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"INCEPTION"
(2010) (Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Mild Extreme Heavy Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Heavy Mild Extreme None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild None Extreme Heavy Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Sci-fi: A small team of dream infiltrators tries to plant an idea in their target's head but must contend with various obstacles and setbacks that threaten to leave them stuck forever in a subconscious limbo.
PLOT:
Dom Cobb (LEONARDO DiCAPRIO) is an extractor who heads, along with others on his team including Arthur (JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT), into others' dreams in order to pull off corporate espionage of stealing secret and/or coveted information from his targets' subconscious. His latest client, Saito (KEN WATANABE), however, is more interested in doing the reverse with Robert Fischer (CILLIAN MURPHY). He's the heir to an energy conglomerate, and Saito would like to instill in him the notion of breaking up the company and thus its market monopoly.

Arthur, the team's point man, doesn't think it can be done, and that's due to needing to make the dreamer think they came up with the notion on their own while avoid the defensive projection characters the dreamer might conjure up as obstacles. Dom is enticed, however, by Saito promising to clear criminal charges against him that would allow Dom to return to his young kids, and thus he assures Saito the job can be done. He then sets out to assemble his team.

Along with Arthur, he adds college student Ariadne (ELLEN PAGE) to be the architect of building the necessary dream world; Eames (TOM HARDY) to serve as the forger who can assume the identity of others in dreams such as Robert's godfather, Browning (TOM BERENGER); and Yusuf (DILEEP RAO) as the chemist whose sedatives will insure the team can use dreams within dreams as part of their ploy without worrying that all of that will collapse all around them.

As the team conceives and then begins to execute their scheme -- where the temporal pacing speeds up in each subsequent dream level that's also affected by what occurs in the physical aspects of the next higher level and so on -- they must contend with various dangers and obstacles.

Among them is Fischer's natural mental defenses that conjure up armed men dead-set on killing the intruders, and the fact that if any of the team dies in any of the dreams, they'll end up forever trapped in a perpetual subconscious limbo. Then there's Dom's deceased wife, Mal (MARION COTILLARD), who shows up without notice, along with visions of their young kids, from his guilt-ridden mind, and tries to thwart the team's plans so that she can convince Dom to stay with her forever in the dream state.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Considering the buzz it's receiving, it's a good bet many teens will be interested in it.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For sequences of violence and action throughout.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • LEONARDO DiCAPRIO plays the team's leader, the best at dream infiltration and information extraction, but who's troubled by his past (most notably his wife's death and her repeat appearances in the dream world) and simply wants to get back to his kids. He agrees to Saito's business proposition of placing rather than stealing information from Robert's head and thus puts his team members at risk due to the inherent dangers of working in dreams within dreams. He uses some profanity, briefly drinks, and kills various dream creations.
  • JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT plays the team's point man who researches the target and serves as Dom's right-hand man. He fights and kills various dream projection characters while trying to keep the plan in line. He uses some profanity and briefly drinks.
  • ELLEN PAGE plays a college student hired by Cobb to serve as the dream architect who will build the necessary dream world that will allow the team to accomplish their task. She's most concerned with Dom's mental stability regarding his deceased wife.
  • TOM HARDY plays the team's forger who can assume the identity of others in dreams in order to fool targets in their subconscious state and thus get information out of them. He also fights with and kills various mental projections in the dream world.
  • KEN WATANABE plays the team's client who not only wants them to plant a pivotal business idea inside Robert's head, but also wants to go along and see them execute that.
  • MARION COTILLARD plays Dom's late wife who got so confused about what was and wasn't reality in the dream world that she ended up stuck there. She now pops up in dreams, intent on disrupting the team's plan so that she can lure Dom into staying down there with her.
  • CILLIAN MURPHY plays the team's target, an energy conglomerate heir who's taken over the company following his emotionally distant father's recent passing.
  • TOM BERENGER plays his godfather who's intent on making sure he's safe.
  • DILEEP RAO plays the team's chemist who concocts a sedative he believes will keep the team unconscious long enough for them to get the job down and descend through various dream levels. He also serves as their driver while they're in that state, and must protect them from dream projections intent on killing them.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this action/drama film that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of a variety of expletives, but no "f" or "s" words, while some colorful phrases are also uttered. Some cleavage is present and a woman (really a man in dream disguise) briefly comes on to a man (but nothing explicit or too sensual).

