Inception Ending Explained

Chris Nolan’s new movie Inception was said by some media to be too cerebral for general audiences. While I think that doesn’t give movie audiences enough credit an interesting point in the debate has been Google Trends this weekend revealing tons of Inception movie goers immediately going home and searching for an explanation for Inception’s ending. Join us for **SPOILERS** after the jump where we’ll discuss Inception’s ending.

By now if you’ve seen Inception you know that the ending is ambiguous and leaves the audience with as many questions as answers. Ultimately I think it’s up to the movie goer to decide for themselves if Cobb is still in a dream or if he’s made it back to reality, but here are some of the points in favor of each:

Points that favor Carter still being in a dream:

  • Cobb’s children are wearing the same clothes in their reunion that they have been wearing in Cobb’s dreams throughout the movie.
  • Cobb’s children also haven’t aged in comparison to his memories of them. This seems impossible as time has clearly passed since he was forced to leave the US.
  • Cobb’s top is still spinning as the movie cuts to credits. (But is it about to topple?)
  • Point that favors Cobb being awake:

  • CinemaBlend points out that Cobb is shown wearing a wedding ring at the beginning of the movie, and that throughout the movie he is shown wearing a ring during dream sequences but not during reality sequences. At the end of the movie he is not wearing his ring.

Of course if Cobb is still in a dream at the end this doesn’t necessarily mean the entire movie was a dream. It could just mean he didn’t make it back out of limbo after Ariadne left him. Another possibility, one with legs I think, is that Cobb is actually having an extremely elaborate inception performed on him (possibly for the purpose of helping him get over his guilt concerning his wife Mal), and that the Fischer storyline is simply a part of it.

Inception is an exceptionally complex movie that I believe is going to be debated for years, so this is an extremely preliminary look at the ending of the movie. This is a movie that needs to be gone over with a fine toothed comb, because knowing Christopher Nolan and his history I’m sure every scene is infused with meaning.

I’m guessing the internet will produce more than one thorough explanation for Inception and it’s tricky ending as time goes on, but for now what do you think the ending of Inceptions means?

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