Really all that needs to be said about Inception is "Just go see it, you fools! You fools!"
But I do enjoy blathering, so it is now time for the gushing praise.
The problem with expressing love is it can raise expectations to impossible levels. If I tell you the curry you're about to eat is the most delicious thing in the history of adding heat to food, you'll inevitably find it disappointed compared to that time you ate butter-friend lobster bacon offered up by Poseidon and cooked by Jesus. (No, not that one. Jesus Renard-Liang, cosmopolitan chef extraordinaire.)
When you really love something, though, sometimes you can't shut up about it until everyone who knows you starts complaining bitterly behind your back, and finally someone gets drunk enough to confront you but they're bigger than you, so you back down and look like a wuss in front of that hot girl with the glasses. At times like that, all you can do is turn to Herman Blog's famous invention and go tell everyone on the Internet instead. All I can do to prevent myself from overhyping Inception is to emphasize this is my personal reaction. If your own response isn't as intense, it's not a big deal.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are dream thieves, paid to infiltrate sleepers' minds to steal their ideas and secrets. After a botched job puts them on the run from a violent corporation, businessman Ken Watanabe offers to protect them in exchange for their services.
Problem is, Watanabe doesn't want them to steal an idea from rival Cillian Murphy's subconscious, he wants them to plant one. Inception is regarded as impossible, but DiCaprio and Gordon-Levitt may have the team to make it possible.
I haven't seen a movie this good since The Departed, and I love The Departed as if it had rescued me from the yawping barbarian who'd just killed my parents and was about to sell me to the spider-people of Amun-Gith. Writer/director Christopher Nolan has been all successful and such for long enough that us internet people are duty-bound to turn on him at some point — but Inception isn't that point.
Inception is a well-oiled machine that is fueled by unbelievable ambition and produces grade-A awesome. Dream movies tend to be garbage because of a lack of rules or consequences (Oh no, the dragon's eating me! Wait, I woke up and my only problem is these sweaty sheets). Also, there's never as much nudity as in real dreams.
But the laws and logic of Inception are well-conceived, well-explained, and internally consistent. When strange things happen, you understand why — and what it means for the characters. Explaining all this should have taken an infodump of such massive proportions it would shut down the infosewers for a week, but Nolan weaves his exposition into the story through cunning writing and a cast so talented they could read the word "boring" for 16 hours and you'd still fall in love with at least one of them.
With his world established, Nolan puts himself in position to pull off what's among the wildest, boldest heists (or reverse heists, really) in movie history, an extended, nested sequence that should have been harder to pull off than the wart on your foot.
I've never seen anything like it. The technical mastery here is brain-dumbing. Even one of the biggest complaints about Nolan — that his action sequences are clumsy and hard to follow — has been addressed, as he's gotten better at keeping his actors in the frame.
All the while you're lost in a gorgeous, imaginative dreamland that's every bit as vivid as the worlds you see in your sleep. I can't guarantee you'll love Inception as much as I do. Honestly, that would be pretty hard. For me, this is the type of film that only comes along once or twice a decade.