First Review of ‘Inception’ Sings Praise for a Smart Blockbuster

Published 5 years ago by , Updated September 12th, 2013 at 7:20 pm,

Inception movie title First Review of Inception Sings Praise for a Smart Blockbuster

Is there anyone out there out there who considers him or herself a movie geek, but isn’t eagerly anticipating the release of Christopher Nolan’s new film, Inception?  Because, frankly, I’m not convinced that you exist at this point in time.

Everyone else can take comfort in the words of Rolling Stone‘s Peter Travers, who is the first movie critic to glimpse Nolan’s mind-bending blockbuster – and yes, he thinks it is fantastic.

Travers’ full review will appear in the upcoming issue of Rolling Stone – the same one that will feature the infamous interview with now-defunct General Stanley McChrystal – but we have the following excerpt to whet your appetites for now (no worries, it’s spoiler-free):

The mind-blowing movie event of the summer arrives just in time to hold back the flow of Hollywood sputum that’s been sliming the multiplex.  ‘Inception’… will be called many things, starting with James Bond Meets ‘The Matrix.’  You can feel the vibe of Ridley Scott’s ‘Blade Runner’ in it, and Nolan’s own ‘Memento’ and ‘The Dark Knight.’  But ‘Inception’ glows with a blue-flame intensity all its own.  Nolan creates a dream world that he wants us to fill with our own secrets.  I can’t think of a better goal for any filmmaker.

Moviegoers that were left feeling cold or less than impressed by the first half of this summer movie season – Toy Story 3 being the big exception – will surely rejoice at Traver’s announcement that Inception does not fail to meet expectations.  But will the general public flock to see a dark, intense film that asks them to actually use their brains during a time of year when most Hollywood pics require the exact opposite?

Inception image First Review of Inception Sings Praise for a Smart Blockbuster

Travers actually touches on that matter in his review with the following note:

Of course, trusting the intelligence of an audience can cost Nolan at the box office.  We’re so used to being treated like idiots.  How to cope with a grand-scale epic, shot in six countries at a reported cost of $160 million, that turns your head around six ways from Sunday?  Dive in and drive yourself crazy, that’s how.

But what do you think?  Will the masses turn out to see Inception if it is as mind-bendingly intelligent as Travers indicates it is?  Are you too excited to see the film to think about that right now?  Let your voice be heard in the comments section below.

Inception arrives in regular and IMAX theaters in the U.S. on July 16th, 2010.

Source: New York Post (via Jo Blo)

TAGS: Inception
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  1. Nolan’s name will guarantee a strong box-office return. Whether people will actually like it is quite another matter.

  2. This is on top of my most anticipated upcoming movies.

    But it is a good point about the dumbed down (general) movie audience. Nolan’s films are extremely smart. Dark Knight had Batman to counteract that and let people relate easier, but it was still a very complex movie.

    I don’t see a movie like Memento or Insomnia making nearly as much money as Dark Knight. But then again, Inception has a great cast and special effects to counteract the complexities that a lot of people will not get.

    • You make a very good point indeed.

    • I don’t understand all the love for TDK. It was a decent movie, but not a great one. the last 30 minutes or so seemed like a muddled rush to tie up as many ends as possible. The middle dragged as well. I think it would have been a better movie if 30 minutes were clipped.

      I hope Inception is a tighter, focused bit of storytelling, like Memento was.

      • Okay, let’s not turn this into a TDK thread. You think it was lacking, I thought it was one of the best films ever made. Let’s leave it at that.

        I think we can all agree though that after TDK everyone wanted to see what Nolan would do and we’re about to see it in a couple of weeks. I’m excited!

        • @ ogb: Why is it there are not comments when someone makes a positive comment about TDK that this is an Inception thread, hmmm?

          Vic is the boss of me on this board, you are not. If you do not like my comments, pass them by please.

          I was interested in Inception based on its plot and its cast, not because of Nolan specifically.

    • did you get the complexitites of his past films?

      • Yes. Complexity for complexity’s sake is an empty cream puff.

        The Prestige was a way superior film to TDK. So was Memento.

    • I completely agree.

