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Impossibly High Expectations for Inception Raised Even Higher

Two weeks ago Rolling Stone's Peter Travers broke the ban on reviewing Christopher Nolan's Inception — the last, best hope for a summer movie as excellent as it is successful — leading us to believe the movie would be both awesome and confusing. Now a new spate of reviews lead us to believe Inception will just be awesome. The dozen or so early critiques are all raves, with some reviewers mentioning the O-word ("Inception is also a strong contender for multiple nominations, including Best Picture"), and others comparing the movie to all sorts of spectacular cinematic achievements. So that your expectations for Inception are in the right place — meaning, as high as humanly possible — we have collected the highest-brow comparisons in one place.

Here are some of the excellent things that Inception is like:

"The writer-director has devised a heist thriller for surrealists,
a Jungian's Rififi that challenges viewers to sift through multiple layers of (un)reality." —Variety

"Only repeat viewing will reveal if this comparison is truly justified, but it feels like Stanley Kubrick adapting the work of the great sci-fi author William Gibson (Neuromancer) — except Nolan appears to like people more than the 2001 auteur." —Empire Online

"As intricate as the script is — Nolan worked on it for a decade — the movie is not just a feat of cinematic wizardry, even though it comes close to the level of technological derring-do carried off by the likes of Stanley Kubrick." —IndieWire

"Inception reminds me of The Shining in that the emotional content isn't subtext or nuanced but rather blaring, plot-motivating text…The film I am most reminded of, weirdly, is Lawrence of Arabia. While Inception has nothing to do with David Lean's masterpiece (except for some gorgeous location photography), it contains the same scope I find there." —CHUD

"It’s the kind of film Freud, or more likely Jung, would have delighted in deconstructing." —In Contention

"Imagine a film being made in 2010 where you have absolutely no idea where it is going or how it will end. These were the worlds created by revolutionary filmmakers, like Stanley Kubrick, Woody Allen, David Cronenberg and David Lynch." —Awards Daily