    Violence (that seems realistic but rarely has graphic results and is committed against characters who are not real but rather dream versions of people) includes the killing of, wounding and fighting with others via various weapons and hand-to-hand contact. Some of that has bloody results (but again, not much) and that violence and moments of peril could be unsettling and/or suspenseful to some viewers.

    That action, stunts and other behavior might be enticing for some kids to imitate, while bad attitudes are present, and a great deal of tense family material also occurs, and alcohol is present in various scenes.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, varying amounts of handheld camerawork (sometimes a bit bouncy) occurs at various points in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Saito has wine in front of him.
  • We see Cobb, Arthur and Saito with wine in front of them, while others nearby also have drinks.
  • Mal holds a drink.
  • Cobb and Arthur have wine in front of them with a meal.
  • Cobb and Eames have beer where others drink.
  • Cobb hands Robert a spiked drink on a plane (to sedate him into a dream), while Yusuf drinks a glass of champagne or wine.
  • Miscellaneous people have drinks in a bar where we see liquor bottles on the wall.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • About Yusuf being late, Arthur complains that Yusuf couldn't have peed before the dream.
  • Saito has some blood on his hand after touching a bullet wound, and we then see some on his shirt from the same.
  • We see a little bit of blood on Eames' face (appearing as Browning, and as if having been tortured).
  • Saito spits some blood into snow (from a previous wound).
  • We see that a dreaming Arthur was hit by gunfire and has blood on his shirt.
  • Some of Saito's blood floats up into the air (from a previous wound and due to gravity being affected in a dream).
  • We see a little blood burst out after Cobb shoots Mal.
  • Robert has a little bit of blood on his shirt.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Cobb learns that one of his team members turned against him, and we see some of Saito's men manhandling that man.
  • Cobb and his team infiltrate others' dreams in order to steal secrets from them.
  • Saito hires Cobb's team to infiltrate Robert's dreams in order to plant the idea that he break up his late father's energy empire.
  • The anonymous protectors of Robert's subconscious repeatedly attempt to kill Cobb and his team.
  • A person purposefully bumps Ariadne in passing.
  • Cobb admits to secretly planting an idea into Mal's head (as a means of trying to rescue her).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may be unsettling and/or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • Cobb rappels down the side of a building on a rope tied around the leg of Mal's chair. But he slips more after the chair is empty and it rapidly slides across the floor to the wall.
  • Ariadne uses her mind to fold a dream city up and over itself (not especially scary, but the imagery might be unnerving).
  • Mal suddenly looks at Ariadne, grabs a broken glass, and then comes at her and Cobb. They retreat into an elevator, with its cage door keeping Mal at bay.
  • We hear that if anyone in the multiple-layered dreams is killed, they won't return to a waking state as normal, but instead will be stuck in a subconscious limbo forever. Thus, some viewers might worry about the characters ending up that way.
  • Cobb returns to a hotel room to find the place ransacked and he then spots Mal sitting out on the window ledge of a building across and high above the street. Thinking she must kill herself to escape the dream world, she says she's going to jump and threatens to do so if he doesn't go out onto his window ledge. He does, but she keeps talking crazily, kicks off one shoe (that falls a long distance), and then leaps off. We don't see the impact below, but see his horrified reaction.
  • Two team members rappel down a cliff and must then quickly descend as an avalanche races toward them (they end up falling and tumbling through the snow).
  • Yusuf's van goes off a bridge and then falls (in slow motion) toward the water below.
  • We see a flashback to Mal and Cobb lying with their heads on train tracks as a train quickly approaches. The scene ends just as the train reaches them.
  • Robert falls a long way to be jolted awake, followed by Ariadne doing the same.
  • Yusuf's van lands in a body of water off a bridge and then sinks. Various people escape from that, but Cobb is left behind (still in a dream state).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Machine guns/Rifles/Shotguns/Knives/Various explosives/Grenade Launcher: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others and/or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • We see a rifle or machine gun barrel prod Cobb's back as he lies in the surf, revealing a handgun tucked in the back of his pants. We later see that or another handgun on Saito's desk.
  • Cobb holds a handgun on Robert to try to make him talk.
