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
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why are so many parents being arrested?
- What if The Purge was real?
- Why America is duty bound to help Iraqi Christians
- 9 things you probably didn't know about the moon
- The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush
- Israel has only two choices: Eliminate the Palestinians or make peace
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
Subscribe to the Week