Reviews

Inception

4

Leonardo wants to get inside you…

Inception review

For a film that revolves around its entire cast being asleep, Christopher Nolan’s latest is anything but restful.

Zone out for 10 seconds and you’ll spend the next 10 minutes trying to catch up; miss one hurried exchange and you’ll be without a crucial piece of exposition that will have huge ramifications later.

The British director may have hit Hollywood pay-dirt with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight but he isn’t about to make things easy for his audience. Buy a ticket to Inception and you have automatically signed up for a crash course in mental gymnastics.

Those who have followed Nolan’s career from the fiendish reversals of Following to the conjuring act of The Prestige via the chronological conundrums of Memento will be at least partly prepared for where Inception takes them.

It soon becomes clear, though, that those movies were merely preambles to the main event: a conceptual coup that, in dealing with the shifting logic and fractured reality of dreams, frees itself from the need to satisfy any conventions, formulae or expectations.

Yet Nolan is too much of a showman not to entertain. He might ask us to work a little but he rewards us handsomely – not only in car chases, gun battles and other staples of action cinema, but also in jaw-dropping FX trickery that turns the alt-world he has created on its flawlessly realised head.

An opening salvo finds Leonardo DiCaprio’s Dom Cobb – a hi-tech thief who sneaks into the psyches of unsuspecting marks to pilfer valuable corporate secrets – run for his life inside a dream that literally collapses around him in a shower of exploding woodwork and masonry.

Not long afterwards he is on the run again through a Mombassa flea market, a pulse-pounding sequence with enough kinetic energy to invite flattering comparisons with Point Break or the Bourne films.

But if there’s a template for Inception, though, it is probably Mission: Impossible, Cobb’s next assignment – a trip inside the subconscious of wealthy businessman Cillian Murphy to plant an idea instead of stealing one – requiring the recruitment of various clever-clogs with vital individual skills.

In a movie not overburdened with a sense of fun, the hiring of Ellen Page’s Ariadne – an ‘architect’ able to create the landscape of a dream from scratch – and particularly Tom Hardy’s Eames – a ‘forger’ able to assume the identities of people within it – offers a welcome respite from the generally sombre tone.

Indeed, Inception is probably at its most purely enjoyable in these early scenes, Hardy’s bickering banter with Leo’s right-hand man Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) adding a perky frisson to characters that might otherwise have been no more than functional ciphers.

In terms of levity, though, that’s as good as it gets. For once Dom and co. have infiltrated Murphy’s brain things get deadly serious, Nolan introducing a ticking-clock element that steeps all that follows in palm-sweating urgency.

Sending his plot spiralling into four different levels of slumber, Nolan sets his heroes a series of life or death challenges that need to be solved in driving rain, high-altitude snow and, in one Matrix-style stand-out, zero gravity.

Not only that, but he also introduces a lethal rogue element: alluring ‘shade’ Mal (Marion Cotillard), a ghost from DiCaprio’s past who stalks his own subconscious looking for ways to screw stuff up.

Next: Inception review conclusion[page-break]

Inception review

Weren’t paying attention during Cobb’s earlier tutorials with Ariadne? Well, you only have yourself to blame if you get lost down Nolan’s rabbit-hole.

To be fair, the director makes things as lucid as he can, ensuring that each dream-within-a-dream has a clearly defined visual identity and that even the most outrageous flourish – a freight train charging down a city street, for example – is painstakingly justified.

At no point do you feel anything is here for effect, or that one constituent part doesn’t interact seamlessly with those around it.

Inception may be a brilliantly audacious thrill ride, but it’s also a mechanism – a fine Swiss watch of a movie Charlie Kaufman would be proud of.

But in a way, that’s the problem. Inception may keep perfect time but it’s also a bit mechanical: an intellectual exercise that excites the senses while rarely stirring the emotions.

Beyond the satisfaction of seeing a well-planned heist unfold, there is nothing much for us to hold onto or root for.

And while DiCaprio’s unresolved history with Mal gives his character a motive, it’s not enough for us to feel for him way we did for his deluded detective in Shutter Island.

There’s no doubt Inception is a remarkable piece of work; indeed, it’s probably Nolan’s most technically accomplished to date. Yet is there a danger he’s becoming a better craftsman than he is a storyteller?

Verdict:

Nolan shifts the goalposts in a high-concept hybrid that fuses existential sci-fi and Bondian mayhem into one captivating whole. But you may just end up craving a little more human connection.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • Mattsimus

      Jul 13th 2010, 19:56

      Mmmm...well although the review is quite detailed, i somehow feel that your not quite giving it either the justice or credit it deserves, plus weaker films in the past have gotten better ratings. Not sure on your final verdict either, oh n what happened to the date that you submitted the review? 17th june 09? you saw this movie before nolan had even finished it? Wow, well done, Prestige 2 for you then...............

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    • rushton2345

      Jul 17th 2010, 0:29

      5

      I agree Mattimus, just got back from watching it, wasnt expecting what I saw. An absolute masterpiece. It deserves nothing less that 5 stars.

