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Inception Ending: Twitter users want it explained

July 17, 2021 | Daniel Chubb


The moment you watch the “Inception” movie trailer you know this experience is going to mess with your mind, and the early reviews are very good with very high scores on IMDB (9.3/10 at the time of writing, movie reviews don’t get much better than that).

Inception’s ending has received mixed reactions, but most are one of confusion. Twitter users (#inception) want the Inception ending explained, with tweets saying it’s “GENIUS”, “Frustrating”, “Boggling”, and one user even said the “ending of Inception almost gave me an anxiety attack”.

For some viewers, it was a lot simpler. One Tweeter said “I love being film smart and able to figure out the ending of “Inception” while others fight over the ending”. They sound confident but not much of an explanation.

If you like spoilers then you may want to see this article, which gives an audible audience reaction to the ending. Do not go there if you have not seen Inception yet.

Are you confused with the ending? You can see a quick video review of Inception below.

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Comments (13)

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  1. ying says:

    Well, the way I see it is this:

    they were in reality when they say they were in reality as the totem would stop spinning.

    the end of the movie looks like the totem could just be going on forever.

    this means, that leonardo didn't leave the final limbo he was put in because of his choice to stay. his limbo is that he managed to wake up, when in actual fact he didn't.

  2. wllstrt75 says:

    really? Think about this..while dreaming the charachter never saw the faces of his children, he refused to see the faces of his children, and since his dreams were based upon memories he could not see the faces of his children due to his missied moment when he had to leave the states so quickly. This explanation was given throught the movie and was a very important fact u seem to have overlooked. In the end of the movie the charachter doesnt need the totem to fall for him to know he is not in the dream world, the sight of the childrens faces was all the confirmation the charachter needed as did we to know he was back in the real world.

  3. Extractor says:


    Thats exactly what I thought too. I think people are thinking way too hard, paying attn throughout the movie will solve the ending for you. He’s in reality at the end. The totem not falling is just simply Nolan messing with the audience.

  4. NickL2005 says:

    leonardo dicaprio said in an interview not to focus on the ending moments, but to listen after it goes blank… which you can hear the totem fall. I'm surprisely so many people couldn't hear it….

  5. Marty Mulrooney says:

    I really liked how it ended actually. Here is my own article about the ending (leaning more towards it being reality) if anyone is interested:

  6. michael says:

    nick..correct me if im wrong, but there is no sound of the totem falling. di caprio spins it, it begins to waver, then a black screen suddenly emerges and the credits roll.

  7. Louis says:

    Love Story. Plain and simple.

    Now I know a MILLION screaming raving Nolan fans (me being one of them) high on 100 different clues and 6 levels of dreaming, plot holes, contradictions, and inconsistencies, clues will frown on this version mainly because it about "love" and discounts all of the cool action, sci-fi themes and a very cool "bank heist" story, but after seeing the movie 3 times and really, really paying attention the story is actually amazingly SIMPLE, and it's also amazingly good because with my version we really care about Cobb and get emotionally involved in the story. So here's the story:

    Cobb is a businessman who has to travel a lot and he misses his kids. He wants to get home to his kids so he can see them because he misses them. Grandpa is taking care of the kids while Cobb is away because Cobb's wife died. Cobb's wife died because she suffered from a mental illness, and even though Cobb went to 3 psychiatrists did everything he could to try and save her, she ended up trashing their hotel room on their anniversary and jumped off a building and killed herself. That's IT!

    The actual story begins when Cobb gets on the plane in first class. I think Eames is who bumps into Fischer and knocks his passport loose and Cobb gets it because Eames thinks that it
    's Cobb's (I'll have to go back a 4th time, but I think I got it right or real close). Cobb then realizes it's not his passport, and gives it back to Robert Fischer. Cobb knows that Fischer's dad recently died because it was in all the papers. Having recently lost his wife, Cobb feels sympathy with Fischer which is why he buys him a drink and offers a toast to Fischer's father. Then, Cobb falls asleep on the plane. Everything else (except when Cobb wakes up on the plane) is actually Cobb's dream. ALL of it except for a couple of scenes with him and Mal in it. The characters who make up the dream hack team are just projections of the random people sitting with Cobb in first class, and Fischer becomes the focal point for Cobb's dream because Fischer is the one that Cobb talks to. The dream is an amazing and strange trip and a wild ride, but in the end, when Cobb wakes up, that's all it was, was a dream.

