Film, Fantasy

Funny things, dreams. Fascinating for the dreamer, but as dull as a late morning in Slough for anybody else, unless, of course, your guide is Freud. Or, as it turns out, Christopher Nolan, the 39-year-old British director of ‘Memento’ and ‘The Dark Knight’, whose solution to the boredom of other people’s dreams is to collide their woozy, ever-changing, upside-down and roundabout nature with the thrust of a fast-paced, men-on-a-mission movie and a startling visual language that mirrors their strangeness. Better still, the dreams preferred by Nolan include images of Paris folding in on itself and a trackless train thundering through a city. The limited, sleepworld excitements of retaking your A levels ad infinitum or forever missing a flight at the airport don’t figure here.

Nolan throws a perfect storm of stunts, effects, locations and actors at one big idea: that it’s possible to pilfer ideas from dreams by a process called ‘extraction’, which involves hooking yourself up to a drip, falling asleep and entering the world of the subconscious. The holy grail of this process is to reverse it, which is ‘inception’, the planting of a new idea in another’s mind. That’s the trick that experts Dom (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Arthur (Joseph Gordon Levitt), aided by new recruits Ariadne (Ellen Page) and Eames (Tom Hardy), try to pull off while hopping from Tokyo to Paris to Mombasa. They’re working for Saito (Ken Watanabe) in pursuit of business magnate Robert (Cillian Murphy), and their motives vary, from financial to intellectual. But DiCaprio has another driver: the memory of his wife Mal (Marion Cottilard) is haunting him and it’s going to take a lot of psychological spring-cleaning for him to reconnect with that lost world.

All hail Nolan for mastering a higher class of mass entertainment. Like all good science fiction, ‘Inception’ demands we pay serious attention to pure fantasy on the back of strong ideas and exquisite craft – but it also combines fantasy with real observations about our sleeping lives. Like a dream, Nolan’s film fades swiftly in the light – but while it lasts, it feels like there’s nothing more important to decipher.

By: Dave Calhoun


Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday July 16 2010
Duration: 148 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Tom Berenger
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Tom Hardy
Cillian Murphy
Tohoru Masamune
Marion Cotillard
Michael Caine
Lukas Haas
Leonardo DiCaprio
Ken Watanabe
Ellen Page

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:84
  • 4 star:16
  • 3 star:11
  • 2 star:4
  • 1 star:29
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To be honest, anything with Leo in would get 5 stars from me but with this all star line up, it's hard not to be blown away by this film. I'm a massive fan of anything that is near future, sci-fi esque and I never get tired of watching this. The special effects are second to none and often the story becomes so twisted you are left questioning yourself but that is what I love about it. Joseph Gordon Levitt and Ellen Paige play excellent support roles whilst the few scenes with Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy tick the eye candy boxes. It is a little on the long side but all the better for getting lost in the story.


Inception, for me, was pretty scary. It sort of layers in a way that makes you not sure what's real, what's flashback and what's complete fiction. Di Caprio steals the show and is excellent, and the movie has a fantastic twist which will leave you gawping. 

I haven't watched it in a while, but I think it's due another look. 


great film, huge fan of chistopher nolan and leonardo dicaprio. its not just about the speciall effects, has a great story and one can analyse the depths of leo's character and what he goes through.

An amazing movie I loved the actors on here where they acted like it was really happening IT WAS AWESOME keep it up!

Astonishingly good and really enjoyable, too. I'm amazed at the negative comments on this film. It's the best film I've seen by far in a long, long time. I had to watch it twice within a few days just because (a) it was so good I wanted to watch it again and (b) I knew there was going to be some pieces of plot I hadn't picked up first time around. A bit of a cross between the Matrix and James Bond, but not really like either, it's a really fantastic ride and gives your brain a workout too. What a clever film and what a brilliant director. The cast are superb as well.

Absolutely brilliant! An ingenious plot never letting you relax. I was always on the edge of my seat. This is not the film to see if you like uncomplicated plots. This is a film you cannot not see, a must see. The ending was the best ending I've seen in a film. It left you thinking about it a long time after the film was finished! Amazing! One of the best films I've seen!

please dont listen to the one star idiots. This is simply oneof the best films of the last ten years. Its a little heavy and convoluted in places but visually amazing and incredibly stylish, smart and atmospheric, the soundtrack alone is worth the admition. The most talented british director currently working comes of age. criminally underated by all the awards but thats what you get for being unique. i happens to all the best films actualy.

