If you think I was hard on the film, you should check out what some professional critics have said.

The worst of them is probably the borderline-insane Rex Reed:

Writer-director Nolan is an elegant Hollywood hack from London whose movies are a colossal waste of time, money and I.Q. points. “Elegant” because his work always has a crisp use of color, shading and shadows, and “hack” because he always takes an expensive germ of an idea, reduces it to a series of cheap gimmicks and shreds it through a Cuisinart until it looks and sounds like every other incoherent empty B-movie made by people who haven’t got a clue about plot, character development or narrative trajectory.

I’m not certain I like at all being even remotely in this guy’s company, because even apart from the fact that Reed is absurdly vitriolic, I don’t particularly agree with any of that. My major complaint is that I wanted to love Inception and wound up merely liking it. I fall more in line with Christopher Orr of The Atlantic:

For all its elegant construction, Inception is a film in which nothing feels comparably at stake. (In this it resembles Nolan’s The Prestige, another admirably heady tale of perception and reality that never quite found a hearty emotional grip.) The dangers that loom with the failure of Cobb’s mission range from the inconsequential (Saito’s firm goes out of business!) to the inauthentic (Cobb won’t be able to return to pretty, talismanic children he was forced to abandon: parenthood as MacGuffin). The sorrow of Cobb and Mal’s doomed marriage, too, for all of Cotillard’s hypnotic allure, feels nonetheless remote, a motivation in search of real meaning.

He praised the film more than I would (earlier in his review, obviously), but he’s dead on with this bit.