Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) cuts a deal with Saito (Ken Watanabe) and agrees to use his ability to enter people’s dreams for a special assignment involving business titan Robert Fischer Jr. (Cillian Murphy). Along for the labyrinth-infused ride is Cobb’s new mind “architect,” Ariadne (Ellen Page). Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Tom Hardy, Tom Berenger and Dileep Rao also star in this sci-fi thriller from writer-director Christopher Nolan.

Rating: 10 out 0f 10

I actually saw this film on Thursday but need a few days to think about it before I submitted my review. Yes, it really is that thought provoking. In fact, there are so many adjectives to describe Inception that I thought I’d list a few: brilliant, spell-binding, thought-provoking, surrealistic, genius, dramatic, and visual. If it sounds like I’m over heaping praise on this film, it’s because it deserves it. Inception really is one those rare films that comes along every 3-4 years and makes you re-think what’s possible within the boundaries of the medium. I cannot remember a film in recent memory that inspired me as much as this one and it gets my absolute highest recommendation for those that like intelligent cinema.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the two people that really made this film shine. First, Leonardo Dicaprio; He really is on quite a roll. His resume is becoming legendary and he’s only 35 years old! His performance in “Inception” is excellent and holds the audience’s attention and makes the unbelievable seem believable. The other is Christopher Nolan who has never directed a bad film, and along with the Coen Brothers, is one of the 2(or 3 since they’re brothers) best directors working today.

This is the kind of film where in the hands of someone else could have been a disaster. But, Nolan holds it all together with fantastic pacing, visual excellence, and a storytelling-first mentality. He really has become one of the greatest film making minds on the planet.


22 responses to “Inception

  1. Guys,

    This movie makes me look forward to a revivalist film movement where special effects are minimized and story, acting and morality themes return (you know, like the 70’s). Special effects just wash over me, especially when they are self-indulgent, and there is definitely an argument to suggest they are in this film. It is almost like the concept of the film was designed to create a circus of special effects.

    Christopher Nolan is cool. I really liked Momento in particular, primarily because it was tricky, disturbing and plausible.

    I found nothing disturbing about Inception, not even the science fiction of a virtual dream-reality, which worked interestingly in The Matrix, but falls flat here, primarily because the caper, this movie’s plot ritual, is in itself so banal. It’s a mediocre caper film, Oceans 11 without the self-deprecating humor, painted in the guise of a psychological thriller. What – planting the idea of breaking up a multi-national conglomerate set to dominate the energy market (or something like that) – really? Why? So Cobb can see his kids again? I guess.

    The best part of the film was Marion Cotillard, who was gorgeous and haunting. I so wanted her to succeed in screwing everything up, until about 2 hours in, when I considered doing a summersault down the aisle of the movie theatre just so the dream(s), and hopefully the movie, would finally end.

    My rating: 4 out of 10, a big disappointment.

    (Add a point if Sir Michael Caine, playing a wise sage, adds credibility to the dream science. It didn’t for me.)


    • I was going to go into a long drawn out reply in response to this post, but it’s really not necessary because I think it’s going to be lost on you. I really don’t think you understood the film at all, even though you think you did (your hand was tipped with the comparisons to ‘The Matrix’ and ‘Oceans 11’) which is unfortunate, but I guess it’s not for everyone.

      You are looking at it from such a superficial position and you are so locked into that position that there is absolutely no chance that any explanation I could give you would be able to make the myriad of complexities of the story and the deeper issues more clear to you.

      It’s really one of those movies where either you get it or you don’t, so I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it.

    • Bravo Steve! You had me at the first paragraph, nodding my head like one of those bobble-heads on the dashboard of my 66 mustang. I’m simply amazed at the positive reviews of this film, not so much that people liked it because opinions are what opinions are, but how people are so willing to divorce themselves from their senses. I can’t agree with you more that the story and characters were wrapped around the special effects and, like you, I am a big fan of Momento. Where Inception fails over and over is in the delivery of dead-pan, listless exposition at every turn.

      I’d really enjoy your thoughts on my review of Inception..


  2. Why not try? I’d love to understand you point.

  3. The Matrix was really a japanimation film disguised as something more with incredible style. I loved that film but Inception is about so much more. It’s about regrets, love, loss, and family. It’s also questions what makes something real and what doesn’t. Where does time matter? The mere fact that I’m still thinking about the film really speaks to writing and the craft that Christopher Nolan brought to it. this is a very special film and I hope you give it another try. 🙂

  4. Brian,
    Here’s an interesting write-up on the movie you may not have seen. It definitely defends your and Shawn’s point of view regarding the film’s brilliance and it provides an interpretation I think you will appreciate as a film maker.

    Check it out.

  5. Thanks so much for the link! 🙂

  6. Great movie, especially the hotel fight with JGL vs. an army of assassins. Of our group 50% thought it was terrific and 50% were baffled and bored.

    • I honestly don’t think it’s hard to follow. I’m surprised when people say it’s too hard. I think they did a perfect job of explaining it.

      This is the kind of movie where you have to pay attention, which I think is probably more bothersome to people than its complexity. That’s just an easy excuse. People like movies – including me sometimes – where I can shut my brain off and relax.

      The greatest virtue of this movie is the level of interpretation it leaves for the audience. Just a wonderful film.

  7. I totally agree with the link Steve put on. Inception is a movie about movies. The dreams work exactly as montage does. Remember how DiCaprio asks Page how she got to the café.

  8. I don’t know guys, I think the holes in this film are the size of cargo vans flying off a bridge in slow motion, but that’s just me. I’d really like to hear your thoughts on my review, though, since I pretty much take a 180 degree spin. I’m generally not that critical of the story, I mean take Collateral for instance – the story of a hitman in a taxi cab for very much the entire film – but the reason it works are the performances, the sense of emotional intimacy and connection we have with the characters.

    Anyway…I hear you Brian, about the fact so many people are talking about the film (present company included) but this is what I do and to be honest, given my utter loathing of the film, it’s great fodder for conversation and debate.


  9. Solid review. I like movies that are open to interpretation, it’s why I head to my local art house theater every Saturday eve.

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