Inception is a 2010 science fiction action heist film written, co-produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film features an international ensemble cast starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy,Cillian Murphy, Dileep Rao, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine. DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, a specialized corporate spy and thief. His work consists of secretly extracting valuable commercial information from the unconscious minds of his targets while they are asleep and dreaming. Wanted for murder and unable to visit his children, Cobb is offered a chance to regain his old life as payment for a task considered to be impossible: "inception", the planting of an original idea into a target's subconscious.
Development began roughly nine years before Inception was released. In 2001, Nolan wrote an 80-page treatment about dream-stealers, presenting the idea to Warner Bros. The story was originally envisioned as a horror film inspired by concepts of lucid dreaming and dream incubation. Feeling he needed to have more experience with large-scale films, Nolan opted to work on Batman Begins (2005), The Prestige (2006), and The Dark Knight (2008). He spent six months polishing the script for Inception before Warner Bros. purchased it in February 2009. Filming spanned six countries and four continents, beginning in Tokyo on June 19, 2009, and finishing in Canada in late November of the same year.
Inception was officially budgeted at $160 million, a cost that was split between Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures.Nolan's reputation and success with The Dark Knight helped secure the film's $100 million in advertising expenditure, with most of the publicity involving viral marketing. Inception premiered in London on July 8, 2010, and was released in both conventional and IMAX theaters on July 16, 2010.A box office success, Inception has grossed over $800 million worldwide and is currently one of the highest-grossing films of all time. The home video market also had strong results, with $68 million in DVD sales.
Inception received wide critical acclaim, with numerous critics praising it for its originality, cast, score, and visual effects. The film received eight Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score and Best Art Directionand won the awards for Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Cinematography.