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Oscar®Oscar® winner for Best Visual Effects, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing • Nominee for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Music original score, and Best Art Direction
Movie Review

Inception also known as “Inception: The IMAX Experience,” “A Origem,” “Începutul,” “Algus,” “El origen,” “Eredet,” “Origen,” “Origine,” “Pocátek,” “Pocetak,” “Pradzia,” “Zaciatok,” “Начало”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of violence and action throughout.

Reviewed by: Michael Karounos
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Sci-Fi Action Mystery Thriller
Length:
2 hr. 22 min.
Year of Release:
2010
USA Release:
July 16, 2010 (wide—3,700+ theaters)
DVD: December 7, 2010
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures

Dreams in the Bible

Visions

WATER: The Miracle of Nature


VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer

Featuring: Leonardo DiCaprio (Cobb), Ken Watanabe (Saito), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Arthur), Marion Cotillard (Mal), Ellen Page (Ariadne), Tom Hardy (Eames), Cillian Murphy (Fischer), Tom Berenger (Browning), Michael Caine (Professor), Lukas Haas (Nash), Tohoru Masamune (Security Guard), Claire Geare (Phillipa (3 years)), Johnathan Geare (James), Carl Gilliard (Hotel Guest), more »
Director: Christopher Nolan—“Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight,” “The Prestige”
Producer: Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures, Syncopy, more »
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

“Your mind is the scene of the crime.”

Review updated July 19, 2010

“Inception,” written and directed by Christopher Nolan, is one of the most complicated sci-fi thrillers you will ever see. The premise is that professional thieves called “extractors” invade people’s dreams to steal information via a drug-induced sleep that is shared by two or more people while connected to a briefcase-sized dispenser. Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his team hire themselves out as the sleep thieves who risk pain and even permanent loss of consciousness while wandering through the surreal landscapes of other people’s dreams. Eventually, Cobb wants to quit, but he is convinced to do one last job, the most dangerous yet, in exchange for having murder charges against him dropped, and being able to see his children once again. To do so, he has to perform an “inception”: plant an idea in someone’s head.

Cobb’s dilemma is that he performed a sleep experiment with his wife that had unintended results and indirectly led to her haunting his dreams with potentially disastrous consequences. Putatively, his quest is to thwart a malignant corporate entity from expanding its power. The more important purpose of the job for Cobb (and the viewer) is for him to rectify his past mistake and purge himself of the guilt that has crippled his life.

Cobb’s team includes Ariadne (Ellen Page), Hardy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), and several others, each with assigned tasks and skills. As you watch the movie, keep in mind that every time they utilize the suitcase, they descend one layer deeper into a person’s mind. The norm is two levels, but the last job calls for a descent to the third level, with the unsettling possibility that a mistake or dream-death will leave the person stranded in a fourth level called “limbo” from which there is no return.

The character of Ariadne imparts a mythic aspect to the film’s plot, allowing it to be read as a quest myth as famously defined by Joseph Campbell in Hero with a Thousand Faces. (Campbell’s categories were distilled by Stuart Voytilla in the the very useful text Myth & the Movies: Discovering the Myth Structure of 50 Unforgettable Films, which I use in my film class and is accessible to a general audience.)

For those familiar with Freudian theory, it will be helpful to think of the film as an existential march through depth psychology. Kierkegaard’s phrase, “leap of faith,” is used three times in the movie, and the dream-world’s layers roughly correspond to the superego and the id, with their associated characteristics. The superego, as you might expect, has lots of guns, while the id contains the closely-guarded secret. Additionally, viewers who have had Psychology 101 will have fun spotting the categories of Freudian behavior. “Projections” describe the phantom people who inhabit the dream, but numbered among his core issues there are also examples of crisis, regression, repression, avoidance, denial, and displacement—to name the most obvious. (I don’t think anyone will miss the blatant symbolism of the knife.)

The introduction of the term “limbo,” also, raises religious connotations, as the job is performed while everyone is in a plane, a figurative “heaven,” thus juxtaposing metaphysical poles of existence with the objective being to escape limbo and return to the “heaven” of the plane.

Nolan’s script is remarkably clever, and the rules of the dream world are consistent and logical. Every 10 minutes spent in the first level represents one week at the second level, six months at the third level, and an indeterminate time in limbo. Thus, a ten hour flight could potentially represent 35 years of aging in the third level, and more, if one were in limbo that whole time.

Although there are some regrettable instances of emphatic blasphemy—“Jesus Christ” (2), “Jesus” (2), “G**-damn” (6), “My God” (2), “For G-d’s sakes” (1), “God” (1), “hell” (8), “*sshole” (2), “damn” (2), there are no inappropriate sex scenes or gory deaths.

Christopher Nolan proves once again that he is the most intelligent filmmaker working in Hollywood, crafting art out of genre vehicles like “The Dark Knight” and now “Inception.” This one is a must-see, if you are not squeamish about violence.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 reads:

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

Great filmmakers like Nolan, yearning toward the eternity hidden in their hearts, and lacking any new way in which to define it, retreat into the metaphysics of the mind. That is why the ultimate conflict in the movie takes place between Cobb sleeping on the plane and Cobb desperately trapped in the dreamworld. The juxtaposition of limbo and its damning potential, with the peaceful assurance of Cobb sleeping in the “heavens” (on the plane) signifies the metaphysical struggle that takes place out of the body and in the soul. Milton’s Satan said something similar:

“The Mind Is Its Own Place, and In It Self

Can Make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n.”

