A thief who steals corporate secrets through use of the dream-sharing technology is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO.
Cobb: What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea. Resilient... highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it's almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed - fully understood - that sticks; right in there somewhere.
Eames: [Shows up while Arthur is in a gunfight] You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling. [Pulls out a grenade launcher]
[repeated lines] Cobb: You're waiting for a train. A train that'll take you far away. You know where you hope this train will take you. But you can't know for sure. Yet it doesn't matter. Now, tell me why? Mal: Because you'll be together!
Ariadne: What's happening? Arthur: Your subconscious is looking for the dreamer; me. Quick, give me a kiss. Ariadne: [She kisses him and then looks around] Ariadne: They're still looking at us. Arthur: Yeah, it was worth a shot.
Saito: Don't you want to take a leap of faith? Or become an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone!
Arthur: It would have to be a 747. Cobb: Why is that? Arthur: Because in a 747, the pilot's up top, and the first class cabin's in the nose, so no one would walk through. But you'd have to buy out the entire cabin. And the first class flight attendant... Saito: I bought the airline. [Everybody turns and stares at him. Saito just shrugs] Saito: It seemed neater.
Ariadne: Why is it so important to dream? Cobb: Because, in my dreams we are together.
Cobb: [from trailer] Dreams feel real while we're in them. It's only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange.
Cobb: Inception. Now, before you bother telling me it's impossible... Eames: No, it's perfectly possible. It's just bloody difficult.
Cobb: What do you want? Saito: Inception. Is it possible? Arthur: Of course not. Saito: If you can steal an idea, why can't you plant one there instead? Arthur: Okay, this is me, planting an idea in your mind. I say: don't think about elephants. What are you thinking about? Saito: Elephants? Arthur: Right, but it's not your idea. The dreamer can always remember the genesis of the idea. True inspiration is impossible to fake. Cobb: No, it's not.
Cobb: They say we only use a fraction of our brain's true potential. Now that's when we're awake. When we're asleep, we can do almost anything.
Saito: Have you come to kill me? I've been waiting for someone... Cobb: Someone from a half remembered dream. Saito: Cobb? Impossible. We were young men together. I'm an old man. Cobb: Filled with regret... Saito: Waiting to die alone... Cobb: I've come back for you... to remind you of something. Something you once knew... [the top spins without end] Cobb: That this world is not real. Saito: To convince me to honor our arrangement. Cobb: To take a leap of faith, yes. Come back... so we can be young men together again. Come back with me... [Saito reaches for the gun] Cobb: Come back...
Mal: We'd be together forever. You promised me. Cobb: I know. But we can't. And I'm sorry. Mal: You remember when you asked me to marry you? You said you dreamt that we'd grow old together. Cobb: But we did. We did. You don't remember?... I miss you more than I can bear, but... we had our time together. And I have to let go... I have to let you go.
Cobb: She locked away a secret, deep inside herself, something she once knew to be true... but chose to forget.
Cobb: I need to get home. That's all I care about right now. Ariadne: Why can't you go home? Cobb: Because they think I killed her. Ariadne: [silence] Cobb: Thank you. Ariadne: For what? Cobb: For not asking whether I did.
Mal: [Sitting on the ledge, to Cobb] I'm asking you to take a leap of faith. Cobb: No I can't. You know I can't do that. Take a second, think about our children. Think about James. Think about Phillipa now. Mal: If I go without you they'll take them away anyways. Cobb: What does that mean? Mal: I filed a letter with our attourney explaining how I'm fearful for my safety. How you've threatened to kill me. Cobb: Why did you do that? Mal: I love you, Dom. Cobb: Why did you... why-why would you do that? Mal: I freed you from the guilt of choosing to leave them. We're going home to our real children. Cobb: No, no, no, no. Mal you listen to me, alright? Mal look at me, please. Mal: [Closing her eyes] You're waiting for a train... Cobb: Mal, goddammit! Don't do this! Mal: A train that will take you far away... Cobb: James and Phillipa are waiting! Mal: You know where you hope this train will take you... Cobb: They're waiting for us! Mal: But you can't know for sure... Cobb: Mal, look at me! Mal: Yet it doesn't matter... Cobb: Mal, goddammit! Mal: Because you'll be together. Cobb: Sweetheart! Look at me! Mal: [Jumps off of the ledge] Cobb: Mal, no! Jesus Christ!
