5 stars (out of 5)
By R. Kurt Osenlund
Christopher Nolan has said he was influenced by the work of trailblazers like Stanley Kubrick, Ridley Scott, Michael Mann and The Wachowski Brothers when crafting his dense, awesome, near-indescribable mind-trip “Inception,” the adrenaline-shot antidote to summer-movie malaise. Without question, Nolan, the writer/director who's also given us “Memento” and “The Dark Knight,” will himself be a major influence on future filmmakers like him, who, to borrow a choice line from his brilliant new thriller, “(aren't) afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.” Amazingly ambitious in concept and execution, “Inception” marks the marriage of Nolan's talent for manipulating narrative structure and his exceptional ability to apply arts and smarts to large-scale, bankable entertainment. Nowhere else in the current realm of popular cinema will you find a film more capable of fully engaging your brain while providing sights and sounds that dazzle and electrify.