Excellent film! Special effects, cinematography, direction, sound and acting all first rate! There is a plot which is understandable when you pay attention and the film does demand that really. Dealing with the content of dreams, i suppose anything can happen to a point and everyone can have their interpretation of it also! Thought it was brilliant! Hate people who rate negative, obviously film goers who like being spoon fed the plot with the general run of the mill hollywood rubbish!!

Excellent! Very complicated story-line and at around 145 mins this is not a movie to see if you are feeling tired. Screenplay, direction, editing, photography, acting and music are all top quality.

I really enjoyed and thought it was quite clever. I'm surprised to see so many bad reviews over here...

The trolls who have to keep posting their puerile rubbish. This IS a very good film. Of course, make your own mind up, go and see it.

I agree with Mr G, who's argument is far better. Jason E must have just turned 13, seeing as he's so proud to be over 12. Go and watch Transformers 2 again you cretin. No one care s what you have to say. If you don't understand a film, don't comment.

Jason E knows nothing about film and has crap taste as well. Hence the reason Nolans' worst film is his favourite. If you want to know if the film is any good, read Empires' review and ignore anything Jason E says ever.

hmm...its appears that the (silly) lot who do not appreciate this superb summer film seem to either find it "bowing" or "too simplisitic". Oh well, its Piranha 3d for the former and Another French Bourgeouis Mid-Life Crisis for the later. Superb movie and I pity the fools who didn't like it.

First trip to the cinema in 8 months (new baby) and worth every penny. A great film allowing the audience to satisfy their blockbuster urges with a film that actually contains a plot. Take that Michael Bay. You're only allowed back in the classroom when you have rediscovered your imagination and filmmaking integrity. I guess all those one star reviewers didn't understand The Dark Knight either.

Awesome brain expanding film. An explosion of imagination and magnificent original score. Can't wait to see it again

Alfonso or whatever,you are the man that I avoid in the pub, the guy I wont share views with at work. as you are one of those guys who lists films not because they are good but because you and all your weird friends think that they are 'really cool'.. I mean, metrpolis? come on!!!!! blade runner ??? 2001??????????????????????????????? dr strangelove and then you top it all off with Brazil...... all weird films only liked by weird people. If you hate mainstream movies(you know the ones every normal person likes and goes to see and gives all the awards to)..If you hate them all so much then do not go. Do not slate us off for liking them and dont try to fool every one into thinking that ringu is actually any good because its awfull,it is not remotely entertaining in any way.. Those of us who actually like normal ,intelligent,well acted films made by great directors big studios starring hollywood stars just want to be left alone with our DVS and oscars,,,,run along now,there is a french/morrocan documentary about greek soap(with korean subtitles) on at the local fleepit made by a teenage Kubrick!!!!

I'm usually a fidget when it comes to watching films but I loved this and have seen it twice at the cinema (a first!!). If you want something that's architecturally stunning in visuals and plot - then go for this. I'd blacklisted Di Caprio since I saw Titanic, but he's an outstanding actor and has a great supporting cast.

Alfonsoq, Don't bring me into this bruv. My bigger - much harder than you - brother made some good points. Sure you didn't go to see Conception, starring your mum and Steven seagull's old pants. What constitutes an imaginative film in your eyes then genius?

This is not usually the type of film that I would normally go & see (not into sci-fi or action at all) but I heard good reviews about this and I usually like Di Caprio films. So... thought I'd give it a whirl and I have to say it totally blew me away!! Loved the concept, loved the acting, the way all the pieces fit together by the end and the special effects were breath taking! Outstanding film!!

Sex in the city is also still showing in some places. Those who dont like this would get off on that. I noticed its gone into the top 3 all time films on IDMB. I'm guessing there's a lot of film buffs on that site. they may be wrong of course.

