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A one-of-a-kind mind-blowing masterpiece!
nhngoc_17011 March 2019
Warning: Spoilers
My 3rd time watching this movie! Yet, it still stunned my mind, kept me enjoyed its every moment and left me with many thoughts afterward.

For someone like me, who've rarely slept without dream, it's so exciting watching how Christopher Nolan had illustrated every single characteristic of dream on the big screen. As it's been done so sophisticatedly, I do believe the rumour that Nolan had spent 10 years to finish the script of Inception. In my opinion, it's been so far the greatest achievement in his brilliant writer-director career. I jumped into this conclusion after making a quick benchmark of Nolan's remarkable works:
  • Memento, as his first signature in the cinema history, is tremendous and has stayed the most mind-bending film I've ever seen. But overall, it doesn't reach the same level of Inception.
  • The Prestige is highly impressive but somehow I haven't been able to find the very particular "Nolan's spirit" in it.
  • The Batman Trilogy is the best superhero saga of all time and its peak The Dark Knight is no doubt a masterpiece as well. Nonetheless, every time we talk about it, Heath Ledger takes all the spotlights with his life-time-role: The (unique-and-only) Joker.
  • Then there came Inception where Nolan truly stood out, having every single detail of his work done in the finest way. The multi-layered storyline despite its complexity, remains consistent and originally interesting. From visual aspect, everything was masterly handled: an impeccable cross-cutting allowed the movie to follow Nolan's nonlinear story-telling without being scattered; a wonderful cinematography work completed with incredibly imaginative visual-effects brought into life so many breathtaking scenes, some of them, I believe, will stay in the audience's mind for a long time (city bending in Paris, zero-gravity fight, in limbo, dreams collapsing...). In addition, Nolan had also a solid cast ensemble to help him deliver all of his messages.
  • Later, we had Interstellar. Though I did admire its cinematography and visual-effects, the film itself is nowhere near the level of Inception.

SPOILERS AHEAD !!!!! For all who haven't watched this movie, you may stop the reading right here because the following paragraphs contain a ton of spoilers!

It is set in the world where there's technology that allows people to literally share dream. There is, in this world, a new kind of corporate spy - "extractors" who use this technology to infiltrate the target's subconscious and extract valuable information through a shared dream world. Our hero Mr Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), a very well-known extractor, and his partner Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) are approached by a powerful businessman - Mr Saito (Ken Watanabe) for a nearly impossible mission, something no one has ever done before : instead of steeling, he wants them to plant an idea in a person's subconscious, which is also called "inception". In return, Saito offers something that Cobb could never resist: a ticket to go home with his children by taking out the homicide charge against him. So Cobb and Arthur gather a team to carry out the mission: Eames (Tom Hardy) - a veteran identity forger, Yusuf - the only one chemist can make such a powerful sedative for such a complex 3-levels "dream within a dream", and Ariadne (Ellen Page) - a newbie but remarkably talented architect whose role is critical for the success of the mission. The target is Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy) - son and heir of Saito's biggest competitor (Maurice Fischer, who's dying). The goal is to seed an idea into his mind which will make him abandon his father's business, and the team has to carry Saito as visitor in their mission to let him verify the result of inception. While the team go deeper and deeper into Fischer's mind, we discover gradually the dark of Cobb's past, as well as the 2 biggest why concerning our hero: Why he has became such an expert of inception and What is his desperate motivation for taking that insane mission.

The movie is not only about the inception mission but more importantly, about the struggle of finding the way in the maze of life. In Cobb's case, it's the maze of dreams built by his memories with his past wife Mal (Marion Cotillard) and his regrets. So as long as he let himself consumed by the past by blaming himself for the death of his love wife, it will keep coming back and haunt his present: the deeper the team go into dream, the more dangerous his subconscious, under the form of his ghostly wife, comes out and could anytime jeopardize the mission. Indeed, if we apprehend the movie with these 2 layers of its story, the ending scene makes perfect sense. Yes! We're now talking about that famous ending which has still remained one of the most controversial movie endings in the cinema history. Did Cobb find Mr Saito in limbo, bring he back to complete the mission then come back to his children in the real world? Or they are still stuck in limbo - the infinite dream world, and the last scene was just his big dream? But all of those question only matter in the first layer of the story: the result of inception mission. When we perceive the story in its deeper layer, as a journey for Cobb to let go of his feeling of guilt for the past and re-find the meaning of his life, this ending did fulfill its job. Cobb didn't even stay to see either if the spinning top would fall because he didn't care any more, what's important to him is that he gonna be with his kids. He did finally get rid of his haunting past and be able to move on, and that matters. And after all, dream or reality, the importance is to truly live. So from this point of view, he has solved the maze of his life.

Some short lines about the cast:
  • Leo has done justice to our main character but he did not success to make a leap from his previous similar roles in Shutter Island and Blood Diamond.
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt could have been more intense, given the fact that he had the most astounding fight scene in the movie (zero-gravity sequence).
  • There was something missing in Ken Watanabe's performance to portray the powerful man who sponsored the crazy mission. Maybe it was his English...
  • Tom Hardy was OK but forgettable because his character didn't have any memorable moment though he had a lot of screen time.
  • Ellen Page was really impressive, she did fully illustrate the cleverness and the keenness of the young brilliant architect. And personally, I did find a lot of charms in her acting.
  • Cillian Murphy has also done a great job. Much more emotionally complex than just a target of the inception mission, his character Robert Fischer, at the end, was not so different than our hero Cobb. They both were struggling to find a way out of their own maze. If for Cobb, it was the painful past with his late wife; for Fischer, it was the grand shadow and the lack of recognition of his late dad.
  • Last but not least, the one who impressed me the most was Marion. Mal was so beautiful and mysterious in a very unique haunting way, mostly with her speaking eyes! And for me, she is the most remarkable character of the movie.
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Matrix but in dreamworld? Nah.
clipturnity22 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I'd like to keep my review rather to the point.

Pros: 1. its theme - dream is a fascinating topic to say the least. There are a lot of unknowns in dreamworld.

2. its plot - there are several sweet twists and unpredictable turns.

3. its edgy drive - although you know what's coming next, still you feel jumpy about it when it does.

4. its rapid storyline - the story moves fast from one scene to another, making the viewers feel like on a roller coaster ride. At times, it's hard to keep up, even after watching it several times.

