Inception is a 2010 science fiction action film written and directed by Christopher Nolan, who also produced the film with his wife, Emma Thomas. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a professional thief who steals information by infiltrating the subconscious of his targets. He is offered a chance to have his criminal history erased as payment for the implantation of another person's idea into a target's subconscious. The ensemble cast includes Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine.
After the 2002 completion of Insomnia, Nolan presented to Warner Bros. a written 80-page treatment for a horror film envisioning "dream stealers," based on lucid dreaming. Deciding he needed more experience before tackling a production of this magnitude and complexity, Nolan shelved the project and instead worked on 2005's Batman Begins, 2006's The Prestige, and The Dark Knight in 2008. The treatment was revised over 6 months and was purchased by Warner in February 2009. Inception was filmed in six countries, beginning in Tokyo on June 19 and ending in Canada on November 22. Its official budget was $160 million, split between Warner Bros and Legendary. Nolan's reputation and success with The Dark Knight helped secure the film's US$100 million in advertising expenditure.
Inception's premiere was held in London on July 8, 2010; it was released in both conventional and IMAX theaters beginning on July 16, 2010. Inception grossed over $828 million worldwide, becoming the fourth highest-grossing film of 2010. Considered one of the best films of the 2010s, Inception received critical praise for its screenplay, direction, themes, action sequences, visual effects, musical score, and ensemble cast. It won four Academy Awards (Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects) and was nominated for four more: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Art Direction, and Best Original Score.