By Peter Travers, Rolling Stone, November 21, 2006
David Lynch's INLAND EMPIRE (he insists the letters be capitalized), shot with a consumer digicam (the Sony PD-150), is three hours of mesmerizing (often infuriating) incoherence, a puzzle whose pieces you'll keep trying to put together in your head long after you leave the theater. Some filmmakers work outside the box, but Lynch -- the maker of surreal masterpieces with Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive -- never fit in any box to begin with. A painter before he ever shot a frame of film, this Montana avant-gardist (Mel Brooks once called him Jimmy Stewart from Mars) and longtime practicer of transcendental meditation treats the screen as a canvas on which he can shape abstract ideas. Lynch's canvases always spill over. You watch his films -- INLAND EMPIRE is arguably his most ambitious mind-bender yet -- in a futile effort to grasp what's there and what isn't. In a multiplex world that can be summed up with the mind-numbing words Big Momma's House 2, I find this a good thing.
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