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Movie Review: Christopher Nolan's "Inception" (2010)

Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing video games.

"Inception" 4K blu-ray official cover.

"Inception" 4K blu-ray official cover.

Quick Info

Director: Christopher Nolan
Distributor: Warner Brothers Entertainment
Runtime: 148 minutes
Released: December 7, 2010
Availability: On 4K blu-ray, blu-ray, DVD, and digital, streaming on HBOMax

Story Summary

Dom Cobb is a man who knows how to infiltrate your mind through your dreams to get information out of you while you sleep. Because of his abilities, he is unable to return home, but Mr. Saito offers him one last job and he’ll clear his record for messing up a previous job. Will he had his team be able to pull off the Inception, planting an idea in their target’s head?

The Story Is Interesting but Overexaggerated

I like the story and concept of Inception but the premise does rely on you suspending your disbelief a lot, to the point where it can seem silly. It’s an interesting idea but they overexaggerate the idea a lot to make the premise work.

While I do like Christopher Nolan’s movies a lot, I did find this one to be weirder than some of his other movies and it just feels like everything’s trying to be unique and clever but it just feels like trying too hard for the movie to have a novel concept.

The stunning visuals of "Inception".

The stunning visuals of "Inception".

Inception | Digital Trailer | Warner Bros. Entertainment

The Visual Effects Look Good but They’re Trying Too Hard

The visuals do look stunning since Christopher Nolan tends to use more practical effects than CGI, but for all these interesting concepts about people’s dreams, it seems the visual effects team limits their own imaginations, while stuff looks cool it just feels like they’re trying way too hard to be imaginative in the character’s dreams.

It tries to be imaginative but it feels like they’re overdoing it in trying to make mind-boggling visual effects that represent dreams.

The Cast Is Great!

Leonardo DiCaprio gave a great performance as Dom Cobb. I liked the performance he gave; I do think he’s a good actor and did a good job in this role.

I liked his character and thought his story was interesting and I did want to find out what happened to him throughout the story.

Ellen Page did a great job playing Ariadne and I’m not going to get into all the gender stuff for this review, this is the cast listing and no, they aren’t going to rerelease the movie to change the name in the credits. She played this role as a woman, she did not think she was a man; she was not Trans when she made this movie and she was acting as a woman in this movie, and yes, she did a great job.

She portrayed a very interesting character and gave a great performance. She did a good job in this role and I didn’t have any problems with her acting.

Ken Watanabe was also good as Mr. Saito, the man hiring Dom Cobb to do a job for him. He wasn’t in the movie a lot, but he gave a good performance. He was in Batman Begins playing Ra’s Al Ghul and it’s interesting to see him in another Christopher Nolan movie.

Cillian Murphy is also great as Robert Michael Fische. He was also in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy as Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow. It was nice to see him in a different role where he was not playing the bad guy. He gave an excellent performance that I enjoyed a lot.

Marion Cotillard was interesting as Mal Cobb, Dom’s late wife, and I liked her character and thought she was an interesting element to the story. She’s an interesting character because she’s a posthumous one and only appears in Dom’s head, but the reason why she’s dead is very important to the story.

I think she did a great job in this role and she made her character interesting and I wanted to learn more about her. She gave an excellent performance in this role.

Overall, the actors are all really great and I think they each performed very well in their roles. I don’t have any complaints about the cast of inception.

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nception (2010) - Full Expanded soundtrack (Hans Zimmer)

The Soundtrack Is Great

Hans Zimmer composed the soundtrack. The music suits the movie and it’s a good soundtrack but it wasn’t really amazing to me. It was still good music, just not music I’d want to listen to without the movie.

Fights inside dreams in "Inception".

Fights inside dreams in "Inception".

Reader Poll

The Movie Tries Too Hard to Be Clever

Inception is a well-made movie that tries way too hard to be unique and clever in its storytelling through the writing and visual effects and while I don’t love the movie I do think it’s a well-done movie, but it’s filled with excessive overthinking that tries to make it sound more clever than it is.

If you think about it, the plot is really silly and it’s just dressed up with great actors, actresses, stunning visual effects, and a nice musical score.

The movie runs on some simple and silly-sounding concepts but it’s fun to watch because of the interesting visual effects and good acting.

Rent It, but You Don’t Have to Buy It

For Inception, I did enjoy the film but I’m never going to buy this for my personal collection and I enjoyed the movie on Netflix before it left. It is streaming on HBOMax if you have a subscription to the service I’d recommend streaming it there.

This movie is worth watching at least once to see if you like it or not, but it’s not the best movie I’ve seen. If you’re into stunning visual effects you’ll probably like it, because it is visually stunning even if it does feel like it’s held back by the limitations of both the visual effects team’s imagination and budget and practical effects.

It’s an entertaining popcorn movie that tries too hard to be “Too deep for you” that falls apart when you realize how much suspension of disbelief you have to use in your mind to make this movie work.

Quick Summary

What Works:What Doesn't Work:

Interesting story, characters, and world-building

Visual effects are held back by imagination and practical effects

Great visual effects

Film tries to be smarter than it is, complicates simple ideas

Great acting

It relies on the audience overthinking the entire movie

Great soundtrack

My Grade: B-

Inception (2010) is a silly concept that is dressed up in interesting writing, a great cast, and fancy visual effects, there are just some concepts that don’t work when you actually think about them, like having dreams inside a dream, inside of another dream.

These ideas are silly but they are dressed up by the writing to sound cool and sophisticated but when you actually think about the entire concept of this film it just comes across as silly.

This film is overthinking the story on every level of the film, from the writing to the visual effects; it’s trying to sound cleverer than it actually is. I don’t think it’s a bad movie, but I don’t think it’s the brilliant masterpiece other critics say it is.

I still enjoyed the movie and had fun, but I’m never going to buy this movie for my own personal movie collection. I’ve seen it and I don’t feel I need to see it again.

The entire film is full of itself, saying, “Look at me, aren’t I clever? Look at how clever I am!” and it’s a very annoying film because of that. It’s a very simple, silly idea dressed up in a lot of nice things and once acting and music, but it’s not nearly as smart and clever a movie as it thinks it is.

It relies too much on the audience overthinking the movie and the plot twist near the end.

I do like the movie and I do think it’s worth your time, but is it worth your money? Maybe, if you want to watch it on HBOMax I’d say at least try it or a digital rental because it doesn’t cost a whole lot, but this isn’t a movie that you have to own or you’ll be missing a special film. It is a fun movie but it tries too hard to be sophisticated when it’s really not.

It is worth a rental or borrowing it from your library. I don’t really feel I have to watch it again and again, but I did enjoy it, and I think you will too, just don’t overthink the movie, it’s not as complicated as it appears.

My Rating

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