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    • umafan1

      Jul 17th 2010, 13:41

      5

      Amazing! Loved it! A bit confusing but when you think long and hard with it everything makes sense. Best movie of 2010 so far!

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    • rorschach

      Jul 17th 2010, 15:12

      5

      I dunno, a magazine notorious for giving 5 star reviews to movies that don't warrant it, along comes one that does and you only give it 4! Anyway, opinions and all that! But I really thought it near faultless..I mean there were problems but they were so minor that they barely registered, no film is perfect, but if that wasn't a 5 star effort then nothing is.

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    • macateb

      Jul 17th 2010, 16:48

      5

      Great story, great cast, great editing, great directing & great effects - Even if you only gave one star per 'great' that makes it a 5 star film in my opinion.

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    • DiscoStu

      Jul 17th 2010, 19:09

      5

      Absolutely the film of the year without a doubt. Visually stunning, emotionally stirring and fantastically complex without being confusing; I loved every second of it. I also completely disagree with the view that we aren't given enough motive to root for Leo's character, although I can't really explain why without spoiling too much (for me half the fun of Inception was walking into the cinema with little to no idea of what I was about to see, having deliberately avoided the majority of the film's publicity) and I though the reveals of his back story and motives were perfectly paced. Inception isn't quite as good as The Dark Knight (keep in mind I'm a MASSIVE Batman nut), although Nolan only has himself to blame for setting the bar so high!

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    • joker16

      Jul 17th 2010, 22:49

      5

      Nolan has created an incredible film that succeeds on every level. It it visually arresting, emotionally resonant and extremely entertaining. A feat that few filmmakers are able to achieve. It is wholly original and features excellent performances by DiCaprio, Levitt, Cotillard and Tom Hardy. None of Inception's special effects look like special effects, they are totally believable and awe inspiring. In a summer, or year rather, devoid of substance, Nolan has treated us to another spectacle, again showing what cinema is capable of. I rated Inception a 5 when I would have really given it a 4.5 / 5.

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    • hago1

      Jul 18th 2010, 2:08

      5

      Having just arrived home from watching INCEPTION I was looking forward to checking the "professional's" opinion of one of the best films ever made and you can guess the disgust I have for, what can only be described as, this philistine and charlatan who claims to be a film critic. No film is flawless but this is pretty damn close! THE MATRIX(a 5* film and deservedly so) dreamt of being this good.

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    • Chirurgie

      Jul 18th 2010, 3:13

      5

      Like many others, purposely avoided any spoilers (only realised it involved 'entering dreams') and was prepared to be impressed but was totally blown away by how intricate and clever this film was, will very little pandering to the audience. A movie that makes you think on many different levels and you feel the energy of the flow of the film right to the end. Which keeps you thinking long after... ps: shocking to find 4* review here! Sorry Mr. Smith (no Matrix pun intended), you need another job!

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    • Jkaltz11

      Jul 18th 2010, 11:17

      5

      A work of sheer genius, with an ending that is absolutely perfect.

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    • danclay77

      Jul 18th 2010, 11:24

      5

      Think this is off the mark - read The Independent's 1 star review - 1 star!!!!!

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    • endaoconnor

      Jul 18th 2010, 21:26

      5

      Excellent film, nice to see something original in the cinema, for that alone it deserved five stars.

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    • davidleach2000

      Jul 19th 2010, 7:44

      5

      Extraordinary! Simply breath-taking. Beautiful to look at and involving in a way most Hollywood blockbusters aren't. So obviously deserves 5 stars.

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    • davewadam

      Jul 19th 2010, 9:46

      5

      You didn't feel the emotion because you Total Film are becoming sour t**s!

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    • BobbyTwoTimes

      Jul 19th 2010, 9:49

      5

      Oh dear oh dear TF - how disappointed I am to be reading a review that belongs on the pages of that stuffy old grumpy Empire magazine! I think in a few years to come when you do an article entitled 'Films we didn't give 5 stars but really, really should have'....Inception will be sitting right at the top of the list! Don't worry, there's still time for you to correct the error of your ways with your Blu Ray/DVD review in a few months.....

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    • sausae1984

      Jul 19th 2010, 12:08

      5

      I couldn't agree more with all the previous reviews. Quite what you would have to do to get five stars is a mystery. stunning cinematography, acting, story, pacing, concept, drama and set pieces apparently isn't enough. How about in 3D?!

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    • DanielSon74

      Jul 19th 2010, 13:17

      4

      I'm sorry but I have to agree with T.F on this one. It probably is the best film of the year with immense acting and stunning effects etc but it did lack any emotional connection on the whole. A Dad wanting to be with his kids I can connect with but this was way short of pulling the heart strings to really feel for Cobbs plight. Other than this the film is superb and can't believe some publications have given it such poor ratings. Just a small note, Tom Hardy has got to be our best actor out there at the moment. Amongst such a strong cast I thought he did more than hold his own.

