The 'indescribable' 'Inception'

Film critics are attempting to describe Chris Nolan's dream-within-a-dream flick — but often giving up in befuddled failure. Here, some of the braver efforts

Leonardo DiCaprio stars in 'Inception.'
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

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."

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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."

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