  3. I am a self-professed movie geek. Movies are the thing I look foward to most in life (a little exaggeration). I hate the summer movies for only one reason and its already been stated. They’re dumbed down. I’m not stupid and don’t appreciate being thought of as stupid. I don’t think this movie will make a lot of money but its going to be damn good and that to me is more important than the money

  4. yes, I am one of those looking forward to this film, though not because of the director’s name. I saw a teaser, and then the trailer, and some articles, and thought “this looks like a film for me”. I am very much into the visual aspect of film (not the SFX, but rather the choices of colours, textures, imagery, etc…).

    (and psst, it’s “whet” the appetite… yes “wet your whistle”, but “whet your appetite”.. means to sharpen)

  5. I am anxiously awaiting this film. This is the first movie where I am consciously avoiding spoilers to the point that I have seen nothing but the theatrical poster and cast list. I hope it is complex and deep, but I don’t want David Lynch-style elements that are cryptic just for the sake of being cryptic.

    I was thinking it would be a huge hit (i.e. money-maker), but at that budget I think it will only be a modest success.

    • I’m doing that too! No spoiler discussions, no trailers/commercials, no plot synopses, nothing. It’s the same thing that I did with Shutter Island and The Dark Knight (I kept myself so in the dark in regards to that movie that I didn’t even know what the Joker would look like). I want to be completely surprised by everything I see in that movie.

  6. it seems to me like a more high concept version of Dreamscape, the old Dennis Quaid/Kate Capshaw/Eddie Albert B-movie from the 80’s.

  7. Im still not convinced this film will be all that entertaining. James Bond and The Matrix? nah…i think ill pass….

    plus, if the goal is to obtain secrets from people, why go with the whole “we need to get inside of their dreams and take guns and stuff to steal the secrets” when you could use interrogation or truth serum or somethin? seems kind of out there…but in a waste of time kind of way. i feel like askig Leo’s character in the middle of the film somethin like: “hey, are others’ secrets and ideas really worth all the trouble of doing all this?”

    • Do you understand the point of movies?

    • JD, You’re Argument Is Invalid

  8. I havnt anticipated a film this much since TDK maybe even more than that. It looks so amazing and the review amps me up. I’m a lil worried about the box office not to much due to Nolan and Leos names being attached plus the trailers feature so big effects. Should produce a good turn out.

  9. I have been looking forward to seeing this movie since I saw the first trailer a while back. I think the movie will be a big hit, but I think it will be under appreciated.

    I don’t think enough people will appreciate the complexity of this movie and therefore it won’t be as big of a hit as movies like Avatar and Iron Man 2. Which is very sad.

    Unfortunately, I fear this movie will only appeal to those people who like mind-bender/ psychological thriller type movies. There are many underrated films out there and, even though I know this movie will be amazing, I think it’s going to fall into the underrated category.

  10. Why does “The Prestige” never get mentioned in Nolan conversations? Check that great movie out people. It will bake your noodle just as I am sure “Inception” will. I can’t wait to see it.

  11. did you understand the complexities of Noland’s past movies? cuz i have a few questions…

  12. The Prestige is one of my all-time favorite films. It absolutely does not get the attention it deserves.

    And to answer the person who asked “if this is just about stealing info why go into people’s minds instead of just using truth serum?” I’d have to say that I doubt the film will be about actually stealing information, but rather using a methodology for that that has been in place in order to plant an idea in someone else in order to inspire them to accomplish something. As in “spark the idea that will change the world.”

    • And I gotta add that, in an industry where EVERYONE is afraid of having ideas stolen, making an epic sci-fi thriller about someone who steals ideas for a living and twisting it so that he has to go to great lengths to actually inspire someone else, is simply genius.

      • Ditto Skipper!!

    • not to be a pain in the ass or anything…but why plant ideas in someone else? doesnt that mean youre giving your own ideas away?

      really though its not so much the story or plot…its just the epic music and slow mo visuals insinuating something incredible happening on film when really its just a top spinning, leo falling backwards into a bath tub, and the city folding over while everyone goes about their business. if citizens dont care then its just a dream, so why does the audience care? im just kinda puzzled…we’ve seen great effects already, i dont feel any ground bein broken here

      • You plant ideas in someone else’s head because that person has more influence, better connections, or higher position than the person implanting the ideas. This is the concept behind the royal advisor, the corporate think-tank…or the Joint Chiefs of our own military services.
        As for the rest of your commentary, seriously??? REALLY??? Sad.