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    • peatmoorpirate

      Jul 19th 2010, 14:06

      5

      I've actually registered to comment on this. This is an exceptional film which despite being complex, is perfectly accessible to anyone prepared to listen to what is going on. I can't agree with the TF 4 star marking; I know we are all allowed an opinion but to mark it down on lack of emotional connection - sorry - Cobb being separated from his kids connected with me emotionally. For a more appropriate comparison, didn't Dark Knight get 5 stars and surely that's no more emotionally involving. Mystfied by review, Loved the film.

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    • adamsparey

      Jul 19th 2010, 15:01

      5

      You got it wrong totalfilm this movie is the most refreshing film I have seen since the Matrix. Was it due to not getting to watch it before the current issue came out?

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    • GarthMarenghi

      Jul 19th 2010, 15:35

      @BobbyTwoTimes - 'Grumpy Old Empire' Gave it five stars. I agree with you that it's certainly far more worthy of a five star rating than some of the clunky shakycam guff TF occasionally fawns over, but I think this was a balanced and pretty positive review overall. Oh, and when you mentioned that feature about reviews Total Film revisited and felt embarrassed about 'getting it wrong' in years passed, it reminded me of being irked when I read that issue. I do wish they hadn't included that 3 star review of Bourne Supremacy as being an error in judgement. They were spot on the first time around...

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    • walkerc5

      Jul 19th 2010, 16:56

      5

      I agree with most of the people on here that the film easily surpassed the review given by Totalfilm. Definitely deserved 5 stars. Great film.

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    • KATELM76

      Jul 19th 2010, 17:45

      5

      BLEW MY MIND! Loved it, visually exceptional, first-rate cast (Tom Hardy is the stand out but Leo also does first-class job), it was great to watch a film where you have to think for a change! Though it doesn't help when the bloke behind you is chatting and you are trying to concentrate!!! Will definitely have to / want to go and watch it again. Overall a mind bending film with one of those annoying endings where you sit discussing the meaning of it for hours / days after! A definite 5 out of 5. Well Done Mr. Nolan - Can't wait for Batman 3.

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    • thereader

      Jul 19th 2010, 18:14

      2

      This movie is a godawful mess. Where to start - it is SO grim from start to finish. Several characters put a gun to their head or commit suicide. The script is very poor, unlike the Dark Knight there are no memorable lines for the audience to remember. Much of the time the dialogue is mumbled and inaudible. I almost walked out half way through and in the end only stayed to see the FX. Several action sequences are ruined by constant cutaways forward and back and the snow action sequence is a complete mess - the same was better directed in James Bond movies more than 20 years ago. I also noticed several continuity errors. Perhaps a rush job to have ready by this week? The relationship between Cobb and his wife has zero chemistry, we should have had at least one family scene where we are introduced early to why we would believe they were together in the first place. The architect character comes on board far too easily and does not react how a normal rational human being would when asked to come along for the ride. In contrast, Keanu Reeves' character early in The Matrix 1 made us believe in him and root for him. Am I the only one who thinks this movie was exciting in places but otherwise left you completely cold and bored?

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    • DennisDee

      Jul 19th 2010, 20:53

      5

      Christoper Nolan is a great visual raconteur. He had a great cast and composer for the film. This is the best movie of the summer perhaps year and it will blow your mind!

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    • superfurryliam

      Jul 19th 2010, 23:55

      5

      This film is out & out 5 stars. I haven't felt so stirred leaving the cinema in a long time, I instantly went back to see the film again the following afternoon. Christopher Nolan is a saviour and is breathing life back into the (very tired) Blockbuster. To only give this film 4 stars is an understatement, it is one of the most important films of the decade and flawlessly made. Can't believe TF gave Inception and Transformers 2 the same star rating... the mind boggles. Thanks for another masterpiece Mr. Nolan!

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    • frostfacechilla

      Jul 20th 2010, 0:36

      5

      Great movie and deserving of 5 stars but I feel your 4 stars was a least honest and not just giving it 5 because it's expected..

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    • mikeatfilm

      Jul 20th 2010, 19:42

      5

      I'm a little surprised at the perceived lack of human element. I was very moved by the relationship between Cobb and his wife.

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    • loopylass14uk

      Jul 20th 2010, 23:45

      5

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    • Greeny

      Jul 21st 2010, 1:27

      2

      Splendid review. As always, the Total Film critique identifies any major flaw and articulates it perfectly. The lack/failure of any emotional attachment/resonance drowns the whole thing for me. I expected to love it but was left extremely disappointed and never felt engaged to the characters or the plot. Hence my 2 star rating. However, the points you raise cannot be disputed and all credit to Nolan for being creative and novel. Total Film - keep up the great work. You are - by far - the most insightful movie bible out there. Inception - ** Total Film - *****

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    • Azazeal4eva

      Jul 21st 2010, 8:52

      5

      I think I saw a different film to some of the people here. To me the films emotion and in fact in my eyes the whole films core is feeling Guilt and Regret (not really about missing his kids) The whole 'inception' is the idea that if you can overcome your guilt and have 'no regrets' you will eventually find happiness....

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    • Ali1748

      Jul 21st 2010, 10:28

      5

      An incredible film, one of the most ambitious movies I have seen in the past ten years.

