Inception (2010)

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, the movie Inception explores a connection between reality and dreams. The 2010 film was based on an idea that writer and director Christopher Nolan developed relating to lucid dreaming. It has been praised for its creativity and quality of production, and has won four Academy Awards since its release. From the first viewing until today it has been very well received by critics and audiences. Inception easily joins the ranks of movies that make you think.

Dom Cobb, who is played by Leo in the film, and his partner Arthur, are what is called “extractors.” This means that they have the ability to enter people’s dreams and explore their subconscious. While in these dreams, they are able to access their subject’s thoughts, ideas, and memories. The information they find while inside of the dreams is often highly valuable to powerful people. Many businessmen and other people want to use their abilities, and often they want to abuse them. 

Exploring the dreams of others can be used for good or for evil, but in this story, people are out to test the limits of this ability. A businessman named Saito wants to use Cobb to plant ideas into people’s minds while they’re dreaming, which they call “inception.” While Arthur does not believe they possess this power, Cobb is willing to try and accepts the deal. Though he is not sure whether he actually has the ability to complete the task, Saito is a powerful man with the ability to clear Cobb’s criminal record. Cobb, who is estranged from his family and barred from returning to them because of this record, is determined to do as Saito says. 

Cobb recruits architecture graduate student Ariadne, played by Ellen Page, to help him. In order to suggest to Robert Fischer, son of wealthy and powerful businessman Maurice Fischer, that he should eliminate his father’s business following his death, he must believe he came up with the idea himself. To do this, they use Adriane’s skills to practice reconstructing the landscape of dreams and making it seem as though it comes from the subject’s own mind. He introduces her to the world of extracting, sharing a long conversation with her that is actually in a dream and only lasts a few minutes in the real world. She is tasked with designing what they call a labyrinth, a type of maze which they will plant in dreams. 

The story follows the group as they work to complete their mission and clear Cobb’s name. Even when things go wrong, they continue trying for his sake and the characters take on the journey together. Throughout the plot, secrets of his past and the true nature of his crime as well as potential dangers of living in dream worlds are revealed. Ariadne discovers secrets and learns more about what can happen if you spend too much time in dreams. As everything unfolds, the power of the subconscious and the information it contains hold center stage as they fight to alter the thoughts of others and delve farther into dreams.