  • Cobb looks through his sniper rifle scope at armed men at some sort of mountain fortress.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "What the hell was all that?" "Hurts like hell," "Jeez," "Piss off," "Screw you" (nonsexual), "Shut up," "Bastards," "Unstable as hell" and "What the hell do we do now?"
  • The fighting, stunts and other action might be enticing for some kids to try to imitate.
  • One man slaps a dreamer to prove that Yusuf's sedative keeps the dreamer asleep.
  • Yusuf slaps Arthur, who's dreaming, to prove that he won't wake up while under Yusuf's sedative.
  • During a montage, we see Yusuf pushing over a dreaming Arthur twice to jolt him awake.
  • Cobb hands Robert a spiked drink on a plane (to sedate him into a dream).
  • We see a flashback to Mal and Cobb lying with their heads on train tracks as a train quickly approaches. The scene ends just as the train reaches them.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • As Ariadne touches a huge mirror, the glass suddenly shatters.
  • Mal suddenly looks at Ariadne, accompanied by a sudden music cue.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful, ominous, heavily dramatic and action-oriented music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 8 hells, 2 uses of ass (both used with "hole"), 2 damns, 6 uses of "G-damn," 3 of "Jesus Christ," 2 of "Jesus" and "My God" and 1 use each of "For God's sakes" and "God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Mal shows cleavage.
  • Mal shows cleavage in another scene.
  • Mal shows cleavage.
  • A buxom woman (really Eames in dream disguise) shows cleavage and briefly comes on to Robert.
  • Realizing everyone in a dream is looking at them (potentially a dangerous situation), Arthur kisses Ariadne. She then points out they're still being looked at, and he replies that it (kissing her) was worth a shot.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Mal asks Cobb if their children miss her.
  • Cobb talks to his young daughter on the phone, and she says that her grandma said he (Cobb) was never coming back home. She then asks about her mom, with Cobb reminding her that mommy isn't here anymore.
  • We learn that Mal is just a projection of Cobb's guilt-ridden mind and that he can't keep her out of the dreams. He also states that others think he killed her (but that he didn't). Throughout the film, he can't shake her from appearing in the various dreams, he also sees repeated visions of their children (although he doesn't see their faces as they're turned away from him), and must contend with her begging and/or trying to guilt him into staying with her in the dream world.
  • We hear that Robert's father died, and then see his casket being loaded on a plane.
  • Robert states he had few meaningful experiences with his father when the latter was alive, while there's also talk of Robert's mother dying when he was just 11.
  • Cobb returns to a hotel room to find the place ransacked and he then spots Mal sitting out on the window ledge of a building across and high above the street. Thinking she must kill herself to escape the dream world, she says she's going to jump and threatens to do so if he doesn't go out onto his window ledge. He does, but she keeps talking crazily, kicks off one shoe (that falls a long distance), and then leaps off. We don't see the impact below, but see his horrified reaction.
  • Mal shoots Robert, followed by Cobb shooting her.
  • Robert sees his ill father, finds that the man kept a propeller his son created sometime in the past, and then sees his father die.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Dreams and how they can seem quite real to the dreamer.
  • Dealing with guilt, especially regarding a loved one's death.
  • The notion of infiltrating a person's dream state to steal secret information from them.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Of all the people shot and wounded or killed in the film, none of that is actually real as all are dream versions of real people or just made up dream projections.
  • An explosion goes off in a city, followed by more as rioters approach a building where Saito is meeting with Cobb and his team. We later see them doing more rioting, including with Molotov cocktails, and they eventually reach the room and grab Saito and one of Cobb's team members.
  • In a dream, Cobb shoots one man with his silencer-equipped handgun, followed by shooting another. He and Mal then aim guns at each other, followed by her aiming hers at Arthur who she shoots in the leg (to create pain in the real world). Cobb then shoots Arthur in the head as a mercy killing to stop the pain (and Arthur then wakes up in the real world). He then shoots another man and punches another one, while the building structure in the dream starts to collapse, with pieces falling on various people. Others shoot at Cobb, and he's then hit with floodwaters in the dream when he's pushed back into a tub of water in the real world to jolt him awake.
  • Saito holds a gun on one guy, but Cobb jumps on Saito and then throws him to the floor.