Thankfully, in the case of “Inception,” there is more of heaven than of hell.

Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Mild

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—Absolutely brilliant! Definitely the best film I’ve seen in a long time. As it is all Christopher Nolan, I had very high expectations and was still blown away. It would have been perfect if the Lord’s Name had not been misused.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Angela, age 31 (USA)
Positive—If you liked the “mind-maze” of “The Matrix,” you’ll love “Inception.” Great movie-going experience, without having to weed through all of the Hollywood garbage. Minimal amount of cursing (the Lord’s name is used a few times), no sex or innuendos, no spiritual or demonic ritual, and no gruesome violence. Just hand fighting, gun fights, and a few explosions. Although a fairly clean movie, younger kids will be lost from the start—probably ok for 12 and ups. May need to see it again to be sure I followed it all. Oddly, I had the weirdest dreams the night I saw it. Or did I?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Diana O, age 41 (USA)
Positive—I attended the 9:40pm showing on July 16 at a theater near my house with my parents. Up to that point, I had seen very little to none of the trailer and your typical “run-of-the-mill” advertisements; so walking into the theater I really didn’t have an idea of what to expect, and outside of very little and spread out cussing, I was very impressed. There were no scantily clothed men or women, bedroom scenes, gore, or any of the other not so needed things. The violence that is in it is not very intense, and it is spread out to make it more of a “sprinkle” than an “overdose”. I thoroughly enjoyed watching it and plan to watch it again, once it comes out on DVD (with a language filter to take out the little bit of not so need cussing).
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Josh, age 18 (USA)
Positive—Oh my gosh… Incredible movie. This is one of the deepest, most mind blowing films I have seen! It keeps you guessing and guessing. My husband was laughing at me because he would look over and I would be sitting on the edge of the seat with my hands over my mouth, ha ha, it was so intense! I want to go back and see it again to pick up all the things I couldn’t catch the first time around! The creativity and thought they put into this, it astounds me… How smart the writers have to be to put this together… it’s hard to keep up! I love it, love it, love it. It makes you think about everything. Definitely a movie for adults, mainly because even for adults it is very complex and a lot to keep up with. Definitely worth it!!!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Lauren, age 22 (USA)
Positive—The movie is another master piece done by director Christopher Nolan. The premise is a thief (Leo) is able, through technological means, enter the mind of people and create a subconscious world. The goal is to manipulate their emotions and dreams by planting, thoughts or ideas, also, known as seeds, according to the movie and the bible, so that the subject will give up valuable information that can benefit Leo and his team, or the person who hired them to do so. In the process of entering, they need to work quickly, before projections detect there presence and begin their war on the invading thieves. Projections are considered to be like white blood cells that attack foreign substances that can bring harm to the body, hence almost like a spiritual warfare.

There is so much that this movie has to offer, I can’t… express everything there is, but I have to say to the mature Christian whose eyes are open, there are spiritual parallels that are amazing. There is very little sexual scenes; it’s clean compared to other Hollywood big budget summer movies, and very entertaining. Also, it’s one of those movies you might have to watch more than once in order to get all that is happening; I’m gonna watch it again today.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Josh, age 31 (USA)
Positive—I don’t know where to start. I know I gotta watch this at least another time or two. To say it’s good is erroneous. To say it’s smart is ridiculous. To say it’ll blow ya away is spot on. Movies like this just don’t roll off the press every day, let alone every year. Go patronize your local cinema, even if you’re not the movie-going type. Pay the lousy $7 if your mil, $9 if not—whatever it takes. Yes, you might be a Netflixer; yes, it’s frustrating having your chair kicked and rocked by the 300-pound dude one row up. Yes, you might hate the ambient noise of rowdy adolescents, and yes your theater may smell to high heavens, but this is one movie that’s mightily worth the ticket. Don’t knock the ending. All those goofy kids that thrive on spoon-fed drivel like “Legion” pitched a fit in my theater. They don’t appreciate quality cinema.

***SPOILER*** Forget the obvious question of whether it was a dream or not—it doesn’t matter. The fact DiCaprio walks off, leaving the spindle to freely spin on the countertop tells me he just flat-out didn’t care. He got what he wanted; dream or reality, the semantics didn’t matter.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Mega Tron, age 24 (USA)
Positive—An exciting and captivating trip through the world of dreams without the hardcore violence, sex and language of many mainstream films. I can even say “Inception” is family-friendly, or at least teen friendly as younger viewers would get lost and probably bored. “Inception” has a steady pace combining action, drama and even romance which holds your attention to the very end. Should be up for oscars at the end of the year. Very original and compelling—deserving of all the rave reviews!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Todd Adams, age 42 (Canada)
Positive—Nothing short of a pure instant classic masterpiece. I think this movie will go down in the near history and further down the road as known as “Oh yeah, ‘Inception’—brilliant movie.” I honestly think that Christopher Nolan outdid “The Dark Knight” by a long shot. The acting is class-A. The story and all of the questions it raises, and the answers it gives, class-A. I have been waiting for a movie to come out like this for years. The thought provoking nature of the film is so sleek and elegant it raises the mark for any movie in any genre for a very very long time and perhaps ever. It’s a new class of an excellent movie. And they executed it perfectly.