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    • ManMadeMonkey

      Jul 21st 2010, 15:54

      5

      Inception is a masterpiece. A 5-star movie if ever there was one. Almost perfect, incredibly ambitious and entertaining for every single minute of it's running time. Exceptional.

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    • andyking24

      Jul 21st 2010, 20:45

      5

      Christopher Nolan is by far the best director of his time and this film along with The Dark Knight has got him there. Truly the greatest film ever made in all history. Outstanding, mind blowing, mesmirising, awesome film making. If you asked for a score out of 100 I'd give it 99, a film that deserves a legendery status!!!

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    • davidleach2000

      Jul 22nd 2010, 12:04

      5

      I deliberately avoided reading any reviews or features about this film, the first time I've done this in years, I was spoiler free and able to experience it unfolding as Nolan had intended. This is one of the most interesting and involving film I've seen in years and one of the best I've seen in 2010. Thought-provoking, intense and adult in approach, a thoroughly meaty experience, like a cross between Casino Royale, Bladerunner and the Matrix. The freefall fight left me genuinely stunned. Cannot wait to see this again!

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    • joeymac

      Jul 22nd 2010, 13:06

      5

      Isn't it funny how the 2-star reviews in this list are generally written by people who can't string a proper sentence together. From time to time, TotalFilm runs a feature of all the films to which they've given dubious ratings over the years. This will be included in the next one. If this ain't a 5 Star film I'll eat my cat.

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    • britishlad1981

      Jul 22nd 2010, 16:17

      5

      I hate it when you read a film review where the critic seems to have deliberately tried to go against the grain, in an almost attention-seeking way. "Everyone says this is one of the best films of all time, so I will focus on one totally subjective point, and give it 4 stars..." From the idea, to the masterclass of acting, to the score, to the effects...to the emotional clout - this film delivers in spades. Really.

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    • luzanos

      Jul 22nd 2010, 18:23

      5

      I found it very emotionally involving - stunning special effects, complex storyline. Only one person got up to use the loo during the entire 2 and a half hours, something I have never seen before. And people gasped at the ending. It was like a mixture of all my favourite types of movie rolled into one.

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    • antitotalfilm

      Jul 22nd 2010, 18:52

      5

      so you totalfilm considers this film as good as borat .. retads i'm done with this mag. How could you rate 4 star a masterpiece like this one here .. excellent totalcrap. You lost a buyer by this one here .. totalcrap

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    • Greeny

      Jul 23rd 2010, 0:00

      2

      Joeymac, I very much look forward to hearing your well-written account as to how your cat tasted! It should be far more entertaining than this grossly overrated pseudo-thinking man's film!

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    • ppdoone

      Jul 23rd 2010, 1:17

      5

      This is the same magazine that gave Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen a 4 star rating upon it's cinematic release after all. And later changed it to 2 star for the DVD release. No emotion? I guess you were busy writing about possible robots for Transformers 3 anytime DiCaprio's Cobb tried to deal with his guilt over his dead wife. I really think you should stop writing reviews. Just because you use big words doesn't mean you know what you're talking about.

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    • ppdoone

      Jul 23rd 2010, 2:12

      5

      In 2008, Christopher Nolan gave us the movie of the past decade. In 2010, he's set a benchmark that I think he might even have trouble surpassing. From the opening scene until the very last frame, it is near impossible to take your eyes off this visually stunning, mind-bending masterpiece. From the score to a career-best performance from DiCaprio, Inception is near perfect. If there is a flaw with characterisation, it most certainly isn't lack of emotion, more the fact that we're mainly focused on Cobb. Which, although not a bad thing, left less room for the supporting cast. Anyone who can give any less than a 4 Star review, really has no basis to argue with someone who gave it higher as obviously the whole concept was lost on them. I bet Greeny gave Transformers: revenge of the fallen 4 Stars too

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    • blackrainpr

      Jul 23rd 2010, 7:18

      5

      just absolute perfect and beautiful, oscar nominee

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    • TheDMeister

      Jul 23rd 2010, 12:38

      5

      Perhaps not as instantly iconic as the Dark Knight but to follow up the greatest blockbuster of all time with another intelligent, action packed and stunning film is an achievement in itself. Leonardo DiCaprio is fantastic in a role that seems similar to Shutter Island. It's well cast, well acted and action packed. This is Nolan's brainchild and an exceptional one it is too.

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    • Arkhaminmate001

      Jul 24th 2010, 0:26

      2

      Beautiful to look at and an interesting concept, but for me too much was crammed into the movie - Cillian Murphy's character seems to take to the whole concept far too easily and quickly - script needed trimming back to make a far more coherent and smooth plotline. But I am becoming more and more of a fan of Leonardo's acting as he gets older, and Tom Hardy was the best thing in it - GIVE THAT MAN A BIG ROLE IN THE NEXT BATMAN MOVIE! lol He'd make an excellent villian.

