Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Michael Caine, Marion Cotillard, Tom Berenger, Dileep Rao, Pete Postlethwaite, Lukas Haas, Earl Cameron



Sci-fi action thriller written and directed by Christopher Nolan. The story follows thief Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), who has the rare ability to enter people’s dreams and steal their secrets from their subconscious. His skill has made him a hot commodity in the world of corporate espionage, but has also cost him everything he loves. Cobb gets a chance at redemption when he is offered a seemingly impossible task: Plant an idea in someone’s mind. If he succeeds, it will be the perfect crime, but a dangerous enemy anticipates Cobb’s every move.


Our Favorite Quotes:

‘Once an idea has taken hold of the brain, it's almost impossible to eradicate.’ - Dom Cobb (Inception) Click To Tweet ‘True inspiration is impossible to fake.’ - Arthur (Inception) Click To Tweet ‘Do you want to take a leap of faith, or become an old man filled with regret waiting to die alone?’ – Saito (Inception) Click To Tweet ‘You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.’ – Eames (Inception) Click To Tweet


Best Quotes   (Total Quotes: 138)


[an old looking Saito is sitting opposite Cobb, after his men have found him washed ashore]
Saito: [to Cobb] Are you here to kill me? I know what this is.
[he picks up a small object from the table]
Saito: I’ve seen one before many, many years ago. It belonged to a man I met in a half-remembered dream. A man possessed of some radical notions.


Dom Cobb: What is the most resilient parasite? A bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm?
Arthur: Uh, what Mr. Cobb is trying to…
Dom Cobb: An idea. Resilient, highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain, it’s almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed, fully understood. That sticks, right in there somewhere.
[he points to his head]
Saito: For someone like you to steel?
Arthur: Yes, in dream state your conscious defenses are lowered and it makes your thoughts vulnerable to theft. It’s called extraction.


Dom Cobb: [to Saito] I know how to search your mind and find your secrets. I know the tricks and I could teach them to you so that even when you’re asleep your defense is never down. Look if you want my help, you’re going to have to be completely open with me. I need to know my way around your thoughts better than your wife, better than your therapist, better than anyone. This is a dream and you have a safe full of secrets and I need to know what’s in that safe. In order for this all to work, you need to completely let me in.


Mal: [to Cobb] If I jump would I survive?


Dom Cobb: Mal, what are you doing here?
Mal: I thought you might be missing me.
Dom Cobb: You know that I am. I can’t trust you anymore.


Mal: Tell me, do the children miss me?
Dom Cobb: I can’t imagine.


[referring to Mal]
Dom Cobb: Did she tell you, or have you known all along?
Saito: Are you here to steal from me or do we actually sleep? I want to know the name of your employer?
[Mal hold a gun to Arthur’s head]
Dom Cobb: Ah, there’s no use threatening me. I’m in a dream, right Mal?
Mal: That depends on what you’re threatening. Killing him would just wake him up. But pain…
[she shoots Arthur in the knee]
Mal: …pain is in the mind and judging by the decorum we’re in your mind aren’t we, Arthur?


[Arthur wakes up from his dream after he gets shot by Cobb]
Nash: What are you doing it’s too soon?
Arthur: I know. The dream is collapsing. Try to keep Saito under a little bit longer, we’re almost done.


Arthur: This isn’t going to work. Wake him up.
[Nash goes to Cobb trying to wake him up]
Nash: He won’t wake!
Arthur: Give him a kick. Unplug him.


Arthur: They’re getting closer.
Saito: You got what you came for.
Dom Cobb: Well, that’s not true. You left out a key piece of information, didn’t you? You held something back because you knew what we were up to. Question is, why did you let us in at all?
Saito: An audition.
Dom Cobb: An audition for what?
Saito: Doesn’t matter. You failed.
Dom Cobb: We extracted every bit of information you had in there.
Saito: But your deception was obvious.


