This chapter assesses the critical reception of Christopher Nolan's Inception (2010). Rarely in the press and media is popular cinema, of which Inception is surely an example, subject to rigorous critical examination. Occasionally, however, some writers do provide insights worth discussing at greater depth, cues to possible lines of analysis and appraisal. Justin Chang, in Variety, described the film as 'a heist thriller for surrealists, a Jungian Rififi'. Whether this colourful description makes valid comparisons can be determined by considering the conventions of 'heist' films. The British critic Mark Kermode has argued that the film demonstrates 'that it is possible for blockbusters and art to be the same things'. Meanwhile, many negative reviews of the film are simply dismissive and lacking in any justification, but here and there one can find some provocative statements worthy of serious consideration. In the light of contemporary theories about the nature of mind and consciousness, the notion of inception can be seriously challenged.
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