would hope this film will change Hollywood, as it is 100 percent the directors vision yet it is definitely a marketable film, much like District 9, yet I do not think it will.

I cannot recommend this film anymore than I have, I just have to say everyone and anyone should see it. Sorry about all the gushing, it is just so hard not too.

If you liked this review check out my new film blog:
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Superior Sci-Fi with superior drama.
EVON1TY17 June 2019
I mentioned place of the movie on my lists at below.

Movie: Perfect (#7)

Screenplay: Very Good (#6)

Film Editing: Very Good (#7)

VFX: Very Good (#19)

SFX: Very Good (#24)

Cinematography: Very Good (#10)

Overall Acting Performance: Very Good (#21)

Original Scores: Very Good (#23)

Art Direction & Set Decoration: Very Good (#4)

Makeup: Good

Costume Design: Average


This movie is not about walking around in dreams or living in dreams. It is about a man tries to back to his childeren with an amazing way. When you watching Sci-Fi watching movies don't think about logic. There is no logic in those movies, so don't look for it. Brilliant screenplay and I think no need to talk about acting, cinematography, editing and others because this is a Nolan movie.
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Requires Concentration
deepfrieddodo1 February 2021
An incredibly unique film which deserves its plaudits purely for the intelligent world created. Whilst extremely complex, the 'science' allowing the story to unfold is explained for the most part, although I imagine everyone loses the plot on a first viewing at some point, for me I was okay until the very final Saito scene. It keeps you engaged throughout and I think (?) you're routing for the right people, although in reality the overarching reason to undergo the entire film is a little weak, possibly skimmed over, and purely a vehicle to discover the world of dreams.

Visually it cannot be faulted, and the pairing with the music works excellently as well. You're constantly drawn into the film without it ever being something that will get your heart racing, more interesting than compelling. Having said that, it is really one of a kind, at least at this level, and so everyone should see Inception, if only to appreciate the depth Nolan went into.
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So much less intelligent than it seems
paul2001sw-115 January 2011
Ten years ago, Christopher Nolan wrote and directed the brilliant 'Momento', a stunning thriller that pushed the boundaries of storytelling convention. It was great, but still, one couldn't help wondering, where would Nolan go from here? How could he trump this achievement? In fact, although his subsequent films have been praised, they've been less distinctive, but with 'Inception', he returns to his adventurous roots, producing a story that is even more audacious than 'Momento'; and unfortunately, the result is dreadful. And worse than the fact that it doesn't really work is the fact that while it is distinctive, it is distinctive in a very conventional way. Since his early success, Nolan has taken work from big studios, and 'Inception' is no exception; and the result is a Hollywood movie straining desperately to stand out, instead of something more truly independent. in spirit.

To make the point in more detail, 'Inception' features a starry cast (I'm, afraid for me, the casting of Leonardo diCaprio has become a clear sign of a poor film with pretensions); an implausibly attractive geeky female assistant; loads of expository dialogue (at one point, it is explained that someone is the most powerful media baron in the world – i.e. they appear to be so powerful that no-one had heard of them); fast pace and Jason Bourne style camera work; sub-'Matrix' style ideas about the nature of reality, superficially intriguing and certainly confusing, but of little philosophical depth; extraordinary special effects; and above all else, a plot comprising an incoherent sequence of random set-piece scenes that seems constructed to showcase said special effects rather than because it makes sense as a story. It may sound like an intriguing idea to have the cast simultaneously fighting for their lives in seven different nested dream-spaces, but in fact, it isn't; multiplying the threat to the heroes only reduces the dramatic impact of each one.

To give Nolan credit, he has made a wholly cinematic film; you certainly couldn't imagine this in book form. Sadly it's very hard to imagine it as a screenplay either, or as any sort of story. And it was story, not special effects, that made 'Momento' great; and while that story was highly unusual, it made internal sense. But less is never more in Hollywood; and sadly, more is often just a mess.
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Not all the hype suggests but still an enjoyable action thriller built on a good concept and encourages thought afterwards
bob the moo2 August 2010
The important thing to start out with is to distance yourself from the hype about this film because it will not help you when watching it, nor is any of it totally justified. It seems that any mainstream film (especially at summertime) that manages to at least do something different or clever will be hailed as a masterpiece simply because it is not Transformers 2. So watching it expecting to be amazed is probably the wrong state of mind to be in. Likewise it is probably not great to be expecting something impossible to follow, because again the film is very clearly constructed and even when action is occurring across several "levels" at once, I still found it easy to follow.