As a Christian for 17 years, going to see this film with my mind viewing things in the spiritual, the Holy Spirit was showing me revelation and insight the whole time on the basis of how this movie applies to Earthly life and spiritual life with Jesus. It is also one of those movies that may need to be re-watched for the full impact of what I think God is trying to convey to people. And it came out in a movie. Amazing.

I would encourage anybody to be sensitive to the deep and constant developing and enveloping secrets the Holy Spirit wants to convey to His chosen generation. Through the writing on the walls… You don’t have to look far to find mysteries so deep it’s everlasting. This movie had a profound effect on me, and it may not be the same for everybody. Just think on this thought—do you really think you even know 5 percent of what there is all to know? Of course not. In Eph. 1:3, it says we are blessed with all spiritual blessings. …Just follow the bread crumbs, people.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—John, age 30 (USA)
Positive—A superb film. In the hands of a lesser director, the fact that “we’re in a dream” would have been used as license for gruesome violence and/or blatant sexuality. Nolan cares about this material too much to cheapen it so. A thought-provoking, intriguing, well-acted, and visually stunning film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Rigs, age 45 (Canada)
Positive—This film is a breed apart. Hollywood has finally come out with a main character with which the common man can relate. Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is not a hero by any means; he is an endearing character that made mistakes and is making more, as he struggles to overcome his guilt. This is standard modern film fare, but Cobb overcomes these flaws with something that is completely uncommon—love that is embodied by images of his children. In effect, it is his own children that keep Cobb going. They are his only safety blanket between insanity and oblivion. Although there are serious objections to be had with several parts of this film, this is enough for me to recommend it with a clear conscience; only use love with your young children and leave them at home.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—James Pinedo, age 21 (USA)
Positive—My husband and I both enjoyed this movie! At times it is confusing because you sometimes can’t tell the dream world from reality, but I suppose that that’s how they wanted it to be. The effects were amazing! Language is used (cuss words and the Lord’s name in vain), but overall this is a clean film. If I had older teens, I’d let them see this movie. If you’re in the mood for an action flick, you may like this one!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Sarah, age 26 (USA)
Positive—This film was incredible. I go to movies at least once or twice a week, and I enjoyed finally seeing a movie that made me think during the film and long after leaving the theatre. The stunt work, acting, and special effects were amazing. The director, while including some language and violence, kept out sex scenes and crazy amounts of blood splatter.

I’ve read bad reviews for this film, and they all seem to come from people who were confused or offended by language, violence, or possible Freud ID symbolism in some characters (if you’ve never taken Psych 101 don’t worry about it). If you get confused easy in movies or offended easily, then don’t see it. This movie is like a puzzle, and you really need to think throughout the film.

Hands down, this is the best film I’ve seen this year.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Laura, age 31 (USA)
Positive—Inception is a film that illustrates some thought-provoking principles which have stayed with me even a couple days after seeing the film. Entertaining and action-packed as it was I am impressed with the original idea of this sci-fi film. Several powerful scenes have impacted me, such as when the line between reality and deception isn’t clear or even wanted, it is very frightening, as was the case with Mr. Cobb’s wife, Mo. Also we met some people who preferred their lives in their dreams over reality! Of course, the main concept is one of planting a thought in someone’s unconscious mind and seeing it drastically alter that person’s conscious decisions and actions. If you are one who enjoys “finding God in the movies” then this one might be for you.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Elizabeth Bartee, age 47 (USA)
Positive—I don’t even know where to start, this movie was so well made from so many different angles. Usually, going to the movies is such a passive process—you sit back and are mildly entertained—but “Inception” is so NOT like that. I don’t even like sci-fi, and I know I want to see it again. It’s a movie that makes you think, and lose track of time!

They don’t even make movies like this once a year! Go see it! The reason I’m giving it an offensive moral rating is, interestingly enough, because of some of the very ideas that are presented… It’s so easy to be blown away by the quality of the movie that you can forget to analyze what you’re seeing. There’s nothing offensive visually, but from an ethical point of view, there was something lacking. I thought it was really interesting that there was no commentary on the manipulation and motives involved in the whole dream-creating/idea planting situation.

