INCEPTION Reviews: Cooling Down

Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Inception
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Inception

Christopher Nolan's sci-fi/thriller Inception opens Friday. Initially hailed as a masterpiece, Inception has now received several negative reviews that have lowered its Rotten Tomatoes score down from near 100 percent to 83 percent. Among RT's top critics, the score is even lower: 74 percent.

For comparison's sake: The Dark Knight's overall score is 93 percent positive; 91 percent among top critics. Batman Begins got 84 percent overall; 60 percent among top critics. Memento got 92 percent overall; 94 percent among top critics.

Inception stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Ken Watanabe, Ellen Page, Michael Caine, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Lukas Haas.

Below are a few recent review snippets:

The trouble with Nolan's film is that it pulls so many tricks and double bluffs that it is often hard to get your bearings. And so, like the movie's characters, we are left to blunder blindly down the rabbit hole, labouring to tell the ceiling from the floor and wondering desperately, in the words of one protagonist, "just whose subconscious we're in now, exactly". Happily, in the case of Inception, getting lost is half the fun. Xan Brooks in The Guardian.

Welcome to the world of "Inception," written and directed by the masterful Christopher Nolan, a tremendously exciting science-fiction thriller that's as disturbing as it sounds. This is a popular entertainment with a knockout punch so intense and unnerving it'll have you worrying if it's safe to close your eyes at night. Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times.

It is more like a diverting reverie than a primal nightmare, something to be mused over rather than analyzed, something you may forget as soon as it's over. Which is to say that the time — nearly two and a half hours — passes quickly and for the most part pleasantly, and that you see some things that are pretty amazing, and amazingly pretty ... A. O. Scott, the New York Times.

The ambitious, phantasmagorical thriller from writer-director Christopher Nolan ... proves more engaging to the mind and eyes than to the heart. There's no real emotional payoff and, call me old-fashioned, but that's what I'm looking for in a movie. Leah Rozen in TheWrap.

Oh, well. "Inception" may not be the ultimate trip, nor even the first "Matrix." But Nolan's filmmaking intelligence places him among our most persuasive contemporary fantasists. Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune.

Photo: Warner Bros.

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