5. its sophistication - there is a lot of information to remember and digest. This is the very thing the modern moviegoers are after, I believe.

6. its realism - okay, pun intended. The movie explains (or at least tries to) the ins and outs of what dream is about and how it functions, some of which are very familiar with and dear to us.

Cons: 1. its poor character development - although the acting was convincing enough there was not enough of character development. I wonder how many people really felt connected to the main character(s) after watching the movie. Yes, the movie talks about emotional struggles but it was more of an action film than anything else, if you ask me.

2. too many distractions - I found that the movie had more characters than necessary. They may play certain roles in the plot but they seemed more of distractions than anything else. I wish the movie was more focused.

3. a bit preachy - I noticed that the characters would explain things about dreamworld and then the exact things happen later in the movie. I'm afraid, Inception overused this trick.

In conclusion, its theme is fascinating but its delivery is not without room for improvement.

I highly recommend you to go and read Somewhere carnal over 40 winks, if you dig this kind of flicks.

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Insanely Brilliant ! Nolan has outdone himself !!
naman-avastol10 July 2010
What is the most resilient parasite? An Idea! Yes, Nolan has created something with his unbelievably, incredibly and god- gifted mind which will blow the minds of the audience away. The world premiere of the movie, directed by Hollywood's most inventive dreamers, was shown in London and has already got top notch reviews worldwide and has scored maximum points! Now the question arises what the movie has that it deserve all this?

Dom Cobb(Di Caprio) is an extractor who is paid to invade the dreams of various business tycoons and steal their top secret ideas. Cobb robs forcefully the psyche with practiced skill, though he's increasingly haunted by the memory of his late wife, Mal (Marion Cotillard), who has a nasty habit of showing up in his subconscious and wreaking havoc on his missions. Cobb had been involved so much in his heist work that he had lost his love!

But then, as fate had decided, a wealthy business man Saito( Ken Watanabe) hands over the responsibility of dissolving the empire of his business rival Robert Fischer Jr.(Cillian Murphy). But this time his job was not to steal the idea but to plant a new one: 'Inception'

Then what happens is the classic heist movie tradition. To carry out the the task, Cobb's 'brainiac' specialists team up again with him, Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), his longtime organizer; Tom Hardy (Eames), a "forger" who can shapeshift at will; and Yusuf (Dileep Rao), a powerful sedative supplier.

There is only one word to describe the cinematography, the set designs and the special effects, and that is Exceptional! You don't just watch the scenes happening, you feel them. The movie is a real thrill ride. The action scenes are well picturised and the music by Hans Zimmer is electronically haunting. Never, in the runtime of the movie, you will get a chance to move your eyes from the screen to any other object.

Leonardo, who is still popularly known for Jack Dawson played by him in Titanic, should be relieved as his role as Dom Cobb will be remembered forever. His performance may or may not fetch him an Oscar but it will be his finest performance till date. The supporting cast too did an extraordinary work. Christopher Nolan, ah! what a man he is. His work is nothing less than a masterpiece and he deserves all the awards in the 'Best Director' category. If "Inception" is a metaphysical puzzle, it's also a metaphorical one: It's hard not to draw connections between Cobb's dream-weaving and Nolan's film making, intended to seduce us, mess with our heads and leave an ever-lasting impression.

To conclude, I would just say before your life ends, do yourself a favor by experiencing this exceptionally lucid classic created by Nolan!

My Rating: 10/10

Thanks & Regards
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Inception; Christopher Nolan's masterpiece?
siddhantadlakha15 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Dom Cobb leads a highly skilled team, specializing in stealing secrets from people's minds by entering their dreams. When they are hired by a mysterious businessman, Cobb finally has a shot at redemption, but not before achieving the near impossible. Rather than stealing an idea, they must do the complete opposite: Inception. Planting the seed of an idea.

Inception has a multi-layered plot, quite literally in fact. It focuses on the emotional journey of its lead character, Cobb, but at the same time thrusts the audience into multiple levels of action packed story- telling, very distinct from one another, but all finely connected. It has been described by critics as "a film that rewards intellect", and I can assure you that it is exactly that. Director Christopher Nolan challenges the audience to keep up, and rewards those who can with a breathtaking spectacle, one that has the capability to leave you awestruck. The best part about it is that while you may feel you need to watch it again to be able to fully absorb the experience, chances are, you will probably want to.

Christopher Nolan brings his unique vision to the screen with the help of a star-studded cast, including the likes of Leonardo Dicaprio (The Departed), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (500 Days Of Summer), Ellen Page (Juno), Marion Cotillard (Public Enemies), Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins), and Michael Caine (The Dark Knight), as well some amazing photography by long time collaborator Wally Pfister. The thrilling music in the film is provided by none other than Hans Zimmer, who was also set the mood for Nolan's previous film, The Dark Knight.

While it may seem simple at its outset, Inception is an extremely complex film, delving deep into the subconscious of the human mind. Technical brilliance and visual splendor have rarely blended together as beautifully. The emotional depth and explosive action complement each other perfectly, delivering a film that is at the same time both heart- wrenching and heart-pounding. It's a film that manages to engross you with its complexities, yet comes together seamlessly, and will have you at the edge of your seat, quite literally from start to finish.

Inception is magnificent.
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This is your first lesson in shared dreaming. Stay calm.
hitchcockthelegend7 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Inception is written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Dileep Rao, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine. The musical score is by Hans Zimmer and Wally Pfister is the cinematographer. Plot finds DiCaprio playing Dom Cobb, a specialised spy for hire who steals ideas from the dreams of people. But one day he gets a different offer, one that will enable him to see his estranged children. To get his reward he must enact Inception, the planting of an idea in the mind of the selected target. But Inception is thought impossible and should Cobb and his selected team fail? The consequences are unthinkable.

There has already been much written and pondered about as regards Inception in the relatively short running time of its life. One can only imagine what will be written and said about it in ten years time. For although it's arguably a bit too early to be talking about it being held in such high regards as the likes of 2001: A Space Odyssey, it's inescapable that Nolan's movie is this current generation's sci-fi classic. That Nolan has managed to make it accessible to the mainstream, and dazzled the eyes as much as the brain in the process, is close to being a piece of genius craftsmanship.