To sum up what I’m saying: It is an amazing movie. Christopher Nolan is super-intelligent and good at his job. I enjoyed it a lot and will see it again. I just think that when something of this caliber comes along from a non-Christian, do yourself the favor of analyzing what you’re seeing.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—R, age 20 (USA)
Positive—This is a great mind-boggling movie! I felt a little worn-out at the end from trying to keep up with it all, but it was worth it. All the acting was superb, as were the special effects. I heard from a lot of people that you had to see it two or three times to figure everything out, but I’ve only seen it once, and I’m not too confused. Anyway, definitely not a movie for kids because of all of psycho-suicide stuff. I’d say 15 and up. Although my 12 year old brother went to see it, and he wasn’t freaked out at all.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Kadie Joseph, age 18 (USA)
Positive—I really liked the movie. Very intricate and clever plot. For sure you better pay attention or you will quickly get lost. They tied all the loose ends together (except one minor item). I like the Matrix trilogy and I think it’s reminiscent of that. It’s intense so not a movie if you want to be entertained with easy humor.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Joe, age 62 (USA)
Positive—This movie is a wild ride! With moderate violence and rare language (J.C. twice) it is enjoyable. I recommend this move to everyone over the age of 14, though it is a bit complicated to follow unless you have someone give you a brief analysis first :) Great film, great actors!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Britney, age 21 (USA)
Positive—This is a good film by Christopher Nolan, exploring the mysteries of dreams and how they may or may not be intentionally altered. With the exception of some scattered profanity, there’s nothing really offensive (still, I would not recommend this movie to kids). It actually gets you to think about dreams (sleeping dreams, not aspirations or hopes) and if they truly mean anything. This would be a great film for psychology majors (or dream experts). For some people, including myself, it might be a tad bit confusing. For those who like “cerebral cinema,” this would be perfect.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Shannon H., age 29 (USA)
Positive—I found Inception to be a creatively produced movie. Special effects are unique and very entertaining. I did, however, have to 'work' harder at mentally keeping up with the sequence of events in the movie… I believe entertainment by definition, should not require the viewer to sacrifice so much mental energy! lol

The PG-13 rating is appropriate; taking the Lord’s name in vain is not (perhaps it is an opp for us Christians to silently forgive another for using the Lord’s name in vain??). I found it most entertaining and not like other PG13 movies that have sex/sexual content. We had no problem allowing our 14 yr old daughter to see this movie-she found it intellectually intriguing.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Cathy, age 53 (USA)
Positive—a lot of people are taking this movie way out of context. It’s a movie. Yes, there is a small suicidal subplot to it, but that is not in any way offensive to Christians. Teens don’t over think things like a movie, they know it’s a movie, and, also, when you are reading a Christian review things always sound worse when you read it, but when you watch it, you see some of the things were taken out of context.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—James Weaver, age 41 (USA)
Positive—WOW! I love this film! It was so confusing at first, but I got the hang of it. It got me to think a lot at the ending, that confused me. But there is warning to people watching this. There are a lot (like over 10) J**** and JC*** words and the Lord’s name and several swear words, but nothing very heavy in swearing.

The violence is NOT Extreme, I don’t know if the movie reviewer was a scardy or over reacting. The violence was Moderate like in “Tomb Raider” or “The Bourne films,” except neater and a little cleaner. I loved the hard work they did in the film, but I don’t like Ellen Page in here. I recommend this film to people 13 and up.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Anna, age 19 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—My friend and I decided to see “Inception.” I had seen previews of this movie in previous films I’ve seen this summer and had good expectations from this film. Overall, this film is okay. The plot was too confusing for me, however. As I sat through this movie, I found myself constantly having to remind myself on what layers of the dream the characters were in, which person’s dream they were in, etc. There was a lot of dream theory, and I recommend reviewing Sigmund Freud’s theories on dreams and some Psychology 101, as the reviewer has stated. Otherwise you may find yourself having a hard time keeping up with the story, as I did.

From a film-making standpoint this movie was fine. The acting was good. I was impressed with DiCaprio, but that is only because I have not seen him in many films, unfortunately. The camera work was good.

From a Christian standpoint, the only thing that I found offensive was some of the language and the violence the reviewer has mentioned. So would I recommend this movie? That depends on if you are a person who can handle this type of movie. If you enjoy this type of film, then it’s worth seeing. If not, I recommend avoiding it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Alexander Malsan, age 20 (USA)
Neutral—I was not impressed by this movie at all. It wasn’t a bad movie, but certainly not worthy of all of the hype surrounding it. When “The Matrix” came out, I was one of the last people to jump on the band wagon. I think I rented it after it had been out a while. And I very impressed with the Christian parallels in it. So when I heard people comparing “Inception” to “The Matrix,” I decided to go see it.

About and hour and a half into it I started to get restless. I think perhaps they could have done a better job editing it. Some movies are very complex, and you have to watch them more than once to “get it.” I just don’t have the interest in this case. I wasn’t really emotionally invested much in Leo’s character. And lastly, I took one year of psychology in high school, but that was 15 years ago.

I read the reviewer’s comment about the knife and I have to say I wasn’t even aware of any symbolism I was supposed to pick up on. And I am usually pretty aware of things like that. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I was into psychology. For Christians, I would say that you can easily skip this one because it really doesn’t have much in the area of spiritual enrichment. Don’t feel as though you are missing out if you don’t flock to the theater for this one.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Jennifer, age 33 (USA)
Neutral—This film was extremely well made and is one of the best movies I have seen this year. The plot is original, unpredictable, and keeps you at the edge of your seat guessing the whole time! The main reason why I gave this film a 4 rating is because the plot was a bit confusing at times and it did jump around at times (this film is a near 4 1/2). The acting was near perfect, the score was great, the visuals were stunning (without being overdone), and Christopher Nolan did a spectacular job directing! For the content, the violence was more on the heavy side. But to me, was not graphic, just intense. There was minimal blood with only one character getting shot in the chest. And of course there was plenty of gun fire, car chases, crashes, and pursuits. There were no vulgarities in this film.

