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
OUR RATING: ★★★★★
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:
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.
[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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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?
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!
[after they have been ambushed in the first layer of the dream and Saito gets shot]
Dom Cobb: Let me ask you a question, why the hell were we ambushed? Huh? Those were not normal projections, they’ve been trained for God sakes!
Arthur: You’re right.
Ariadne: How can they be trained?
Arthur: Fischer’s had an extractor teach his subconscious to defend itself. So his subconscious is militarized. It should have shown in the research, I’m sorry.
[getting angry and panicky]
Dom Cobb: So why the hell didn’t it?
Arthur: Calm down.
Dom Cobb: [angrily] Don’t tell me to calm down. This was your job Goddammit! This was your responsibility! You were meant to check Fischer’s background thoroughly, we’re not prepared for this type of violence.
Arthur: We have dealt with sub-security before, we’ll be a little more careful. We’re going to be fine.
[referring to Saito]
Dom Cobb: This was not part of the plan, he’s dying for God sakes!
[Cobb stops Eames from killing Saito]
Eames: What do you mean he won’t wake up?
Dom Cobb: It won’t wake him up.
Eames: If we die in a dream we wake up.
Yusuf: Not from this. We’re too heavily sedated to wake up that way.
Eames: Right. So what happens when we die?
Dom Cobb: We drop into limbo.
Arthur: Are you serious?
Arthur: Unconstructed dream space.
Ariadne: Well, what the hell is down there?
Arthur: Just raw, infinite subconscious. Nothing is down there! Except for whatever might have been left behind by anyone sharing the dream whose been trapped there before. Which in our case is just you.
Ariadne: Well, how long can we be stuck there?
Yusuf: Don’t even think about trying to escape until the sedation is…
Eames: How long?
Yusuf: Decades! It could be infinite, I don’t know! Ask him he’s the one who’s been there.
Eames: [to Cobb] So now we’re trapped in Fischer’s mind battling his own private army and if we get killed we’ll be lost in limbo till our brains turn into scrambled egg.
Arthur: And you, you knew about this and went along with it.
Yusuf: Well, I trusted him!
Arthur: You trusted him! What, did he promise you half his share?
Yusuf: No, his whole share. Besides he said he’d done it before.
Arthur: You done it before? What with Mal? Cause that worked so good!
Dom Cobb: That had nothing to do with it. I did what I had to do to get back to my children.
Dom Cobb: Fischer’s security is surrounding this place as we speak. Ten hours of flight time is a week at this level, that means each and every one of us will be killed, that I can guarantee. We got no other choice but to continue on and do this as fast as possible. Onwards is the only way forwards.
[Eames has shape shifted into Browning and has been placed with Fischer in the holding cell]
Browning: Those bastards bat at me for two days. They have some old access to your father’s office and they’re trying to open the safe.
Robert Fischer: Yeah.
Browning: They thought I’d know the combination, but I don’t know it.
Robert Fischer: No, well neither do I. So…
Browning: What?! Maurice told me that when he passed that you were the only one to open it.
Robert Fischer: No, he never, he never gave me any combination.
Browning: Maybe he did. Maybe you just didn’t know it was a combination.
Robert Fischer: Well what then?
Browning: I don’t know. Some meaningful combination of numbers based on your experiences with Maurice.
Robert Fischer: We didn’t have very many, um, meaningful experiences together.
[referring to Saito]
Ariadne: He’s in a lot of pain.
Dom Cobb: When we get down to the lower levels the pain will be less intense.
Ariadne: And if he dies?
Dom Cobb: Worst case scenario, when he wakes up his mind is completely numb.
Saito: Cobb, I still honor the arrangement.
Dom Cobb: I appreciate that Saito, but when you wake up you won’t even remember that we had an arrangement. Limbo’s going to become your reality, you’re going to be lost down there so long that you’re going to become an old man…
Saito: …filled with regret.
Dom Cobb: Waiting to die alone.
Saito: No, I’ll come back and we’ll be young men together again.
Robert Fischer: Alright what is in the safe?
Browning: Something for you. Maurice always said that it was his most precious gift to you. A will.
Robert Fischer: Maurice’s will reporting has been done.
Browning: That’s an alternate, this would supersede the other if you wanted to. It splits up the component businesses official tomorrow and it would be the end of the entire empire as we know it.
Robert Fischer: Destroy my whole inheritance? Why would he suggest such a thing.
Browning: I just don’t know. He loved you, Robert. In his own way.