Inception is a film that it's better to know nothing about before venturing into it, and then it asks, well Nolan asks, for your undivided attention. It's neither as confusing as some have painted it, nor does it have any tricks-peek behind the curtain type-up its sleeve. The truth is is that Inception has something for everyone; thematically speaking, and that's before we pore over the special effects that sees Nolan raising the bar considerably. As is the case with twisty high concept movies, interpretations are many, with the director rightly abstaining from discourse about his movie. What forms the basis is your basic life and death struggles, with the grey areas during and after given a clever cinematic make over. There's also meditations on grief that this reviewer personally found easy to get involved with; that of course wont work for everyone, but that is just one of many strands that Nolan dangles for the discerning viewer.

If that all sounds a bit too serious for the man who has redefined the Super Hero genre, rest assured thrill seekers, Inception is also a loud swirly spectacle. The action is raucous, be it gun fights or zero gravity punch ups, Nolan has not lost the ability to take the viewer on an action fuelled roller-coaster ride, aided superbly by Lee Smith's editing and Pfister's perfectly broad photography While Zimmer's score blends electronic action pulse beats with saddened guitar strains (ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr on 12 string) to craft one of the best scores of 2010. As I said, there's something for everyone here, making it perhaps one of the leading nominees for title of ultimate modern day blockbuster.

Then there's the strong ensemble cast, led by a quite scintillating performance from DiCaprio. Following on from his cards played close to his chest turn in Shutter Island, DiCaprio has given 2010 two of its best lead performances. Here he gives real depth of emotion, the kind that makes it easy for the viewers to hang their hats on. His unfussy acting is easy to buy into, giving the character the air of believability, he is the glue that binds the whole film together. Murphy is wonderfully vulnerable, very much an axis in the narrative, while Levitt almost usurps DiCaprio with a neatly layered portrayal that carries a delightful whiff of duality about it. Special praise, too, for Ellen Page. Still in her early 20s, she exudes an intelligent sexiness that shines bright in a role that could have been boorishly played as a cipher in a lesser actress' hands. While Hardy provides brawny levity and Berenger leaves a favourable mark.

The Matrix meets Heat and Mission Impossible, only it's written by Phillip K. Dick and Richard Matheson; or something like that. A cracking hybrid movie that's fit to grace any summer and sure to improve and enlighten with further viewings. 9.5/10
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In a Decade, "Inception" May Be A Religion
D_Burke13 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Films about dreams and the subconscious are usually not very straightforward and almost always weird. "Inception" is no exception to that rule, but like its cinematic predecessors who have explored the contrast between and the questions of what is real and what is illusion (i.e. "The Matrix" (1999), "The Cell" (2000), "Abre Los Ojos" (1997) & its American remake "Vanilla Sky" (2001)), you really can't look away, nor should you.

"Inception" is an excellent and breathtaking movie that may be one of the only films released so far during the Summer of 2010 that lives up to its hype. It is a nearly perfect and highly original film that holds your attention until the credits roll. The less you know about this movie going in, the more you will be entranced by seeing it.

Leonardo DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, a world class criminal who, with the help of a team of sleep experts, works his way into people's subconscious and steals what people value most: ideas directly from their minds. In his last assignment to possibly clear his name, he is assigned not to steal an idea from someone, but to plant one inside that person's mind. The difficulty comes when certain people are trained to block their ideas from being taken.

That plot summary only covers the basics of this pretty complicated story, but to describe every plot detail would take away the magic of this film you must see yourself to believe. DiCaprio is good in his role, but unlike many other films he has starred in, this is perhaps his only role where his character alone does not carry the weight of the movie on his shoulders or share it equally with one other co-star. Instead, this great ensemble cast teams together to make this movie work, just as their characters collaborate to pull off such a unique heist. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, and Tom Hardy are especially good in their roles.

The special effects in this film were also very good, which is amazing considering their simplicity compared to the "Matrix" movies. There are slow-motion shots, but no impossible kung fu fighting sequences. It's especially interesting when the film gets into the architecture of certain dreams, and impossible sequences are filmed in a way I've never seen other than in drawings.

However, the special effects would mean nothing if the story wasn't good. For this reason, even something as simple as a spinning top holds your attention in a way you would never think it would when seeing it in this film. The credit here can be given to writer and director Christopher Nolan, who has not made a bad film yet. There are many twists and turns in this film, but Nolan never loses his focus in the process of telling the story. If Nolan does not get nominated for Best Director and/or Best Original Screenplay next Oscar season, there is something terribly wrong with the Academy.

