In Inception, Leonardo DiCaprio gives a fantastic performance as Dom Cobb, a man haunted by his wifes death, and a thief who specializes in extracting memories from people. Although he is stationed away from home, Cobb is given the opportunity to return to his family if he completes one final job. Cobb and a team of experts attempt to weave their way through peoples dreams and sub-consciousnesses. Needless to things become get more complicated than anyone involved has bargained for.
At first, this may seem like a departure for Christopher Nolan. So far he has made two (narrated) mind-benders, two thrillers, and two superhero movies. A closer look will tell you that Inception is actually more or less a union of genres that Nolan has been working towards for over ten years.
In addition to being skillfully directed, the film features a brilliantly penned script. In fact, this reviews opening paragraph reveals less about the plot than the back of a DVD cover. It is definitely a movie that you should go into knowing as little as possible about. Nolan creates his own set of rules, and follows it to the tee, no matter how convoluted and crazy things may get. None of this would have been possible without the films great supporting cast, which includes (but not exclusively): Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, and Marion Cotillard. Although Ellen Page is the only standout of this bunch (as a college student being trained by Cobb), the actors all play their respective roles impeccably.
Visual masterpiece is another way of looking at the movie. The films camerawork is fantastic, and often accomplishes things you would not expect. Whether it be an action scene or a complicated visual maze, the movie is great to look at and contains some out-of-the-world shots. Nolan relies more on beautiful imagery than he does CGI special effects.
A film this long and complex does not come without its flaws, though. While for the most part, the movie contains a great screenplay, some of its situations feel a little too polished for such a complicated plot, such as rules being clearly described to the viewer, and Cobbs not-too-convincing relationship with his wife and kids. Another problem with the film is its use of music. Almost every scene in Inception features a fine Hans Zimmer score, which partially takes away from the visual weight of (thankfully only a few) scenes. Fortunately, the score begins to really pick up during the action scenes, which I felt worked even better with the music, so this is only a minor complaint.
Christopher Nolan has managed to successfully merge the mind-bender, thriller, sci-fi , drama, and action movie into one intense picture. This film definitely warrants multiple viewings, and is one to check out, as long as you are a fan of any of the aforementioned genres. Just make sure to bring your thinking cap into the theater.