The Christopher Nolan epic still has audiences reeling from it eight years on. That final scene, that frustrating final scene!
The sequence in question, to refresh your memory, was the final shot of the reality-twisting 2010 film Inception which saw Leonardo DiCaprio's character Dom Cobb being reunited with his family, of which British actor and Hollywood legend Michael Caine played his father-in-law.
In the film, the only way the characters know if they're in a dream or in reality is by a spinning top (see the scene below) and this totem will spin indefinitely if they are in fact in a dream. As Dom walks away from the still-spinning top, the film frustratingly cuts and audiences are left to wonder if Dom truly made it back to reality or not.
The definitive answer, confirmed by Michael Caine and reported by the Independent, is frustratingly simple. When introducing the film to a Film4 Summer Screen showing in London earlier this month, Caine told the crowd “When I got the script of Inception, I was a bit puzzled by it, and I said to [Nolan], ‘I don’t understand where the dream is, I said, ‘When is it the dream and when is it reality?’ He said, ‘Well, when you’re in the scene, it’s reality.’ So get that — if I’m in it, it’s reality. If I’m not in it, it’s a dream.”
If you believe his words - and that Nolan wasn't trying to throw off a naive Michael Caine - then that's it. It's done.
Dom Cobb did indeed make it back to reality.