Dom Cobb: You don’t seem to understand, Mr. Saito. The corporation that hired us, they won’t accept failure. We won’t last two days.
Arthur: Cobb.
[indicating to Cobb to speed things up]
Dom Cobb: Looks like I’m going to have to do this a little more simply.
[throws Saito onto the floor and hold a gun to his head]
Dom Cobb: Tell us what you know?! Tell us what you know now?!
[Saito laughs to himself]
Saito: I’ve always hated this carpet.
[runs his fingers through the carpet]
Saito: It’s stained and frayed in such distinctive ways but it’s very definitely made out of wool. And now, now it’s polyester, which means that I’m not lying on my carpet in my apartment. You have lived up to your reputation, Mr. Cobb, I’m still dreaming!


Saito: Dream within a dream, ha? I’m impressed. But in my dream you play by my rules.
Dom Cobb: Ah yes. But you, see Mr. Saito, it’s not your dream.
Nash: We’re in mine.


Arthur: Asshole! How’d you mess up the carpet?
Nash: It wasn’t my fault.
Arthur: You’re the architect!
Nash: I didn’t know he was going to rub his damn cheek on it!


Dom Cobb: I have it under control.
Arthur: I’d hate to see you out of control.


[Cobb’s on the phone talking to his children]
James: When are you coming home dad?
Dom Cobb: Well, I can’t sweetheart. I can’t. Not for a while, remember?
James: Why?
Dom Cobb: I told you. I’m away because I’m working. Right?
Phillipa: Grandma says you’re never coming back.
Dom Cobb: Phillipa, is that you? Well, put grandma on the phone for me will you?
Phillipa: She’s shaking her head.
Dom Cobb: Well, let’s just hope she’s wrong about that.


Arthur: Hey, are you okay?
Dom Cobb: Yeah, yeah, I’m fine. Why?
Arthur: Well down at the dream, Mal showing up
Dom Cobb: Uh, come on. I’m sorry about your leg. It won’t happen again.
Arthur: It’s getting worse isn’t it?
Dom Cobb: One apology is all you’re getting. Alright, Arthur?


[referring to Nash]
Saito: He sold you out. Failed the company and bargained for his life. So I offer you the satisfaction.
[Saito’s attendant offers a gun to Cobb]
Dom Cobb: It’s not the way I deal with things.


Dom Cobb: What do you want from us?
Saito: Inception. Is it possible?
Arthur: Of course not.
Saito: If you can steal an idea from someone’s mind, why can’t you plant one there instead?
Arthur: Okay, here’s me planting an idea in your head. I say to you, don’t think about elephants. What are you thinking about?
Saito: Elephants.
Arthur: Right, but it’s not your idea because you know I gave it to you. The subjects mind can always trace the genesis of the idea. True inspiration is impossible to fake.
Dom Cobb: That’s not true.
Saito: Can you do it?
Dom Cobb: Are you offering me a choice? Cause I can find my own way to square things with Cobalt.
Saito: Then you do have a choice.
Dom Cobb: Then I choose to leave sir.


Saito: How would you like to go home? To America. To your Children.
Dom Cobb: Can’t fix that. No one can.
Saito: Just like inception.
Arthur: Cobb, come on.
Dom Cobb: How complex is the idea?
Saito: It’s simple enough.
Dom Cobb: No idea is simple when you need to plant it in somebody else’s mind.


Dom Cobb: If I were do this, if I even could do it, I’d need a guarantee. How do I know you can deliver?
Saito: You don’t! But I can. So do you want to take a leap of faith, or become an old man filled with regret waiting to die alone?
[Cobb nods his head]
Dom Cobb: Assemble your team, Mr. Cobb and choose your people more wisely.


Arthur: Look I know how much you want to go home. This can’t be done.
Dom Cobb: Yes it can. You just have to go deep enough.
Arthur: You don’t know that.
Dom Cobb: I’ve done it before.
Arthur: Who’d you do it to?
[Cobb doesn’t answer]


Miles: Is it safe for you to be here?
Dom Cobb: Extradition between France and the United States is a bureaucratic nightmare. You know that.
Miles: I think they might find a way to make it work in your case.