That being said, there was still a lot about this film I still don't get, and may require multiple viewings to better understand. However, some of the best films I've seen are confusing at first. "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968) is a film I've seen a couple of times, and still don't understand completely. It still has a major following, though, as I'm positive this movie will. It's an incredibly entertaining movie, but it also makes you think and continues to do so after you leave the theater.
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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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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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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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The perfect summer blockbuster?
chaaa12 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
What do we ask for in a summer blockbuster? What is it that incites hysteria this time every year for whatever dross the studios churn out? Epic hugeness? Blowing stuff up? Romance? Action? Heroes? What are we looking for in a blockbuster? I think it all boils down to thrills! Audiences want the thrill of a car chase, the thrill of romance, the thrill of the spectacular! If that is the case, then Inception just might be the greatest summer blockbuster of all time as it also contains something we often don't look for...brains! "What is the most resilient parasite? An idea" says Leonardo Di Caprio's character Cobb. Well, Inception is all about ideas. It's all right there in the title. The film central idea revolves around "Extractors", who are paid to extract secrets from people's subconscious minds by sneaking into their dreams, usually for the purpose of corporate espionage. However, when one client asks them to plant an idea in the mind of their corporate rival, "Inception" is born. The less said about this film the better. It is full of ideas and invention and for each set piece I divulge, a piece of the film's genius is weakened. This is a film that cleverly and intricately brings the audience through several planes of existence simultaneously but never allows the viewer to feel lost. Such is the power of Christopher Nolan's script which, I imagine, is likely to get overlooked due to the sheer visual magnificence of his direction. But everything that makes this film so great is in the the ideas! Everything else is just spectacle. This film bears an uncanny resemblance, thematically, with DiCaprio's other instant classic this year, Shutter Island. Both films investigate in depth the tricks a traumatised mind can play on the individual. Both films are luscious to watch and both films keep the audience firmly outside the realm of reality. However, Inception is an even more layered film than Shutter Island and I believe the sci-fi genre setting will prove to be less alienating for audiences than the prison noir of Scorsese's film. There is not a single dull moment in Nolan's film. There is style, charm and intelligence in every frame of the film. Every performance is pitch-perfect with some strong support by Ellen Page and Joseph Gordon-Levitt particularly who have grown up right before our eyes into undeniable movie stars. Leonardo DiCaprio gives a typically flawless performance as the muddled, grieving man who we never quite trust to be living in the real world. The best part of Inception is the large amount of effects which were done in camera. While the film does make use of CGI, there are some pretty mind-blowing practical effects which are as simple as the camera telling beautiful lies; a rare treat these days. This is a blockbuster that ticks all the boxes; smart, sexy (femme fatale, sexy brainy girl, very beautiful men in very beautiful suits) and magical. Inception is the kind of film that reminds me why cinema will never die. Because anyone who thinks it's OK to watch this film on a laptop or iPad is a fool! This is pure cinema, and proud of it. Not to be missed on the big screen!
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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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Inception has a lot of ideas and it doesn't do anything with them
dario_van_kuschn20 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I cannot ignore facts. I cannot ignore mistakes and plot holes, bad writing, or bad marketing. I cannot ignore hype, especially when it's already on the IMDb top 250, it received praise from critics, cashed in a lot of money, and people call it stunning and unforgettable. The simple truth is that Inception does not live up to the hype. Let me start with the trailer. All the coolest things (the folding city, the collapsing cliffs, the train in the street) are totally unessential to the plot. None of that takes more than a few seconds. So why did they put them on all the posters as well? Nevermind. I'll move on to the real problems of the movie.

So I heard all these people saying how complex the movie is. How I'll need to watch it twice. How the shocking ending will blow my mind. I knew exactly what that "shocking ending" would be half way through the film. The very last paragraph of this review deals with the ending. It's not exactly a spoiler but you can skip it if you don't want to know anything.

Cobb (DiCaprio) takes on a mission to implant a thought into Fischer's (Murphy) mind. As a reward, his contractor Saito (Watanabe) will clean his record with the LAPD. Cobb is wanted for the murder of his wife and consequently he can't return to USA and see his children. Throughout the movie, this is Cobb's main inner conflict, that before he fled the country, he didn't get a chance to see the kids' faces and he wants to see them again. Michael Cain has a very small role as their grandpa and DiCaprio's father-in-law. Why doesn't Cain take the kids someplace so they could be with their father? People move all the time. Or why doesn't he send Cobb some home movies if he wants to see their faces so much? They could even have video calls and all that stuff. It's a long distance relationship but it's something. Well, apparently no one thought of that, and so the main character's main motivation for his actions makes no sense.

As for acting, DiCaprio was good. But if you've seen Shutter Island, You've seen a third of Inception. Dead wife, small kids, a sense of loss, a pretty wooden house in a field, all those flashbacks Teddy had in Shutter Island… it's all in Inception. Minus the funny Boston accent.

The mission these mind thieves embark on is to plant an idea into a rich guy's mind. This is called inception. Hence the title, I guess. Everyone says it's impossible to do, so you know they are going to succeed in the end. Inception is essentially a heist movie, but instead of getting into a vault, Cobb's team has to get inside someone's mind – which happens to look like a vault. The supposed complexity of the movie boils down to the idea of a dream within a dream. Basically, imagine that once you are plugged inside the matrix, you plug yourself into yet another, deeper, matrix. There, I just explained the super complex plot of the movie. But in case that wasn't enough, there is Ellen page's character, Ariadne. She is the obligatory new member of the team that is introduced to represent the audience and their questions. I'm fine with that. Every movie has one of those uninitiated people. The thing is, she understands everything too quickly and becomes suddenly becomes the most competent character. Pretty convenient, if you ask me.

Let me finally get to the mission. It's the worst part of the movie. Watanabe wants Murphy, who just inherited a huge corporation, to dissolve it, because it was going to become a huge monopoly. So Watanabe hires DiCaprio to plant the idea of splitting the company in Murphy's mind. And so they do that. For two and a half hours. But I don't care if he splits the big company or not. Why should I care if Murphy has a bigger company than Watanabe? The stakes of the movie aren't high, they are nonexistent. I am not given any reason to care about whether or not they succeed. I'm only given more and more action set pieces to look forward to, and a lot of cool slow motion and zero gravity fights reminiscent of The Matrix, but I'm not given any reason to care for what is happening. I liked Watanabe's character only because I like Ken Watanbe. As for Saito himself, I don't give a damn if his competitor destroys his company or not. They don't tell us what consequences it would have, they don't show us what happens with the company, they don't do anything with this initial idea. Which is strange, because the movie is all about ideas being important.

Okay, so I didn't like the plot and the acting was nothing new. What about the rest? Hans Zimmer's unremarkable score works well with the scenes but it would be super boring to hear on its own. The visual effects are good but since all the coolest city-folding scenes were so short, there wasn't really that much to do. The zero gravity stuff was done well, I'll give them that. Cinematography was good, bordering on too much shaky camera.

Here's the paragraph about the ending:

The big ending is that you are supposed to be unsure what was a dream and what was reality. If it was real, then it's stupid because DiCaprio had dozens of ways to be with his kids without making things so incredibly complicated. The movie is supposed to make you think, but if you think about it the whole plot falls apart. If it was a dream, then it's a stupid cop out on Nolan's part. An excuse for all the things that didn't make sense. It was all a dream, so screw you, audience.
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Inception - A benchmark in all cinema to come.
spaaw17 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Many of us, not least those who populate the online world with movie reviews, observations and criticisms, are aware of Chris Nolan's raw talent. Memento broke onto the screen a decade ago and provided us with a spectacle in story telling so rare that it dumbfounded us. Since then, Nolan has gained huge popularity with his revival of the Batman franchise, and even more so with the stunning Dark Knight - that still has yet to relinquish its grip on modern day cinema - with the genius of The Prestige sandwiched in between.

