With a box office gross of over $60 million ($3 million of which came from midnight screenings on Thursday), the weekend take of Inception proves Christopher Nolan is the first superstar director since Quentin Tarantino.
The fact that the movie is startlingly exciting and intelligent is not as surprising as the fact that Leonardo DiCaprio has finally given a note-perfect performance.
For years, DiCaprio’s stiff and forceful acting kept him from Oscar nominations for movies like Titanic, and straight dudes recoiled from his movies before we realized Marty Scorsese will never make another picture without him. His turn in Shutter Island was a huge leap forward in terms of his focus, and he’s flawless here as a thief who steals guarded information from the dreams of the powerful.
Nolan spends most of the first hour trying to unload a complicated set of rules and logistics for this universe, occasionally veering into implausibility and expository dialogue to keep the 148-minute film chugging along. The final hour-plus, especially an unforgettable fight scene in a gravity-defying hallway, is so suspenseful, we saw one audience member biting their hand for fifteen minutes straight before realizing they were doing it.
But not everyone considers a relentless piece of entertainment to be a great film. What did you all think of it?