The film is a thriller and, like many great thrillers it is one that is built on an imaginative and clever concept. The world of dream infiltration is well constructed and is also well delivered to the audience; some people near me were muttering and asking confused questions throughout, but personally I found it easy to follow for the most part – and not because I'm smart but because the film does a good job of bringing the viewer into the ideas and concept. In terms of being an action movie, the second half of the film does pick this up well and the race against time across all of the dream levels, with the editing bringing it all together well so that you don't lose what is happening and indeed the movement of time and the importance of the relative events are clearly understood to produce tension. Although the dream worlds are a bit too "ordinary" at times (most of our dreams are filled with things that don't make any sense or have echoes of things, rather than detailed cityscapes and gun battles) there is creativity in the visual design and in particular a Matrix-esquire battle in a spinning corridor is thrilling to watch.

To its credit the stepping up of the action aspect does not mean that the ideas that got us here are abandoned because they are not. The importance of Cobb's subconscious and in particular his own gnawing guilt over the death of his wife initially appears to be just a way of having a repeatable "baddie" turning up in various places throughout the film, but actually she is well used to introduce doubt and alternative interpretations to the film. As everywhere else, the ending of the film was met with groans that there would not a confirmation of the ending. Personally I think that "was the real level actually a dream" is just an idea planted by the director to keep the audience from simply finishing the film and walking away from it and that the presented reality was actual reality. I can understand why some have disliked this because it could appear like Nolan is going "or was it?" without providing much more than the question, but I choose to see this as just another tease, which he is perfectly allowed to do since the whole film is about trying to get others to doubt their reality and change their own minds by themselves (although not really).

The cast deliver well. DiCaprio manages to produce an engaging character who emotionally makes sense and it is his performance that helps the deeper material in his subconscious work well and be more accessible to the viewer. Gordon-Levitt is memorable for his action scenes but he is also a good presence generally even if he has a lot less to do. Page provides the viewer with someone to "come in" with and she works that angle well. Hardy, Watanabe and Rao round out the team well. Some of the bigger names had the potential to be distractions by virtue of "oh look its x" but Caine, Berenger, Haas and Postlethwaite didn't really do that even if their actual screen times were minimal compared to the recognisability of their faces. Cotillard works very well to have her character vary across levels and contexts and I liked her better than I thought I would.

I'm not in agreement that Inception is a classic perfect film but it is a very good one. If anything the elevation of this film is more to do with how average and uninspiring the vast majority of films released are, but I suppose that the success of this one is a good thing in some ways to maybe counter that. The concept and ideas are well constructed and presented to the audience and the film itself is not hard to follow but does challenge the viewer to do the one thing that a blockbuster normally doesn't – pay attention. Doesn't quite live up to the hype but it is still a very good and engaging film.
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Inception? More Like Insipid
evanston_dad11 January 2011
"Inception" might have been a better movie -- and would certainly have been more entertaining -- had writer/director Christopher Nolan not made his premise so complicated that the film had to spend its entire 2:25 running time explaining itself to its audience.

Seriously, the exposition Never. Stops. There were literally moments during action sequences where one character would pause and explain what was going on to another character, which of course was a ham-fisted way of explaining it to us. But even with all of that aggressive exposition, the movie never does make a lot of sense. The result is a lot of busyness -- oh, there's always plenty of stuff going on -- that's nevertheless pretty boring because it's never clear what all of the busyness is for.

Nolan has done this to us before. Who the hell came out of "The Prestige" with any clue what that movie was about? And even his more narratively coherent films (like "The Dark Knight") suffer from a lack of humor and a burden of philosophical pondering that the premises can't support. "Inception" is no exception (ha!). The movie is junk trying to disguise itself as something important and significant. How much more fun it would have been if it had just been content to be junk.

