Despite a premise that is absurdly far-fetched, a conclusion that is impossibly clean, and a theme (What if we could control our dreams and/or the dreams of others? What if reality really isn't reality?) that has been visited often in films before it, Inception triumphs as one of the most satisfying, memorable and heart-racing movies of the year. It is visually stunning, with sweeping vistas and culture-clashing settings ranging from Mombassa to Paris to somewhere where it's really, really snowy. There are convincing performances by Marion Cotillard (Public Enemies), Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins) and even Ellen Paige (Juno) who plays the architect of a dream. And, of course, Leonardo DiCaprio adds another feather to his cap.
Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight) directs for 2 hours and 40 minutes of thrills and twists and turns that never get tired or too predictable. What you do need to plan on, however, is no bathroom break! Missing only three or four minutes of this one could leave you completely lost when you return to the theater (or your living room).