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18. EMPIRE MAGAZINE GREATEST: Inception

October 16, 2018

Director: Christopher Nolan
Screenplay: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Michael Caine
Runtime: 148 Minutes

 

Original UK Release: 2010

 

★★★★★

 

The brainchild of its creator and director, Inception is essentially an art-house thought piece on the nature of dreams, reality, time, space and emotional detachment all dressed up as a James Bond film.

 

It embodies all of the traits of which people have come to both love and criticize Christopher Nolan for, but weave them into becoming a part of the narrative. Most of Nolan’s recent films, including The Dark Knight trilogy, have been criticized by some commentators because of their lack of emotional connection to the characters.

 

This film takes that idea as a theme and massages it straight into the plot itself. ‎Leonardo DiCaprio‎'s Dominick Cobb is a man that personifies the passive, delicately structured expertise required in his field of work, and his highly controlled world begins to crumble apart because of his deep, emotional vulnerabilities.

 

The film is paced like a freight train, shooting by while keeping enough time for the audience to jump on board. It looks incredible as the camera and framing begin to organically meld with the scenery.

 

The performances and characters are outstanding, the script is a dense maze, the action is phenomenal and the score is unforgettable. Wally Pfister unique looking and audacious cinematography offers up sights unseen since multiplex audiences first witnessed the bizarre visual lunacy of The Wachowskis The Matrix.

 

Unlike The Matrix, though, Nolan has already built upon his own ground-swell, and even if some of the knowing self-reflexivity of the narrative and themes may seem pretentious, he handles them with aplomb and an intricately layered narrative and pacing structure.

 

It’s a grand and remarkable movie with great execution and many values, all of which take multiple viewings in order to fully appreciate. It’s one of the best blockbusters that you could possibly hope for, and it’s Nolan’s best film to date.

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