Inception - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Inception Reviews

Top Critic
Tom Charity
CNN.com
July 20, 2015
A spectacular fantasy thriller based on Nolan's own original screenplay, Inception is the smartest CGI head-trip since The Matrix.
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
July 20, 2015
It's just grade-A filmmaking.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
July 20, 2015
A heist film of thrilling, almost delirious complexity.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Caryn James
Newsweek
July 20, 2015
Even as you tick off the film's overload of references, though -- a Matrix here, a James Bond there -- the amazing effects and Cobb's quest carry you along.
Top Critic
David Denby
New Yorker
July 19, 2010
An astonishment, an engineering feat, and, finally, a folly.
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
July 16, 2010
It's only the latest indication that Christopher Nolan might be the slyest narrative tactician making movies today.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
July 16, 2010
Pretty good, not bad, but brilliant it surely ain't.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
July 16, 2010
Inception is a boldly constructed wonder with plenty of -- as one character describes it -- "paradoxical architecture."
| Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
July 16, 2010
I found myself admiring the movie's stubborn adherence to its own universe and logic.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
July 16, 2010
Nolan, like Cobb, is an assiduous extractor, and he knows how to wow audiences. But scaling big and thinking big are not the same thing. And dark, just because it's dark, isn't more artistic than light.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
July 16, 2010
Like his protagonist, Nolan excels as an implanter of subversive ideas. This time, alas, he didn't dig quite deep enough for them to take root.
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
July 16, 2010
Inception is that rare film that can be enjoyed on superficial and progressively deeper levels, a feat that uncannily mimics the mind-bending journey its protagonist takes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
John Anderson
Wall Street Journal
July 16, 2010
By convoluting the various planes of experience, by overlapping and obscuring ostensible realities and ostensible dreams, Mr. Nolan deprives us the opportunity of investing emotionally in any of it.
Top Critic
James Rocchi
MSN Movies
July 15, 2010
t has all of Nolan's strengths, and some of his weaknesses, and it is undeniably his. It is a $160 million action film about loss and regret, and it is exciting in part because of its flaws.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
July 15, 2010
All it asks of viewers is that they do something rare: engage the intellect.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
July 15, 2010
I absolutely loved every minute of it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
July 15, 2010
The ambition on display is so huge, and the filmmaking so intelligent, you'll emerge feeling as if you've just watched an entire season of the greatest sci-fi series never made.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
July 15, 2010
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.
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
July 15, 2010
Nolan's film is surely the most ambitious psychological thriller ever, and yet also the most personal. His baroque imagination makes most directors' efforts look like beach-pail sand castles alongside Mad King Ludwig's Neuschwanstein Castle.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
July 15, 2010
With its James Bond-on-acid action scenes and puzzle-within-a-maze-within-a-puzzle mind games, Inception is certainly the most daring and original blockbuster of the year, as well as a visual tour de force. If it only had a heart.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Randy Myers
San Jose Mercury News
July 15, 2010
Inception is the blockbuster we've all been thirsting for, a sleek brain-twister that makes the other 2010 mainstream releases look puny, drab and empty-headed in comparison.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
July 15, 2010
Inception delivers dazzling special effects and a boatload of stars, but it sags and eventually buckles under the weight of its complicated premise.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
indieWIRE
July 15, 2010
Nolan is a thinker, all right, a very busy explorer of mind functions, but capable merely of diagrams when it comes to the heart and soul.
Top Critic
Amy Nicholson
I.E. Weekly
July 15, 2010
Beautiful and bloodless. Like a dream, it doesn't implant ideas you'll carry with you outside of the multiplex
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
July 15, 2010
Mr. DiCaprio exercises impressive control in portraying a man on the verge of losing his grip, but Mr. Nolan has not, in the end, given Cobb a rich enough inner life to sustain the performance.
Top Critic
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
July 15, 2010
Like a dream, Nolan's film fades swiftly in the light -- but while it lasts, it feels like there's nothing more important to decipher.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
July 15, 2010
The idea of moviegoing as communal dreaming is a century old. With Inception, viewers have a chance to see that notion get a state-of-the-art update. Take that chance: dream along with Christopher Nolan.