However, I was very disappointed that there were unnecessary profanities. There were a few (scattered at times) instances of God’s name being abused (mostly paired with the word d*mn. Also to note, Jesus' name was abused a few (scattered) times as well. These profanities were not necessary and I probably would have considered owning this movie when it came out on DVD. There were a few milder swear words like b*stard, h*ll, and a**hole. If only they refrained from profanities in the script I would have bumped this movie’s moral to an average. Also, some may find the plot a bit on the occult side (since it involves invading the mind) but I personally did not find it related to an occult since it was a fictitious film.

To sum it up, I highly recommend this film, but with caution. Take the PG-13 seriously. I would probably recommend this film to 14 or 15 and up. The violence is intense, but I am glad Christopher Nolan refrained from bloody violence, decapitations, etc. Also, I am very glad he refrained from sexual content. I did not even hear a single innuendo within the whole film. The worst it got was about two brief kisses and a woman wearing a lower cut dress. The main issue is the profanity in this film. This is one of the best made movies (film making wise) of the summer! I think this film has potential to be nominated for best picture, visuals, director, and actor (Leonardo DiCaprio).
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Curtis, age 18 (USA)
Neutral—The bad comment first: What I found offensive was that there was a woman presented in a low cut dress, and from then on she was displayed much as an object throughout the film. For some of us who are sensitive to women being displayed as sex objects, this would not be a movie to see.

What was good was the whole storyline with a lot of symbolism that gave the story a feeling of being in a puzzle. The movie making quality was excellent. There is a lot of stuff within the movie that can be discussed and explored with friends. The manipulations of the human mind and the psychology of the main characters were interesting. It was refreshing to see a movie that had good content without all the muck of innuendos that some movies have. Yes, there was violence, but it was not as graphic as most movies are. I wouldn’t bring my 5 year old niece to see it, but I would go see it with my friends who like a good story that pushes the mind beyond the reality.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Sara, age 32 (USA)
Negative
Negative—I went in with hopes on this one and what a disappointment! They could have really made this awesome, and it was so confusing and just stupid, that I couldn’t believe it was 2½ hours! I found myself frustrated with how dumb it was, that I would have left, had I not taken my dad there for his birthday. I felt bad that was his present, because it was lame. He said, “That was the weirdest present I have ever received!”. The concept of the movie was really interesting, but they just tried to make it way too complicated. It is so not worth the hype. Sure, there is action, but it took half way through it, then you were so annoyed about not having any idea what was going on—it just stunk.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Samantha Taylor, age 35 (USA)
Negative—Although this film is “average” in that it has less profanity, sexual content, nudity and gory violence than many films, it is 100% contrary to the truth of the gospel. The story is based on Freudian psychology and existentialism—both are humanistic and opposed to God. My husband and I probably go to the movies twice a year. I wanted desperately to enjoy the movie; but I just couldn’t find anything good about it. There were no themes of righteousness, mercy, forgiveness (other than the main character forgiving himself). I understand the temptation to accept movies that outwardly appear “cleaner” than average. But I think we would do well to consider the over all themes of these types of movies. Maybe we should have a “white washed” category. That’s what I would call this one.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Lara, age 37 (USA)
Negative—This was probably the worst film my husband and I have ever seen. It made no sense and was hard to follow. The action scenes were amazing, but the movie was so dumb I felt like it was a meeting in The Twilight Zone. What a waste of time and money. Also, as usual, the music drowned out almost all dialogue; this is something that seems to happen in most all movies today, even good ones. Perhaps the scripts are so badly written the director chooses to drowned it out. Sitting through this was a real “nightmare.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: not applicable / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Dottie, age middle-age (USA)
Negative—Great ideas about dreams, very abstract, made me think seriously, very emotional, superb acting and movie making. However, I cannot see this movie again or recommend it with clean conscience. There is A LOT of violence, nearly constantly people are shot or die in the hands of self-centered individuals. The psychology is VERY DARK, dealing with suicide and profound loss for the sense and direction of life. If they could have only kept the violence out. This would have been a groundbreaking movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jay, age 41 (Canada)
Negative—…I read all the hooh-haah and all the over-the-top praise coming from most critics who covered this film. …I went in to see the movie expecting to see a cinematic or Sci-Fi event. A couple of days before today, I went in with two friends to watch this Christopher Nolan’s “masterpiece” and “dream of a movie” (quoting critics). It is nothing even close to being that… I was so disappointed in seeing this film… but I was even more disappointed in having allowed myself to be “influenced” like this by the majority of so many critics… that I truly began to wonder and consider: Why would the critics praise this film so much over the top, when it’s anything but? Was it truly, as in the case of “the king’s new clothes,” that no critic DARED to say what this movie really is—like no one dared to point at the king’s foolishness from the parable? INCEPTION is nothing close to a “masterpiece” and it definitely NOT any “dream of a movie” and if it is worthy of that last superlative—then, I’m sorry to say: your dreams should really begin to be FAR more interesting than this dreary, boring, forcefully-trying-to-appear-sophisticated and very unattractive one, presented to us by director Christopher Nolan.