Inception is one of the best films I've ever seen. Science Fiction or any genre. Anyone bleating on about character development needs to have their head checked. The script had to be economic enough to fit in the large amount of exposition that is needed to drive the film as a whole. Obviously in doing this we don't get a back story on each individual character, where they come from, who there Nan is , what their dogs name is. Admittedly that would be quite cool if it were a 1000 episode series like Lost, but then the film would never have the same impact. This is a world where you are just thrown in, and much like a good book or an episode of The Wire it is demanding and you have to imagine what isn't there. You can tell alot about the characters and their relationships with each other through the little snippets of dialogue, great perfomances and superb direction . If you want to see something character driven, go watch Greenberg (also a good film). Boba Fett has very little screen time and five small lines of dialogue in the Star Wars films. That's not what makes him a cool character. It's imagining all the cool shit he has done. For me Inception is the best film I've seen since the Matrix (forgetting the lousy sequels). Amazing concept and story. Meticulously crafted, demanding, exciting and suspenseful. With great performances, excellent set pieces, fights, guns and car chases all set in a timewarped dreamworld. And in the same way, but from a different angle as the Matrix, it will have you questioning human perception, the nature of reality and even the afterlife. The film will resonate more depending on the scope of your intellect and imagination. If you don't like it then chances are you have neither and are unable to dream. Therefore it would be a waste of time going. Predators is showing across the hallway. (Nothing against Predators, Haven't seen it yet and am sure I will enjoy it on a totally different level). Peace out

Leonardo ~ totally makes the grade as an actor, loved him in The Beach, The Bourne Identity, Shutter Island, etc he is one for new concepts.... when we are cornered subconsciously, that our creation and manoeuvres. Caprio is a very inteligent creative weaver...

Ok Shaffy and Jason,timeout. oh wait...... enter the dragon,one of the best films ever made????? ( I'll deal with that one later) I go to the cinema to see films.I have a tv on which I watch films.I have an extensive collection of FILMS.I love films.there is a simple thing about a great movie. we smile when we watch a good stimulates us,we share it with our friends,we talk about it at work and online and we invariebly watch it again. We create lists and edit magazines on the subject and debates such as yours rage on.I agree with some points both of you make but found myself asking why you are both going so deeply into it with expressions like 'plot driven', or 'character led ', and over scripted. I have a pal thinks he can make movies,he has made nothing of any note about anything that is of any consequence to any soul other than him and his mates who like to giggle at themselves wearing funny false moustaches on the tele. The point is, he too makes similar points like you two,as though it matters. Surely the facts are these. a good movie is a good movie, a not so good one is not so good,. It really is that easy guys.While you two are hypothosizing about plot and character the rest of us are quoting lines and talking about explosions and jokes that litter the effects driven movies we all go to see these days.The art of making films is not getting harder so why make answerring a simple question about a movie so spectacularly complex.?,we are just seeing it done by more people and I for one am delighted to see films like this one.!For one reason...when someone asks"was it good?" I say YES it was great. They dont need any more.It was either good or it was not.Thats all the review they need. This was a really GOOD film, period. Enter the dragon was,,, well it was ok, as weird kung foo fighty flix go.(and I do like some martial arts movies so please do not label me a heathen) but to say its one of the best films ever made,well thats just not true now is it.,, anyway hey ho enjoy.....

I saw this film and loved it. Reading through the reviews it appears that like t or loath it most people have been inspired or iritated enough to pass comment. For that reason I recommend you go and see it and form your own opinion as such a variety of views would suggest there is something in it.

Phil ince ??? go have a kick about wi your paul cos you dont know movies pal. and as for KK (mr Keegan) you can join Incey down the park because you too come accross a bit empty brained. That' japanese guy' is the fantastic ken Watanabe who was outstanding in the last Samurai. I think because this movie had a truly wonderful cast and great story and need we even mention the amazing effects,just meant its a bit too much for some people to get.... Gladly I'm not one.

Good,, wayne s ,truthteller , that fool noctor and all the other movie 'haters' have not messed this one up,I'll sneak in and sneak out again with great stealth,,, LOVED IT LOVEDIT LOVED IT 5 STAR, TOTALLY FANTASTIC. I knew that after Memento that this guy COULD make good movies. Now hopefully he will stop making those purile,infantile,batman monstrocities!!!!!

