This review is coming only after one viewing of the movie, so I'm sure I'll miss something. This is a show that has to be watched multiple times.
Cobb is an expert extractionist (stealing mentally kept secrets) who longs to return home to his children. He's offered a chance to return if he can perform inception (implanting an idea) on the inheritor of a large energy business and get the inheritor to dissolve the company. Cobb is one of the few who knows inception can actually work, but he has some personal issues he must overcome for the plan to get pulled off.
This movie was amazing. This is what all directors should aspire to. Occasionally it is nice to be able to sit back and not have to think, but this is more than just a thinking movie; you get totally immersed in the film as if you were dreaming it yourself! Nolan has created a totally unique story so complex and deep that it begs for multiple views. Hans Zimmer does a wonderful job with the score as well. You have to see this in the theater.
Moral Value - Failure to Communicate?
I'll try to avoid any spoilers, though there might be some minor ones (whether the movie ends happy or sad, so read on at your own risk).
The movie does a great job of illustrating a mindset that Elder David A. Bednar related in a youth fireside that was printed in the June 2010 Ensign entitled, "Things as They Really Are." (You should read through this before you see the movie and it will really help it sink in). Basically Elder Bednar discusses his concern that we look more towards cyber experiences that distract us from real experiences; real life experiences that actually help us progress spiritually and emotionally far better than any online game or website can. In the movie we see people who choose to live their lives through dreams. Because their dreams become more interesting and exciting than their actual life, they get lost in multiple levels of subconscious dreaming, making them ultimately unable to tell what's real life any more. Elder Bednar states,
"Sadly, some young men and young women in the Church today ignore 'things as they really are' and neglect eternal relationships for digital distractions, diversions, and detours that have no lasting value. My heart aches when a young couple—sealed together in the house of the Lord for time and for all eternity by the power of the holy priesthood—experiences marital difficulties because of the addicting effect of excessive video gaming or online socializing. A young man or woman may waste countless hours, postpone or forfeit vocational or academic achievement, and ultimately sacrifice cherished human relationships because of mind- and spirit-numbing video and online games. As the Lord declared, 'Wherefore, I give unto them a commandment … : Thou shalt not idle away thy time, neither shalt thou bury thy talent that it may not be known' (D&C 60:13)."
One of Cobb's personal issues he is confronted with is a strong feeling of personal guilt for something he has done (revealed in the movie). He learns, through the help of a friend, that he has to forgive himself in order to move on. This forgiveness isn't only important to Cobb's personal progression, but for the well-being of those he's working with. As he learns to confront his fears and realize what is real and what is a distraction, he's able to continue on his mission with a brighter hope of being united with his children.
The love Cobb displays for his children (seen primarily through his dreams and discussion with others) is the love we should exhibit for our family at all times. It wouldn't hurt to imagine yourself being in such a situation to realize how much you need your family and how much they need you.
The PG-13 rating is primarily for the intense scenes of action and violence (though nothing graphic is displayed). There are some profane references to deity, but little else. No sex or nudity.