Dom Cobb: I’m just doing what I know. I’m doing what you taught me.
Miles: I never taught you to be a thief.
Dom Cobb: No. You taught me to navigate people’s minds. But after what happened, there weren’t a whole lot of legitimate ways to use that skill.
Miles: What are you doing here, Dom?
Dom Cobb: I think I found a way home. It’s a job for some very, very powerful people. People who I believe can fix my charges permanently. But I need your help.
Miles: You’re here to corrupt one of my brightest and best.
Dom Cobb: What I’m offering, you have to decide for themselves.
Miles: Money.
Dom Cobb: Not just money. You remember, it’s the chance to build cathedrals, entire cities, things that never existed. Things that couldn’t exist in the real world.


Miles: Come back to reality, Dom. Please.
Dom Cobb: Reality? Those kids, your grandchildren, they’re waiting for their father to come back home. That’s their reality. And this job, this last job, that’s how I get there. I would not be standing here if I knew any other way. I need an architect who is as good as I was.
Miles: I’ve got somebody better.


Miles: If you have a few moments, Mr. Cobb has a job offer he would like to discuss with you.
Ariadne: A work placement?
Dom Cobb: Not exactly.


Dom Cobb: They say we only use a fraction of our brain’s true potential. Now, that’s when we’re awake. When we’re asleep, our mind can build almost anything.
Ariadne: Such as?
Dom Cobb: Well, imagine you’re designing a building, alright? You consciously create each aspect, but sometimes it feels like it’s almost creating itself, if you know what I mean.
Ariadne: Yeah. Like I’m discovering it.
Dom Cobb: Genuine inspiration, right? Now in a dream, our mind continually does this. We create and perceive our world simultaneously and our mind does this so well that we don’t even know it’s happening. That allows us to get right in the middle of that process.
Ariadne: How?
Dom Cobb: By taking over the creative part. Now this is where I need you. You create the world of the dream. You bring the subject into that dream and they fill it with their subconscious.


Dom Cobb: Well dreams, they feel real while we’re in them, right? It’s only when we wake up that we realize that something was actually strange. Let me ask you a question, you never really remember the beginning of a dream, do you? You always wind up right in the middle of what’s going on.
Ariadne: I guess, yeah.
Dom Cobb: So how did we end up here?
Ariadne: Well, we just came from the, uh…
Dom Cobb: Think about it, Ariadne. How did you get here? Where are you right now?
Ariadne: We’re dreaming?!


[waking up as her dream is collapsing]
Ariadne: If it’s just a dream then why can you…
Dom Cobb: Cause it’s never just a dream is it? And a face full of glass hurts like hell. When you’re in it, it feels real.


Ariadne: Five minutes? What we were talking like for at least an hour.
Dom Cobb: In a dream your mind functions more quickly. Therefore, time seems to feel more slow.
Arthur: Five minutes in the real world gives you an hour in the dream world.


[walking in what seems like a Parisian street]
Ariadne: Who are the people?
Dom Cobb: They are projections of my subconscious.
Ariadne: Yours?
Dom Cobb: Yes. Remember you are the dreamer you build this world. I am the subject my mind populates it. You can literally talk to my subconscious, that’s one of the ways extract information from the subject.
Ariadne: What else do you do?
Dom Cobb: By creating something secure like a, like a bank vault or a jail. The mind automatically fills it with information it’s trying to protect.


Ariadne: My questions is what happens when you start messing with the physics of it?
[we then see another street folding on top of the street they are standing in]
Ariadne: Something isn’t it?
Dom Cobb: Yes it is.


[referring to the people they are passing whilst walking in the street]
Ariadne: Why are they all looking at me?
Dom Cobb: Cause my subconscious feels that someone else is creating this world. The more you change things, the quicker the projections start to converge on you.
Ariadne: Converge?
Dom Cobb: They sense the foreign nature of the dreamer. They attack like white blood cells fighting an infection.
Ariadne: They’re going to attack us?
Dom Cobb: No. Just you.


[someone walks deliberately into Ariadne]
Ariadne: Mind telling your subconscious to take it easy.
Dom Cobb: It’s my subconscious. Remember, I can’t control it.