Now, I will confess about one thing, about myself: I really do prefer the easier and more simply constructed stories in the movies I myself adore. I never was one for this mind-twist and multi-layered movies… which want you to keep analyzing them and re-analyzing and reinterpreting and over-interpreting them—as if doing that would contribute anything in your life. Therefore, I myself, do prefer the more simple—yet the more INSPIRING, thought-provoking, moral-teaching, encouraging and (more often than not) the “happy” or “happier” movies… So yeah, you guessed it: I’m no fan of MATRIX, either. But let me tell you this: MATRIX was at-least pretty to look at. Costume wise, design wise, action/effects wise. INCEPTION doesn’t even have those better points!!

As I sat in the theater (at the beginning of the movie), admiring Leo Dicaprio’s really beautiful suits and his remarkable acting (Yes, I’m a fan of Dicaprio. I do think he is very-very talented)… I, very soon, began to understand and realize that Chris Nolan has created a movie which is, in more than one sense, ELITIST. Why? Because this, his movie, clearly states—with it’s too complex and too-much-information-and-details-ridden story that it doesn’t really care if you “don’t get it.” So, call me 'stupid or “unsophisticated” or whatever. I’m going to come out and say it: “I don’t get it.” There, that’s done. I didn’t understand the movie INCEPTION, and I’m regretting the 37 shequels I wasted in purchasing the theater ticket for it.

Now, I’ll say furthermore: I don’t care to “get it”, either. I really have better things to do in life and BETTER movies to enjoy and appreciate also! It’s amazing how much this movie is boring. And I’m now addressing all those who agree with me—and all those who also didn’t get why they wasted ticket money on INCEPTION either. It’s NOT that you—the viewers—who are “not smart”. It’s the movie that is impossible in many aspects, chief of them being: impossibly boring.

The reason for which Nolan wants to “punish” his viewers, by obliging them to remember and make sense of too-many details, layers (and their individual logics) and at-least 3 plot-lines or more—is truly clear only to himself. I have seen movies about dreams and the lines between them and reality, such as SOLARIS (with Clooney) and VANILLA SKY (with Cruise). Yeah, I know they’re regarded as “inferior” to Nolan’s work—but I found them far more interesting and MOVING—and also, they were interesting to look at, visually and to appreciate, actor-performance wise, too.

In summary: a movie doesn’t have to be over-the-top-details/info-ridden and CONFUSING in-order to be 'enjoyable'. Mr. Nolan, hear? Yes, the movie has little objectionable content. And that’s good and appreciated—however, is that enough in order to praise the movie as a good one? For everyone? For most, even? Nolan likes to show BUILDINGS. In “The Dark Knight” the buildings in the movie were more of a character than was Batman himself. In INCEPTION Nolan likes to—again—show buildings and this time—he shows them crumbling or changing wild perspectives. Wait now: this is what critics are applauding as “visual style”? Really? It’s not that I don’t “get it” this time. I’m not “buying it”, is more accurate.

Funny thing: in a scene in the movie (“Inception”), one female character asks in the midst of an action sequence: “Wait! In whose subconscious are we in now?” or something like that. I could hear too many giggles and stifled laughter from the audience in the theater, who were probably asking themselves the same question—trying to find humor in the regret of having to watch this incoherent and un-involving mess from Nolan. Why make such a complicated movie? And if Chris Nolan doesn’t care that most (or at-least a considerable amount of people) are not going to comprehend his story—why not “compensate” by giving that “poor-unsophisticated-bunch” (who were only looking for some good involving and absorbing entertainment—the poor schmucks…) something else to admire in this boring movie…?? Because again, skewed buildings don’t really do it for many people, including me.

The movie has NO humor. Two lame attempts at humor, in the entire film produce giggles, or lips moving slightly to a smile, at best… Leo Dicaprio looks good. As do both female characters… All other male characters look like cold-mafia-assassin types. Again, not attractive.

So again. Don’t go with “the hype”. Remember, it was “cool” and “sophisticated” to see and “dig” MATRIX at one era. But when today, some years later, many are asked about that MATRIX trilogy: what is it that they remember MOST from it? The surprising (??) answer is: Will Farrell’s parody of the architect’s “mumbo-jumbo speech” from “MATRIX two”. So, judge for yourselves, and trust yourselves by not falling automatically in line with “the hype” by the critics.

Sadly, Nolan’s movie has surprisingly little interesting going for it. If you have an analytical mind, and want to work it to EXHAUSTION during the viewing of the movie—you might find it “interesting”… phew! Don’t be surprised though, when you get no medal for it. I find it funny that critics bash directors like Michael Bay for showing “too fast” action scenes…? Really? And Nolan showing a van falling from a bridge into a lake below for THREE QUARTERS OF A MOVIE is supposedly “better” and more “classy”? C’mon!

