Leonardo DiCaprio stars in “Inception”

By DNA Smith
“Inception” (PG-13) — Director Christopher Nolan (“Memento,” “The Dark Knight”) has crafted one of the most original and talked about films of year — if not the decade. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Dom Cobb, an industrial spy who can enter the dreams of his clients’ competitors and steal their ideas. A Japanese magnate named Saito (Ken Watanabe) hires Cobb to do something different: Instead of extracting ideas, he wants Cobb to implant an idea into the subconscious of a rival businessman (Cillian Murphy) — a process called “inception.”

With the aid of his partner (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), an architecture student (Ellen Page), a chemist (Dileep Rao) and a forger (Tom Hardy), Cobb enters a series of dreams and dreams-within-dreams to pull off the caper. A series of spectacular special-effects sequences will simply take your breath away. “Inception” is one of those rare science-fiction films like “2001” — one that is not only visually compelling, but smartly written and intellectually stimulating.

“Despicable Me” (PG) — The best animated film of the year is, hands-down, “Toy Story 3,” but coming in a very close second is “Despicable Me,” a rollicking slapstick comedy starring the voices of Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand and Julie Andrews.

Gru (Carell) is the world’s greatest supervillain — until a young upstart named Vector (Segal) steals the Great Pyramid of Giza, dropping Gru to No. 2 on the list. To regain the top spot, Gru must steal Vector’s shrink ray so that he can shrink the moon. To do that, he must enlist the help of three cookie-selling orphan girls and a squad of blobby, inept minions (who steal every scene they’re in). Despite the hackneyed trope of the Importance of Family, “Despicable Me,” is one of the funniest films of the year and a treat for kids and adults.

“The Other Guys” (Unrated) — Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg star in this hilarious send-up of buddy-cop movies. Ferrell plays a clueless police accountant with a hot wife (Eva Mendes) whose beauty he is totally oblivious to. Wahlberg is a super-cop wannabe who is banished to desk duty after accidentally shooting a member of the New York Yankees. After the city’s famous duo of super cops (Samuel L. Jackson & Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) die in the line of duty, Ferrell and Wahlberg use the opportunity to take on a case involving a billionaire Wall Street crook (Steve Coogan). The gags in this film come at you so fast and furious, you’ll be out of breath from laughing. “The Other Guys” is definitely worth a watch.

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© 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.