Much of what would become Chris Nolan's calling cards — complex story telling, mixing up timelines to keep the audience guessing, holding back information from the viewer and the protagonist, even thieves named Cobb - are present in this film. What's most impressive is that Nolan achieves much of the success of his later films in this film without any fancy camera moves, computer graphics or action sequences. We have, instead, a tidy story, intriguing characters, and plot and narrative devices used to full effect.
I revisited this film after watching Dunkirk recently. I knew Nolan had story telling chops. I needed to remind myself.