Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action throughout.
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Inception is a 2010 science fiction action film written, co-produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan, and co-produced by Emma Thomas. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a professional thief who steals information by infiltrating the subconscious, and is offered a chance to have his criminal history erased as payment for the implantation of another person's idea into a target's subconscious. The ensemble cast additionally includes Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine.
Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action throughout
Dominick "Dom" Cobb and Arthur are "extractors", who perform corporate espionage using an experimental military technology to infiltrate the subconscious of their targets and extract valuable information through a shared dream world. Their latest target, Japanese businessman Saito, reveals that he arranged their mission himself to test Cobb for a seemingly impossible job: planting an idea in a person's subconscious, or "inception". To break up the energy conglomerate of ailing competitor Maurice Fischer, Saito wants Cobb to convince Fischer's son and heir, Robert, to dissolve his father's company. In return, Saito promises to use his influence to clear Cobb of a murder charge, allowing Cobb to return home to his children. Cobb accepts the offer and assembles his team: Eames, a conman and identity forger; Yusuf, a chemist who concocts a powerful sedative for a stable "dream within a dream" strategy; and Ariadne, an architecture student tasked with designing the labyrinth of the dream landscapes, recruited with the help of Cobb's father-in-law, Professor Stephen Miles. While dream-sharing with Cobb, Ariadne learns his subconscious houses an invasive projection of his late wife Mal.
When the elder Fischer dies in Sydney, Robert Fischer accompanies the body on a ten-hour flight back to Los Angeles, which the team (including Saito, who wants to verify their success) uses as an opportunity to sedate and take Fischer into a shared dream. At each dream level, the person generating the dream stays behind to set up a "kick" that will be used to awaken the other sleeping team members from the deeper dream level; to be successful, these kicks must occur simultaneously at each dream level, a fact complicated due to the nature of time which flows much faster in each successive level. The first level is Yusuf's dream of a rainy Los Angeles. The team abducts Fischer, but they are attacked by armed projections from Fischer's subconscious, which has been specifically trained to defend him against such intruders. The team takes Fischer and a wounded Saito to a warehouse, where Cobb reveals that while dying in the dream would normally wake Saito up, the powerful sedatives needed to stabilize the multi-level dream will instead send a dying dreamer into "limbo", a world of infinite subconscious from which escape is extremely difficult, if not impossible, and a dreamer risks forgetting they are in a dream. Despite these setbacks, the team continues with the mission.
Eames impersonates Fischer's godfather, Peter Browning, to suggest Fischer reconsider his father's will. Yusuf drives the van as the other dreamers are sedated into the second level. In the second level, a hotel dreamed by Arthur, Cobb persuades Fischer that he has been kidnapped by Browning and Cobb is his subconscious protector. Cobb persuades him to go down another level to explore Browning's subconscious (in reality, it is a ruse to enter Fischer's). The third level is a fortified hospital on a snowy mountain dreamed by Eames. The team has to infiltrate it and hold off the guards as Cobb takes Fischer into the equivalent of his subconscious. Yusuf, under pursuit by Fischer's projections in the first level, deliberately drives off a bridge and initiates his kick too soon. This causes an avalanche in Eames' level and removes the gravity of Arthur's level, forcing him to improvise a new kick synchronized with the van hitting the water. Mal's projection emerges and kills Fischer; Cobb kills Mal, and Saito succumbs to his wounds. Cobb and Ariadne enter Limbo to rescue Fischer and Saito, while Eames sets up a kick by rigging the hotel with explosives.
Cobb reveals to Ariadne that he and Mal went to Limbo while experimenting with the dream-sharing technology. Sedated for a few hours of real time, they spent fifty years in a dream constructing a world from their shared memories. When Mal refused to return to reality, Cobb used a rudimentary form of inception by reactivating her totem (an object dreamers use to distinguish dreams from reality) and reminding her subconscious that their world was not real. However, when she woke up, Mal still believed that she was dreaming. In an attempt to "wake up" for real, Mal committed suicide and framed Cobb for her death to force him to do the same. Facing a murder charge, Cobb fled the U.S., leaving his children in the care of Professor Miles.
Through his confession, Cobb makes peace with his guilt over Mal's death. Ariadne kills Mal's projection and wakes Fischer up with a kick. Revived at the mountain fort, Fischer enters a safe room to discover and accept the planted idea: a projection of his dying father telling him to be his own man. While Cobb remains in Limbo to search for Saito, the other team members ride the synchronized kicks back to reality. Cobb eventually finds an aged Saito in Limbo and reminds him of their agreement. The dreamers all awake on the plane and Saito makes a phone call.
Upon arrival at Los Angeles Airport, Cobb passes the U.S. immigration checkpoint and Professor Miles accompanies him to his home. Using his totem—a spinning top that spins indefinitely in a dream world but falls over in reality—Cobb conducts a test to prove that he is indeed in the real world, but he ignores its result and instead joins his children in the garden.
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Dom Cobb is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb's rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible - inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming.
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