Dom Cobb: I know this bridge. This place is real isn’t it?
Ariadne: Yeah. I cross it every day to get to the college.
Dom Cobb: Never recreate places from your memory. Always imagine new places.
Ariadne: You got to draw from stuff you know, right?
Dom Cobb: Only use details. A street lamp or a phone booth. Never entire areas.
Ariadne: Why not?
Dom Cobb: Because building a dream from your memory is the easiest way to lose your grasp on what’s real and what isn’t real.
Ariadne: Is that what happened to you?


[Ariadne wakes up all shaken after getting stabbed by Mal in the dream she was sharing with Cobb]
Ariadne: Why wouldn’t I wake up?
Arthur: Cause there was still some time on the clock and you can’t wake up from within a dream unless you die.
Dom Cobb: She’ll need a totum.


[shouting to Cobb as he walks away]
Ariadne: That’s some subconscious you’ve got on you, Cobb. She’s a real charmer.
Arthur: Oh, I see you met Mrs. Cobb.


Arthur: So a totum, you need a small object, potentially heavy, something you can have on you all the time that no one else knows.
Ariadne: Like a coin?
Arthur: No. It needs to be more unique than that. This is a loaded die.
[Ariadne tries to grab the dice]
Arthur: I can’t let you touch it, that would defeat the purpose. See only I know the balance and the weight of this particular loaded die. That way when you look at your totum, you know beyond a doubt that you’re not in someone else’s dream.


Ariadne: [to Arthur] I don’t know if you can’t see what’s going on or if you just don’t want to, but Cobb has some serious problems that he’s trying to bury down there. And I’m not about to just open my mind to someone like that!
[she gets up and leaves]
Dom Cobb: She’ll be back. I’ve never seen anyone pick it up that quickly before. Reality is not going to be enough for her now. When she comes back, when she comes back you’re going to have her building mazes.


Dom Cobb: Inception, now before you bother telling me it’s impossible…
Eames: No, it’s perfectly possible. It’s just bloody difficult.


Eames: Listen, if you’re going to perform inception you need imagination.
Dom Cobb: Let me ask you something, have you done it before?
Eames: We tried it, we got the idea in place but it didn’t take.
Dom Cobb: You didn’t plant it deep enough?
Eames: Well, it’s not about depth. You need the simplest version of the idea in order for it to grow naturally in the subject’s mind. It’s a very subtle art.


Dom Cobb: We need the heir of a major corporation to dissolve his father’s empire.
Eames: You see right there you have various political motivations and anti-monopolistic sentiments and so forth, but all of that stuff it’s, uh, it’s really at the mercy of your subjects prejudices. What you have to do is start at the absolute basic.
Dom Cobb: Which is what?
Eames: The relationship with the father.


Ariadne: Cobb said you’d be back.
Arthur: I tried not to come, but…
Ariadne: But there’s nothing quite like it.
Arthur: It’s just pure creation.


Arthur: [to Ariadne] In a dream you can cheat architecture into impossible shapes. That lets you create closed loops, like the Penrose steps. The infinite staircase. See…
[the staircase they’ve been climbing up suddenly shift up]
Arthur: Paradox. So a closed loop liked that will help you disguise the boundaries of the dream you create.


Ariadne: My subconscious seems polite enough.
Arthur: Well wait, it’ll turn ugly. No one wants to feel someone else messing around in their mind.


Ariadne: Cobb can’t build anymore can he?
Arthur: Well I don’t know if he can’t, but he won’t. He thinks it’s safer if he doesn’t know the layouts.
Ariadne: Why?
Arthur: He won’t tell me, but I think it’s Mal.
Ariadne: His ex-wife?
Arthur: No, not his ex.
Ariadne: They’re still together?
Arthur: No. She’s dead. What you see in there is just his projection.
Ariadne: What was she like in real life?
Arthur: She was lovely.


Dom Cobb: We’d need you there to tailor a compound specific to our needs.
Yusuf: Which are?
Dom Cobb: Great depth.
Yusuf: A dream within a dream. Two levels.
Dom Cobb: Three.
Yusuf: Not possible. That many dreams within dreams is too unstable!
Dom Cobb: It is possible, you just have to add a sedative.
Yusuf: No, a powerful sedative.


Saito: The only way to know you’ve done the job is if I go in there with you.
Eames: There’s no room for tourists in a job like this, Mr. Saito.
Saito: This time it seems there is.


