49 Questions About 'Inception' I Still Need Answered 5 Years Later

Five years ago Christopher Nolan created one of the most visually stunning, yet mind-meltingly confusing films ever made: Inception . The 2010 thriller featured a stellar cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Tom Hardy, Michael Caine, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, and Ellen Page. It wasn't since Memento that a film captured audience's minds in such a way — the film was so intricate and fill of such minutiae that even the finest of critics couldn't crack its code. Inception also has one of the most hotly-debated film endings of all time. Spoiler alert: you'll never know if Cobb is awake or sleeping in the final moment. Christopher Nolan would rather have you think about what you'd do in his shoes if given the choice.

When I think about Inception, I think about Paris collapsing in on itself, Joseph Gordon-Levitt spinning in that hotel hallway, a massive avalanche, and people plugged into a plane like they're getting plugged into The Matrix. Inception is an unforgettable movie... even if you're not 100% sure what it was about or what really happened. That's part of the joy of watching it, you get sucked in and you very quickly begin to question everything about it.

Here are some questions I still have about this frustratingly brilliant film:

  1. Does the top ever stop spinning? I REALLY DO WANT TO KNOW.
  2. Is everyone actually dead?
  3. What year is this all happening in?
  4. Is time even real?
  5. Is Marion Cotillard the devil?[Embed]
  6. How can someone else extract someone else's subconscious without their own subconscious doing its own dirty work? Oh f*ck I'm confused.
  7. Did I just incept myself?
  8. What are dreams?
  9. Is this a dream?
  10. Is the movie just a reel of cats but the filmmaker incepted all of into seeing the same movie?
  11. Are movies real?[Embed]
  12. Ariadne's test was drawing a maze... REALLY?
  13. Are Leonardo DiCaprio's kids just figments of his imagination?
  14. Why do we never remember the beginning of our dreams!?[Embed]
  15. Who are Dom and Arthur really working for?
  16. I've had a dream within a dream before, does that mean I have been incepted?
  17. Is that falling feeling you get while sleeping inception?
  18. Is the elevator going to heaven or hell?[Embed]
  19. If you were left in limbo, would the living world think you were dead and bury you ALIVE?
  20. Wait, that avalanche was caused by a different person's dream?
  21. Then who caused the city to crumble at the beginning?
  22. Can they suck someone else's consciousness out and put it into the dead body on the plane?
  23. WHAT IS A KICK?[Embed]
  24. Does inception work like time travel?
  25. Does going forward in dream time while "going under" cause you to age more rapidly?
  26. Does inception change real life events or is it just used to discover truths?
  27. Is being an extractor a genetic trait?
  28. Are totems sort of like a patronus?[Embed]
  29. If Dom is really dreaming, what happens to his body?
  30. Why is the hotel spinning again?
  31. If you're supposed to imagine new places in your mind, then why are all of the locations so commonplace?
  32. What happens to all of the random people in the dreams? Like the people who were smashed by that derailed train? they have to be real people somewhere in the world, right?
  33. What happens if two people who are under dream the same thing?
  34. How much of our subconscious really controls our actions?
  35. What happens if you bring someone else into a dream and THEY die?[Embed]
  36. If the dream is of YOUR creation, how are all of these dangerous things happening?
  37. Aren't the architects supposed to be in control of the world they imagine?
  38. Is it true that we use more of our brains when we are asleep?
  39. IS MAL THE BAD GUY?
  40. How did the government use inception to train military if death in a dream is what wakes you up?[Embed]
  41. Wait. Saito wants to kill them? No... he wants THEIR secrets? No..he wants their protection?
  42. Was this movie EVER taking place in a base reality?
  43. Who actually dies IRL at the end of the movie?
  44. Do these people actually have all of these mountain climbing and gun shooting skills or is that all imagined?
  45. Why doesn't Michael Caine make sure everyone wakes up when they're supposed to?
  46. Is Lukas Haas actually one of the Avett Brothers?
  47. How can JGL be so agile in such form-fitting suits?[Embed]
  48. Why does Ellen page agree of all of this in the first place?
  49. Where's the Tylenol?
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Images: Warner Bros; Giphy (10)