Arthur: So, once we've made the plant, how do we go out? Hope you have something more elegant in mind than shooting me in the head? Cobb: A kick. Ariadne: What's a kick? Eames: This, Ariadne, would be a kick [kicks the leg of the chair Arthur's swinging at] Arthur: [finds his balance and glares at Eames]
Cobb: I'm going to improvise. Listen, there's something you should know about me... about inception. An idea is like a virus, resilient, highly contagious. The smallest seed of an idea can grow. It can grow to define or destroy you.
Arthur: Eames, I am impressed. Eames: Your condescension, as always, is much appreciated, Arthur, thank you.
Cobb: I can't stay with her anymore because she doesn't exist. Mal: I'm the only thing you do believe in anymore. Cobb: I wish. I wish more than anything. But I can't imagine you with all your complexity, all you perfection, all your imperfection. Look at you. You are just a shade of my real wife. You're the best I can do; but I'm sorry, you are just not good enough.
Cobb: [notices that he's being followed] That price on my head, was that dead or alive? Eames: Not sure. See if he starts shooting.
Cobb: "I will split up my father's empire." Now, this is obviously an idea that Robert himself would choose to reject. Which is why we need to plant it deep in his subconscious. Subconscious is motivated by emotion, right? Not reason. We need to find a way to translate this into an emotional concept. Arthur: How do you translate a business strategy into an emotion? Cobb: That's what we're here to figure out, right? Now, Robert's relationship with his father is stressed, to say the least. Eames: Well, can we run with that? We could suggest to him breaking up his father's company as a "screw-you" to the old man. Cobb: No, 'cause I think positive emotion trumps negative emotion every time. We all yearn for reconciliation, for catharsis. We need Robert Fischer to have a positive emotional reaction to all this. Eames: Alright, we'll try this, umm... "My father accepts that I want to create for myself, not follow in his footsteps." Cobb: That might work. Arthur: Might? We're gonna need to do a little better than 'might'. Eames: Oh, thank you for your contribution, Arthur. Arthur: Forgive me for wanting a little specificity, Eames. [Eames appears confused at the word] Arthur: Specificity?
Mal: I'll tell you a riddle. You're waiting for a train, a train that will take you far away. You know where you hope this train will take you, but you don't know for sure. But it doesn't matter. How can it not matter to you where that train will take you?
Cobb: Never recreate from your memory. Always imagine new places!
Eames: If we are gonna perform Inception then we need imagination.
Yusuf: Brain function in the dream will be about twenty times to normal. When you enter a dream within that dream, the effect is compounded: it's three dreams, that's ten hours times twen... Eames: I'm sorry, uh, maths was never my strong subject. How much time is that? Cobb: It's a week the first level down. Six months the second level down, and... the third level... Ariadne: ...is ten years! Who would wanna be stuck in a dream for ten years? Yusuf: Depends on the dream.
Ariadne: Why are they all looking at me? Cobb: Because my subconscious feels that someone else is creating this world. The more you change things, the quicker the projections start to converge on you. Ariadne: Converge? Cobb: It's the foreign nature of the dreamer. They attack like white blood cells fighting an infection. Ariadne: They're going to attack us? Cobb: No. Just you.
Cobb: You create the world of the dream, you bring the subject into that dream, and they fill it with their subconscious. Ariadne: How could I ever acquire enough detail to make them think that its reality? Cobb: Well dreams, they feel real while we're in them, right? It's only when we wake up that we realize how things are actually strange. Let me ask you a question, you, you never really remember the beginning of a dream do you? You always wind up right in the middle of what's going on. Ariadne: I guess, yeah. Cobb: So how did we end up here? Ariadne: Well we just came from the a... Cobb: Think about it Ariadne, how did you get here? Where are you right now? Ariadne: We're dreaming? Cobb: You're actually in the middle of the workshop right now, sleeping. This is your first lesson in shared dreaming. Stay calm.