[seeing 12 people sleeping with powerful sedative, sharing their dreams]
Saito: Why do they do it?
Yusuf: Tell him, Mr. Cobb.
Dom Cobb: After a while it becomes the only way you can dream.
Yusuf: Do you still dream, Mr. Cobb?


[referring to the sleepers]
Eames: They come here every day to sleep?
Elderly man: No. They come to be woken up. The dream has become their reality. Who are you to say otherwise.


Dom Cobb: Mr. Saito, this isn’t your typical corporate espionage. You asked me for inception, I do hope you understand the gravity of that request. The seed that we plant in this man’s mind will grow into an idea. This idea will define him. It may come to change, well, it may come to change everything about him.
Saito: We’re the last company standing between them and total energy dominance. We can no longer compete. So they’ll control the energy supply of the world. In effect, they become a new super power. The world needs Robert Fischer to change his mind.


Eames: The vultures are circling. The sicker Maurice Fischer becomes, the more powerful Peter Browning becomes. I’ve had ample opportunity to observe Browning. Adopt his physical presence, study his mannerisms and so on and so forth. Now in the first layer of the dream I can impersonate Browning and suggest concept to Fischer’s conscious mind, then when we take him a level deeper his own projection of Browning should feed that right back to him.
Arthur: So he gives himself the idea.
Eames: Precisely. It’s the only way it will stick. It has to seem self-generated.
Arthur: Eames, I am impressed.
Eames: Your condescension, as always, is much appreciated, Arthur. Thank you.


[referring to the totum]
Ariadne: An elegant solution for keeping track of reality. Was it your idea?
Dom Cobb: No. It was uh.. it was Mal’s actually. This one was hers, she’d spin it and in the dream it would never topple. Just, uh, spin and spin.


Dom Cobb: Don’t show me specifics. Only the dreamer should know the layout.
Ariadne: Why is that so important?
Dom Cobb: In case one of us brings in our projections. We don’t want them knowing the details of the maze.
Ariadne: You mean in case you bring Mal in. You can’t keep her out can you?
Dom Cobb: Right.
Ariadne: You can’t build because if you know the maze then she knows it. She’d sabotage the whole operation. Cobb, do the others know?
Dom Cobb: No, they don’t.
Ariadne: You got to warn them if this is getting worse.
Dom Cobb: No one said it’s getting worse. I need to get home. That’s all I care about right now.
Ariadne: Why can’t you go home?
Dom Cobb: Because they think I killed her.
[Ariadne remains silent]
Dom Cobb: Thank you.
Ariadne: For what?
Dom Cobb: For not asking whether I did.


Dom Cobb: “I will split up my father’s empire.” Now this is obviously an idea that Robert himself will choose to reject. Which is why we need to plant it deep in his subconscious. Subconscious is motivated by emotion, right? Not reason. We need to find a way to translate this into an emotional concept.
Arthur: How do you translate a business strategy into an emotion?
Dom Cobb: That’s what we’re here to figure out right. Now Robert’s relationship with his father is stressed to say the least.


Dom Cobb: We need Robert Fischer to have a positive emotional reaction to all this.
Eames: Okay, well try this, um, “My father accepts that I want to create for myself, not follow in his footsteps.”
Dom Cobb: That might work.
Arthur: Might? We’re going to need to do a little better than might.
Eames: Thank you for your contribution, Arthur.
Arthur: Forgive me for wanting a little specificity. Specificity?
Dom Cobb: Inception is not about being specific. When we get inside his mind we’re going to have to work with what we find.


Eames: On the top level we open up his relationship with his father. Say “I will not follow in my father’s footsteps”. Then the next level down feed him, “I will create something for myself.” Then by the time we hit the bottom level we bring out the big guns.
Dom Cobb: “My father doesn’t want me to be him.”
Eames: Exactly.


Arthur: Three layers down, dreams are going to collapse at the slightest disturbance.
Yusuf: Sedation, for sleep, stable enough to create three layers of dreaming. I will have to combine with an extremely powerful sedative.