Grade: C-
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Brilliant on every level
greenwardsuzy18 November 2021
Boring of me to say but this is one of my favourite movies of all time. Stellar performances, great plot and an ending that keeps you guessing. The CGI is exceptional and I think it's arguably one of Nolan's best films.
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Inception is Christopher Nolan's masterpiece, a work of sheer brilliance that astounds on intelligence, spectacle and heart
moviexclusive13 July 2010
"The mind is like an iceberg, it floats with one-seventh of its bulk above water." -Sigmund Freud

Christopher Nolan's "Inception" plays very much like its subject matter described so aptly above by Freud. On your first viewing, you will quite possibly only grasp just a fraction of its complexity, but the brilliance of what this reviewer proclaims as Nolan's masterpiece lies in how engaging it is- even though you cannot quite fully comprehend what Nolan is trying to say. Indeed, it may take multiple viewings for one to absorb completely his audacious new creation that dares to tackle as dense and intricate a subject as that of dreams.

It isn't easy to understand the nature of dreams, particularly because they seem to defy logic. The same can probably be said of some of the elements in "Inception", but in order for one to understand what dreams really are, one has to first accept that they are not part of the conscious mind, and therefore cannot be understood by rationality. Freud proposed that the rational mind is just that one-seventh of the iceberg that we see, and the rest of the mind is made up of the preconscious and the unconscious. Freud also believed that dreams were the road to the unconscious and existed in the preconscious, a state between the conscious and the unconscious mind.

It is in this context that Nolan invites his audience to approach "Inception". Here, Nolan imagines a world of corporate espionage where a thief enters a person's mind during his dreams to steal ideas. This process he terms "extraction", done by a team of people who design the architecture of the dreams, plant several people including the subject into the dream, forge identities within the dream and then proceed to steal the idea from the subject. Leonardo DiCaprio is the master thief of them all, Dom Cobb, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt his long-time right-hand man Arthur.

But this latest mission is different- a tycoon Saito (Ken Watanabe) wants him to plant an idea (so termed inception) within a rival's (Cillian Murphy) mind in order that he will break up his ailing father's business empire after he takes over. Cobb agrees to this dangerous mission- a fugitive wanted for the murder of his wife, Saito promises that if Cobb succeeds, he will wipe Cobb's slate clean so he is allowed to return to the United States to see his children. So Cobb begins assembling his team- the architect Ariadne (Ellen Page), the forger Earnes (Tom Hardy) and the chemist Yusuf (Dileep Rao)- think of it like a heist, only much more complicated.

As Cobb explains the rules of the game to his team while preparing for their mission, Nolan is too establishing the rules of his game to his audience- what it means to die in a dream, why one can feel pain even when you're in a dream, the significance of the people you see in your dream, the difference between dream time and real time. Not to spoil the experience to you- but suffice to say that there are many many such rules that Nolan plays by in his movie. Those who have had some experience in the study of dreams will likely grasp this more quickly, but those who have not may take more time to accept the logic and regulations behind Nolan's world- hence the multiple viewings.

Regardless, there is no doubt that it is engrossingly intriguing. All this takes place in the first half of the movie, which sets the stage for the inception itself in the latter half, an ingenious conceit set within a world of layered dreams that defies any description. Nolan uses the interconnectedness of these elaborate dream layers to intercut several breathtaking action spectacles - the storming of a vault within the Arctic within a zero-gravity fight along a hotel corridor within a high-speed vehicular freeway chase. Each of these would be thrilling in their own right, but with Nolan's vision, Wally Pfister's expansive photography and Lee Smith's fine editing, the simultaneous unfolding of these set-pieces is utterly riveting.

Besides grand action, Nolan also delivers heart-wringing moments courtesy of Cobb's troubled past with his late wife, Mal (Marion Cotillard), who threatens to wreak havoc on his missions by surfacing from his unconscious in the most inopportune manner. We're kept in the dark most of the time, believing that Mal is an insidious presence Cobb is unable to eradicate, but Nolan's reveal towards the end of the film that puts into perspective Cobb's unresolved guilt delivers an emotional finish that will leave you floored.

