Inception
Year:
2010
Country:
USA, UK
Genre:
Crime, Thriller, Action, Adventure, Mystery, Sci-Fi
IMDB rating:
8.7
Director:
Christopher Nolan
Ellen Page as Ariadne
Tom Hardy as Eames
Ken Watanabe as Saito
Dileep Rao as Yusuf
Cillian Murphy as Robert Fischer
Tom Berenger as Peter Browning
Pete Postlethwaite as Maurice Fischer
Michael Caine as Miles
Lukas Haas as Nash
Tai-Li Lee as Tadashi
Claire Geare as Phillipa (3 years)
Storyline: Dom Cobb is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb's rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible-inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming.
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Reviews
Inception; Christopher Nolan's masterpiece?
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.
2010-07-15
Vacuous
No, not intellectually: there's tons of thought (or at least editing) going on in this film. But there's no characterization, there's no heart (Leo's one anguished cry of "Jesus, noooo!" isn't "heart," it's badly directed overacting), and, worst of all, there's no morality.

I'm an ill-tempered, outspoken, foul-mouthed termagant (that by way of explanation for those about to call me a right-winger, a teabagger, or a prude), but when I watched this thing I was dumbstruck not on an intellectual level (oh, golly gee, we're dream-diving! Like in "The Matrix," only inside brains instead of a mainframe! Wow. Uh, sure.) but on a moral one. See, the film has NO PROTAGONIST. It has criminals, it has those who facilitate those criminals' activities, and it has a victim. That's all.

And, yes, I had-- and have-- a real (or is that "real"-- see, I'm of the camp that thinks the whole sorry mess took place in Cobb's bigger mess of a head) problem with that.

Almost no one (I would have opted for a plain, sweeping "No one," no "almost," but I recall one review among dozens and dozens that hit on what I'm about to say) seems to see anything wrong with the idea that Cobb and his crew are (ostensibly-- pretermitting for the time being the perpetual argument regarding whether the whole sorry scenario is or isn't a dream) performing an act of mental violation on an innocent man. Why is this? The action isn't that impressive (even the infamous hotel-corridor sequence)-- yes, Nolan does "loud" and "in your face" very well, but the Bond films have been doing more breathtaking and cleanly shot action work for four decades now. (I actually laughed out loud when Cobb and Arthur, decked out in pimp-fashion leather coats and stocking masks, shouted threats at kidnapped Robert Fischer in a dream-warehouse-- not, of course, to be confused with a warehouse of dreams (that might invoke imagination): what, you couldn't just have your goons strong-arm a kidnappee in the "real" world, Nolan? This is as creative as you can get?) We can't just proffer "Cobb must see his kids again at any cost!" as an excuse-- or can we? (I would certainly hope not.) Is it because Fischer is a Caucasian businessman, and therefore intrinsically deserving of attack in this economically volatile era? (The argument that Fischer's business rival Saito is somehow bravely trying to prevent Fischer from forming a monopoly is weak at best: that's what anti-monopoly laws are for, and, by agreeing to attack Fischer on Saito's behalf, Cobb is merely enabling Saito to form a monopoly of his own. And, seriously, inception and/or extraction would be ridiculously iffy forms of espionage. Break into the safe inside my skull, Cobb my boy, and enjoy the five hundred verses of "I'm 'Enry the Eighth, I Am" I've got planted there.) Or is it, possibly worst of all, because Cobb and his goons "kindly" leave Fischer with happy thoughts of his coldhearted father? (From monopolies to psychiatry, then: if Robert Fischer has daddy issues, that's what analysts are for. Cobb and his stampeding creeps are in Fischer's mind to commit a crime; any "resolution" they provide him is a byproduct of that crime, and resoundingly, cruelly false.)

We might argue that Cobb and his crew are anti-heroes, but they're not. "The Dirty Dozen" are anti-heroes, criminals and psychopaths nonetheless working for the forces of good by fighting an evil greater than themselves (that evil being the nasty Nazis); Dom Cobb is nothing more than a thief (and, despite the ad copy, not a very good one) perpetrating an insidious act of mental rape against an innocent man (and, by extension, all those who rely on that innocent man's business for their livelihoods). Why all the sympathy for this thug and his crew? What's the catch? When children are involved, or when guilt (real or imagined) is in the mix, are we just supposed to chuck morality out the window...? (The last sad thing, I guess: No one on the team, not even newbie Ariadne-- and, granted, she's likely either a figment of Cobb's imagination, like the story as a whole, or a plant-- questions the "right" of what they're doing. Not only does this make me deeply uncomfortable, it's incredibly shallow writing. An opportunity for character development, tossed. But that's classic Nolan, isn't it? If he can't cover it with an iconic grunt-- "She was lovely," Arthur deadpans to Ariadne, when Ariadne asks what nasty dream-shade Mal was like when she was alive (heck, Arthur, she's still, technically, "lovely"; we were looking for maybe just a touch of explanation here regarding her relationship with Cobb and the team, big boy)-- it doesn't get covered.) Or, in the end, are we just supposed to excuse the immorality of the situation by saying, "Ha! It's all a dream anyway!"? Very much bothered by this, especially since this behemoth has gulped down some one billion dollars in box-office take worldwide....

