The expectations just got higher for the most anticipated movie of the summer. Christopher Nolan’s Inception screened to critics last week and over the weekend the review embargo was smashed and the raves came pouring in. Within the reviews the brilliant director is compared to Stanley Kubrick, Woody Allen, David Lean, and David Cronenberg. The film is directly compared to Hollywood classics 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Matrix, and The Wizard of Oz. As if the bar wasn’t set high enough already, there is now almost no way that people will not walk into the theatre next week expecting the greatest cinematic experience of their lives.
Here’s what the film community has to say:
Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter:
Following up on such ingenious and intriguing films as “The Dark Knight” and “Memento,” Nolan has outdone himself. “Inception” puts him not only at the top of the heap of sci-fi all-stars, but it also should put this Warner Bros. release near or at the top of the summer movies. It’s very hard to see how a film that plays so winningly to so many demographics would not be a worldwide hit.
Tod Gilchrist of Cinematical:
I wasn’t the only critic who prophesized (and later admitted to) weird dreams afterwards, and that’s the legacy â€“ immediate and lasting â€“ that Inception has on the viewer: it haunts them, makes them ruminate and think, and leaves them with the kinds of explanation and answers whose questions are invigorating with or without them. It’s a sort of deconstruction of the motives and meanings we assign to our dreamtime behavior – the guilt, liberation, fear, regret, empowerment we enjoy when we’re processing our physical experiences during sleep. It’s a joke, a sort of commentary on our own self-imposed limitations, and a glorious payoff to one dream sequence when Hardy’s character Eames chides Gordon-Levitt’s to “dream bigger, darling,” before lifting a fairly massive gun into frame and picking off an attacking adversary.
Sasha Stone of Awards Daily:
Imagine a film being made in 2010 where you have absolutely no idea where it is going or how it will end.Â These were the worlds created by revolutionary filmmakers, like Stanley Kubrick, Woody Allen, David Cronenberg and David Lynch.Â With Inception we have a film and a filmmaker that has broken new ground and very nearly reinvented the form and he did it all without 3-D.Â Nolan gets there on the power of the story â€“ and his vision was realized with the aid of the usual suspects -Â Wally Pfisterâ€™s cinematography, Hans Zimmerâ€™s unbelievable score â€“ the art direction, the visual effects â€“ see it on IMAX and it will blow your mind.Â I am sure more than a few will discover that seeing the movie IN an altered state will also blow your mind, not that Iâ€™m advocating that.
Devin Faraci of CHUD:
ï»¿ï»¿I don’t even know what’s the most remarkable aspect ofÂ Inception. It’s huge-budget filmmaking harnessed to tell a personal story that’s smart and uncompromising. That’s certainly remarkable in this age of Hollywood. It’s a production that brought its cameras to six countries, never allowing a backlot to do when a shot could be achieved in a real location. That’s starting to feel unheard of in this day and age. It’s a movie where Christopher Nolan manages to bring together all of his obsessions and quirks, where his personal issues are the life and death issues at the center of the story, and where he has managed to turn every single one of his directorial weaknesses into massive strengths. That, perhaps, is the truest miracle – the auteur finally completed before our eyes.
Kris Tapley of In Contention:
Every single moment of â€œInceptionâ€ is more gripping than the last. Itâ€™s the kind of film Freud, or more likely Jung, would have delighted in deconstructing.Â Nolan takes a leap of faith with his audience, trusting them to keep up with the screenplayâ€™s labyrinthine structure while at the same time conjuring enough cerebral hocus pocus to avert attention from its weaknesses.
Dustin Hucks of Film School Rejects:
Inception is what The Wachowskis wish the rest of The Matrix films after the firstÂ could have been; a head trip with outrageousÂ action sequences and a strong emotional attachment to the story. Inception is its own animal, but that doesnâ€™t change that it succeeds in all departments where the rest of that trilogy missed the mark. Nolan proves again, that heâ€™s wholly capable of bringing his unique voice and vision to the screen in a way that few writer/directors can.
Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood:
As intricate as the script isâ€”Nolan worked on it for a decadeâ€”the movie is not just a feat of cinematic wizardry, even though it comes close to the level of technological derring-do carried off by the likes of Stanley Kubrick. (Indeed Nolan works in repeated homages to the late great auteur beyond the obvious use of moving sets on gimbles to allow athletic Gordon-Levitt to bounce weightless and walk on walls and ceilings.) The movie also has heart. So that even if you do get confused (as I did in the James Bond snow section, filmed in the Canadian Rockies), the emotional through-line pulls you along. Itâ€™s as simple as The Wizard of Oz: The Extractor wants to go home.
Steve Pond at The Wrap:
Understand, a single viewing is hardly enough to come to terms with the film, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page and Tom Hardy as a crack team that invades Cillian Murphyâ€™s dreams and find unimaginable perils in the subconscious.
But that first viewing is enough to realize that â€œInceptionâ€ is a dense, stylish, thorny, dazzling film that delivers as a thrill ride but gives viewers lots to chew on and puzzle through.
As a further tease, check out the latest TV spot for Inception.
How many of you will be seeing Inception at a midnight screening?