Yusuf: [after surviving a roll with the van] Did you see that? [realizes that everyone else in the van is asleep]
Eames: They come here every day to sleep? Elderly Bald Man: [towards Cobb] No. They come to be woken up. The dream has become their reality. Who are you to say otherwise, son?
Maurice Fischer: [Robert opens the vault to see Maurice on his death bed struggling to say something] Disa... disap... disappointed Fischer: I know, Dad. I know you were disappointed I couldn't be you. Maurice Fischer: No. No, no. I was disappointed... that you tried. [Robert opens the safe to find the new Last Will and Testament along with the pinwheel from when he was a kid. The inception has worked]
Cobb: I think positive emotion trumps negative emotion every time.
Fischer: Couldn't somebody have dreamt up a goddamn beach?
Mal: What are you doing here? Ariadne: My name is... Mal: I know who you are. What are you doing here? Ariadne: I'm just trying to understand... Mal: How could you understand? Do you know what it is to be a lover? To be half of a whole? Ariadne: No... Mal: I'll tell you a riddle. You're waiting for a train. A train that will take you far away. You know where you hope this train will take you; but you don't know for sure. But it doesn't matter. How can it not matter to you where that train will take you? Cobb: Because you'll be together.
Arthur: What about his security? It's gonna get worse as we go deeper. Cobb: I think we run with Mr. Charles. Arthur: No. Eames: Who's Mr. Charles? Arthur: Bad idea. Cobb: The second we get in that hotel with Fischer, his security is gonna be all over us. We run with Mr. Charles like we did on the Stein job. Eames: So you've done it before? Arthur: Yeah, and it didn't work. The subject realized he was dreaming and his subconscious tore us to pieces. Eames: Excellent. But you learned a lot, right?
Cobb: [about Mal] She had locked something away, something deep inside her. The truth that she had once known, but... she chose to forget. Limbo became her reality. Ariadne: What happened when you woke up? Cobb: To wake up from that after, after years, after decades... after we'd become old souls thrown back into youth like that... I knew something was wrong with her. She just wouldn't admit it. Eventually, she told me the truth. She was possessed by an idea, this one, very simple idea, that changed everything. That our world wasn't real. That she needed to wake up to come back to reality, that, in order to get back home, we had to kill ourselves.
Ariadne: Cobb can't build anymore, can he? Arthur: I don't know if he can't, but he won't. He thinks it's safer if he doesn't know the layouts. Ariadne: Why? Arthur: He won't tell me. But I think it's Mal. Ariadne: His ex-wife? Arthur: No, not his ex. Ariadne: They're still together? Arthur: No, she... she's dead. What you see in there is just his projection of her. Ariadne: What was she like in real life? Arthur: She was lovely.
Eames: Great. Thank you. So, now we're trapped in Fischer's mind battling his own private army, and if we get killed, we'll be lost in limbo till our brains turn to scrambled egg.
Arthur: You. What the hell was all that? Cobb: I have it under control. Arthur: I'd hate to see it out of control.
Saito: [thinking it's Eames shape shifted into Browning] Hey, I see you've changed. Peter Browning: [confused] Sorry? Eames: [appears in the background and silently warns Saito it's not him] Saito: Ahh... I'm sorry. I mistook you for a friend. Peter Browning: Well, good-looking fellow, I'm sure. Eames: That's Fischer's projection of Browning. Let's follow him and see how he behaves. Saito: Why? Eames: Because how he acts will tell us if Fischer is starting to suspect him just the way we want him to.
Saito: You remind me of someone... a man I met in a half-remembered dream. He was possessed of some radical notions.
[Saito has been shot in the chest] Cobb: How's he doing? Ariadne: He's in a lot of pain. Cobb: When we get down to the lower levels, the pain will be less intense. Ariadne: And if he dies? Cobb: Worst case scenario? When he wakes up, his mind is completely gone. Saito: Cobb. I'll still honor the arrangement. Cobb: I appreciate that, Saito, but when you wake up, you won't even remember that we had an arrangement. Limbo's gonna become your reality. You're gonna be lost down there so long that you're gonna become an old man. Saito: Filled with regret. Cobb: Waiting to die alone. Saito: No. I'll come back. And we'll be young men together again.