      • I don’t think people are worried about stealing ideas, planting ideas and stuffs. Knowing Christopher Nolan’s movies – that story of stealing ideas and planting ideas aren’t as simple as that. It’s not just the story or the epic music or the city folding – it’s all about concepts

  13. I totally agree with the author….with the exception of TS3, this has been the worst Summer I can remember, and the rest of the year is equally un-impressive. I am so welcoming Mr. Nolan’s next piece of work as he truely is a fine film maker. At least some are still remaining true to their craft and have respect for the audience that understands the talent involved.

  14. I think Inception will be the box office savior this summer . That’s me. Now, if you take the 6 biggest box office collectors and see what you got:

    1.Avatar -2009
    2.Titanic -1997
    3.The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King -2003
    4.Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest -2006
    5.Alice in Wonderland -2010
    6.The Dark Knight -2008

    What all of them have in common besides being epic, is that each movie provide to the expectator a cinematic experience beyond the normal.

    LOTR and TDK are the only actually good movies. The rest are not great movies. They’re not smart movies. They are average movies that give us a fantasy world with a simple history, character-driven, and people can relate with. This is the biggest challenge for Inception. Now Nolan has to show how fast can he run with a mad dog behind him.

    I’m I fan of Nolan’s work by the way.

    • I totally agree with you, but for point of clarification, what did you mean by, “I’m I fan of Nolan’s work by the way”? That part was a bit confusing, I figured it was a typo.

  15. thanks. Not a typo. I just wanted to clarify it after the “mad dog” sentence.

    The best move Nolan has done so far is that he adjusted the script to be character-driven.

  16. Gonna be frickin amazing.
    Many intelligent movies have been hits, like the Bourne series. The action was the main attraction,though.This seems EXTREMELY complex,which is amazing, but I’m afraid the action isn’t the only thing being promoted, though. Only a real moviegoer who has respect for an amazing director will see it. Others can get out of our way.

  17. Just out of curiosity am I the only one who felt Nolan was incredible after seeing BATMAN BEGINS or did everyone but me not jump on that bandwagon until after he did TDK?

    I know TDK was great but TDK came about only because of how good Batman Begins turned out to be. Nolan and the studios took somewhat of a big risk with Batman Begins, taking the reboot in a more realistic slant instead of its prior comic-ish like look and feel in the previous 4 Batman films.

    • Totally agree, I really LOVED BB (LOVED TDK more though, Nolan just gets better with every movie in general lol) and thought that it was incredibly smart of him to NOT include a well known villain in the first batman movie (i.e. The Joker whcih could take away attention from Batman) and wait to introduce a well known villain after the masses had gotten to know Bruce/Batmen first.

      Loved that take on that particular universe. It was very gritty and realistic. In the words of Roger Ebert, “You feel as if this city, the problems within it, the villain’s plan and batman could actually exist somewhere in America”. His use of noir narrative in the film was brilliant and well constructed while also finally giving us a visual background on Bruce Waynes life.

      I will say that knowing that he was the guy who made Memento was what got me excited to see BB.

  18. Uh no I’ve been into his stuff since memento when he really broke out. But he was great even before that with following, albeit having no budget. Batman Begins is like 70 percent awesome, 3rd act kinda falls off. That film is solid, but easily one of the weakest, which is likely due to studio limitations. Now the prestige is right up there with tdk, I often go back and forth over which is better. Tdk is epic, but prestige is pretty damn near perfect.

  19. One movie isn’t enough for me to think someone is great while Begins was great I needed to see more. I went back and watched Memento and insomnia. Momemto was good couldn’t make through insomnia fell asleep three differant times I tried to watch it was just so boring. Then I saw the Prestiege and loved it realized he was great.

  20. Problem with insomnia is that it’s the one film Nolan didn’t write. I consider it his weakest too, but all in all it’s still a good flick. People need to check out the following though, so they can see what he can do all by himself on no budget. Dudes a master, and that’s not debatable.

  21. I’m going to take the Blue pill on this one.

    And I highly doubt it will be a huge success.

    I don’t get the Nolan love here at all.Prestige and Tdk both had huge gaps in logic for me, Nolan is hugely overrated and there’s nothing special about this cast. IMO,,,


    • 790, i respect your wording, but I deeply disagree with you. We should discuss this.

      Plot holes and logic gaps are different. To quote Roger Ebert in his review of Memento: “Leonard suffers from a condition brought on by a screenplay that finds it necessary, and it’s unkind of us to inquire too deeply.”