None of this, however, could have quite prepared us for the spectacle that is INCEPTION. A script that has been worked on for over a decade, Nolan's endeavours are inescapable in its pure complexity and brilliance - quite simply, one of the best film story lines audiences will have encountered in their lifetime. All this is supplemented superbly by the film's ensemble cast - DiCaprio's performance cannot easily be done justice without seeing it. With this and Shutter Island, now must be the time for his first Oscar - he has asserted his place as truly one of the best actors currently working. All reviews will confirm that Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy and Ellen Page back his performance up superbly with well-worked turns. Inception's action sequences play out wonderfully, being - along with the comic relief and back-stories - an integral part of the film's unravelling, whilst we remain rooted to the film's emotional stakes, which give immense purpose to the film's complex and layered narrative.

Our protagonist battles with both outer and inner demons in his quest for redemption. The unique concept of entering dreams offers the opportunity not only for a unique species of heist but also a way to dig deeper and deeper into one's subconscious, and the ability to plant an idea which could define that person, or destroy them.

In theaters around the world, Nolan uses his dynamic skill to plant an idea in our minds which together allows us to experience the very dream- share the film explores, one which will remain with us long after the film's emotional climax. Inception is a cinema experience so audacious, so incredible, and in the end so gratifying, that it truly is unmissable, and will remain a benchmark for many filmmakers in years to come.

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Good idea lost in the noise
Carl_Tait25 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
The central idea of "Inception" is an interesting one: technology exists to enter other people's dreams in order to steal their most private secrets or to implant new ideas. With Christopher Nolan of "Memento" fame as writer and director, this should have been a smart, compelling movie. Unfortunately, "Inception" is a bloated failure.

The root problem is that Nolan replaces the fascinating surrealism of dream worlds with lengthy outtakes from James Bond movies. For example, early in the film, when Cobb and Ariadne are sitting at a café in a dream world, Cobb tells Ariadne to stay calm. What's going to happen? Is the waiter going to bring her a glass full of wriggling eyeballs? Is she going to turn around and see her best friend from high school having sex with Abraham Lincoln? No. THINGS START EXPLODING. And that's the whole movie in a nutshell: gaudy special effects and endless fight scenes as a poor substitute for imaginative ideas.

The matryoshka-doll plot of dreams within dreams isn't nearly as hard to follow as one might imagine. This is largely because nothing of consequence happens at higher levels once our heroes have moved on to deeper levels. The higher-level supporting actors just fight off bad guys -- and overblown special effects -- until it's time to bring back their colleagues from the depths.

Nolan should sit back, watch a few of the best movies by Luis Bunuel and David Lynch, and try again with one-tenth the budget and ten times the imagination. (Okay, that's never gonna happen, but it's *my* dream.)
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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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seabrapalma24 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I will try not to repeat some of what others have so brilliantly written in some reviews. I just add this in order to contradict the hype that has allowed this movie to be ranked so high in IMDb. The same has been happening with other movies, and that is a shame for IMDb, which is becoming unreliable.

I want to stress the fact that the only complexity in this movie is trying to figure out how you can invest so much money in a script that continuously makes a fool of the average critic intelligent viewer! The story is not complex. It is deliberately confusing in order to conceal its stupidity. Nothing that really matters is explained in the movie.

And there's so many embarrassing clichés (the recruiting of the team, the episode in Mombassa, the assault of the ice fortress, many of the action sequences)... the average viewer must be disappointed!

And the dreams - which serve as the scenario to most of the movie - are populated by the utmost lack of imagination.

Finally, there's the score, louder and louder, building a suspense that is never there, for everything is a dream, and we do not quite catch what there is exactly that can go wrong...

Well, all in all, the movie is an insult to the average intelligent viewer and, having been directed by Christopher Nolan, an ultimate disappointment.
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You are not as stupid as Christopher Nolan thinks you are.
Egg_MacGuffin19 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Unless you call this movie a masterpiece. Then you are.

Damn 1,000 word limit. Gotta make this quick.


The film is 2.5 hours long, yet feels like 5.2, and there are a few reasons for this. One of which is the fact that a preponderance of the first act is amateurish, conflict-free exposition, which does not bode well for repeat viewings.

The "learning about the dream world" scene is atrocious. No conflict. Both Leo and Page's characters already knew what was being explained. The similar "learning about the matrix" scene in The Matrix did it right by having one character not know anything. Plus, there was conflict. Neo gets his ass kicked and fails to make the building jump. Much more entertaining.

There's another problem with the whole section of bending the landscape where Leo explains the negative aspects of altering the dream world. The closest we get to seeing the dream world altered was Leo becoming Mr. Charlie, yet the most that happens then is a bunch of extras turn and look at Leo. That's it. The idea was not exploited. You literally have to go out of your way to miss that opportunity. Hell, that Mr. Charles scene is shorter than the scene that explains why altering the dream world is bad!

Let's not forget this whole idea of one corporation one-upping another has absolutely no personal ramifications for anyone on screen or in the audience. It would have greatly amped up the internal conflict if Leo had to struggle with the notion that helping the guy who could help him would endanger someone else close to him, or us, or someone else. ANYTHING could have worked better than an energy contract that means less to me than my neighbor's bath mat. Come on.

The totems were handled very poorly. All we need to know is their purpose. We don't need to know anything else, yet the film keeps piling on needless information.

If this is a heist film, where is the threat of being caught?

A van falls for an endless amount of time. Joseph Gordon-Levitt floats bodies down a hallway for half an hour, real-time. The guy from Bronson does his thing, whatever the hell that was. These are not complex tasks or events, but rather straight-forward in nature. Dragging them out for a solid chunk of the film is what creates the glacial pace and makes a long film seem even longer.

Inception has no real villain. You can make a case for Cotillard, but she is an internal enemy. She never takes a "physical" presence and never threatens anyone except Leo. Everyone else is dealing with faceless assassins. That makes it feel distant from the rest of the action. It doesn't even have anything to do, emotionally, with Leo's goal of getting home to see his kids. None of this is tied together. Leo didn't even know what the hell was going on with Cillian and never even knew of the outcome until after the fact. He's separated from the physical manifestation of his goal for a majority of the film. I ended up not caring if the plan succeeded. If it was all somehow tied together, the audience would be able to experience that great emotional catharsis that everyone was talking about...but that didn't happen.