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
July 15, 2010
Inception may have been directed by Christopher Nolan, but Nolan's dreams are apparently directed by Michael Bay.
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
July 15, 2010
It's a long movie (2.5 hours) but doesn't feel so, and is the rare would-be blockbuster that demands close attention and would surely reward rewatching.
| Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
July 15, 2010
With Inception, writer/director Christopher Nolan not only cements his status as Hollywood's most innovative filmmaker, he has created a daring genre: the surrealist heist thriller. Or, maybe he has developed the dream invasion action epic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Dana Stevens
Slate
July 15, 2010
At the end of Inception, I hadn't lived through the grueling emotional journey Nolan seemed to think I had, but I'd seen a bunch of cool images and admired some technically ambitious feats of filmmaking.
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
July 15, 2010
The dream logic of Inception -- which deals, like Nolan's far more intriguing Memento, with the architecture of memory and the nature of reality -- is stymied by a clunking script, crammed with expository exchanges and urgent blather.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
July 15, 2010
It's said that Christopher Nolan spent ten years writing his screenplay for Inception. That must have involved prodigious concentration, like playing blindfold chess while walking a tight-wire.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
July 15, 2010
One of the best things about Nolan as a director is that he's not self-conscious. His movies unfold and fold in on themselves without the strain of labor or flash. But that lack of self-consciousness is also Nolan's downside.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
July 15, 2010
An imposing, prismatic achievement, and strongly resistant to an insta-reaction; when it's over, Nolan still seems a few steps ahead of us.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
July 15, 2010
It's gratifying to experience a summer movie with large visual ambitions and with nothing more or less on its mind than (as Shakespeare said) a dream that hath no bottom.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
July 14, 2010
One of the most intoxicating, challenging and beautiful movies of the 21st century, deserving of multiple Oscar nominations.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Laremy Legel
Film.com
July 14, 2010
It's an affecting movie; quite a piece of art in a world of also-rans and marketing plans.
Full Review | Original Score: A+
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
July 14, 2010
Inception is either a great, mind-bending movie or one big swindle. Let's go with the former.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
July 14, 2010
None of this prattling drivel adds up to one iota of cogent or convincing logic. You never know who anyone is, what their goals are, who they work for or what they're doing.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
July 14, 2010
A sublime brain-twister of a movie that plays out so intricately on so many levels simultaneously that a bathroom break comes at your own peril.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
July 14, 2010
How can it be that a bunch of people sitting around scheming nonsense can prove so compelling? Only David Fincher knows how to take a studio's money and spin it as stylishly as Nolan.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
July 14, 2010
Inception is an elegant, portentous ride, though I'm not sure Nolan is any closer to visualizing the real (dream) deal than Hitchcock was.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice
July 13, 2010
It's obvious that Nolan either can't articulate or doesn't believe in a distinction between living feelings and dreams -- and his barren Inception doesn't capture much of either.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
July 13, 2010
In this wildly ingenious chess game, grandmaster Nolan plants ideas in our heads that disturb and dazzle. The result is a knockout. But be warned: Inception dreams big.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
July 13, 2010
At first, Inception left me cold, feeling as if I'd just eavesdropped on somebody's bad acid trip. Now I find I can't get the film out of my mind, which is really the whole point of it, isn't it?
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
July 13, 2010
One of the year's best films, one that will surely get even better upon repeated viewings.
Top Critic
Eric Kohn
indieWIRE
July 12, 2010
Nobody can deny that Christopher Nolan's "Inception" is a thinking man's blockbuster.
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
July 12, 2010
As engrossing and logic-resistant as the state of dreaming it seeks to replicate, Christopher Nolan's audacious new creation demands further study to fully absorb the multiple, simultaneous stories Nolan finagles into one narrative experience.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
July 12, 2010
I wanted to surrender to this dream; I didn't want to be out in the cold, alone. But I truly have no idea what so many people are raving about.
Top Critic
Justin Chang
Variety
July 5, 2010
If movies are shared dreams, then Christopher Nolan is surely one of Hollywood's most inventive dreamers, given the evidence of his commandingly clever Inception.
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
July 5, 2010
A devilishly complicated, fiendishly enjoyable sci-fi voyage across a dreamscape that is thoroughly compelling.