      I couldn’t agree more about not getting too involved with nuances of discrepancies. It’s important to remember this is all entertainment. It is fiction. And basing fiction in a real-world setting doesn’t mean it has to be real. It just means it has to work functionally within the world presented. So many things are shrugged aside for the movement of plot, and they need to be, in order to tell the most compelling story. That’s what Chris Nolan does – he is a storyteller, and one of the best out there right now.

      It’s okay to see flaws in masterpieces or to see the dirt on a film reel as it flies through the projector. But I don’t think it is okay to argue against somebody’s widely appreciated art because it is not perfect. Rarely is anything perfect.

      Inception won’t be perfect, but it may come darn close. And by asking the audience members to question themselves as well as the story, he succeeds in bringing us into the story. It’s rare to see a filmmaker with the ability to not only engage his audience, but to do so in an entertaining way that applies to everybody and makes money.

      • Agreed, and I forgot to touch on the plot wholes he mentioned in his post, thanks for bringing that up…

    • Well, that is your opinion and you’re entitled to it, but just because you don’t personally like a director, doesn’t mean that director won’t be successful. You “highly doubt it will be a huge success”, that’s just your opinion, but it’s an opinion based off the fact that you don’t like Nolan (which is cool) but he has to be doing something right if Christopher Nolan has not made a “bad” movie yet (this is a belief shared by many people & critics), and he is one of the few IF not the only Hollywood director who can actually say that.

      I know you view him as being “hugely overrated” (which is really hard for me to comprehend) but when I (and countless others) say that Nolan hasn’t made a bad movie yet, it’s not based off of ONE PERSON’S OPINION (like yours), it is based off of a collection of opinions, which seem to be shared by a large body of people who have the same belief or view of Nolan based off EACH of his previous movies: his track record.

      This is what is known as the GENERAL CONSENSUS, now maybe you don’t agree with this GENERAL CONSENSUS, but just because you don’t agree with it (and I’m sure there are some others out there who don’t as well) does not mean that your statement is the “general” opinion of others, it’s just your opinion (which you are entitled to), but to say that he, “is hugely overrated” would disregard the GENERAL CONSENSUS which is based off his track record, and held by movie lovers and professional movie critics.

      All 5 of his films “Memento”(which is one of the few films that is used as teaching material in all the FILM SCHOOLS), “Insomnia”, “Batman Begins”, “The Dark Knight”, and “The Prestige” (6 films if you include his small budget Indy film “Following”) have received overwhelming positive reviews, have, been critically acclaimed and his movies have been progressively increasing in box office intake with each additional film. Each film has also either more then doubled or more then tripled its total production cost. Three of his five films (“The Dark Knight”, “Memento”, and “The Prestige”) are in the top 70 of the IMDb Top 250 Movies of All Time (TDK is ranked 10th). That is just plain INSANE dude.

      In regards to the cast, is that just a factless opinion or do you really have some legitimate reason for believing they’re nothing special, seeing how if I’m not mistaken, 4 out of the 7 of them were nominated for Academy Awards, and I think one or two of them have won one (don’t have time to look this stuff up, just remember reading about that). If that means nothing “special”, then please tell me what does it mean, and how else are we to judge acting prowess and productivity in this industry.

      Sorry for the novel

      • Dude…chill out a bit. He doesn’t want to see it. I think he’ll be missing out, but hey its his opinion. Hell, I’m not the biggest Danny Boyle fan, and his stuff is award winning. And as far as the Academy awards is concerned…Shakespeare in Love beat Saving Private Ryan…and Babe was nominated for Best Picture.

  22. I think Nolan does a great job of treating other people like they have a good amount of intelligence. It’s really frustrating as an audience member who enjoys a smart movie(which might as well be called a Nolan movie IMO) to have nothing but these brainless action flicks to enjoy every summer. Now those can be fun and I’ll be willing to spend matinee money on them if they’re at least funny or have interesting characters, but I’d pay double or triple for a non-matinee ticket when a gem of a movie like this comes around every 2-3 summers.

    I guess this is why last year I saw many more movies during the fall and winter than I did during the summer cause the movies that are there to try and hype themselves for the awards season is getting to be more enticing than the usual summer movies.

