Critic Review - The Nation

What is the point of having an imagination, I ask you, if the only thing that can be imagined is mayhem, perpetrated without regard for even the appearance of human life?

January 3, 2011 Full Review Source: The Nation | Comments (45)
The Nation


Andrew Williams

Andrew Williams

you do realize that most of the people who die in the film are projections?

Jan 6 - 06:20 PM

Brad Stahoski

Brad Stahoski

Pretty sure he did. The "appearance" of human life.

Dec 10 - 12:09 PM


Matt Rotman

Lost all credibility when he said Zimmer's score was mediocre

Jan 6 - 09:57 PM

Mike L.

Mike L

"Waaah, people get shot. This is a bad movie."

For the love of god, grow up.

You talk as though Cobb & Co. are bad, heartless people, because they callously kill people. THEY AREN'T. They aren't any more evil murderers than a kid playing Halo is; they're "killing" figments of Fisher's imagination. Did you... even watch the movie?

Also, I heartily agree with PowerDump: if you believe that Zimmer's score was "mediocre," you are either highly delusional, or a bitter troll. Either way, your opinion is invalidated, and I am frankly appalled that RT would consider this "review" worthy of counting.

Jan 8 - 02:21 PM

Phil K.

Phil Kramer

I agree.

Jan 11 - 05:38 PM

Simon Junod

Simon Junod

Because you consider 4 chords repeated again and again to be good music ?

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against minimalistic music, and am a big fan of Philip Glass.

Jan 30 - 03:34 PM


Andrew Cook

lulz hi my name is Simon and I completely missed the point.

Jul 15 - 01:56 AM

Brady S.

Brady Schultz

s my d

Jan 7 - 01:38 PM


Doomz Davo

dropped from 87%

Jan 8 - 12:23 PM

Projected Realities

Erik Hitechew

Oh, well. At least 86% Fresh is still really good.

Jan 11 - 09:58 AM


Dylan Sigaty-Hawkes

If it drops to 85 I'm headed to the rope store. this is the best film of '10

Jan 18 - 03:14 PM


Timo H

So you always dream of bees and flowers, right?

Feb 8 - 08:23 AM


Timo H

So you always dream of bees and flowers, right?

Feb 8 - 08:23 AM

Bye bye

Steven Bailey


Jan 8 - 01:11 PM

Zach  G.

Zach Girod

You are a turd.

Jan 9 - 09:46 PM

Projected Realities

Erik Hitechew

To the people calling the reviewer a "turd" and "killjoy" and telling him to "s [their] d," I'm not really sure that things like this will really convince him of your credibility, just as you're not convinced of his.

**To the reviewer:** I'm honestly not sure this can be called much of a review.

The film doesn't even get a plot synopsis, unlike what the reviewer heartily bestows on "Life During Wartime" -- instead, the reviewer mentions one basic idea from the film (indeed, the power behind ideas) and cynically dismisses this as an excuse for gratuitous violence.

Inception is actually much more strict regarding this concept than The Matrix was. The Matrix's worldview was one of paranoia, where anyone you knew or loved could be taken over and possessed by the godlike Agents at any time -- and thus it became impossible to know whom to trust. The people being shot weren't mental projections, they were real people trapped in an alternate ("virtual") reality.

Inception does not have this issue, as the people being shot and killed are mental projections, figments of one dream inside another inside another and so on.

I don't know if you're trying to condemn "violence" or "gratuitous violence," but ~you must examine the context~ in order to determine whether an act of violence is truly justified or not. In this case it hardly makes a difference in story terms, as Cobb and company could have been shooting at robots or ghosts or whatever else their target's mind literally decided to conjure up for them. Even The Matrix didn't have that degree of freedom with regard to how its premise was set up, for which I made a case a few paragraphs ago.

If you wanted to discuss ethics, I think a better issue worth talking about would have been the idea of entering into someone's mind (usually for the sake of corporate espionage, in this specific case for the sake of preventing an energy-resource monopoly) and stealing ideas or planting new ones.

"Is it right to force someone to think what you want them to think?" "What if the idea is a lot better than whatever idea they currently have? And can the same be said of the idea our 'heroes' want to plant?" "Can the ends and consequences ultimately justify the means?"

But frankly you didn't mention any of this at all, giving your reader no help in understanding the movie's premise.

Returning to the issue of violence. From a sort of removed, external "meta-standpoint," you might argue that this premise was constructed as an easy excuse for glamorizing extended scenes of violence, but is that really relevant here? What about wars? What about war films? Do you feel that soldiers (for example), who do kill real people, necessarily lack regard for human life, or is there another issue to be examined? What about people who make war films? The people in those films don't really kill and die, though they are portrayed as doing so, and many war films aren't needlessly subtle about which side the audience is supposed to root for as the "heroes," even though all sides engage in plenty of killing. Which war films use violence as the framework for a story, and which films use story as an excuse for violence?

My point is not that Inception can be compared on a 1:1 basis with films like Saving Private Ryan, but since you seem to focus on the simple act of killing as an excuse to condemn Inception, you've opened up a lot of issues that need to be discussed.

Jan 11 - 09:53 AM

Mr. Dufresne

Chip McNair

This guy needs to see a psychiatrist, not because he didn't like Inception, but because he took the film (as well as The Matrix) too literally.

And Hans Zimmer's MEDIOCRE score?!?!? There goes your credibility.