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    • oldnewfashon

      Jul 24th 2010, 1:14

      This is a film that sticks very closly to the contemporary strong trend in modern film making: creating impressions through special effects (sounds and visual) rather than inspiring feelings by great dramatic acting performances, and visions directly produced by the imagination of the audience (and not forced upon us). This is a general trend and doesn't apply just to this very film. On the contrary of finding this film deep, it seems to me very much a brilliant variation of what ultimately is an action movie. Having said that, yes, a very good one at times. The layers of virtual realities are the archetyples that play a strong fascinating role in it. And this is the true element that exercise a great fascination, in watching this movie. But why, as for the matrix, these multi-dimensional planes of realities have to be explored solely on the very basics of shootings, chasings and explosions? A gentle voice, a wisper, the sound of silence can often say a thousand words and put us in touch with our deepest heart.

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    • Greeny

      Jul 24th 2010, 15:35

      2

      ppdoone, the concept wasn't lost on me, nor did I agree with TF's rating of Transformers (which in my humble opinion didn't warrant a single star). However, I find it interesting that you choose to compare the two films because, in actual fact, they share about the same amount of meaningful emotion and subtlety (i.e. next to none). That said, I totally accept that Inception offers a relatively original device upon which to construct 'action levels', as well as looking and feeling stylish throughout. It's an uncharactersitically smart example of the big budget/CGI heavy/action movie. And Nolan deserves some credit for that, as well as for enlisting such a talented cast. It's just a tad embarrassing that it seems to have spawned a sub-culture from the popcorn generation - one which yearns to be seen as thoughtful but still loves nothing more than a souless action romp. Ring any bells ppdoone?

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    • mrmagoo2020

      Jul 27th 2010, 10:47

      5

      I'm hoping i saw the same film as some of these reviewers and Total Film. This is a 5 Star movie make no bones about it. The story draws you in from the start, the action sequences are incredibly well done and there is no lull throughout. What more done you want? There are films out there that have been given better reviews and arent half as good!!! Shutter Island (Predictable) & Aviator (Over Long) being 2 of Leo's recent entries that seem to be held in higher regard. More of this type of dedication from film makers please.

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    • maxbradly

      Jul 27th 2010, 12:29

      2

      If this story was so compelling and thought provoking why was the word dream mentioned over 800 times. The only thing this film had going for it were the special effects which were excellent. The cast and acting were solid but you didn't care about any of the characters because the story was so convoluted despite the performances. The audience which were all SAG members were laughing at the end because it was so ridiculous trying so hard to make sense of the impossible.

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    • Goosniffer

      Jul 27th 2010, 17:48

      5

      It felt like a real attempt at original and intelligent storytelling. There are probably millions of flaws and i couldn't say with any authority if it was completely successful. What I can say is that when it finished I felt that I'd had an experience, and not just watched another film down finchley vue. A rare thing these days. Ps don't hate each other for having different views (peace and love and all that s**t)

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    • lilycanter

      Jul 28th 2010, 15:28

      3

      I think I sit squarely in the middle of everyone here. On the good side Inception is a blockbuster film with some brains and certainly more original than the usual drivel of remakes and reimaginings. It also has great effects and a fun fast pace. But is isn't nearly half as clever as it thinks it is. In fact it is very straight forward. What annoyed me was the 'Inception is impossible' plotline was just a ruse to explore Cobb's bereavement, and they seemed to pull off the inception as a sub-plot, with ease - there was never any sense of jeopardy. Yes suspense and breath-taking visuals but Cillian Murphy's character never questionned what was happening and there seemed no point to the dream within a dream within a dream layers, other than to explore Cobb's dreamscape. Having said all that it is a film that has got EVERYBODY talking and that is always a good thing...

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    • Amelie

      Jul 28th 2010, 19:07

      5

      I thought Inception was absolutely brilliant. It's been a long time since i've been that gripped by a film and it was so refreshing to watch something that gives your brain a workout, rather than the mind-numbing c**p i've seen elsewhere. All the performances were superb - in such an impressive cast it would have been easy for some of the characters to get lost but I thought everyone held their own very well. As everyone has been saying, I thought Tom Hardy was great. I also found Ellen Page and Joseph Gordon-Levitt very entertaining and Marion Cotillard was quite unsettling as Mal. I disagree that there was no emotional pull - the story of Cobb and Mal's relationship and the tragedy that ensued was really powerful to me. I also felt that the way Ariadne tried to break down the walls that Cobb had built around himself and help him fight his demons was quite poignant and watching their friendship evolve was fascinating. All in all I think Chris Nolan did an ace job here and whilst I liked The Dark Knight well enough, in my opinion Inception was a ****load better than old Batty.

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    • bobbyS

      Jul 29th 2010, 1:22

      5

      I'm sorry but the Criticism in this review seems a bit petty considering how original, convincing and beautifully made the film was. I was just in awe at how well executed the whole thing was, in other hands it could have been confusing and gimmicky but it blew me away.