In fact, Leo is so separated from the actual plot that you can literally put Levitt in his place and not even need the hero in the dream world at all! Hell, you can even put Page there, since all she does after designing the boring and lifeless dream worlds is hang out with the guys and tell Leo he's crazy. I really wish she had something else to do besides play the part of the fifth wheel.

Leo's lack of involvement in the main action of the story creates a 'so what?' moment when the problem is solved for him, and I can think of absolutely no reason why the hero should not be the one to conquer the main conflict. Brody kills the shark in Jaws. He doesn't send Hooper and Quint out to do his dirty work while he stays behind to deal with his fear of water. It's integrated. The hero is forced into dealing with the physical, and in turn, but learn to conquer his internal fears before he can conquer his external opponent. This is Screen writing 101, Lesson 1, and Nolan got that wrong. That's why I don't believe the reports that he spent 10 years writing the script since it only took me 148 minutes to figure out exactly what was wrong with it.

Not to mention the conceit that to enter someone else's dream and control it means that you would have to control your own subconscious, which they state elsewhere is impossible. Way to go, genius.

Pretty much everything this film does wrong, The Matrix does right. Watch that instead.

PS: The 'taking a scene from the middle and putting it at the beginning' gag reached its peak effectiveness in 2002 and has absolutely no place in modern films. It's getting as bad as that tired old 'It's all a dream' scenario. Oh, wait...
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Insipid – The pointless film.
RIK-2226 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I have to say to make such an impressive trailer and such an uninteresting film, takes some doing.

Here you have most of the elements that would make a very good film. You have great special effects, a sci-fi conundrum, beautiful visuals and good sound. Yet the most important part of the film is missing. There is no plot, character or soul to this film. It's like having a beautiful building on the outside with no paint or decoration on the inside.

It's an empty shell of a film. There is no tension; you couldn't care less about any of the characters, why were they even motivated to do what they did. Helping a corporation get "one over" on another corporation is hardly saving the human race.

When you operate in a dream environment, where you can't die or be injured really it means there is nothing to worry about, who cares what happens. All the explosions and actions sequences are just meaningless. By the way, why does Hollywood still keep filming action scene's an inch away from every characters nose? It's impossible to see what's going on, so many films are ruined by this. Watch and learn from the Matrix, take the camera backwards a couple of feet and we can actually work out what's going on.

So 2 and half hours of looking at my watch waiting for the very predictable ending, is a million miles from being a good film. How anyone in their right mind can give this 10/10, it's boring and pointless. A film has stir the soul, has to grab you, you need to feel for the characters. Can anyone, honestly say, they cared about anyone on show here.

By the way, here's an idea, why don't you bring the children (who haven't aged a minutes since you last saw them) to you, if you can't go to the US.

I know the end scene was trying to be ambiguous, but the fact his father, who lives in Paris, is bizarrely there in the US to meet him (how did he know) and the children look identical to every dream sequence they appeared in, means there wasn't much doubt.

In the end there is nothing at stake for anyone, so a pointless movie. I suspect Nolan will continue to get praise, but I can't really say I've got excited about any of his movies. They all leave me cold. They are not terrible, just there's nothing really there, no substance.
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Boring, too long, illogical, awful dialogue
mach1ne20 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This film really let me down.

I didn't expect a great film but I expected something that was at least 'OK'.

How wrong I was. I honestly can't understand the hype. 'Intelligent' they say?? What sort of intelligent film has to have it's protagonists explain what is happening continuously throughout the film?? Now Memento, that was a good film. And, I suppose, 'intelligent'. But by intelligent, I mean something that pushes boundaries of the viewer's understanding. I don't mean intelligent as in 1) able to do simple arithmetic, 2) develop reading and writing skills and 3) generally being one notch above a dolphin.

OK, let's make a start shall we? Firstly, one of the greatest literary and cinematic arts is the use of metaphor. This film has none. One thing the film is full of is too much explanatory dialogue (not to mention pre-teen psychology - the father figure relationship in the subconscious). For example, in the first Matrix film, the viewer understands the profundity of what is being delivered through metaphor (a feature that the subsequent Matrix films sadly missed). In this film here, everything is painstakingly explained. To me, this speaks volumes.

Secondly, great actors, yes. BUT ALL miscast and given appalling dialogue in an appalling script. I mean, Ellen Page was great in Juno, but here she comes out with painfully mechanical lines in the same way that Joseph Gordon-Levitt also does. In the same way that every character does. They ALL speak the same way and we are no better understanding one character by the end of the film than we were when they first appeared.

Thirdly, logic. Philosophy. Call it what you want. Why was Ariadne chosen to become the architect? What does she actually DO??

And Ken Watanabe. Why is he alive after dying on the third or fourth level 'down' in the subconscious after the film so adamantly stresses the dangers of dying in the 'dream'? How can he wake up on the plane?? Why, in fact, is there that scene at the start of the film where he appears old and which features the safe and the confidential papers Leonardo De Caprio finds.

Why does Leonardo De Caprio constantly have to furrow his brow? Oh, yes, it's a vain attempt to look mean and manly because the poor man still has, unfortunately for him, such a baby face.

Why is Cillian Murphy's character chosen to be their means of helping LDC's character get back to his kids? And isn't it convenient to have a dream sequence in a blockbuster that resembles a James Bond film snow-covered chase scene? Why does the film have to go on for two and a half hours instead of one and a half? And most importantly, if Leonardo De Caprio's character is so severely screwed up about his wife why, o why does he have to be the main character in this film? Couldn't the team work with someone more well-balanced?? Can he in fact be any use to his kids if he eventually finds them???

Nonsense nonsense nonsense. Big pile of nonsensical psycho-babble. And yes, where else but America???
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Overrated because it makes people "feel" smart...
mreesesh4 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Christopher Nolan has done some great work.

His ideas and direction singlehandedly gave new life to the beloved superhero Batman.

While the film Dark Knight will always be recognized to the new dimensions it added to the classic Batman series of movies and comics, Inception was nothing more than a dull and linear plot, surrounded by and an even duller and more linear plot.

The centerpiece of this movie was supposed to be its convoluted storyline which was scattered across multiple levels, in essence puzzle that forces the viewer to think through the movie and decipher the ending.

