Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Inception Is Certified Fresh

Plus, The Sorcerer's Apprentice is short on magic

by | July 16, 2010 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a mind-bending dreamworld (Inception, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page) and a modern-day fantasia (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, starring Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel). What do the critics have to say?



Christopher Nolan is on a roll. He took the superhero movie to new heights with The Dark Knight, and now he’s back with Inception, which critics are calling an ambitious, dreamy sci-fi heist movie that’s quite a mind bender. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Cobb, an American expat skilled in stealing ideas from people’s dreams. He’s offered an opportunity to return to the States if he can pull off one last big job — and, naturally, metaphysical complications ensue. The pundits say Inception is a visual marvel and a brainy head trip — in fact, you’ll probably have to see it multiple times to get everything that’s going on. However, some say if there’s a nit to be picked, it’s that Inception is often more heady than emotionally involving.(Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down our favorite sci-fi noirs.)


The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

For those who can’t wait for the next Harry Potter installment, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice provides plenty of wizards and sorcery. What it lacks, say critics, is originality and inspiration. Jay Baruchel stars as a college kid who finds himself in the midst of a battle against the forces of evil, one that’s being spearheaded by Merlin disciple Balthazar (Nicolas Cage). The pundits say Apprentice is passable stuff, and its decent action scenes should please the kiddies, but overall it’s a bland enterprise with an overabundance of CGI effects.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno, a documentary about a star-crossed film by the great French director, is at 100 percent.

  • Alamar, a quasi-documentary about a father-son fishing trip, is at 90 percent.

  • Kisses, a drama about a pair of Irish siblings living on the streets, is at 86 percent.

  • Valhalla Rising, an existentialist tale of a brutal Viking warrior, is at 78 percent.