Acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan directs an international cast in this sci-fi actioner that travels around the globe and into the world of dreams. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is the best there is at extraction: stealing valuable secrets inside the subconscious during the mind’s vulnerable dream state. His skill has made him a coveted player in industrial espionage but also has made him a fugitive and cost him dearly. Now he may get a second chance if he can do the impossible: inception, planting an idea rather than stealing one. If they succeed, Cobb and his team could pull off the perfect crime. But no planning or expertise can prepare them for a dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy only Cobb could have seen coming.
Science-fiction features often involve time travel or strange worlds. In Christopher Nolan's heist thriller Inception, the concepts converge through the realm of dreams. With his trusty associate, Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a fine foil), Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio, in a role that recalls Shutter Island) steals ideas for clients from the minds of competitors. Fallen on hard times, he's become estranged from his family and hopes one last extraction will set things right. Along comes Saito (Ken Watanabe, Batman Begins), who hires Cobb to plant an idea in the mind of energy magnate Fischer (Cillian Murphy, another Batman vet). Less experienced with the art of inception, Cobb ropes in an architecture student (Ellen Page), a chemist (Dileep Rao), and a forger (Tom Hardy) for assistance. During their preparations, Page's Ariadne stumbles upon a secret that may jeopardize the entire operation: Cobb is losing the ability to control his subconscious (Marion Cotillard plays a figure from his past). Until this point, the scenario can be confusing, since the action begins inside a dream before returning to reality. Then, after the team gets to Fischer, three dream states play out at once, resulting in four narratives, including events in the real world. It all makes sense within the rules Nolan establishes, but the impatient may find themselves much like Guy Pearce in Memento: completely confused. If Inception doesn't hit the same heights as The Dark Knight, Nolan's finest film to date, it's a gravity-defying spectacular to rival Dark City and The Matrix. --Kathleen C. Fennessy