The concept of "levels" and or "interconnected plots" worked very well for such great films such as the Matrix, 2001 A Space Odyssey, Logan's Run, or Total Recall. Inception not only miserably fails at this but it also lacks in other places as well.

-Characters: Great actors, whom have all done great work in many movies spanning decades. However the characters in this movie came off as neutered eunuchs who lacked sense, emotion, and any sort of cohesiveness. (Sir Michael Caine and Tom Berenger's performances were appalling and the "team" of dreamers lacked screen dynamics and chemistry.)

-Action: For a dream world, the action in this movie is very unimaginative and is well within the typical Hollywood bounds. Car cash scenes where the heroes drive and shoot, building shootouts, and melodramatic bullet wounds (as always one character is wounded critically, the team must save him; however the character can still "fight".)

-Plot: This movie could have easily been over within 1 hour of rolling. Not only was Inception's "puzzle ending" blatantly obvious 40 mins into the film, but the storyline it self lacked any substance or draw. The overly complicated "puzzle piece" effect which Nolan was trying to achieve, was nothing more than the main story line being surrounded by excessive fluff and whimsical bullplop.

*I will credit the movie with one notable mention. Nolan managed to work a Matrix style fight scene (which have been overdone by Hollywood since the early 2000s) into the small confines of an elevator.

In the ending, Inception is not the great rave that many make it out to be. While the movie takes place in a "dream world", where bounds are limitless, the movie itself is sterile, cliché, repetitive, and unimaginative. This is even further compounded by one dimensional characters, and a drawn out storyline that pretends to be an enigma.

Perhaps Christopher Nolan's true intent was to make a sterile and lack luster movie aimed strictly at making today's self-absorbed and obtuse Facebook-hipster generation feel "smart".

Inception can be compared to a class presentation where the student is unprepared. To hide this, the student uses convoluted and circular logic to stammer through the presentation and pass the time. It is obvious that the student knows nothing and has wasted several minutes talking about a subject that could have been explained in seconds. Nonetheless, since the student used "big words", talked excessively, and is deemed to be in the "mainstream" the class gives a standing ovation regardless...
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A tool of hope.
BiiivAL5 June 2018
Have you ever felt like waking up from a dream to see its continuation? This idea disturbs Christopher Nolan ever since he was 16. Already in the future, as he developed this idea in his head, he was visited by another captivating feeling. And what if it were possible to study and manage the place of sleep? Now the British cinematographer is 39 years old, and the world has finally come to the opportunity to get to know what Nolan was so stunning, fast and loud all these years. "The Beginning" is a sci-fi thriller about the architecture of the mind. If for some reason this has not yet become a reason for the strongest intrigue, it is never too late to recreate it.

Philosophy of Nolan. It is simple and at the same time terrifyingly exceptional. Making your environment think like you. To share all the events happening together. Experiencing the same difficulties. Strive to hold together for the hands to achieve the impossible. Making unusual things happen in the usual way. The topic can be continued, and its brief description will remain unchanged. Any person with whom you work, whether an actor or someone else, will always be completely imbued with the material that you yourself wrote, if this material is perceived by every person at the deepest personal level.

Fans of the series "LOST" could have done the same thing with "Star" as they did with every series of the popular, now in the old days, series. Probably, for a reason, at the end of the day, a percentage of people will be drawn, what from wild ecstasy after watching will obviously lose consciousness in the most positive sense? The name of the film company Nolan "Syncopy" from the ancient Greek era means the medical term of fainting, loss of consciousness. I'm not talking about plot similarities with the term. And the logo of his film company, whose foundation happened in the year 99, has absolutely identical design as the "Start" screensaver. In the picture, the characters Paige and DiCaprio get acquainted in the same place where Nolan once met his future wife and constant working partner. And this is not all "Easter eggs". From the skyscrapers of Tokyo to the snowy peaks of Calgary, from the exoticism of the Moroccan Tangier to the picturesque streets of Paris, from historic London to modern-day Los Angeles. The scale that Nolan saw from the emotional journey of his painting could not fit in a modest framework, so the shooting process affected 4 continents and 6 so different countries.

To make the dreams look as real as possible, the director once again followed his eternal principle and tried to maximally abandon computer graphics. Whether it's a revolving corridor 30 meters long built in Cardington, or the busiest street in Paris, mass explosions are caused by nothing else than nitrogen under high pressure. Impressive buildings in the Canadian Calgary provided work for thousands of local residents for six months. Their efforts could not justify themselves fully due to the fact that on approaching the crew to the place of direct filming, for a long time there was not much needed snow. He "fell out", creating for the creators is another problem due to the fact that did not stop a very long period. Arriving in early August in Morocco, a big unexpected success for the creators was the acquaintance with the local team, with whose help Hollywood partially took off more than one blockbuster in the territory of this African country. And the street traffic of Los Angeles was cleaned by the railroad train, behind the wheel of which was everyone's favorite Jim Wilkie. The same guy who ran an eighteen wheeled wagon in the "Dark Knight". This is only a small part of what the "Beginning" shakes.

DiCaprio amazes us with one of the most difficult characters of recent times, which is largely due to the care and personal affection that Leo showed to Cobb. Together with Marion Cotillard, they create a screen couple capable of enveloping the soul of any viewer. I've never seen anything like it and close. The talented Hollywood youth in the faces of Page and Gordon-Levitt demonstrate a full understanding of the color range and levels of brightness of the characters assigned to them. Tom Hardy, performing the imitator, brought to the picture a significant share of charisma. And Killian Murphy finally embodied an image that has long been very curious to him. In May 2009, Nolan offered him absolutely any role, and he chose the "Client". And Ken Watanabe ... As in the case with the other images, we all will long try to disassemble this character, which is a very important and charismatic question for us. Each of his actors, Nolan asked not to tell anything about the plot, even to their families.