[creates a whole new location out of two mirrors] Cobb: Very impressive. [notices Mal; flashback of himself and Mal on the same bridge] Cobb: I know this bridge. This place is real, isn't it? Ariadne: Yeah, I cross it everyday on the way to the college. Cobb: Never recreate places from your memory. Always imagine new places. Ariadne: Well, you gotta draw from stuff you know, right? Cobb: Only use details, a street lamp or a phone booth, never entire areas. Ariadne: Why not? Cobb: Because building a dream from your memory is the easiest way to lose your grasp on what's real and what is a dream. Ariadne: Is that what happened to you? [grabs her arm] Cobb: Hey listen to me. This has nothing to do with me. Understand? Ariadne: Is that why you need me to build your dreams?
Fischer: After my mother died, you know what he told me? "Robert, there's really nothing to be said." Peter Browning: He was bad with emotions. Fischer: I was eleven.
Arthur: Where were you? What happened to you? Cobb: Got blocked by a freight train. Arthur: [to Ariadne] Why would you put a train course in the middle of a downtown intersection? Ariadne: Why, I didn't. Arthur: Where did it come from? Cobb: Let me ask you a question, why the hell were we ambushed, huh? Those were not normal projections. They've been trained, for God's sakes! Arthur: You're right. Ariadne: How could they be trained? Arthur: Fischer's had an extractor teach his subconscious to defend itself, so, his subconscious has militarized. It should have shown in the research. I'm sorry.
Arthur: So, a totem. It's a small object, potentially heavy, something you can have on you all the time... Ariadne: What, like a coin? Arthur: No, it has to be more unique than that, like - this is a loaded die. [Ariadne reaches out to take the die] Arthur: Nah, I can't let you touch it, that would defeat the purpose. See only I know the balance and weight of this particular loaded die. That way when you look at your totem, you know beyond a doubt you're not in someone else's dream.
Eames: Fischer's OK, unless he gets car-sick.
Ariadne: You might have the rest of the team convinced to carry on with this job, but they don't know the truth. Cobb: Truth? What truth? Ariadne: The truth that at any minute, you might bring a freight train through the wall. The truth that Mal is bursting through your subconscious. And the truth that as we go deeper into Fischer, we're also going deeper into you. And... I'm not sure we're gonna like what we find.
Ariadne: That's some subconscious you've got on you, Cobb! She's a real charmer! Arthur: Oh, I see you've met Mrs Cobb.
Arthur: [Getting out of the water after the kicks] What happened? Ariadne: Cobb stayed. Arthur: With Mal? Ariadne: No, to find Saito. Arthur: He'll be lost. Ariadne: No he'll be all right.
Ariadne: You mind telling your subconscious to take it easy?
Cobb: I knew Inception was possible because I'd done it to my wife.
Ariadne: These aren't just dreams. These are memories. And you said never to use memories. Cobb: I know I did. Ariadne: You're trying to keep her alive. You can't let her go. Cobb: You don't understand. These are moments I regret, the memories that I have to change.
Cobb: Downwards is the only way forwards.
Cobb: I miss you more than I can bear, but we had our time together. I have to let you go.
Mal: Do you know what it is to be a lover? Half of a whole?
Arthur: You couldn't have peed before you went under? Yusuf: Sorry. Eames: A bit too much free champagne before take off, Yusuf? Yusuf: Ha ha, bloody ha.
Ariadne: Won't you tell me anything about this first? Cobb: Before I describe the job I have to know you can do it. Ariadne: Why? Cobb: It's not, strictly speaking, legal.
Mal: You keep telling yourself what you know. But what do you believe? What do you feel? Cobb: Guilt.
Arthur: Asshole! How did you mess up the carpet? Nash: It wasn't my fault. Arthur: You're the architect! Nash: I didn't know he was going to rub his damn cheek on it!
Cobb: I'm just doing what you taught me. Professor: I never taught you to be a thief.
[repeated line] Arthur: Paradox.
