Genre Grandeur – Inception (2010)

For my next Genre Grandeur guest review, I present you with a review by Cara from Silver Screen Serenade.  Cara has a great blog and whats more, she has great ideas for blogathons.  Her Nooovember and Resolutions posts were amazing.  Check out her site if you don’t already.

Here’s a review of Cara’s favorite Thriller – Inception (2010).

Take it away Cara….

inception gg

“You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.” – Eames

 Number of Times Seen – Not totally sure. I know I saw it in theaters three times. All in all, this was my sixth or seventh viewing at the very least.

Brief Synopsis – “A skilled extractor is offered a chance to regain his old life as payment for a task considered to be impossible.” (from IMDb)

My Take On It – I said it after my first viewing and I’m still saying it today: this is one of the most intelligent and interesting films I’ve ever seen. After writing and directing several awesome films in a row (Memento, Batman Begins, The Prestige, and The Dark Knight), Christopher Nolan decided to bring the world something completely different and, in my humble opinion, completely awesome.

For casual viewers seeking nothing more than fun, action-packed fluff, Inception might be a bit too strange and confusing. It’s a great thriller—lots of gun fights and chase scenes and tension, as you’d expect—but at its core it is truly an intelligent, creative film that delves into a realm that is largely a mystery to us: our dreams. Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his partner, Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), are our guides into this world; we follow them as they elaborately plan and attempt to plant an important idea into the subconscious of a wealthy businessman. The plan takes viewers through a complex, multi-layered world that is a visual treat and a very exciting ride.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out how incredibly star-studded this cast is. You can never go wrong with DiCaprio as the lead, of course, but Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Marion Cotillard, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, and Michael Caine all deliver as excellent supporting characters. My personal favorite? Tom Hardy as wonderfully sassy Eames. Inception was my introduction to Hardy, and despite his somewhat limited role, he made quite an impression on me.

However, even the awesome cast might be overshadowed by the incredible visuals in this film. In 2011, Inception very deservingly scooped up the Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Affects, and if you watch the film it’s easy to see why. A horizontal street folds up and becomes vertical. Buildings and props quickly explode and freeze in the air mid-explosion. Characters stumble and roll along walls and ceilings as the gravity shifts. A group of people tied together float along in midair. It’s just really, really cool. And the sets are pretty darn impressive, too. Nolan takes us from busy city streets to a classy hotel to a snowy fortress, ending it all on the shores of an impressive island filled with decaying buildings. It’s a thoroughly imagined, stunning world.

Despite the many praiseworthy aspects of this film, there are still a few minor issues—mostly involving the dream technology. Toward the beginning of the film, one character briefly mentions that it was developed for military training, which, I suppose, might make sense, and we get the gist of how the dream world works, but there are still plenty of questions. How does everyone enter the same dream? How is the dominant dreamer determined? How do architects insert their designs into another person’s dream? How can certain characters (i.e. Eames) change their appearance in a dream? Though I can get past these nagging questions, I could easily see how other viewers might get bogged down by them.

Bottom Line – Despite the general disorientation at the beginning of the film and the questions surrounding the dream technology, Inception is an extraordinary thriller. The performances are great, the story is intriguing, and the visuals are like nothing you’ve ever seen. Plus, it has one of my favorite endings of all time—an ambiguous, highly debatable, edge-of-your-seat moment. I can’t recommend this film enough.

Rating – Oscar Worthy

Thanks again to Cara for her amazing review of this incredible movie.

If you are interested in sending me your own favorite Thriller, email me at by 25 March to be included in this month’s genre!

44 thoughts on “Genre Grandeur – Inception (2010)

  1. Great review, Cara. I don’t like this one as much you (and many others) do, which isn’t to say I think it bad. Just flawed. The visuals are stunning. The acting is strong.

    But the Ellen Page/Di Caprio relationship is not good. First, it is too expository, used to explain too much to the audience. Second, why is this woman who has just met the men many years her elder the only one tuned into the man’s rather obvious emotional foibles?

    I would still give Inception a B or B-, but it is not, in my opinion, one of the best movies ever made.


    • Thanks, my friend! Personally, I’m not bothered by the fact that Page’s character is used in an expository way. It is kind of weird, I guess, that JGL’s character doesn’t seem to be more aware of what’s going on in DiCaprio’s head, but I actually think it’s effective having an outsider jump in–they explain things to her, which explains things to us. But I could see how you think it’s a hiccup. Also, I had to look up “foible.” You and you fancy words…lol.


      • 🙂

        Explaining the mechanics of the dream technology is why she’s useful. It just gets too long winded, in my opinion. Show not tell, and all that. Explaining what’s wrong with Leo? That’s just lazy writing. 1. We already know, because they showed it to us. They didn’t need to tell, as well. 2. She has known him a minute, give or take.

        But I recognize I’m in the minority with this complaint. Most people love this movie.


  2. Personally I liked how Nolan set up the beginning that the dream sharing was an established technology and didn’t delve too far into the details. Ariadne became the connection to the audience for the explanation. This is easily one of my top movies.


  3. Reblogged this on Silver Screen Serenade and commented:
    The awesome Mr. MovieRob recently sent out a request for reviews for his cool new series, Genre Grandeur. The series will hone in on the best of the best in a different genre each month, but the focus for March is thrillers. Naturally, I couldn’t resist writing up a little something about Inception. Check it out! Also, Rob is accepting reviews through the 25th, so definitely take some time to write about your favorite thriller and send it his way!


  4. What a great choice Cara! I freaking love Inception. It seems that everything that worked for you worked for me. This was a truly brilliant film, delivered by one of the most consistent and original filmmakers working today.


  5. Pingback: Genre Grandeur March Update | MovieRob

  6. Pingback: Duets: Big Hero 6 and Interstellar | Silver Screen Serenade

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