Gladiator - 6/10
Went back after five or six years expecting to be amazed and impressed all over again (not to mention wanting to gain back all the respect I lost for Ridley Scott after Robin Hood, that terrible mess), but was surprised at how drab it was, graphically speaking. Dull palette colors, cheeky zooms (a R.S. trademark, I know... but, Christ, just completely out of place), disappointing special effects and a story more closely resembling an outline than a plotline.
Inception - 8/10
Saw it in theaters while vacationing in London last year, but had far too much beer in my system to properly follow the mazelike plot that first time... however, on second (sober) viewing, it makes a great deal more sense. Sterile, cold cinematography from Nolan, with intentionally jumpy storytelling and actors that seemed to have been coaxed into delivering their lines as quickly and hyperintelligently as possible. I was only perturbed by Nolan's portrayal of Mombasa, since I live in Kenya myself and found the decision to shoot in Tangiers a weak one, although excellent set dressing made up for that moment of scoffing almost immediately. Fucking brilliant score.
The Prestige - 9/10
On a Nolan binge at the moment. Found this earlier film to be more artistic and satisfying upon multiple viewings. The skillful layering of narrative-within-narratives creates a unique viewing experience, and the decision to shoot a Victorian period piece in a predominantly handheld style struck me as brilliant and cool. Better than Inception, only because the plot relies more heavily on plot and performance than on special effects and setpiece.