Cobb: The moment's passed. Whatever I do I can't change this moment. I'm about to call out to them. They run away. If I'm ever going to see their faces I've gotta get back home. The real world.
Ariadne: [contemplating her totem] An elegant solution for keeping track of reality.
Ariadne: Cobb, I'm coming with you. Cobb: I promised Miles... Ariadne: The team needs someone who understands what you're struggling with. And it doesn't have to be me, but then you have to show Arthur what I just saw. Cobb: [to Saito] Get us another seat on the plane.
Ariadne: I guess I thought the dream-space would be all about the visual, but it's more about the feeling. My question is what happens when you start messing with the physics of it.
Cobb: You create the world of the dream. We bring the subject into that dream and fill it with their subconscious. Ariadne: How could I ever acquire enough detail to make them think that it's reality? Cobb: Well, dreams, they feel real while we're in them right? Its only when we wake up then we realize that something was actually strange.
Professor: Mr. Cobb has a job offer he would like to discuss with you. Ariadne: Like a work placement? Cobb: Not exactly.
Fischer: [handing his abductors his wallet] There's five hundred dollars in there. And the wallet's worth more than that.
Ariadne: My subconscious seems polite enough. Arthur: Well wait, it'll turn ugly. No one wants to feel someone else messing around their mind.
Cobb: You got the basic layout. Bookstore, cafe, almost everything else is here too. Ariadne: Who are the people? Cobb: Projections of my subconscious. Ariadne: Yours? Cobb: Yes. Remember, you are the dreamer, you build this world. I am the subject, my mind populates it. You can literally talk to my subconscious. That's one of the ways we extract information from the subject. Ariadne: How else do you do it? Cobb: By creating something secure, like a bank vault or a jail. The mind automatically fills it with information it's trying to protect. Understand? Ariadne: Then you break in and steal it? Cobb: Well... Ariadne: I guess I thought that the dream space would be all about the visual. But it's more about a feel of it. My question is what happens when you start messing with the physics of it all...? [folds city on top of itself] Ariadne: It's something, isn't it? Cobb: Yes, it is.
Eames: Ah. So, this is your idea of losing a tail, huh? Cobb: Different tail.
Fischer: [to Saito, out of breath after evading an avalanche] Man, couldn't someone have dreamt up a goddamn beach? Huh?
Arthur: Eames, I am impressed. Eames: Your condescension, as always, is much appreciated, Arthur. Thank you.
Cobb: All right, we continue on with the job, and we do it as fast as possible, and we get out using the kick, just like before. Eames: Forget it. We go any deeper, we just raise the stakes. I am sitting this one out on this level, boys.
Mal: No creeping doubts? Not feeling persecuted, Dom? Chased around the globe by anonymous corporations and police forces, the way the projections persecute the dreamer? Admit it: you don't believe in one reality anymore. So choose. Choose to be here. Choose me.
Arthur: Cobb said you'd be back. Ariadne: I tried not to come, but... Arthur: But there's nothing quite like it. Ariadne: It's just... pure creation.
Cobb: There's no use threatening him in a dream, right, Mal? Mal: It depends on what you're threatening. Killing him will just wake him up. But pain... [shoots Arthur in the knee] Mal: Pain is in the mind, and judging by the decor we're in your mind, aren't we, Arthur?
Cobb: I came here to tell you... something. [pause] Cobb: Something that... you once knew to be true. Saito: [remembering] Impossible...
Arthur: What's going on up there?
Cobb: You shouldn't be here. Ariadne: I just wanted to see what kind of tests you're doing on your own every night. Cobb: This has nothing to do with you. Ariadne: This has everything to do with me. You've asked me to share dreams with you. Cobb: Not these. These are my dreams.
Ariadne: Why are they all looking at me? Cobb: Because my subconscious feels that someone else is creating this world. The more you change things, the quicker the projections start to converge on you. Ariadne: Converge? Cobb: They sense the foreign nature of the dreamer. they attack like white blood cells fighting an infection. Ariadne: What? They're going to attack us? Cobb: No, no. [quietly; almost to himself] Cobb: Just you. [creates a new bridge over the street] Cobb: This is great, but I'm telling you, if you keep changing things...