Jan 12 - 11:02 AM

Kevin T.

Kevin Torres

Because imagination can involve anything, including mayhem/violence. Your argument is invalid.

Jan 14 - 04:32 PM


Dylan Sigaty-Hawkes

Kill yourself, you mindless subhuman

Jan 17 - 01:58 PM


Dylan Sigaty-Hawkes

Kill yourself, you mindless subhuman

Jan 17 - 01:58 PM


Dylan Sigaty-Hawkes

Kill yourself, you mindless subhuman

Jan 17 - 01:59 PM


Dylan Sigaty-Hawkes

Have another, Stu!

Jan 17 - 03:00 PM

Hans S.

Georg Pauwen

No matter the amount of insults thrown at somebody who did not like the movie, live with the fact that people have different views. That makes this world beautiful. If you cannot live with somebody else's opinion, go live in a dictatorship, there are still a few of those around. How dull and dumb to attack somebody for is or her taste.

Jan 20 - 10:12 AM


Gabriel Ivan Orendain-Necochea

It's a good thing the Nation doesn't allow comments on it's page, because otherwise this poor guy would get lampooned. I find it surprising that a bunch of little greasy faced young adults, most of them fresh out of college or high school even, can give more gripping and insightful reviews then a $100,000 salary reviewer.
It's just another reason why all the major news papers and old medias are decaying.
I have nothing against this guy's opinion, I just can't see how he couldn't support a shred of anything he said. One letter regarding the review even pointed out some gross factual errors he had.
Hans S., you realize that being a critic, an art in and of it self (supposedly), requires one to takes a person's art, passion, hard work that someone slaved for years to make, chew it up and regurgitate it, then tell you it tasted? Anyone who can stomach something like that should have no problem having their work picked at.

Jan 22 - 07:12 PM

Talon Sonnenberg

Talon Sonnenberg

I'm 15 and I could give a better more honest reveiw then the moron that reviewed this

Oct 29 - 12:29 AM

Projected Realities

Erik Hitechew

I think the issue, aside from the people who are angry simply because the reviewer didn't like the instrumental music, is that the reviewer made a lot of questionable arguments, and I think that sort of faulty logic, which comes down to right versus wrong and doesn't "make the world beautiful," is what's being attacked in this thread.

Jan 22 - 07:13 PM

Hans S.

Georg Pauwen

Point taken. But neither the reviewers nor any of us, the audience, had any active part in making this film. We are all just consumers, so why would you get so worked up about somebody not liking it ? If YOU liked it, why is somebody who didn't such a threat to you ? I very much like the fact that people these days are opinionated. But REacting to others just kind of makes you look...inferior...hope that makes sense.

Jul 25 - 02:26 PM

Projected Realities

Erik Hitechew

To Hans S. (I don't know if this comment will show up under yours, since the commenting system is being screwy for me), again, I think the reason that people here are getting "worked up" is not that he did not like the movie, but that his reasons for his opinion do not make sense. If the movie "just wasn't his cup of tea," then no one could really do anything about that.

But if his primary arguments for not liking the movie can be explained away -- his synopsis of The Matrix was flawed because those WERE technically real people who were being shot at (if I recall?), while his complaint of "Shoot, and never mind what happens to the target" for Inception is explained away with mental projections -- I really don't think he can make a case for *why* he didn't like the movie. It reminds me of the South Park episode that complained viciously about "plot holes" that were explained within the film itself.

Sep 26 - 07:21 PM

Jim W.

Jim White

You sir, are a moron.

Reading your review was a test of patience. You are just so full of BS and use big words and a self-inspired eloquence to justify a paycheck. I mean, who really reads or cares for the crap you spew?

Jan 28 - 11:29 PM

Bahareh K.

Bahareh Khosravi

CGI and effects took away from the potential of the movie to be heart-felt, relatable and sincere. more sizzle, less steak with a high concept that has been around since Freud. too much going on in the movie for it to be able to actually have a point. Matrix did it better. and let's not forget vanilla sky. It's a shame that an actor as good as Leonardo DiCaprio can't display his talents. and the same goes for the rest of them; Marion Cotillard and Micheal Cain and Ken Watanabe. I expect more of Martin as well. I liked it @ first but after a while it was just too much! kind of cliche for my taste.

Jan 31 - 02:57 PM

Rob H.

Rob Hansen

They didn't use CGI making inception

May 6 - 01:37 PM

Matt P.

Matt Pryor

I fell asleep during this movie, woke up, and still knew exactly what was going on. Last time I had fallen asleep during a movie was the Ring part 2. I truly did not like this movie, I think it tried way too hard to be a thought provoking movie and it just didn't accomplish that for me. I will say Leo's performance was incredible, just simply didn't enjoy what the movie had to offer.

Feb 12 - 02:47 AM

Sarah Seksich

Sarah Seksich

I agree with you on the whole. What a boring movie.

Feb 4 - 04:35 AM


Kenneth W.

Won't somebody please think of the children?

Feb 24 - 01:50 PM

S W.


That you think the dreamworld of the Matrix was controlled by "monsters from outer space" tells me all I need to know about how much attention you pay to a film. A movie like Inception is obviously way over your head and, as such, I'll be looking for how to suggest to RT that your reviews be removed from any rating calculations.

Mar 24 - 11:41 AM


Joshua Dinsmore

Huh? You're more confusing than the movie was.

Apr 1 - 10:57 PM

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