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    • Jrdnsans1792

      Jul 29th 2010, 13:19

      5

      I don't often use the word 'breath-taking' but it definitley applies here, the best film of the decade and believe me giving it 5 stars does not do it justice, absolutely incredible. A masterpiece of a film. The one thing i can't understand TF is how can you give a terrible movie like 'Paranormal Activity' 5 stars and a superb movie such as 'Inception' only 4? I'm sorry but this time you're wrong!

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    • DonisFun

      Jul 30th 2010, 7:46

      2

      I didn’t find the film to be as good as what people have made out to be. Technically it’s brilliant, from the effects to the structure of the tale, but I was bored. I did think it was over long for the kind of story it was, and when the finale lasted about 45 mins, I got really really weary of it, I just couldn’t get into the dream within a dream within a dream storyline. This will be a film that either you will love or absolutely hate.

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    • hago1

      Aug 1st 2010, 12:01

      5

      I think that ultimately what this review and the comments on it prove is that THE TOTAL FILM REVIEW section of this magazine is flawed. I used to get a magazine in the early to mid 80s called PHOTOPLAY MOVIES and VIDEO and they had a great system. There was a panel of 5 critics and for each film there was a grid with a rating from each critic so you could trust your favourite critic or go with an average score from the combined. Now Neil Smith is entitled to his opinion but I'm sure that all the other TF critics have seen this film(possibly at the same time) and are also scratching their heads like the majority of us and maybe frustratred at Inception getting only 4stars. So to sum up let one critic review the film but let 3 or 4 others rate it aswell. It might just save the reputation of Total Film!

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    • jeffamania

      Aug 1st 2010, 20:26

      5

      I need we need to start a petition to get this movie a 5 tar rating. The lowest you can give it is 4.5 stars. Its one of the two best movies I have seen this year. The other being Shutter Island. Its the most original movie since the Matrix. Total film should be big about this and re-review it to 5 stars!!!!!!

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    • DOLLS

      Aug 4th 2010, 22:41

      5

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    • annieianko72

      Aug 5th 2010, 15:03

      5

      I am sure response to a movie is something intimate. I know it, still find it so hard to believe that someone was unable to connect to Inception emotionally. I cried because there were so many things reminding me of my own dreaming process, the tension accumulated on me and by the two crucial moments when Cobb understands he has to let go of his wife's projection and Fischer gets inside that closed part of his dream where he has the realization of his father's death, I was in tears all over it. So emotional connection was achieved, it depends where you were sitting, it depends on how much you have the intelectual and soul ability to link to that world Nolan has created. But again, it is fine when people like the one who wrote the above review, are unable to understand it. Art is definitely a means of communication and the receiver is not or cannot always on the same level. This is why the world has invented critics, to stumble upon other people's work

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    • bassthing

      Aug 6th 2010, 10:41

      5

      If Freud had written Bond this would have been the movie he made. Clearly a Nolan film because of the sheer balls this film has. Inception entertains and boggles all at once, not only because Nolan credits the audience with intelligence in presenting a complex narrative and concepts, but also because Nolan knows how to direct action bloody well. The ensemble cast work very well together, and a noteable performance from Tom Hardy was a delight to watch. A highly recommended film to see right now before you run the risk of any spoilers, and once you’ve seen it once I guarantee you’ll want to see it again as soon as possible.

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    • SamaElPrime

      Aug 9th 2010, 16:58

      5

      I have to say: I had a lot of ezpectations about the movie crazy effects will have based on the dream-bending shown in the trailers. But Y'know? Now that I think about it, if it was more dream-bending, we wouldn't be the reasonable doubt about if it whether is reality or a dream at the end of the movie. It's classic storytelling! So, in definitive, I will say: It's a masterpiece, with failed marketing. Total emphasis on masterpiece.

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    • Jambon

      Aug 10th 2010, 0:19

      1

      Strap yourself in folks - the first one star review! This film deserves no comparisons with The Matrix. That movie made my jaw drop. Inception made me yawn. I am a big Nolan fan and came out of the cinema with a horrible feeling of disappointment. The much touted special effects felt like he was shouting at the audience "look at me, look what I've came up with in my head, isn't it amazing?". And it wasn't, it was nothing like as innovative or as awe inspiring as Nolan was trying to make it. The plot was all over the place and sadly fell into traps so many based on the dream world do. And the worlds themselves were not spectacular. They were uninspired, regimented and dull. I cared nothing for any of the characters and wondered what the point in most of them were. And before those who love the movie freak out, please note that I would consider myself an ardent fan of all types of cinematic experiences and am open to watching virtually anything. It is just my opinion that Inception is all smoke and mirrors and has deceived a great many people into thinking it is something that it really isn't. I have to say that the points TF made which took this down from a 5 star review are accurate. I'm only giving it one star because a bit where Cobb's wife appeared made my mate jump and he was the only one in a packed cinema who did. Apart from that, I have worked down from 5 stars by deducting 1 star for being too long, 1 for a stumbling plot choosing style over substance, 1 for being dull and 1 for wasting my evening. Sorry folks but that is genuinely how I feel, I really didn't think I would be saying this after it :( I hope the structure of my sentences meets the needs of those who feel the need to mock those who have also been brave enough to submit negative comments. Appreciate that people have their own minds and don't be so low as to use superior language skills to try and make them look foolish simply for expressing their thoughts.