Robert Fischer: His own way? At the end he called me into his deathbed, he could barely speak but he took the trouble to tell me one last thing. He pulled me close and I could only make out one word, “disappointed”.
Ariadne: You might have the rest of the team convinced to carry on with this job but they don’t know the truth.
Dom Cobb: The truth, what truth?
Ariadne: The truth that any minute you might bring a freight train through the wall, the truth that Mal is bursting through your subconscious and the truth that as we go deeper into Fischer we’re also going deeper into you. And I’m not sure we’re going to like what we find.
Dom Cobb: We were working together, we were exploring the concept of a dream within a dream. I kept pushing things, I wanted to go deeper and deeper, I wanted to go further. I just didn’t understand the concept, that hours could turn into years down there, that we could get trapped so deep that when we, when we wound up on the shore of our own subconscious we lost sight of what was real. We created, we build a world for ourselves. We did that for years, we built our own world.
Ariadne: How long were you stuck there?
Dom Cobb: Something like fifty years.
Ariadne: Jeez, how could you stand it?
Dom Cobb: It wasn’t so bad at first feeling like gods. The problem was knowing that none of it was real. Eventually it just became impossible for me to live like that.
Ariadne: And what about for her?
Dom Cobb: She had locked something away, something deep inside her. The truth that she’d always known but chose to forget. Limbo became her reality.
Dom Cobb: To wake up from that after, after years, after decades, to become old souls thrown back into youth like that. I knew something was wrong with her, but she just wouldn’t admit it. Eventually she told me the truth, that she was possessed by an idea. This one very simple idea that changed everything. That our world wasn’t real, that she needed to wake up to come back to reality. That ,uh, in order to get back home we had to kill ourselves.
Ariadne: What about your children?
Dom Cobb: She thought they were projections, that our real children were waiting for us up there somewhere.
Dom Cobb: She was certain there was nothing I could do. No matter how much I begged, no matter how much I pleaded. She wanted to do it, but she could not do it alone. She loved me too much, so she came up with a plan on our anniversary.
[Cobb finds Mal sitting outside on the ledge of the window on the building opposite their hotel room]
Mal: I’m going to jump and you are coming with me.
Dom Cobb: No I’m not. Now, now you listen to me, if you jump you’re not going to wake up, remember? You’re going to die. Now just, just step back inside. Come on, step back inside so that we can talk about this.
Mal: We’ve talked enough.
Mal: I’m asking you to take a leap of faith.
Dom Cobb: Oh, honey I can’t. You know I can’t do that. At least think about our children. Think about James, think about Phillipa now.
Mal: If I go without you they’ll take them away anyway.
Dom Cobb: What does that mean?
Mal: I filed a letter with our attorney, explaining how I’m fearful for my safety, how you’ve threatened to kill me.
[Cobb looks back at their hotel room which has been trashed to look like there was a fight]
Dom Cobb: Why did you do this?
Mal: I love you, Dom.
Dom Cobb: Why did you, why would you do this?
Mal: I’m free from the guilt of choosing to leave them. We are going home to our real children.
Mal: You’re waiting for a train.
Dom Cobb: Mal, Goddammit don’t do this!
Mal: A train that will take you far away.
Dom Cobb: James and Phillipa are waiting for us!
Mal: You know where you hope this train will take you…
Dom Cobb: They’re waiting for us!
Mal: …but you don’t know for sure…
Dom Cobb: Mal, look at me!
Mal: …but it doesn’t matter…
Dom Cobb: Mal, Goddammit!
Mal: …because we’ll be together.
Dom Cobb: Sweetheart, look at me!
[Mal jumps from the building]
Dom Cobb: Mal, don’t! Jesus Christ!
Dom Cobb: She had herself declared sane by three different psychiatrists that made it impossible for me to try and explain the nature of her madness. So I ran. I left my children behind and I’ve been trying to buy my way back ever since.
Ariadne: Your guilt defines her. It’s what powers her. You are not responsible for the idea that destroyed her. And if we are going to succeed in this you have to forgive yourself and you’re going to have to confront her. But you don’t have to do that alone.
Dom Cobb: No, no.
Ariadne: I’m doing it for the others, because they have no idea the risk they’ve taken coming down here with you.
[Cobb and Arthur are disguised acting like kidnappers]
Dom Cobb: Give me the first six numbers that come into your head right now.
Robert Fischer: I have no idea.
Dom Cobb: Right now! I said right now!
[point his gun at Browning’s head]
Dom Cobb: Right now!
Robert Fischer: Five-two-eight-four-nine-one.
