Can anyone successfully review Inception? Critics are struggling to summarize Chris Nolan's complex, mind-bending summer blockbuster — often resorting to desperate analogies or just shrugging it off as indescribable. Here, a look at some of the most amusing attempts to encapsulate this multi-layered tale starring Leonardio DiCaprio as a brilliant "dream extractor":
"When was the last time you had your mind blown by a movie?"
"When Inception ends and the lights come up," says Elizabeth Weitzman at the New York Daily News, "you'll be sitting in your seat, staring at the screen, wondering what the hell just happened."
The movie's a sprawling exploration of... oh, why bother?
"Mr. Nolan has scripted a story that travels across six countries and just as many layers of human consciousness, says John Anderson in The Wall Street Journal. "The problem is, we don't know where we are most of the time. And we profoundly do not care."
Prepare for a physical reaction
During this "filmatic nirvana," says Adam Quigly at SlashFilm, "my eyes lit up; my hands clamped down; my pants swelled."
You may ache, but not in a good way
Attempting to understand Inception made my head hurt, says Owen Gleiberman at Entertainment Weekly. And, "going back to read [others'] reviews... has only made my head hurt more. It's not that [critics] haven't done a good job. It's that simply hearing that damned plot described over and over again" produces the same utter bewilderment as the movie itself did.
"Does this thing come with a manual?"
"If I tried to explain all the ins and outs of their adventure," says J. R. Jones at Chicago Reader, "reading this [review] would take as long as watching the movie."
I'm awed... and silenced
"There are no words" to describe this movie, says Max Bellamy at the Reel Loop blog. "For the first time, in a long, long while, I was left utterly speechless."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Republicans love this new health care plan. Too bad it's basically a tax cut for the rich.
- In defense of Gwyneth Paltrow
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- 8 tricks to surviving the holidays without gaining weight or being grouchy
- 17 old proverbs we should use more often
- Chuck Hagel wasn't the problem. It's America's addiction to endless war.
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Adam Sandler's 'Thanksgiving Song': Explaining the 22-year-old tune's pop-culture references
Subscribe to the Week