My own HUMOROUS paranoid-theory suggests to me, that in actuality NONE of the critics really understood this new film from Christopher Nolan. But how can a critic say he/she didn’t “get” the new movie from the acclaimed director of “The Dark Knight” and ‘Memento’? “Hmmm… look around… ahh, the other critics are applauding the movie wildly and much… they must’ve ‘got it.’” --… the critic says to himself/herself (“and I better understand this movie when I re-emerges on DVD sometime… till then…”)—Ahh… I’m kidding (or am I?). Did somebody say: “the king’s new clothes”? Oops.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Sasson, age 35 (Israel)
Negative—Love DiCaprio, loved “The Matrix,” and love alternate reality/dream sequences. I think this need to be clearly stated to anyone who is going to see the movie: it is not just “intense”, it is stressful! I actually had not heard a thing about this movie before I went, and I wish I had. I just heard that if you liked “The Matrix” then you’ll love this. So. I LOVED “The Matrix” but I found myself shielding my eyes during most of the movie.

Movie goers, especially women, are going to be disappointed if they are squeamish, don’t like fight sequences, or have issue with overt sounds of human tissue being pummeled by various and sundry objects (not excluding knives, bullets, poles, fists, etc). I mean, gross. Frankly, I am taking time to write this review because I believe there are other like me…who search on Christian Answers.net to get the true feel of a movie and its watch-ability from a Christian standpoint.

The bible says “Be anxious for nothing”. I was TOTALLY anxious during this movie, and I turned to the other wife and said, “Wow. This is stressful”. Other than the movie is stressful (my husband says “intense!!”) and gory/violent (my husband says “action-filled!”) it is a work of art and I wish I could have enjoyed more of it without having to shield my eyes.

I agree with the critics that it is superb, I just feel followers of Christ (especially women) deserve to know it is extremely violent and stressful (“suspenseful” to the exponential degree).
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Kimm Friedemann, age 43 (USA)
Negative—In summary, if you consider yourself a seriously thinking individual who wants more than mindless explosions, then you will be dissatisfied with this movie. It is littered with flaws.

Firstly the film is immoral. All of the characters are criminals, yet in this film the audience is encouraged to like them or at least ignore their shortcomings, as if what they do is nothing more than unfortunate or a product of circumstances or society. It’s a sort of attitude that if it’s cool, then it must be good—regardless of the immorality of the situation. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—David, age 54 (Australia)
Negative—It’s a novel concept (i.e., dream sharing). But this movie was very wrong. The show continually questions reality—even in the closing scene. The underlying theme is suicide. The main actor lives with his wife for decades in a surreal dream world, eventually convincing her to commit suicide with him in order to return to reality. But his wife then doesn’t believe the real world and commits suicide again, trying to take him with her. She then keeps coming back in his dreams, killing other people.

It was very warped. If the subtle purpose of this film is to promote suicide as an escape to a higher reality, I think it’s very effective. The huge majority of viewers absorb the meaning at a subconscious level, totally failing to comprehend that suicide has been normalised in their mind! The primary plot is all about using an illegal mind control technique to manipulate a business competitor. I don’t imagine Jesus would condone this. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Tim, age 28 (Australia)
Comments from young people
Positive—Wow. This movie is one of the best that I have ever seen. Heart-pounding and mind-bending, this is a thriller with intelligence, and an action movie with a heart. This movie is rewardingly complex and won’t leave your mind once you’ve left the theater. With refreshingly little objectionable content, this is one that I would recommend to anyone who is intrigued by it. But bear in mind—this movie will make you think! (By the way, this movie is WAY better than this review makes it sound. It’s not all psychology-ish at all.)
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Katharynne, age 16 (USA)
Positive—I had been anticipating this film with keen interest ever since viewing the teaser trailer. Being directed by Christopher Nolan, and populated with such well-established cast members, I expected to be wowed. Let’s just say I was not wowed, my mind was blown to pieces! I have never been as drawn into the emotion of a movie as I have been here. Like a previous reviewer, I don’t typically sit-on-the-edge-of-my-seat in any part of a movie, but during the last 30 minutes or so, I literally found it impossible to resist the urge.

As for any “objectionable content,” you won’t find a whole lot here. The violence is to be expected in this genre, but isn’t overdone in any way; most of the swearing was done under very high-stress situations where adults would most likely say such things, and even then it is not used very much.

My only precaution is this: if you are not used to handling mind-blowing plots, I highly recommend viewing Christopher Nolan’s previous films as a warm-up. It took me several viewings to fully grasp “The Dark Knight,” but this entry raises the bar more than a couple notches on more than a few “levels”.

In a world where studios aren’t as tired of sequels, remakes, adaptations, and the like as audiences are, Christopher Nolan is always there to pump fresh and exciting material into the local theater. He has topped himself once again, will he be able to do the same in 2-3 more years? It seems impossible to top this, but knowing him, I’m sure he’s already been working on another masterpiece for several years.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Dan Dorland, age 17 (USA)
Positive—One of the most smart and mind-boggling action movies out there. It’s just BRILLIANT. It just gets you thinking. The acting was excellent. The story was excellent. The fx were extraordinary. It was edge of your seat material. It is extremely confusing to some, and easy to follow to others. Worth your money, though. I recommend it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Noah, age 14 (Canada)
Positive—Before I get into the review, I first just want to say WOW! I’m not an edge-of-the-seat type of viewer, but for the first time I can remember, I was, quite literally, on the edge of my seat in multiple parts of the movie.