Dom Cobb: You have to do better than that.
[after putting Fischer in the Van and sedating him again]
Eames: That boy’s relationship with his father is even worse than we have time.
Arthur: Which helps us how?
Dom Cobb: The longer the issue the more powerful the catharcisim.
[to Arthur whose shooting at Fischer’s army of projections]
Eames: You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.
[Pulls out a grenade launcher]
Dom Cobb: We need to shift his animosity from his father to his godfather.
Ariadne: We’re going to destroy his one positive relationship?
Eames: No, it repairs his relationship with his father, thus, exposing his godfather’s true nature. We should charge Fischer a lot more than Saito for this job.
Dom Cobb: I think we run with Mr. Charles.
Eames: Whose Mr. Charles?
Arthur: Bad idea.
Dom Cobb: The second we get into that hotel and approach Fischer his security is going to be all over us. We run with Mr. Charles like we did on the Stein job.
Eames: So you’ve done it before?
Arthur: Yeah and it didn’t work. The subject realized he was dreaming and his subconscious tore us to pieces.
Eames: Excellent, but you learnt from it right?
Arthur: Don’t jump too soon, we’ve only got one shot at that kick if we’re going to make it.
Yusuf: I’ll play the music to let you know it’s coming. The rest is on you.
[to Ariadne; in the second layer of the dream]
Arthur: There goes Mr. Charles.
[we see Cobb walking through to the hotel bar]
Dom Cobb: Mr. Fischer, right? Pleasure to see you again. Rod Green from marketing.
[Fischer ignores him so Cobb turns to the blond woman sitting with Fischer]
Dom Cobb: And you must be?
Blond Woman: Leaving. In case you get bored.
[hands Fisher a napkin]
Dom Cobb: Must have blown you off. That is unless her phone number really is only six digits.
[Fischer look at napkin and sees the number 528-491 written on it]
Ariadne: Who or what is Mr. Charles?
Arthur: It’s a gambit designed to turn Fischer against his own subconscious.
Ariadne: Why don’t you approve?
Arthur: Cause it involves telling the mark that he’s dreaming. Which involves attracting a lot of attention to us.
Ariadne: Didn’t Cobb say never to do that?
Arthur: Mmm. So now you’ve noticed how much time Cobb spends doing things he says never to do.
Dom Cobb: [to Fischer] My name is Mr. Charles, you remember me don’t you? I’m the head of your security down here.
Dom Cobb: I specialize in a very specific type of security. Subconscious security.
Robert Fischer: You talking about dreams? You talking about, um, extraction?
Dom Cobb: I’m here to protect you…
[Cobb sees his children playing in the hotel lobby, everyone in the bar suddenly turns to look at him]
Dom Cobb: Mr. Fischer, I’m here to protect you in the event that someone tries to access your mind through your dreams. You’re not safe here, they’re coming for you.
[everyone in the hotel keeps looking at them]
Ariadne: What’s happening?
Arthur: Cobb’s drawing Fischer attention to the strangeness of the dream. Which is making his subconscious look for the dreamer. For me. Quick, give me a kiss.
[he kisses Ariadne]
Ariadne: They’re still looking at us.
Arthur: Yeah, it was worth a shot. We should probably get out of here.
Dom Cobb: You feel that? You’ve actually been trained for this Mr. Fischer, pay attention to the strangeness of the weather, the shift in gravity. None of this is real, you’re in a dream.
[everyone in the bar turns to look at them]
Dom Cobb: Now the easiest way for you to test yourself is to try and remember how you’ve arrived at this hotel. Can you do that?
Robert Fischer: Yeah, I…
Dom Cobb: Now breathe, breathe, remember your training. Accept the fact that you’re in a dream and I’m here to protect you. Go on.
Robert Fischer: You’re not real.
Dom Cobb: I’m a projection of your subconscious. I was sent here to protect you in the event that extractors try to pull you into a dream and I believe that’s what’s going on right now, Mr. Fisher.
[after killing the two men which are projections of the Fischer’s mind]
Dom Cobb: These men were sent here to abduct you, alright. If you want my help you have to remain calm. Now I need you to work with me, Mr. Fischer.
[Cobb hands a gun taken from one of the dead projections to Fischer, Fischer points the gun to his own head]
Robert Fischer: If this is a dream I should just kill myself to wake up, right?
Dom Cobb: I wouldn’t do that if I were you, Mr. Fischer, I believe they have you sedated and if you, if you pull that trigger you may not wake up. You may go into a further dream state. Now you know what I’m talking about, you remember the training, remember what I said to you. Give me the gun?
