Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Cillian Murphy, Dileep Rao, Tom Berenger

After the massive success of 2008's The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan had so much Hollywood clout that he probably could've talked Jennifer Aniston into doing a sex scene with Angelina Jolie. Note to self: Give Christopher Nolan's manager a call. So what did he do? He challenged himself with his trickiest film yet: a secret agent thriller set within dreamscapes.

After months of hype, Inception proved to be a cerebral yet accessible blockbuster, with incredible effects (the no-gravity fight sequence), star-making performances (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy) and the year's most debated ending. Now, Nolan can most likely talk any other A-list actress (say, Charlize Theron), into joining Aniston and Jolie if he wants. Note to self: Somehow call Christopher Nolan directly.