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Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy
Writer/Director: Christopher Nolan
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

To get the hyperbole and bold statements out of the way: Inception is the best movie of 2010 and possibly one of the best movies of the decade. Mixing a fascinating and smart premise with the more mainstream-y action and suspense, it has become the front runner for the 2011 Academy Awards, at least in my eyes. Christopher Nolan, after reinvigorating the Batman franchise and making the coolest movie about magicians ever with The Prestige, will be looked at as the best director working today, and it is definitely warranted.

This is the part where I would go the plot, but I feel weird doing so. I avoided everything about Inception except the trailers, and because of this I was surprised at where the movie went (for the most part anyway). For something as grandiose and ambitious as this, that is the best way to go about it, but because of this the review is going to be pretty damn short.

On the whole, Inception is almost perfection, and one of the few movies in recent memory to even come close (There Will Be Blood being the other that comes to mind). It encompasses almost every genre you can think of: there's action, romance, suspense, mystery, comedy, and even a little Science Fiction thrown in for good measure although that could be debatable depending on who you ask. The acting is the best of this year. Leonardo DiCaprio, who already re-won me over with Shutter Island, has now made me think that he is possibly the best actor in Hollywood at this very moment. His character is the most fleshed out of them all and his subconscious and baggage drives the whole movie, regardless of what the main plot is. Although you can see shades of similarities between his character here and the one he played in Shutter Island, this is the better of the two and the man should sweep the Oscars.

Everyone else does an excellent job, and there really are no weak players. Joseph Gordon Levitt is excellent and even Ellen Page, who I don't really even like, delivers a wonderful performance. Finally, finally, she drops the "hipster" routine and delves into an adult role and she does it with gusto. Tom Hardy will finally get the due respect he deserves when this movie becomes a massive hit, and he is the comedic relief of Inception, as well as the most badass of the team. Everyone else, from Ken Wantanbe to Cillian Murphy to Marion Cotillard just delivers complete knockout performances, even if their characters aren't as fleshed out.

Inception clocks in at 2 and a half hours but it feels a lot shorter. It's brilliantly paced and filled with enough action and interesting ideas to keep the attention of the viewer all the way through. Simply put, you can't peel your eyes off the thing. It's also a beautiful movie, from the scenery to the effects within the dreams, for anyone who loves the visual aspect of film, this is going to be something you'll be drooling over for years to come.

If there are any flaws in this, it's only with a few points and some I can't name because, again, spoilers. Some of the dialogue is a bit overly expository (a character flat out tells the audience the whole psychological makeup of the other through their dialogue, which I scoffed at) and since the characters aren't really explained backstory-wise, you kind of wonder what their deal is (one in particular and if you're like me, you'll wonder about them the second they are introduced).

Still, Inception is worth a watch. And another. And another. And probably even another once it hits DVD/Blu-Ray. It's a brilliantly crafted film and with such a lackluster 2010, it will be considered a masterpiece. I will not go that far, I hate using that word because it makes me sound more pretentious than I really am, but I have the feeling it's going to be the one movie this year (and maybe even next year too) that will be both insanely smart and have the mainstream appeal to endear itself to audiences of all kinds. Watch this, seriously; it will give you faith that maybe Hollywood will start investing in smarter, less remake-y movies again.


Final Verdict:
A+

7/21/2010 11:57:11 pm

Wow Jonathan. Your review, and Nathans has me completely floored. I was supposed to see it Friday night, but I obviously did not. I have to wait one more day.

Thanks to you guys, I'm salivating.

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