Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Cillian Murphy, Dileep Rao, Tom Berenger
There's always room for some predominant James Bond influences, even on a sci-fi movie countdown. As in last summer's The Dark Knight Rises, brainy blockbuster filmmaker Christopher Nolan makes no mystery of his 007 appreciation throughout Inception, a twist on the old "secret agent" conceit that's infused with complicated mind matters that owe as much to Andrei Tarkovsky as they do Ian Fleming.
Packed with elaborately ambitious action setpieces, intricate storytelling, and humongous narrative concepts, Inception delivers the requisite popcorn thrills while never getting dumbed down. In order to follow its twisty plot, which revolves around a group of "extractors" who enter a person's subconscious to remove thoughts and ideas, one must play close attention throughout—the slightest distraction could leave you asking questions like, "How did Tom Hardy turn into Tom Berenger? Or, "Why is that spinning top so damn important?"
The most pressing question of all, though, will most likely be, "Why can I watch that again?"