Nolan chose to construct it this way because it interested and fascinated him and he felt he could create something interesting. For me what he did worked and I'm pleased that he didnt choose to make it simpler. The relatively simple premise of the film could have been done in a far simpler construction and may have been equally absorbing but I was transfixed all the way through.

Carry on the debate people.Had to watch from 2nd row from the front( only a few seats left).Understood it,liked it and am going to see it again without strainingmy neck.

The comparison with the Matrix is not appropriate. Of course the characters will come across with a greater sense of depth when the director has a trilogy in which to develop them. 'Inception' was intense and fast paced, certainly not confusing!

The point is, I'm clearly not that intelligent but this film was totally clear. Industrial spies want to cjange the course of the large multinational without leaviing a trace, face some emotional demons and some unexpected traps and dangers. Oceans Elleven, meets James Bond meets the Matrix with some unique twists in the methods and mazes. Pretty simple as far as I could see.

Yep, even a comprehensive education gave me enough inteligence to get it. What exactly didnt you get? Maybe I can help?

I saw it once and got all of it. All the characters were interesting and I dont see people's problems. Unless of course you are unable to think, then sure you'll be a bit confused.

Amazing film...Great idea for a story. Pay full attention to details as otherwise things may not make sense. I like how the story keot you wanting more throughout. Clever film making. Great effects. Good Job Well Done!

Good points from John Cooper! But, isn't it refreshing to see a blockbuster that doesn't painfully spell the plot out? A story where you have to listen, keep up, speculate a little yourself and be totally engrossed... In an age of compromise, I think it's great to see a director just going for it: pressing forwards throughout the film, embracing the complexities of the parallel worlds and not stopping to check if all the audience have caught up. This is how so much great Art is made.

I honestly don't get the 1 and 2 star reviews on here. The film is excellent. The concept and script make perfect sense. The editing and construction of the film are also brilliant and compliment the directing. This idea that the film is trying too hard to be 'clever' is simply absurd, as is the idea that the only way the film's end works is if they were in DiCaprio's dream. The whole thing made sense, it just requires the audience to concentrate: something that appears to be a dying art for some cinema goers!

A stunning film, conceived to perfection and executed with real poise and subtlety. I would agree with points about Di Caprio's performance. Maybe he could have provided more depth, especially in recounting experiences with his wife, but perhaps this was a conscious directorial decision; to keep him visually quite cold and disconnected. I would like to suggest that this is the type of film that will confuse a lot of viewers because it requires the mind to juggle numerous realities along with all sub plot and sub text. I heard someone mutter that the film was too 'clever' whilst leaving the cinema. Maybe it is, but how refreshing it is to be tested intellectually when parting with £10 to watch a Hollywood blockbuster! Nolan gets better and better and I think his editing team should win an award for weaving the complexities of this vision together. Finally, it would appear that Nolan has managed to get Hans Zimmer to part with the stock motif he has used for The Rock, Gladiator, Pirates 1-20 etc.

What on earth is going on with some of these reviews? This film was clever, engaging and quite frankly a massive much needed breath of fresh air for the Blockbuster. Christopher Nolan has created something daringly original and spectacular with a budget that 95% of filmmakers would waste. This is a film that will be enjoyed over and over again and some of these negative comments are completely non-constructive criticism. Yes, there are a few minor plot-holes and the female leads could have been stronger but overall this was a five-star movie experience. Some people just cannot enjoy a trip to the cinema these days...

I am surprised by some of the negative reviews here. This film is a five star for me without any doubt, and would score six in the old TO scoring system. It is beautifully crafted, visually stunning, surperbly acted (notably by Di Caprio), and utterly compelling. Nolan has found the perfect balance of science and excitement, with just enough descriptive dialogue to give you the background you need to follow it without being overwhelming. It also has one of the greatest "is it or isn't it" endings you will ever see. Magnificent.

You will hear and read many things about this film, both positive and negative, but the fact is that people are talking about it: this is usally a sign that a film is either incredibly good or disturbingly bad. Personaly I haven't enjoyed a film this much since i saw... well 'The Prestige' (another Christopher Nolan film). I could tell you about the stunning cinematography, the thrilling and yet haunting tones of Hans Zimmers score, the skill of the actors or about the gripping story but none of my words will sway you. All I can say is give this film a try... you will either love it or hate but you have to try it to find out.