    When Cobb gets off the plane, Eames totally ignores Cobb as he waits for his bag, Fischer is lost in thought, Ariadne is looking at Cobb because she thinks he's cute and Saito is just some Japanese business man who seems obsessed with being on the phone. Arthur, the point man is chuckling to himself because he is watching Cobb be completely disoriented when he wakes up. Nothing happens at immigration because Cobb was never in any real trouble with the law. Cobb gets home to his kids, and the top is just a trinket in his pocket the he is carrying around.

    Without going into a dissertation about the film, I'd just invite the reader to accept my "take" on it, and go see it again. When I finally "got it" this movie is actually REALLY emotional because when we realize that all of it is about Cobb, we actually feel for his loss and grief about his wife, and his love of his kids.

    Everything else? ALL those other stories? Well, like the movie says, 1 simple idea (the top) can breed an entire world in the mind.



    • suman says:

      Hi Louis,

      Although I don't think the movie was as you said, but I liked your story line. A whole new approach. Wonderful imagination.



  8. Charles says:

    I really don't understand what all the confusion is about, I'd say just watch the film, enjoy its various turns and role with it. In the end its all sorted, you see the various characters give acknowledging looks, I don't think you can pass them off as a variety of coincidences as Louis suggests.
    In the end the totem falls, its wavers and is obviously going to fall, why would it speed up and continue? In the safe it spins perfectly, and this is Mals totem, once Cobb has touched it, its invalid and cannot be used again for the same purpose, so its going to fall regardless of Cobb being in a dream or not and I think thats where you should start your headfuck!

    Does that mean that he never escaped Limbo?

    I liked your ending Suman, 'Wonderful imagination. Cheers' Ha ha classic. Louis you are tripping! Making this into the dullest rom-drama I can imagine… Actually that was Revolutionary Road

    I'm going to go with, take the film as verbatim. The totem falls when he is in what we know as the real world and at the end it falls.

    Awesome film

  9. Here's my short take at Inception Ending Explained


    At the end of his travels through various dream/real states, Dom has chosen a spinning top - a "totem" - to represent his connection to reality. The character has been told that if the top keeps spinning, the dream world is still in effect. But if it stops, he's living in reality. Nolan stops short of telling the audience what exactly happens to that top, but we have an idea.

    There is a THIRD possibility — It neither stopped… nor kept spinning. The story ended before either could happen.


  10. Jordie says:

    Okay, I’m one of the ones that didnt hear the top stop spinning when the screen went blank, so this was my take on the ending for if Cobbs is still in limbo….. He was either still in Limbo from when Ariadne and the whole team get out and back to reality and he is jsut dreaming that he is with his kids (And for whoever mentioned him not being able to see his kids faces while dreaming - i think he could - like when Mal almost made him - but he just didnt want to or it would almost be like the dream world becoming a reality for him - hence why Mal wanted him to look at their faces)………………………ooooorrrr to bring in a whole new perspective… Cobb was always in limbo. From back when Mal and Cobb were in Limbo together… yes i know they killed themselves to get out of that limbo, but if you think about it, they were meant to be in a dream inside a dream inside a dream (pretty much just down alot of levels), so when they killed themselves they only came up one level - meaning that Mal was right in thinking that they were still dreaming, and right in killing herself again to escape. Cobb never did so he was just stuck in Limbo for the rest of the movie, he just didnt realise it…

    But even now that i think on it - there are probably a million things wrong with that perspective, and i personally think that plot would suck anyway. And now that i know the top did stop spinning at the end, i think i like the whole idea of Cobb being in reality better….. so whatever floats your boat…

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