Cobb: If I get on this plane and you don't honor our agreement, when we land, I go to jail for the rest of my life. Saito: Complete the job en route. I make one phone call from the plane. You'll have no trouble getting through Immigration.
[first lines] Saito's Attendant: He was delirious but asked for you by name. Show him... Japanese Security Guard: He was carrying nothing but this... [gun] Japanese Security Guard: And this... [spinning top] Saito: Are you here to kill me?
Ariadne: These aren't just dreams, these are memories and you said never to use memories!
Ariadne: [wakes up after being stabbed by Mal in a dream] Why... why wouldn't I wake up? Arthur: 'Cause there was still some time on the clock and you can't wake up from within a dream unless you die.
Professor: Come back to reality, Dom.
Fischer: I'm insured against kidnapping for up to 10 million. This should be very simple. Cobb: Shut up! It won't be. Arthur: In your father's office, below the bookshelves is his personal safe. We need the combination. Fischer: I don't know any safe. Cobb: That doesn't mean you don't know the combination. Tell us what it is. Fischer: I don't know. Arthur: We have it on good authority you do know. Fischer: Yeah? Whose authority?
[Mal attacks Cobb and Ariadne; Cobb closes elevator door before Mal can reach them] Mal: You promised! You promised! Cobb: Please, I just have to keep you here, just for now. Mal: You said we'd be together! You said we'd grow old together! Cobb: I'll come back, I promise. [Mal glares at them]
Cobb: [From Trailer] The seed that we planted in this man's mind may change everything.
[as the dream collapses] Mal: [to Saito, handing him his secrets] He was close. Very close.
Mal: Your world is not real!
Cobb: [over the phone] How are you, huh? How are you doing? James: Okay, I guess. Cobb: Who's just okay? Is that you, James? James: Yeah. Is Mommy with you? Cobb: James, we talked about this. Mommy's not here anymore. James: Where?
Cobb: No idea is simple when you have to plant it in someone else's mind.
Cobb: [From Trailer] I can access your mind through your dreams.
Mal: Tell me, do the children miss me? Cobb: You can't imagine...
Mal: If I jump, would I survive? Cobb: A clean dive, perhaps. Mal, what are you doing here? Mal: I thought you might be missing me. Cobb: You know I am but I can't trust you anymore. Mal: So what?
Ariadne: [Confused] Wait, whose subconscious are we going into exactly?
Saito: I'll come back and we'll be young men together again.
Ariadne: Do you think you can just build a prison of memories to lock her in? Do you really think that that's gonna contain her?
Mal: You're infecting my mind! Cobb: I was trying to save you. Mal: You betrayed me, but you can still make amends. You can still keep your promise. We can still be together, right here. In the world we built together.
Arthur: And you! You knew about this and went along with it! Yusuf: I trusted him! Arthur: You trusted him! What, when he promised you half his share? Yusuf: No, his whole share. Besides he said he'd done it before. Arthur: You've done it before? What, with Mal? 'Cause that worked so good! Cobb: That has nothing to do with it. I did what I had to do to get back to my children.
Eames: What you have to do it start at the absolute basic.
Arthur: [From Trailer] [to Cobb] Arthur: You should walk away from this!
Arthur: With the slightest disturbance, the dream's going to collapse.
Cobb: [From Trailer] You're asking me for Inception. I hope you do understand the gravity of that request.
Arthur: And I will lead them on a merry chase.
Ariadne: I just want to understand.
Fischer: [of his father] At the end, he called me to his deathbed. He could barely speak; but he took the trouble to tell me one last thing. He pulled me close... and I could only make out... one word: "Disappointed."
Saito: [Dying] No room for tourists in these jobs.
Fischer: I'm insured against kidnapping for up to 10 million.
Cobb: I don't like trains.
Yusuf: That many dreams within dreams is too unstable!
Mal: ...and judging by the decor, we're in your mind, aren't we, Arthur?
Professor: [to Cobb about his grandchildren] It'll take more tha the occasional stuffed animal to convince them they still have a father.
Cobb: I know how to find secrets from your Mind, I know all the tricks!