As with his previous movies, Nolan displays a knack for choosing actors who can best embody the characters in his films. While DiCaprio's role here may be reminiscent of that in his earlier Shutter Island, there's no question that he anchors the movie with a perfectly calibrated performance that is equal parts intense and heartfelt. The rest of the supporting characters fill out their roles just as vividly- Joseph Gordon-Levitt radiates confidence and suavity, Ellen Page displays suitable wit and grit, and in particular Marion Cotillard exudes both sultriness and danger in an edgy yet eventually heartbreaking performance.

But "Inception" is Nolan's vision through and through- and in fact, a visionary director and a master filmmaker at that. Many years Nolan spent refining his screenplay, and it shows in the great detail and complexity that makes "Inception" both an intellectual and visceral enjoyment- just take the names of the various characters, each of which have a special significance. With "Inception", Nolan invites you to open your mind to possibilities- possibilities of alternate realities, of complexities beyond the conscious mind to grasp and most importantly, of the power of imagination. It is that rare gem of a film that is so multi-layered, so profound and so fascinating that you'll want to experience it again immediately after you've seen it- just so you can fully appreciate its genius.
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Amazing Directing, Captivating Plot, Overall Great
howemonika12 July 2010
I had the privilege of seeing this movie before it came out, and, like most of DiCaprio's films, it blew me away.

Inception is a well-made movie, filmed in about 6 locations all over the world. The directing was outstanding, there were only about two moments, maybe three seconds in total, where i noticed that visual effects were being used (of course defying gravity is pretty difficult).

The plot was very pleasingly intricate, with a twist-and-turn, keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat type feel. I noticed that this film had similarities with DiCaprios thriller Shutter Island (which i also enjoyed very much)seeing as it left you wondering what was real and what was not. It's great to see a movie with a thick and emotional plot and not just grenade-throwing action heroes who achieve greatness in the end.

Inception also has a very well-composed score, which to me was the finishing touch to a perfect movie. If you're thinking about seeing Inception, definitely go! Even though i was fortunate enough to see a free show, it is worth every penny you pay.

Truly unique, like nothing i've ever seen before. Christopher Nolan certainly covered new ground with this film and wasn't afraid to leave us hanging with a spectacular ending.
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Snappy2076 February 2021
Inception is good, very good, amazingly good. Music: phenomenal. Story: Exceptional. Acting: Great. Cinematography & Special Effects: Fantastic. Overall this is a great movie, although complicated needing a second watch on my end to fully understand everything, this is a must watch for anyone.
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Thick and Unnecessarily "Complicated"
LeonLouisRicci20 October 2013
Style over Substance might be a Knee-Jerk Negative Reaction to this Messy Film. But that would be Kind. There is no Style or Substance to Waste many Brain-Cells Considering. The Movie's Conceit is to make You want to Think. Think Not.

It tries so Very Hard with its Explanations about Dreams (don't do a drinking game taking a shot every time the word dream is mentioned, you will be dead by intermission). Also Wordy, Incomprehensible Insertions about the Teams "Method" used here to Infiltrate and Control the Minds of Corporate Clients (now there is a group we can morally support).

This is so Unnecessarily Complicated that it causes Viewer Fatigue, and by Proximation Sleepiness, early on and Waking Up or Recovering from that is not a Given. The Result is just not Caring about Anyone or Anything that is happening on the Screen. What is happening is kind of Drab and Dull for a Dreamscape.

If you buy the Premise and go along for the Ride, better fasten your Seat-Belts because it is anything but Smooth. It Bumps and Jumps from Dream to Dream and Layer upon Layer of Intellectual Gobbledygook that is so Very Uninteresting and Without much Pathos. The Music is forever in Swelling Mode and Ripples throughout and is Pretentious and Intrusive.

In the End, some have trouble making it that far, there is a "you decide" Twist that is not really a Twist because, after all, You Decide. But it is hardly Worth it and when all is Said and Done, too much has been Said and not enough has been Done. Vastly Overrated.
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bennyhagen24 July 2010
You have this basic idea and the story, they are very good. And boy did the have money. And the CGI is spectacular, yes.

