Call me a sucker for a good murder mystery, but this one checked all of the boxes. It was funny, interesting, well-acted, and a fun story. The way this film mirrors a classic murder mystery but still feels fresh and unique is something to behold. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who didn't enjoy this movie on some level. Both casual moviegoers and obsessive film snobs can agree on this one.
The imagination to conceive this story alone deserves a standing ovation. Pulling off the entire screenplay, action sequences, and crazy visuals deserves a second ovation. Only Christopher Nolan can create a movie experience like this, as he continues to push the boundaries of storytelling. The only criticism this movie deserves is that it is too ambitious for its good, yet that is somehow what I want to praise it for the most. Some movies follow a formulaic story arc, other moviest zig when you expect them to zag, but I have never seen a movie with a story arc I did not know could even exist. A story arc that I believe only one person has ever thought of, and luckily it was the person that can tell it.
The subject matter and themes of this film are hard to tackle, but Pixar does a good job making them palatable and packaging them in a way that anyone can enjoy. The animation is beautiful, and the screenplay is funny and heartfelt in Pixar's patented fashion. However, the story's abstract ideas lead to some glaring plot holes that are impossible to overlook. It's as if the writers realized too late that some aspects of the story don't make sense and try to paint over them with some humor, emotion, and a complex moral that they hope will distract the viewer from the glaring hole in an otherwise lovely work of art.
This film is a wonder in cinematography. Roger Deakins is at his best in this one, and that is really saying something. Sam Mendes does a great job directing, and the actors put on very good performances. The tension and realism are gripping, and everything happening in almost a single shot and almost in real-time makes this movie a fun watch and something to appreciate.