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    • linnyb

      Aug 13th 2010, 21:38

      5

      Having not seen any trailers and no concept what this film was about, my reaction after watching Inception has to be wow what a Fantastic film! Even my 13yr old daughter loved it! Definately a film I'd recommend and one I will watch again!

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    • elijay

      Aug 17th 2010, 16:17

      5

      I will start by saying I am a psychology graduate, and will be slightly biased in favour of this movie. That said, I found the concept of this movie right up my street. I'm not sure whether this contributed to my opinion of it not being as mind-blowingly complicated as people have suggested, but the complexity was very much appreciated in light of what is making it to the cinemas at the moment. The flaws that some people have pointed out in earlier user comments can be explained. One mentioned that some of the characters took the situation onboard too quickly. Bear in mind that Page was selected for her talent and could well have been already familiar with the initial concept. Also, for Murphy seeming to too easily adapt, he did have the mental defences against what DiCaprio's team were trying to do in the first place, so would have been trained for this situation and be familiar with it. I agree with a previous user, that to focus on the connection and drive of DiCapriob as simply wanting to return to his children is a little shallow. There are prominent themes of guilt and regret, that I feel outweighed the emotional tie to his children. With all this guilt he probably felt his couldn't face his children, couldn't picture their faces, and it all ties up as the back story unravels. Someone mentioned that the need to go so many layers deep into Murphy's mind were unnecessary. Again, this was mentioned in the movie as being the only way to really sucessfully plant the idea of dissolving his father's company into Murphy's mind, without him dismissing it as normal dream and continuing to think his father was disappointed in him. The layers of dreams themselves were fascinating to watch. I liked the way each member of the team had their own style applied to their layer, and how the dream was affected by the body's movements. I, therefore, loved the fight scene with Gordon-Levitt. I don't think it is worth comparing this movie to The Matrix, as they are, in essence, different genres and concepts from the off. Although, I do prefer this film over The Matrix if forced to choose. I am, by no means, saying this movie was perfect. There were some continuity problems. However, I felt the film as a whole was well worth the price of admission. I didn't feel the effects were overdone, they seemed to fit in with the dreamers perception of their world. I liked the psychological layers of each character being played out through their subconscious. I felt the emotional connection; Cotillard did a great job. I left the cinema, as one user previously stated, as having had a cinematic experience, and those are hard to come by these days.

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    • elijay

      Aug 17th 2010, 16:18

      5

      I will start by saying I am a psychology graduate, and will be slightly biased in favour of this movie. That said, I found the concept of this movie right up my street. I'm not sure whether this contributed to my opinion of it not being as mind-blowingly complicated as people have suggested, but the complexity was very much appreciated in light of what is making it to the cinemas at the moment. The flaws that some people have pointed out in earlier user comments can be explained. One mentioned that some of the characters took the situation onboard too quickly. Bear in mind that Page was selected for her talent and could well have been already familiar with the initial concept. Also, for Murphy seeming to too easily adapt, he did have the mental defences against what DiCaprio's team were trying to do in the first place, so would have been trained for this situation and be familiar with it. I agree with a previous user, that to focus on the connection and drive of DiCapriob as simply wanting to return to his children is a little shallow. There are prominent themes of guilt and regret, that I feel outweighed the emotional tie to his children. With all this guilt he probably felt his couldn't face his children, couldn't picture their faces, and it all ties up as the back story unravels. Someone mentioned that the need to go so many layers deep into Murphy's mind were unnecessary. Again, this was mentioned in the movie as being the only way to really sucessfully plant the idea of dissolving his father's company into Murphy's mind, without him dismissing it as normal dream and continuing to think his father was disappointed in him. The layers of dreams themselves were fascinating to watch. I liked the way each member of the team had their own style applied to their layer, and how the dream was affected by the body's movements. I, therefore, loved the fight scene with Gordon-Levitt. I don't think it is worth comparing this movie to The Matrix, as they are, in essence, different genres and concepts from the off. Although, I do prefer this film over The Matrix if forced to choose. I am, by no means, saying this movie was perfect. There were some continuity problems. However, I felt the film as a whole was well worth the price of admission. I didn't feel the effects were overdone, they seemed to fit in with the dreamers perception of their world. I liked the psychological layers of each character being played out through their subconscious. I felt the emotional connection; Cotillard did a great job. I left the cinema, as one user previously stated, as having had a cinematic experience, and those are hard to come by these days.

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    • elijay

      Aug 17th 2010, 16:19

      Sorry for the double posting. I don't know what happened there. :)

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    • HardcoreNinja

      Aug 18th 2010, 23:43

      4

      I will go out on a limb and say it, I completely agree with this review. The concept is intriguing to say the very least, acting good and visually superb. The over-eager concept combined with the quick development of the films plotline means you will spend 5 minutes trying to deduce what happens, to then have missed a pivotal plot move. And also, much like The Dark Knight, it appears to me Chris Nolan cant handle any form of emotion. The storylines are there, but its done in such a way that you dont care about it, the pivotal difference between the two films is Heath Ledgers career defining performance, you dont get that here, you have seen DiCaprio better than this on countless occasions, not saying he was poor, just constrained by the overbearing script, and Gordon Levitt doesnt touch upon his 500 Days of Summer performance, although achieves higher than the COMMANDER moment in G.I Joe. Overall, mind-boggling, good to look at, but lacks any form of emotion and soul.