Quite symbolic is the fact of the presence in the film of the song of Edith Piaf. After all, for the image of Edith Piaf in the film "Life in pink" in 2007, Marion Cotillard received a statuette of Oscar for Best Actress. Hans Zimmer paid close attention to the creation of the track, not so much to the stunning visual component of the picture, but to the emotional world of the main characters. It's always evident when Hans is captured by the storyline of the picture for which he is going to work, and "Beginning" is no exception. Filling the rich sensory undercurrent on the screen with a wonderful musical series, Hans did not leave behind his own imagination, allowing himself to go beyond the usual framework in the hope of looking where they would lead him. From here came the guitar, played on which none other than Johnny Marr of the band "The Smiths". For any of us, there is a difference in choice, when deciding whether it is worth chasing us for a happy moment or total happiness as such? Also here. Despite the speed with which you develop on the screen a completely different action - you want to keep up with it. Our feelings are awakened in the most active ways because of the resource that causes in us a similar instinct to comprehension and further awareness. This tape is a symbol of the whole structure of our everyday perception of what surrounds us in the material and immaterial world. A symbol that is itself the architect of a bridge connecting two opposite sides.

Incredible and colossal, difficult-procedural result of the most outstanding artistic production in all spheres of film production. A movie that will never leave your mind, demanding from you its regular revision. The movie, which you will discover with each new show for yourself in a new way. A mad, multi-level, impressive plot production, attached to the deepest actor images. Infinitely rich semantic context and visual component. All this is a combination of the greatest cinematic experience that Nolan dragged through all these years. He would never have become a director of N1 in the modern world if he were not true, loving his family by a man. And this is the most important thing. That - with what all "Begins" ...

A rare dream that survived so many years ...

Film of the Decade.
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hopefully more people who rightly thought this was rubbish
grumpy-324 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
easily one of the worst films ever made, that some critics fell for it, just shows how bad today's professional critics have become. no doubt all the 14 to 18 year old Nolan fan boys are going to attack all of us, that have seen through this psycho babble non sense. ultimately the worst thing about the film is that it was utterly boring, from start to finish. at no time to you feel anything for any characters, the dialogue is of such a juvenile nature he must have got a 14 year old to write it. the guy has no idea of what dreams are what takes place during them, i will not go into any philosophical or psychological discussion here as the film does not warrant them, giving there is no sense in anything that is said or done. like dark knight this will have its time in the sun and in a few years the very same people who raved about it will wonder why. as for the ending with the top still spinning telling the audience that anyway it was all still a dream, totally makes the whole exercise futile. shame that a once good film maker has gone right up his proverbial
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(Spoiler) Did You See It? Did You Really See it?
RedLime20 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I couldn't agree with Kimba more. There is nothing to this film other than the special effects and crappy action sequences. The obvious story line is just as simple as the story in the Matrix and was hijacked form the same philosophy books that have been around for thousands of years.

What They Wanted You To See:

The special effects are very well done but reminded me of when I was thirteen and learned how to bend corners in photo-shop, for the next three month any picture I created in photo-shop had all the corners bent, I was so excited to show off my newly acquired skill. Same thing with the special effects in this film. How many times do I need to see Gordon- Levitt running, fighting and falling against the walls and ceilings in the hotel room scene? How many times do I have to see the buildings crumble and the van falling in slow motion. I get it, I get it, they figured out how to do this and they are excited to show it off. Great special effects, I would have been in awe regardless of what the plot line was...

Just for me the quality of a good movie is one which you enjoyed and would love to see again. Although this movie does inspire some non-independent thinking and conversation; what I am hearing about this film is that many walked out without understanding it, by their own admission, and have no intention of seeing it again. If I saw this movie being played on cable I would flip the channel so fast it would make my TV smoke. But with that said, this will be another cult movie with the same old cult following, bah bah...

You Do Not See This Because You Are Not Aware That You Are Dreaming A Dream Within A Dream:

Here is the great part. The movie has a secondary plot line. Forget the whole dream idea and whether he is or he is not in a dream and who's dream he is in and why the kids are in the precisely same position, age and outfits in the last scene as they are in DiCaprio's previous recollections. Apparently the character of Leonardo DiCaprio is based on Nolan; the director. The film is about making a movie. DiCaprio is the director, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the producer, Ellen Page is the screenwriter, Tom Hardy is the actor, Dileep Rao is the technical guy, Ken Watanabe is the money man behind the movie and Cillian Murphy is the audience.

Do You Hear The Music?:

The whole movie is explaining to the audience and the staff that you must create a semi believable world for the victim, the mark, the audience to be drawn in to. Its about scouting a location, creating a world and getting the audience lost in it, giving the director enough time to plant a non-original idea, such as, "What a great movie this was!"

Anyone feel sorry for Cillian Murphy / Robert Fisher, Jr. because he was getting screwed with? well thats not Murphy that was getting screwed with, its all of us!

Is Your Inner Ear Intact After All That Imax Noise, Because Here Comes Your Kick:

According to DiCaprio's character or Nolan, If you alter the dream world too much, like Ellen Page did in DiCaprio's dream, the victim's/audience's subconscious will turn on you, realizing its fake/ a dream, and will turn on the manipulator of the dream, thus the screenwriter, director, etc. and become disengaged from the film/dream and wake-up, "good afternoon, I am glad to see that you are awake."

Do You Remember Any Of It?:

Do you remember when the original "Architect" gets killed off in the beginning? Well apparently it is very common in the movie industry to replace/remove the first screen writer. If you watch some of the interviews with DeCaprio he says that he is studying Noal for his character in the film, now you know why.

Now, wipe off the morning-glory from your eyes and go outside and play.
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Totally simple story for an idiot dressed up with special effects and nothing more
laura_macleod27 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I cannot understand why this movie is rated so highly, it is infantile in its storyline and soooo boring. My young teen son was raving about it and forced me to go to it, he was very happy that I was there the 2nd time as I was able to wake him up from the total brainwashing of modern movie making Hollywood style. First of all take a very lousy infantile script and dress it up with all kinds of jargon about dreams and subconscious but in fact the story makes no sense at all and has a crude central storyline that is ridiculous - a teenager could make it up. Next take a good smattering of Hollywood A list actors to make it look slick. Get a fantastic stunt crew and great special effects team to make this silly stupid storyline look amazing and keep a bunch of immature easily duped people in their seats for two hours thinking they are watching ground breaking cinema but in fact are watching a story that does not have any substance and a plot that is fit for a 14 year old. Meanwhile the 14 year old mindset believes in the illusion of the picture and gets 'hooked in' with the violence and the extra wow factor of Hollywood over the top visual blackmail. Once I had exposed this trickery to the 14 year old who by the way woke up and saw it for what it was, meaningless tripe, it was worth the entrance fee just for that. Don't waste your time.
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