I was writing back and forth with a friend of mine about "Inception", and he brought up a number of excellent points I hadn't even considered. After reading them, I was kicking myself for not noticing these things; "As far as the ending goes - From what I could discern, totems are only good for determining whether or not you are in someone else's dream. In fact, I think Cobb says that line exactly when he introduces the concept of totems. This is because no one else knows the exact weight and properties of your totem, so they can't recreate it perfectly in their dream world. However, in your own dream, you could easily recreate your own totem, so Cobb's totem would have fallen down even if he was dreaming. That's why I think that if they wanted it to be an ambiguous ending, they should have just shown the top fall down. It wouldn't have proved anything! But then, I don't think Cobb's totem made much sense in the first place. Plenty of people had seen him use his top, and knew that if it fell down, Cobb would believe he was in reality. Wouldn't a good architect create a top for him which falls down? Putting it another way, what kind of retarded architect would give him an infinitely spinning top, even if they didn't know it was his totem? Other annoyances - What was the final "kick" which woke them up on the plane? They never showed this happening. The sedative couldn't have worn off, because they would have had to spend an entire week in the first level of the dream, and apparently they all would have died and been sent to limbo if that happened (according to Cobb). Furthermore, I didn't really buy into the idea of "kicks". The concept seems to be that if you are falling, your brain automatically wakes you up (such as if you fall out of bed while sleeping, or when Cobb fell into the bathtub at the beginning of the movie). If you are in multiple levels of dreams, you need a kick on each level to wake you up. My problem is this: why didn't the kicks work sometimes? When the hotel turns upside down, surely that would create the sensation of falling for everyone in the hotel. Why don't the people asleep in the hotel wake up? And further, when the van turns upside down, why don't the people in the van wake up? Can you choose not to wake up even if you do receive a kick? Also, why do the kicks have to be synchronized? If you failed the first kick, couldn't you just keep attempting kicks until whoever is still asleep wakes up? They did this in the movie, so apparently they can! But then why did they make such a big deal out of the music thing? For convenience's sake?" I argued that he is correct about the totem, but the viewer must accept its God-like ability on faith alone, not questioning its definition too much. But as for the "kicks", he's correct that they seemingly violate their own rules there.