  23. Well I don’t hate Nolan, let’s clear that up…

    “masterpieces” really?? Insomnia, Prestige, Memento are cult favorites they were mediocre hits moneywise. TDK is a fan driven hit, (a cult film abeit a big one)

    “So you don’t think its okay to argue against somebodys widely appreciated art because its not perfect”?

    Well Mike what should I base my OPINION on seriously? His taste in wine? If I can’t critique a film director on his work in film then wtf are we doing here at Screen Rant?

    You say,,,
    “Rarely is anything perfect. Inception won’t be perfect, but it may come darn close. And by asking the audience members to question themselves as well as the story, he succeeds in bringing us into the story.”

    Have you seen this film yet? How is this film asking me to question myself?
    Nolan’s statement sounds like he’s not sure the Batman freaks will get it.
    Bummer for him as that’s 90% of his fanbase….
    Without going into my problems with some of his films, let’s agree that the GENERAL CONSENSUS you speak of is based on Screen Rant readers. Without making a value judgment on everyone its easy to say the deck is stacked against me on this perception. And it is a perception based on the comments here.

    Memento and Prestige were not blockbuster films no matter what a movie ranking website may report. I’d love to see how TdK would have done if Ledger wouldn’t have died. I doubt it would have made as much if he lived.
    So you have 3 films right there that are decent sure, but is Nolan great or just good with a touch of luck and timing. I’d say he’s been very lucky…

    Inception well may be a cool film, but I don’t worship Nolan and drink his milkshake without question. Unlike some here at SR.

    • I think its best for you to stick to the Michael Bay films,that may make you happy.Nolan is one of the best filmmakers today and on the list of my favorites.Its not about drinking his milkshake,its about acknowledging greatness.Hes awesome.He makes great films and if you disagree then you shouldnt even bother reading the news concerning him,and wasting our time reading your negative beliefs

      • You know, this is why I usually don’t comment. Everyone just sounds so angry. People are entitled to what they want. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a huge Nolan fan. But to just rip on each other over a movie that none of you have seen yet is a bit much.

        Though, I do have a note for 790. Masterpieces dont have to make major bank. For evidence, just look at shawshank Redemption. Few would argue now that Shawshank is anything less than a masterpiece, but few went to see it in theaters.

        To the Truth, there are worse things than Michael Bay. Uwe Boll for example. I happen to enjoy alot of Michael Bay movies (i wouldnt say they were good, but I enjoy them).

        I think everyone just needs to relax, and just watch the damn movie when it comes out. Or hell, don’t watch it. Won’t really affect me either way.

  24. I am totally psyched for this movie, I could careless how intelligent it is, I love the smarties like memento

  25. 790 it never fails anytime you disagree with someone you call that person a mindless sheep or claim that they drink milkshake. Your special and everyone who disagrees with you blindly follows. Lol give a break.

    However I do agree that you have everyright to not like Nolan and critique him. The other poster is out of line saying you can’t. Even if you are wrong.

    Don’t get to upset that he doesn’t think Nolan is very good he thinks Burton is a genious lol.

  26. Hey Truth,,,, the last time I checked this site was all about different opinions and discussing them in a open forum.

    You might want to take your Nolan love and visit his twitter page. I won’t be there to bother you with my negative beliefs.

    Argue with me with logic not as a whiney fanboy.

  27. Daneil, since you claim I do it everytime, maybe you can point out where I called somebody a mindless sheep on this thread?

  28. Please I’ve seen you claim someone is a sheep, drinks milkshake or special koolaide every time they disagree with you. It’s not always sheep but it’s always along those lines.

    Do you really think people that like Nolan are just blindly drinking his milkshake and they don’t just truly enjoy his work? I love Nolan I think he is a great filmmaker but I don’t blindly follow him or drink his milk shake or any of that idiotic crap. I don’t think that he can do no wrong I just think that he does a lot right. I think Insomnia sucked but Memento was great BB was great, The Prestiege was nothing short of brilliant was just amazing, TDK was amazing. Here’s hoping Inception is another Prestiege and not Insomnia.

  29. Daniel if we were in court I would ask you again to backup your statement with proof. Copy & paste where I called someone a mindless sheep?
    You have no proof therefore your argument is based on previous remarks I made about you. Not anyone here on this thread.

    If you want to ask me an intelligent question I’ll be more then happy to engage you in debate. Until then, your just another talking head, cheering about how, The Prestige was nothing short of brilliant and TDK was amazing….