[Fischer gives him the gun]
Robert Fischer: God, why is it so hard to remember?
Dom Cobb: It’s like trying to remember a dream after you’ve woken up. Listen, it takes years of practice. You and Browning have been pulled into this dream because they’re trying to steal something from your mind. I need you to focus and try and remember what that is. What is it, Mr. Fischer? Think.
Robert Fischer: A combination. They demanded the first numbers to pop into my head.
Dom Cobb: They’re trying to extract a number from your subconscious. It can represent anything, we’re in a hotel right now. We should try hotel rooms. What was the number, Mr. Fischer? Try and remember for me, this is very important.
Ariadne: So, do you use a timer?
Arthur: No, I have to judge it for myself. While you’re all asleep in five-two-eight, I wait for Yusuf’s kick.
Ariadne: Well, how will you know?
Arthur: Cause music warns me and then when the van hits the barrier of the bridge that should be unmistakable, so we get a nice synchronized kick. If it’s too soon we won’t get pulled out, if it’s too late I won’t be able to drop us.
Ariadne: Well, why not?
Arthur: Because the van will be in free fall. Can’t drop you without gravity.
[thinking that’s Eames shape shifted into Browning]
Saito: Hey, I see you’ve changed again.
[Browning looks confused]
[Eames is in the back ground warning Saito that’s not him]
Saito: Ah, I’m sorry. I mistook you for a friend.
Browning: Well, good looking fellow I’m sure.
Eames: That’s Fischer’s projection of Browning. Let’s follow him and see how he behaves.
Eames: Because how he acts will tell us if Fischer is starting to suspect him just the way we want him to.
[Cobb and his team have gotten hold of Browning in the hotel room]
Robert Fischer: The kidnappers are working for you?
Browning: Ah, Robert.
Robert Fischer: You’re trying to get that safe open? To get the alternate will?
Browning: Fischer Morrow has been my entire life. I can’t let you destroy it.
Robert Fischer: I’m not going to throw away my inheritance. Why would I?
Browning: I couldn’t let you rise to your father’s last taunt.
Robert Fischer: What taunt?
Browning: The will, Robert. That will, that’s his last insult. A challenge for you to build something for yourself, by telling you you’re not worthy of his accomplishments.
Robert Fischer: What that he, was, um, disappointed?
Browning: But he was wrong, you can build a better company than he ever did.
[referring to Browning]
Dom Cobb: He’s hiding something and we need to find out what that is. I need you do the same thing to him that he was going to do to you. We’ll enter his subconscious and find out what he doesn’t want you to know.
Robert Fischer: Alright.
Ariadne: [confused] Wait, whose subconscious are we going into exactly?
Dom Cobb: We’re going into Fischer’s. I told him it was Browning so he could be a part of our team.
Arthur: He’s going to help up break into his own subconscious?
Dom Cobb: That’s right.
[Arthur gets Eames ready for sleeping]
Eames: Security is going to hunt you down.
Arthur: And I will lead them on a merry chase.
Eames: Just be back before the kick.
Arthur: Go to sleep, Mr. Eames.
[in the third layer of the dream, where they’re in the mountains covered in snow and ice]
Ariadne: Cobb? Cobb? What’s down there?
Dom Cobb: Well, the truth we want Fischer to learn.
Ariadne: I mean wants down there for you?
[after surviving the van crashing and turning over several times]
Yusuf: Ha, did you see that?
[he turns and sees everyone in the van is still asleep]
Dom Cobb: Eames, this is your dream. I need you to draw the security away from the complex. Do you understand?
Eames: Who’ll guide Fischer in?
Dom Cobb: Not me. If I know the route everything could be compromised.
Ariadne: I designed the place.
Dom Cobb: No, you’re with me.
Saito: I could do it.
[referring to the building complex he has to get into]
Robert Fischer: You’re not coming in.
Dom Cobb: No. The only way to find the truth about your father, you’re going to need to break into Browning’s mind on your own.
[after hearing the music Yusuf is playing in the 1st layer of the dream, warning him that Yusuf is about to jump the van over the bridge]
Arthur: No, it’s too soon!
[Eames hears the echo of the music Yusuf is playing in the first layer of the dream]
Eames: Cobb do you hear that? First noticed it about twenty minutes ago, I thought it was the wind up here.
Dom Cobb: Yeah I hear it. It’s music.
Eames: So what do we do?