... and that's why I'm giving it two stars. Cillian Murphy looks very nice in his natty suits, and he cries very prettily before Nolan realizes that-- horrors!-- someone is emoting on screen, and jerk-cuts away. Marion Cotillard does her best to squeeze dimensionality from yet another one-d Nolan-woman part; as Mal, she's a sad, psychotic, lovely mess. One star for each of them. As for the rest of it: what a pathetic reflection on values, and what a lousy story. Excellent snow-job, Mr. Nolan, but no star for you.
2010-11-25
Boring, too long, illogical, awful dialogue
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???
2010-07-20
A nightmare.
This movie is a disaster on many levels, but where it fails most miserably is at attempting to put dreams on screen. This movie is the most un-dreamy movie ever made, and as critics have said since the beginning of moving pictures, watching a movie is like dreaming with your eyes open. Colin McGinn covers this in great depth in his book "The Power of Movies", in which he discusses the spatio-temporal discontinuity in films: the camera can record a given scene and then leap to another place and time entirely. This is what movies do! Nolan treats this heavy-handed hopping about as if he's discovered something. What he's lost is the mysterious, moody, enigmatic quality of dreams, the tremendous emotional wallop. "Inception" is so detailed, so measured, with constant explication, that nothing is left to the imagination. How ironic is that? And to fill a movie about dreams with carefully designed car chases, gun battles, and mayhem of all kind...it's anti-dreaming. I've never watched a film so awake, so aware of itself, so full of itself. A hundred years from now when cultural historians look at this era of Runaway Bigism - Big Government, Big Corporations, Big Bodies! - they can use over-blown and spiritually empty films like this (and "Dark Knight") as good examples of what ruined the country. Wretched excess.
2010-07-24
Intellectual?
Inception didn't bring anything fresh and original like everybody's claiming it has and calling this an intellectual movie is an insult. It tried, but it didn't succeed due to poor, nonsensical writing.

The soundtrack doesn't match the movie, it's too suspenseful in a movie with no suspense whatsoever.

The mission is something I can't really connect with and I don't know who can really.

There was really no sense of any danger at any point as it was all in a dream(s) and the limbo idea didn't make any sense. And by using that limbo concept on the character you couldn't care less if he lived or died, come on, who would care about a multi-millionaire asshole that's trying to get even richer by destroying his competition? He couldn't go back to the US because "They think I killed her"? Is that how the law works now, there was no evidence that he killed her, no witnesses, nothing, he would never be convicted for it, Leonardo, go back and go to court please ;-) They could have used more imaginative dream worlds instead of Dark knights Gotham city in day time, James Bond ice Fortress style and a Matrix like corridor (hallway).

The faceless subconscious militia, booooring. Or maybe the problem is that the subconscious of all of these people have no imagination. How come there was no crazy dream like scenes in a movie about dreaming? My dreams are much more interesting than the scenes of this movie...

I could go on and on but I just want to lower this high rating, because 9 out 10 is 3 or 4 more than this movie deserves.
2010-11-10
Nolan's first true masterpiece
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: http://thedeletedscene.wordpress.com
2010-07-12
Pretentious crowd pleaser
It is obvious people do enjoy psychological thrillers, virtual reality, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Inception, having it all, will astonish and marvel crowds of cinema goers into thinking they are smart and profound just for getting or liking the movie. I have to say, I admire the movie's performance into tricking its viewers like that; because that's what it is, a trick. A dream within a dream, and doesn't that sound attractive...

It is the kind of movie that gets nominated for Oscar just for its crowd pleasing abilities, and Oscars are born within the capitalist world and needs all the capital it can get. Just like Avatar got nominated in the "best movie" category... I've read some review saying Inception could be the movie of the decade; obviously, the guy didn't see that many movies in the last ten years; there are better movies in 2010 only, and a bunch of them.

I'm not saying the movie is bad; it's a good movie for its genre; what I didn't like about it is the fuss it created (and that fuss will disappear like it disappeared before for other crowd adored films), but mostly its lack of authenticity, therefore its PRETENTIOUSNESS.

This is not a gem - it is a pile of dust in the eyes.
2011-02-09
Over-hyped
A competent movie that somehow has gotten a ridiculous amount of praise. I felt just about everything in this movie was average, but I am sick of being berated for refusing to say this movie is anything less than perfect. A decent premise, well acted, but long and slow. Unfortunately this movie is riddled with mistakes and the subplot with the wife could have been so much more interesting than her barely getting a look in. Some good moments, but not enough to make it as long as it was for me.

Also, was it just me, or were the kids the same age at the end of film? If so then doesn't this mean that the is he in a dream or not ending (which I saw coming as soon as they introduced the spinning top by the way) is pointless as if the kids haven't aged, it must be a dream.

Don't believe the hype!
2010-08-15
Almost a waste of time
The 150 minutes in the theater seemed like 1500 minutes.

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

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

Anyway I went because of the hype. Should have known better. But then, it was a dollar theater and Sunday night when Texas Rangers and Steelers both were losing. So, it was OK.
2010-11-01
Easily one of the biggest rip-offs I have ever seen.
This show is excellent. No doubt about it. But so much of this show is an absolute rip off from the anime movie Paprika by Satoshi Kon. As much as I would like this show if it wasn't for not having seen Paprika first, the only problem is, I have.

It ain't exactly the same. But I felt its close enough. Implanting a memory through a dream, that's the exact same premise of both stories.

For anyone who has seen Paprika, you may find an awful lot of similarities here and it is truly showing that America needs to find something better to do than copy other people's works.

Nevertheless, besides my cynical behaviour, I applaud this series for what it has managed to achieve to do, as it has one of the greatest fan bases a modern movie can ask for and I still don't feel that it is overrated. I just feel that it was far too similar to Paprika.
2013-03-13
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