Scott mentions Blade Runner and 2001 as durable cult classics, and says Inception does not come close. How would he know not two days after its release? Neither of those films was born a cult classic. Films gain a cult following and classic status with time; not, thankfully, from Mr Scott’s pronouncements. Edelstein bemoans the lack of nimbleness, something he saw in Spielberg’s Minority Report. Nothing by Spielberg has ever been "nimble". In a film with Tom Cruise in, that’s just impossible.
These reviews are just prattle, much of it nonsensical. Pinkerton claims that “the center of Fischer Jr.’s labyrinth is the intersection of Citizen Kane and 2001”. What on earth does this mean? Where does Citizen Kane come into it?
Scott feeds us verbiage:
But though there is a lot to see in “Inception,” there is nothing that counts as genuine vision. Mr. Nolan’s idea of the mind is too literal, too logical, too rule-bound to allow the full measure of madness — the risk of real confusion, of delirium, of ineffable ambiguity — that this subject requires. The unconscious, as Freud (and Hitchcock, and a lot of other great filmmakers) knew, is a supremely unruly place, a maze of inadmissible desires, scrambled secrets, jokes and fears. If Mr. Nolan can’t quite reach this place, that may be because his access is blocked by the very medium he deploys with such skill.
And the limitations of “Inception” may suggest the limits not only of this very talented director, but also of his chosen art form at this moment in its history. Our dreams feed the movies. The movies feed our dreams. But somehow, our imaginations are still hungry.
Mr. Nolan should ignore every one of these reviews. Memento, Insomnia, Batman Begins, The Prestige, and The Dark Knight were all exceptional movies. In each of them Nolan undertakes an exploration of the mind and the human condition. The Dark Knight — trashed by some of the reviewers I’ve mentioned — is a searing indictment of our growing acceptance of the deliberate and studied dismantling of the rule of law by a corrupt and venal administration. What might have been just another comic-book movie is a reflection on a philosophical question that goes back to Plato, Socrates, and Juvenal.
Besides, there’s an equally vocal lobby of critics and reviewers who liked the film. Katey Rich at CinemaBlend has an excellent write-up.