Yusuf: Brain function in the dream will be about twenty times more. Now when you enter a dream within that dream, the effect is compounded. That’s three dreams, that’s ten hours…
Eames: I’m sorry, Maths was never my strong subject. How much time is that?
Dom Cobb: That’s a week the first level down, six months the second level down, third level…
Ariadne: It’s ten years! Who’d want to be stuck in a dream for ten years?
Yusuf: [smiling] Depends on the dream.


Arthur: So once we’ve made the plant, how do we get out? I’m hoping you have something more elegant in mind that shooting me in the head.
Dom Cobb: A kick.
Ariadne: What’s a Kick?
Eames: This, Ariadne, would be a kick.
[he kicks Arthurs chair causing Arthur which jolts him back down]
Dom Cobb: It’s that feeling of falling you get that jolts you awake. It snaps you out of a dream.


Dom Cobb: The trick is to synchronize a kick that can penetrate all three levels.
Arthur: We could use the musical countdown to synchronize the different kicks.


Eames: We need at least a good ten hours.
Saito: Sydney to Los Angeles, one of the longest flights in the world. He makes it every two weeks.
Dom Cobb: Then he must be flying privately.
Saito: Not if there were unexpected maintenance on this day.
Arthur: It would have to be a seven forty seven.
Dom Cobb: Why’s that?
Arthur: Because in a seven forty seven the pilot’s up top, first class cabin is in the nose, so that no one would walk through. You’d have to buy out the entire cabin and the first class flight attendant.
Saito: I bought the airline. It seemed neat.
Dom Cobb: Looks like we have our ten hours.


[Ariadne invades Cobb’s dream and sees Cobb with his wife in their home]
Mal: You know how to find me. You know what you have to do. You remember when you asked me to marry you?
Dom Cobb: Of course I do.
Mal: You said you had a dream.
Dom Cobb: That we’d grow old together.
Mal: And we can.


[after Cobb discovers Ariadne has invaded his dream]
Dom Cobb: This has nothing do with you.
Ariadne: This has everything to do with me. You’ve asked me to share dreams with you.
Dom Cobb: Not these. These are my dreams.


[in Cobb’s dream they see Mal and their children at the seaside playing]
Ariadne: Why do you do this to yourself?
Dom Cobb: It’s the only way I can still dream.
Ariadne: Why is it so important do dream?
Dom Cobb: In my dreams we’re still together.
Ariadne: These aren’t just dreams. These are memories and you said never to use memories.
Dom Cobb: I know I did.
Ariadne: You’re trying to keep her alive. You can’t let her go.
Dom Cobb: You don’t understand, these are moments I regret. They’re memories that I have to change.


[explaining his dream to Ariadne about regretting not calling out to his children to see their faces just before he decided to leave them]
Dom Cobb: And I start to panic and realize I’m going to regret this moment, that I need to see their faces one last time. The moments passed and whatever I do I can’t change this moment. I’m about to call out to them, they run away. If I’m ever going to see their faces again I’ve got to get back home in the real world.


[Ariadne finds part of Cobb’s dream that he doesn’t want her to see and finds Mal]
Ariadne: I’m trying to understand.
Mal: How could you understand. Do you know what it is to be a lover? To be half your whole?
Ariadne: No.
Mal: I’ll tell you a riddle. You’re waiting for a train, a train that will take you far away. You know where you hope this train will take you, but you don’t know for sure. That it doesn’t matter. How can it not matter to you where the train will take you?
[Mal grabs a broken glass]
Dom Cobb: Cause we’ll be together.


[to Cobb, after waking up from sharing Cobb’s dream]
Ariadne: Do you think you can just build a prison of memories to lock her in? Do you really think that that’s going to contain her?


Dom Cobb: If I get on this plane and you don’t honor our agreement, when we land I go to jail for the rest of my life.
Saito: Complete the job on route, I make one phone call from the plane, you have no trouble going through immigration.


[after entering the first layer of the dream where it’s raining heavily]
Arthur: You couldn’t have peed before you went under?
Yusuf: I’m sorry.
Eames: A bit too much free champagne before take off, hey Yusuf?
Yusuf: [sarcastically] Ha-ha, bloody, ha!


Total Quotes: 138


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