Dom Cobb: We move fast!
Dom Cobb: Yusuf’s ten seconds from the jump, which gives Arthur three minutes, which give us, what?
Ariadne: Sixty minutes.
Dom Cobb: Could they make that route in under an hour?
Ariadne: They still have to climb down to the little terrace .
Dom Cobb: Well then they need a new route, a more direct route.
Dom Cobb: Did Eames add any features?
Ariadne: I don’t think I should tell you. If Mal finds out…
Dom Cobb: You don’t have time for this. Did he add any?
Ariadne: He added a new air duct system that will cut through the maze.
Dom Cobb: Good, explain it to them.
[after being thrown off the snowy mountain they were climbing]
Robert Fischer: Couldn’t someone have dreamt of a goddamn beach, huh?
[after missing the first kick, the van is now in free fall, Arthur finds all the others floating in the hotel room whilst sleeping]
Arthur: How do I drop you without gravity?
Dom Cobb: Does the strong room have any windows?
Ariadne: Well, it wouldn’t be very strong if it did.
Dom Cobb: Let’s hope Fischer likes what he finds in there.
Ariadne: Are those projections part of his subconscious?
[Cobb starts shooting and killing the security around the building that Fischer is going into]
Dom Cobb: Yes.
Ariadne: Are you destroying those parts of his mind?
Dom Cobb: No, no, they’re just projections.
[Mal enters the building, following Fischer]
Ariadne: Cobb, no. She, she is not real.
Dom Cobb: How do you know that?
Ariadne: She is just a projection. Fischer, Fischer is real!
[after finding Fischer shot by Mal]
Eames: What happened?
Ariadne: Mal killed Fischer.
Dom Cobb: I couldn’t shoot her. There’s no use in reviving him, his mind is already trapped down there. It’s all over.
Eames: So that’s it then we failed.
Dom Cobb: We’re done. I’m sorry.
Eames: Well, it doesn’t mean that I don’t get back to my family does it? It’s a shame cause I really wanted to know what’s going to happen in there.
[pointing to the big safe doors]
Eames: I swear we had this one.
Ariadne: No, there’s still another way. We just have to follow Fischer down there.
Eames: Don’t have time.
Ariadne: No. There will be enough time down there. And we will find him, okay. As soon as Arthur’s music kicks in just use the defibrillator to revive him. We can give him his own kick down below. Look, you get him in there, as soon as music ends we blow up the hospital and we all ride the kick back up the layers.
Eames: Well, it’s worth a shot.
[after entering Cobb’s dream world]
Ariadne: This is your world?
Dom Cobb: It was. This is where she’ll be. Come on.
[dragging Saito into sitting position]
Eames: Saito? Saito, I need you to take care of Fischer’s while I go set some charges. Okay?
Saito: No room for a tourist on this job.
[they both smile recalling what Eames had told Saito earlier, when he told them he wanted to join them on this job]
[walking in Cobb’s and Mal’s dream world]
Ariadne: You build this? This is incredible.
Dom Cobb: We built for years. We started in on the memories.
Ariadne: You reconstructed all of this from memory?
Dom Cobb: Like I told you we had lots of time.
Ariadne: What’s that?
Dom Cobb: That’s the house Mal grew up in.
Ariadne: Well, won’t she be in there?
Dom Cobb: No. Come on.
Ariadne: How will you get Fisher back?
Dom Cobb: I’m going to have to come up with some kind of a kick.
Dom Cobb: I’m going to improvise. Listen there’s something you should know about me, about inception.
[Ariadne and Cobb enter Mal and Cobb’s home]
Dom Cobb: An idea is like a virus, resilient, highly contagious and the smallest seed of an idea can grow. It can grow to define or destroy you.
[they find Mal sitting in their kitchen table]
Mal: A smallest idea such as ‘your world is not real’. Simple little thought that changes everything. You’re so certain of your world, of what’s real. Do you think he is? Or do you think he’s as lost as I was?
Dom Cobb: I know what’s real, Mal.
Mal: No creeping doubts? Not feeling persecuted, Dom? Chased around the globe by anonymous corporations and police forces, the way the projections persecute the dreamer? Admit it, you don’t believe in one reality anymore. So choose, choose to be here, choose me.
Dom Cobb: You know what I have to do, I have to get back to our children because you left them. Because you left us.
Mal: You’re wrong.
Dom Cobb: I’m not wrong.
Mal: You’re confused. Our children are here and you’d like to see their faces again, wouldn’t you?
