Rated 5.0

The latest, extraordinary piece of work from director Christopher Nolan is a movie that just screws with you—in a good way—from its first frame to its last. Nolan, who also wrote the film, has come up with a brilliant premise: A team of dream raiders are able to infiltrate a person’s subconscious to not only steal their ideas, but even possibly plant one. And because most of the film’s action takes place in dream worlds, anything is possible visually, giving Nolan the ultimate filmmaker’s playground. He has created a visual masterpiece that’s also remarkably intelligent and clever. Leonardo DiCaprio, who is having a stellar year with this and Shutter Island, plays Cobb, the leader of some dream raiders. DiCaprio anchors the film with a performance that is expertly grounded and moving. He gets to play action hero here, as Nolan presents sequences that have an almost James Bond-like twist to them. He also gets to play a tragic-romantic figure in his scenes with Marion Cotillard as his dead wife, scenes that contain high-octane emotional strength. He’s an acting powerhouse for the second time this year. So far, this is the year’s most inventive film.