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    • district9

      Aug 24th 2010, 14:56

      4

      A superb film- by the way how could anyone of come up with the idea of the film- brilliantly done. However it starts to drag near the end and whole thing about his wife and children just over complicate the film. Still, it's probaly the best film of 2010 so far.

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    • unclefeedle

      Aug 28th 2010, 11:25

      An excellent movie but not quite a five star film. The concept and storyline are fantastic, maintaining interest throughout. It's not often you get a serious treat like this at the cinema. However, I have a feeling that it strayed from its own rules at times and the whole segment involving the final level seemed vague and rushed - it felt as if I was being fobbed off, especially when you consider the level of detail in the first half of the film. I was also disappointed that more wasn't made of the architect's role. Overall though, a film not to be missed.

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    • matty2392

      Sep 1st 2010, 1:25

      5

      fantastic wish i had seen it twice, the characters may not be as memorable as the dark knight, but the effects were very memorable i remember the moment the city started to bend my mouth just dropped open, Joseph Levitt's fight scene was amazing. every character was amazing they all deserve oscars (even the extras were great) chris nolan is the best director around no question about that. 5 stars all the way

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    • tomparfitt17

      Nov 24th 2010, 12:00

      5

      One of the best kept secrets of 2010, Inception is sure to catch your attention. Dom Cobb (DiCaprio) is a skilled thief, the best in the art of extraction and stealing valuable secrets from within the subconscious during the dream state. Cobb's rare ability has made him a player in this treacherous new world of counter-espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Cobb gets 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 job, Cobb and his team of professionals 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 planning can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. Someone that only Cobb could have seen coming. DiCaprio’s character captures your attention from the start of the film making it really exciting and making you want to carry on watching. He’s cool, calm and collected throughout whilst being very inspiring and very under control. His early films such as Titanic and Catch Me If You Can, in which he is very young and passionate. Whereas now he’s more mature, aggressive and has a lot more status than in previous films. His aggressive acting can also be seen in his new film Shutter Island. Personally the role suited him really well and shows that he can play more aggressive roles than previous. An excellent performance that I'm sure can only get better in years to come. Another excellent performance was that of Joseph Gordon Levitt. An actor who’s profile is quite limited but will only get bigger after putting in a fantastic performance. This is a film that isn’t quite what you expect Levitt to play. An aggressive, right hand man that is quite action prone throughout the film. You only usually see Levitt in films such as 500 Days of Summer which is quite romantic and girly. Some parts of the film sees him take more of a lead role but this suited him down to the ground and in some ways does make the film. Ellen Page comes into the film really well. This is more of a grown up film from her early films like Juno. This film show that she can also play more adult roles. Personally this will open new doors for the young actress who’s CV will only get bigger and better in the future. The film overall is fantastic. The storyline grabs your attention right from the off. It makes you think and this concept really gets you into the film. The graphics are fantastic and the music, of course by the great Hans Zimmer, really makes the overall feel of the film fantastic. Nolan has left it perfectly for a second instalment.

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    • williamsmith61

      Nov 27th 2010, 9:41

      Its really a magazine notorious for giving 5 star reviews to movies that don't warrant it, along comes one that does and you only give it 4! Anyway, opinions and all that! But I really thought it near faultless..I mean there were problems but they were so minor that they barely registered, no film is perfect, but if that wasn't a 5 star effort then nothing is. ---------- William pass4sure HP0-S26 specialist.

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      Dec 9th 2010, 9:34

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    • Paul35

      Dec 10th 2010, 21:03

      5

      Nolan's best (Dark Knight so over rated anyway). Insomnia was the champ prior to this, but I'll be surprised if he ever betters Inception. Actually, I won't be that surprised; he's a ruddy genius.

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    • Bajaringan

      Jan 28th 2011, 6:51

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      Feb 19th 2011, 6:36

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      Feb 24th 2011, 5:45

      I am searchin a such information from google and GoSeeq .Thank God I found your site.Now I would like to say One of the best kept secrets of 2010, Inception is sure to catch your attention. Dom Cobb (DiCaprio) is a skilled thief, the best in the art of extraction and stealing valuable secrets from within the subconscious during the dream state. Cobb's rare ability has made him a player in this treacherous new world of counter-espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Cobb gets offered a chance at redemption.Its good.Actually I am the owner of buy watches , men's watches ,and handbags companies.

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      Feb 25th 2011, 4:45

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    • glegs

      Apr 10th 2011, 1:37

      3

      Really not that great. The fact that all of these people are giving it 5 stars and saying it is one of the best movies ever proves how dumbed down we have all become with cinema.

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