By Malice Intended of Planet Ill

Dom Cobb (Leonardo Dicaprio) makes his living by burglarizing your dreams. He is an extractor, specializing in a unique form of idea theft. He breaches the defenses of your mind and plucks thoughts from your subconscious.

When his skills are commissioned by shady businessman Saito (Ken Wantanabe), Dom organizes a team of fellow dream crashers to plant an idea in a targets mind rather than steal one. This task proves more dangerous than expected, as Dom himself is increasingly losing his grip on reality.Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, and Cillian Murphy round out the supporting cast. All are flawless.

Inception is Christopher Nolan’s first film after the cultural phenomenon that was The Dark Knight. Here, he returns to his psychological thriller roots, while retaining many of the crowd pleasing tricks he learned while helming two Batman films. The result is a mind boggling crowd pleaser that may very well be seen as a watershed film in years to come and an Oscar contender come next winter.

While the Batman films contained some truly seamless computer generated imagery, the effects work on Inception is infinitely more elaborate but no less convincing. The dream world established in the film achieves a feeling of surrealism without allowing visuals to become too outlandish. The film stays comfortably within the confines of science fiction without veering completely into the realm of outlandish fantasy.

The action scenes manifest on a scale unlike anything Nolan has attempted before. They play with gravity and physics in a way that is every bit as innovative as the “bullet time” optical effects in The Matrix. The extras on the inevitable special edition DVD and blu-ray should be a joy to behold, as many parts of this movie will have audiences wondering just how the filmmakers pulled it off.

From a writing standpoint, the internal logic of the film is at times questionable but the story remains amazingly intact. Like the protagonists, the audience is sometimes made to feel unsure about the reality of what they are watching. In fact, Inception invites the viewer to question the very fabric of reality itself. The plot and ideas are intricately layered, seeming impenetrable to analysis. Every answer brings about more questions, making for a film that can be analyzed and interpreted endlessly.

Leonardo DiCaprio is quite convincing as an action hero. Though he exudes vulnerability, he is very believable as a take charge everyman. Ellen Page is good as Ariadne, eager to explore this amazing new world, yet cautious about the secrets that Cobb is harboring. Ken Watanabe, Michael Caine,

Inceptionis a beautiful mind game destined to spawn a rabid and compulsive fanbase that will dissect and devour every aspect of it. Christopher Nolan has hit a new gear, offering something for that stimulates both the intellect and the adrenal gland. Rarely are blockbusters this thoroughly entertaining, rarely does such visceral filmmaking come at the service of such a complex story. Inception is quite simply the stuff that dreams are made of. 5 out of 5

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