The most incipiently excessive and adamantly excruciating exercise in the name of psychological and philosohical meandering in the guise of exploring the human subconcious ,this is almost a perverted self indulgence into the concious of movie audience in the metaphysical form of overwrought explosions and audio-visual anarchy that is loathe to hold or behold and to be strictly avoided for the hazard of repitive brain injury most likely to affect those pretentious pseudo-intellectuals who comprise the barely concious human specimen likely to adore this blasphemy in the name of invoking the genius of Kubrick that exists as a rehash to Matrix and Dreamscape in a wet dream turned into a blasphemous nightmare .

What a disappointment!!! The very mention of Kubrick and intelligent sci-fi movies made me run to the cinema to see Inception last night. At minute 120 I could not care less for another mindless high-octane sequence. But after 148 minutes and a pathetic resolution of the weak plot I walked out of the cinema feeling completely empty and deflated. While every sequence is brilliantly shot and executed on every level, I actually felt uncomfortable thinking of the vast amount of money that went into creating such emptiness. Without a single reason to care for any of the characters or highly unsatisfactory intellectual idea behind this film, the only thing left was to observe the action sequences, which after a while became exhausting to watch. It is truly rare for me to question why I had spent almost three hours of my time on a film, but this was one of those occasions.

What a load of over-hyped gobbledygook. I do however think Nolan’s attempt at a complicated, high-concept Sci-Fi Fantasy film is brave and assured and I so wished for it to be brilliant. We are well over-due a big budget Science Fiction film. I think the crucial problem is that the film is not engaging enough and spends too much time on intricate narrative details, which make following the story extremely difficult. What starts out as an interesting and fascinating concept slowly ends up being slightly interesting but mostly dull and confusing. I can just imagine Dicaprio saying to Nolan, in-between takes ‘Now, what the f@~* is this scene about?’ Nolan: ‘Right Leo, you’re dreaming but you’re not dreaming and erm…’ I think more worryingly the general favourable responses would seem to indicate the syndrome of the Emperor’s New Clothes. Some have compared it to The Matrix in terms of its narrative vision and general production design but I think that is where the similarity ends. INMO The Matrix as a Sci-Fi Fantasy film, is a more straight-forward and as such a more accomplished piece of film-making. It manages a fine balance between complex narrative arcs and engaging, interesting characters added with some extraordinary special effects. Inception on the other hand has left me in an intellectual cul de sac.

Just seen the film - What a great spectale. Stunning visuals, complex story but leave you entertained yet wanting more.. 5 stars

Just seen the film - What a great spectale. Stunning visuals, complex story but leave you entertained yet wanting more.. 5 stars

What a blistering cracking entry into this summer's cannon of blockbusters. The question is, have we seen the best blockbuster this year? Hell yes! Nolan delivers high-quality, edge-of-your-seat, goose-pimple-inducing, extreme-heart-pumping, mind-fucking thrills with arm-pit sweating panache. Silliness aside, this truly is a cracker! 8+/10 (Second viewing on Sunday)

In the realm of dreams and imagination come a director who has proven to bring a very complex script to the implant a new idea over a well covered area, incpetion delivers on flair, intelligence, enthrallment and imagination that leaves the audience guessing thinking and dreaming of different creations. The deeper down the rabbit hole goes the further the characerts become emersed in this idea, this dream and as the 3rd level lumes the viewers are embeded with the characters in this fact paced film that keeps you thinking all the way through; an ending to guess for, intelligent and imaginative, a script so complex well presented on the screen is always worth a look, five stars nolan bring on bats3. Oh it was all just a dream...

In the realm of dreams and imagination come a director who has proven to bring a very complex script to the implant a new idea over a well covered area, incpetion delivers on flair, intelligence, enthrallment and imagination that leaves the audience guessing thinking and dreaming of different creations. The deeper down the rabbit hole goes the further the characerts become emersed in this idea, this dream and as the 3rd level lumes the viewers are embeded with the characters in this fact paced film that keeps you thinking all the way through; an ending to guess for, intelligent and imaginative, a script so complex well presented on the screen is always worth a look, five stars nolan bring on bats3. Oh it was all just a dream...

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