Nick Schager Reviews Inception

Inception is Instruction Manual Cinema, a film that spends so much time explaining—and explaining, and explaining—the rules of its narrative conceit that it fails to either emotionally engage or, except in a few notable spots, viscerally thrill. Working from a canvas at once larger than The Dark Knight and yet markedly reminiscent of it (not to mention countless other celluloid sagas), Christopher Nolan’s would-be epic is a work of sometimes stunning imagery but only affected heart, a pseudo-heist film that borrows liberally from all corners of the cinematic world (The Matrix, eXistenZ, Last Year at Marienbad, the canons of David Lynch and Michael Mann) in service of a tale that’s as hollow as its reality-bending Rubik’s Cube ruses are intricate.

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