Simon Ramshaw’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Are you watching closely?" - Alfred Borden
Yeah...so, this is the film that had me all the way. It's sublime. It's one of the most intelligent films I've ever seen. It's got my mind working in over-drive. I'm over-heating. I can't say anything at all about this to people who haven't seen it, so I'll just babble on critically...
Everyone, and I mean everyone, is at the top of their game here. Particularly Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale. Their roles as hero and villain, protagonist and antagonist are constantly shifting between them, as they're both as equally flawed as one another. At first, they both look like they're horrifically uncomfortable in their roles with their foreign accents, but it doesn't take them long to settle into their performances and with us.
Actually, we, the audience, are as much a part of the film as every single cast member in the whole film. There's a constant sense of bewilderment that Nolan and co. cast upon us, much like the confounded audiences that Jackman and Bale try to win the hearts of. Christopher Nolan isn't just the magician here; he's the wizard. I've always said that he's a masterful film-maker, and this is his most intelligent film to date. While The Dark Knight Trilogy are his dumb action movies (they aren't dumb; I don't care what anyone says), every now and again, he delivers these fiendishly clever mysteries/thrillers that leave you exhilarated, baffled and completely and utterly in awe of his film-making prowess.
I honestly can't express my love for this. It's a sensation that I can't believe that I've missed out on for so long. I want to do somersaults. I can't do somersaults. But the sheer magic of this film has inspired that emotion within me. Few things do that.