Let’s start with the good. As far as the acting went, it was amazing. There were no choppy parts or parts that seemed forced. The special effects were well done, but not over-done. The plot was interesting and complex; it was a real mind-trip.

I wouldn’t suggest this movie for children under the age of 12, just because the plot may get to be too difficult to follow and understand.

It was easy to identify with the characters as well as their own individual personalities and struggles. The only theme I was able to perceive was that we must face our fears and struggles.

Now, for a little of the bad. Profanity was kept to a minimum. I did head on character use Jesus' name in vain once though. Sexuality was nearly nonexistent, except for a few scenes of woman in what I would consider too revealing of clothing, but it was nothing drastic or overtly sexual. There is a moderate deal of violence in it. Nothing of the extent in “Braveheart” or “The Patriot,” but something more like “Mission: Impossible 3.”

All in all, I found this movie to be extremely entertaining and fun to watch. I would definitely recommend it to people over the age of 10.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Hayden, age 14 (USA)
Positive—This was one of the best movies I have seen in a really long time. I loved the way it made you think, and how it was sorta like “The Matrix,” in the beginning, where you didn’t know if you were in the dream or the real world. My favorite part was how they portrayed the guilt that Cobb had by taking us into his dream and showing us Mol and making a character out of her and making people sad that she died. I, also, thought it was wonderful how they put Mol into all of the dreams to show how big of an impact she had on Cobb’s life, so that we really got to know who she was and how she affected the movie. ***SPOILER*** I was soo happy when the totem didn’t fall at the end, hoping that means there will be sequel.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jonathan, age 14 (USA)
Positive—This movie was incredible! I somewhat regret not being able to see it in the theatre. I liked watching it at home, because it was with someone who had already seen it, and we could pause and ask questions. There are no sex scenes of any kind, but there are a few swears. I almost cried in some parts! The fighting scenes are not overly gory at all (but don’t let your 5 year old watch it). It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Be careful to pay attention, because every sentence is important. I would recommend this movie for 10 and up, and be ready for the thrill of your life! (Hint: Pay attention to what color clothes some of the characters are wearing.)
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Brianna, age 14 (USA)
Positive—The movie is an excellent mind-bender. The movie discusses the science of dreams and the existence of limbo (purgatory). The plot idea is interesting, considering most of the movie is mainly a dream. XD Anyways, what I think was the best plot twister was DiCaprio’s character’s inner struggle with the burden of guilt coming from his wife’s suicide.

This was effecting the dream world by seeing flashes and memories of his past, which effected everyone else’s process of finishing the mission.

For those of you who like action and sci-fi, you won’t be disappointed. There are some scenes that could offend those who are sensitive to certain types of movies, like the moderate amount of violence, and overuse of profanity. All in all, a great blockbuster.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—DJ, age 16 (Canada)
Positive—This is my favorite movie of all time! The action in it was amazing! The story of the movie made you think… It was confusing, but entertaining! It did have some language. A few curse words here and there. It also used God’s name in vain a couple of times. Otherwise it was an awesome movie and I suggest you see it!!!….
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Noah, age 14 (USA)
Positive—Best movie ever. “Inception” was beautifully crafted and so cleverly put together, that you were pulled into it within the opening scene. Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordan Levitt, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Marion Cottilard, and Ellen Page give brilliant performances, each Oscar worthy. The effects and stunts were absolutely stunning. Chris Nolan never fails to give his audience a smart movie experience, where, every time you watch it, you notice something that you didn’t before. The only objectionable content was some language throughout the film. Other then that, I would totally recommend this AMAZING movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Aliya Mcreynolds, age 14 (USA)
Comments from non-viewers
Neutral—I have not seen this movie yet, and I don’t know if I will. A lot of you keep saying it just has only 1 or 2 swear words in it. Or it only puts the Lord’s name in vain only once but other than that it is a clean movie. It is not a clean movie if it has any of that. Especially if it uses our Almighty Lord’s name in vain at all. What would you think if you ate a cake and it’s the best one you ever had and then someone told you that they put one little speck of poop in the ingredients. Satan uses movies to get to us. He will get you to believe that little bit of swear words or other junk is ok, but then next time it’s a little more and then so on. Trust me, I know about this, and it is very true. May God bless you all.
—Shane Stancell, age 33 (USA)
Neutral—This movie was difficult to follow—hard to tell if the people were dreaming or in reality. I think it could have been an OK film, if I’d have watched it to the end, but it was just taking too long and not really holding my interest. I think my 13 year old son could have watched it, but it wasn’t worth it, because my husband and 18 year old son could hardly understand it. It has a lot of explosions, which I found distracting. All in all, rather boring.
—Annette, age 41 (Canada)
Positive—When I first watched “Inception,” it was a bit confusing. I got lost in what dream they were in and, after the movie, was still trying to figure the whole plot out. A couple months later (after thinking about the plot quite a bit), I was able to discuss it with some friends. They, like me, agree that it is a very, I guess you could say, mind-boggling movie when you first watch it. By the second time, I understood the blog and was able to follow more of the movie, and what was going on. Other than a few “objectionable” parts, “Inception” was a great movie… for those who like action adventure with lots of twists and turns. I enjoyed it immensely, and will be watching it again in the future.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Anonymous, age 13 (USA)