Further on this:

Inception is constantly VERBALLY explaining what is happening, why it is happening, how it's relating to things explained earlier and so on. The rules, the plot, the inner conflicts. Even at the 2/3rd of the movie, they are still explaining basic rules. I don't see why this was necessary as most of it is repetition. You get the same stuff over and over again, supposed you didn't get it for the first time. And again: VERBALLY. Exactly like in your average, random Venezuelan soap opera.

Inception does almost not have any scenes. As far as I'm concerned, movies are about scenes. Here, you'll only be able to remember certain sequences, because it's all just one big a montage of sequences. It's the montage of the master-plan from Oceans 11 for 150 minutes and it's exaggerating.

The score is non-stop blaring, all the darn time, even when people are just talking to each other, music is building up constantly to give you the perception, that there are serious things going on. It's just annoying, painful for the ears and pointless. Generally important scenes are in no contrast to basic scenes. It's one big video clip.

Characters. I don't remember a single name, as there is no kind of character development going on here. It's just some well dressed people. All the dialog is used up, for basic explaining like "for dummies", rather then building character, relationships, or just being generally cool dialog. Occasional tries sounds like tag-lines or slogans while being just plain unintelligent. Also, this is leaving the actors no space to - well - act... which is a waste of the great cast.

Now all these things are very amateur scriptwriting mistakes, or if you prefer: it's a stupid movie. But no one seems to notice as Nolan does everything to convince you that you are watching something meaningful.

The blaring music and the hectic editing, the fact that there are permanently 3 scenes of action cut together into one sequence underlined by an incredibly severe score, it's just there to distract. Because in fact the movie has nothing new to show us. Separate the sequences and you have the most basic and outdated action b-movie there is. Car chase. Fire fight. Explosion. Present it confusing enough so it seems complex. Same goes for the plot. The rules of the dream world are not complicated at all, you are absolutely able to sum it up in two sentences, just try. The Matrix set up it's world with a 10 minute sequence and we all got it where the whole theme is about equally, or more complex. Now Nolan is either deliberately confusing people for effect or simply because he doesn't have the skills as a scriptwriter to set up a movie. Neither of the versions seems too noble, but I guess it's a combination of those.

Now the fact, that no one really seems to have noticed ALL THIS this is just a total riddle to me. Even famous film critics praise this movie as ground breaking and brilliant and I just can't see, where I am totally stupid, or why I'd construe all these mistakes into the movie, when in reality, they just weren't there.

It's just malpractice, as what you have here is basic movie making rules ignored in the most inelegant fashion possible and then compensating for it with - well - money. Don't get me wrong, it's not knowing the rules and then breaking them, it just looks like not knowing the rules. It's what you could expect a first year student at a mediocre film school to do where his teacher then asks him to start all over again, with the first book. And it's just so "in your face". For most of the time, there is really nothing more then cutaways, the characters describing what is happening and Hans Zimmer smashing while you see expensive CGI and explosions.

But everything just seems so damn serious and exclusive and the music is really dramatic. How could this movie not be good, right? But it's a trick. It's the concept of visceral over-stimulation brought to a new level and I'm shocked that it works to the point where after almost a century of film making THIS is regarded as one of the best movies of all time.

IMDb TOT 250 #8. With The Godfather. Pulp Fiction. Schindler's List. The Shawshank Redemption. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. 12 Angry Men. Inception.

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Lifeless. Wants too be too smart for its own good
jeroen-10613 February 2011
Can't believe the high reviews as I think it's the worst Nolan productions to date. Means: it's a good/average movie, but not great.

The whole movie is just too stylistic, the romance is cold and uninteresting, the characters are one dimensional, and the whole dream thing is just too stylistic. The movie wants to be too intelligent for its own good. I preferred how dreams where presented in "Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind": blurry, not cohesive stories and unpredictable.

Inception used dreamworlds as a cheap way of adding car chases, shoot outs in snow. The whole dream-in-dream thing is nice but doesn't add anything to the story.

The romance thingie is just annoying to watch. I just don't care. But I should.

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