Dom Cobb: Yes. But I want to see them up above, Mal.
Dom Cobb: Listen please, those aren’t my children.
Mal: You keep telling yourself that, but you don’t believe it.
Dom Cobb: No, I know it.
Mal: Then what if you’re wrong? What if I’m what’s real? You keep telling yourself what you know, but what do you believe? What do you feel?
Dom Cobb: Guilt. I feel guilt, Mal. No matter what I do, no, no matter how hopeless I am, no matter how confused, that guilt is always there reminding of the truth.
Mal: What truth?
Dom Cobb: That the idea that caused you to question your reality came from me.
Mal: You planted the idea in my mind.
Dom Cobb: The reason I knew Inception was possible was because I did to her first. I did it to my own wife.
Dom Cobb: We were lost in here. I knew we needed to escape but she wouldn’t accept it. She had locked something away, something, something deep inside. A truth that she had once known but chose to forget. She couldn’t break free. So I decided to search for it, I went deep into the recess of her mind and found that secret place. I broke in and I planted an idea, a simple little idea that would change everything. That her world wasn’t real.
Mal: That death was the only escape.
[we see Cobb leading Mal to lie with him on the train tracks waiting for a train to run them over]
Dom Cobb: But I never knew that idea would grow in her mind like a cancer, even after she woke. That even after you came back to reality, that you’d continue to believe your world wasn’t real. That death was the only escape.
Mal: You infected my mind!
Dom Cobb: I was trying to save you.
Mal: You betrayed me. You can make amends, you can still keep your promise. We can still be together, right here. In the world we build together.
Ariadne: You can’t stay here to be with her.
Dom Cobb: I’m not. Saito’s dead by now, that means he’s down here somewhere. It means I have to find him. I can’t stay with her anymore because she doesn’t exist.
Mal: I’m the only thing you do believe in anymore.
Dom Cobb: I wish, I wish more than anything, but I can’t imagine you with all your complexity, all your perfection, all your imperfection. Look at you, you’re just a shade, you’re just a shade of my real wife. You’re the best that I could do. I’m sorry, you’re just not good enough.
[Mal picks up the knife on the table and stabs Cobb]
Mal: Does this feel real to you?
[Ariadne shoots Mal]
Dom Cobb: What are you doing?
[she throws Fischer from the building to wake him in the previous level]
[Fischer enters opens the large safe door to find his father at his deathbed, he walks up to his father bed as his father tries to speak]
Maurice Fischer: I was disappoi…
Robert Fischer: I know dad. I know you were disappointed I couldn’t be you.
Maurice Fischer: No, no, no, no! I was disappointed that you tried.
[feeling the kick from the previous level]
Ariadne: Don’t lose yourself. Find Saito and bring him back.
Dom Cobb: I will!
[Ariadne throws herself off the building]
[Mal is lying in Cobb’s arms, she’s crying]
Mal: You remember when you asked me to marry you?
Dom Cobb: Yes.
Mal: You said you dreamt that we’d grow old together.
Dom Cobb: But we did. We did, you don’t remember. I miss you more than I could bare, but we had our time together and I have to let you go. I have to let you go.
[he kisses her one last time and closes his eyes]
[after making it out of van from the river and making it ashore with Eames disguised as Browning]
Robert Fischer: The will means that my dad wanted me to be my own man, not just to live for him. That’s what I’m going to do, uncle Peter.
Arthur: What happened?
Ariadne: Cobb stayed.
Arthur: To be with Mal?
Ariadne: No, to find Saito.
Arthur: He’ll be lost.
Ariadne: No, he’ll be alright.
[we’re back to the very first scene, Saito is an old man talking to a still young Cobb]
Saito: Have you come to kill me? I’m waiting for someone.
Dom Cobb: Someone from a half-remembered dream.
Saito: Cobb? Impossible. We were young men together. I’m an old man.
Dom Cobb: Filled with regret…
Saito:…waiting to die alone.
Dom Cobb: I’ve come back for you, to remind you of something. Something you once knew, that this world is not real.
Saito: To convince me to honor our arrangement.
Dom Cobb: To take a leap of faith, yes. Come back, so we can be young men together again. Come back with me. Come back…
[last lines; to the children]
Miles: Look who’s here?
[the children look up, Cobb goes to them and they run into his arms]
James and Phillipa: Daddy!
James: It’s you!
Dom Cobb: Hey, how are you?
James: Look what I’ve been building?
Dom Cobb: What have you been painting?
James: We’re building a house on a cliff.
Total Quotes: 138