  • Cobb learns that one of his team members turned against him, and we see some of Saito's men manhandling that man.
  • As Cobb and Ariadne sit calmly at an outside cafe, all sorts of things around them explode (but without any related fire, etc.).
  • A person purposefully bumps Ariadne in passing.
  • Cobb grabs Ariadne's arm, followed by strangers grabbing both of them. Mal then shows up and stabs Ariadne, but we don't see the impact in this dream.
  • Seeing he's being followed, Cobb hits one guy and shoves others as he flees. While being chased, he grabs something and hits one pursuer. He's then tackled, but punches and kicks that person. After a brief bit of trying to hide, Cobb is discovered and the chase continues, with Eames shooting one person, while others shoot at Cobb. He then finds himself in an alley that narrows down so much that he can barely squeeze through it, while another person is suddenly hit and Saito's car crashes into another pursuer.
  • One man slaps a dreamer to prove that Yusuf's sedative keeps the dreamer asleep.
  • Yusuf slaps Arthur, who's dreaming, to prove that he won't wake up while under Yusuf's sedative.
  • During a montage, we see Yusuf pushing over a dreaming Arthur twice to jolt him awake.
  • Cobb's team drives into the back of a cab to take that at gunpoint. They then pick up Robert and hold guns on him inside the cab, but a huge locomotive then smashes into Cobb's car and then others as it goes down the center of a city road. During this, projection figures open fire on the cab, blasting it with gunfire. Saito is hit, while others inside shoot back. Cobb slides his car into another to crash that into one shooter, while Arthur backs the cab into a person against another vehicle.
  • Cobb returns to a hotel room to find the place ransacked and he then spots Mal sitting out on the window ledge of a building across and high above the street. Thinking she must kill herself to escape the dream world, she says she's going to jump and threatens to do so if he doesn't go out onto his window ledge. He does, but she keeps talking crazily, kicks off one shoe (that falls a long distance), and then leaps off. We don't see the impact below, but see his horrified reaction.
  • Arthur opens a warehouse door to shoot at a man up on a roof behind some electrical gear, and that man and another shoot back. Arthur fires more, followed by Eames firing a grenade launcher at the first man. That causes an explosion at that electrical gear atop the roof, presumably killing the man.
  • A person opens fire on the van driven by Yusuf (and that holds the sleeping/dreaming members of his team).
  • To protect Robert, Cobb grabs one man and shoots him, and then shoots another. Robert then holds a gun to his own head, thinking he can kill himself back into a waking state, but Cobb talks him out of that.
  • Arthur grabs Browning.
  • A shotgun is fired at Yusuf driving the van, and that is then aimed squarely at him through the window, but Yusuf grabs the gun, sending the shooter off his motorcycle, while another is hit by the van. The latter ends up going off the road and flipping down an embankment.
  • Arthur fights a man in a hallway that's rotating and flipping (due to the above dream world occurring in a van that's flipping down an embankment). He grabs a loose handgun at the last second and shoots the man.
  • A car pursues Yusuf in the van, but raised spikes in a bridge rip off the back wheels. The driver then shoots at the van with a machine gun, while Yusuf fires back with a handgun. We later see that a dreaming Arthur was hit and has blood on his shirt.
  • A large caliber machine gun is fired at Eames and others, while he shoots some of the attackers and then clotheslines others (as they pass by on skis and such) with a rope or cable he strings up.
  • A man fires a handgun at Arthur who then throws the man down and off an open stairwell.
  • An explosive is used to blow up and gain entry through a grate.
  • Eames grabs one guy off a snowmobile, and then bashes the driver down onto the controls before throwing him off into the snow.
  • Arthur fights a guy while both float around, eventually strangling him.
  • Eames shoots more men, while Cobb shoots others with his sniper rifle.
  • Eames tosses an explosive up to a man on a large snow vehicle, causing it and the man to explode.
  • Mal shoots Robert, followed by Cobb shooting her.
  • A machine gun is fired at Eames.
  • Eames hits one man and shoots another.
  • Arthur sets off explosives on the outside of an elevator to send it traveling in one direction.
  • Eames fights a man, with both delivering punches, followed by the man throwing Eames over a railing and down into some snow. From there, Eames shoots the man and then another.
  • Saito fires a handgun and then throws a hand grenade at those approaching a station, resulting in an explosion that hits some and nearly hits others.
  • Many explosions go off at a large mountain station, destroying it.
  • Eames hits one man.
  • Mal stabs Cobb, followed by Ariadne shooting her.



  • Reviewed July 13, 2010 / Posted July 15, 2010

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