Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers has seen Chris Nolan‘s Inception (Warner Bros., 7.16) and handed out a 3 and 1/2 star review, according to N.Y. Post critic Lou Lumenick. Wait…why 3 and 1/2? Why not four stars? What’s the issue or aspect that Travers — not exactly regarded as the world’s most blistering critic — isn’t fully delighted with?

“[Travers’] review isn’t on the magazine’s website yet,” Lumenick writes, “so I’m going to quote his first lengthy paragraph:

“The mind-blowing movie event of the summer arrives just in time to hold back the flow of Hollywood sputum that’s been sliming the multiplex,” Travers begins. “Inception…will be called many things, starting with James Bond Meets The Matrix. You can feel the vibe of Ridley Scott‘s Blade Runner in it, and Nolan’s own Memento and The Dark Knight. But Inception glows with a blue-flame intensity all its own.

“Nolan creates a dream world that he wants us to fill with our own secrets . I can’t think of a better goal for any filmmaker. Of course, trusting the intelligence of the audience can cost Nolan at the box office. We’re so used to being treated like idiots. How to cope with a grand-scale epic, shot in six countries at a reported cost of $160 million, that turns your head around six ways from Sunday? Dive in and drive yourself crazy, that’s how.”

In other words, some of us (i.e., the ones who used to get Bs and Cs in pop quizzes in high school, like myself) may have to see Inception twice — once to get the basics down, and a second time to fully figure it out.

Travers’ review seems to be “predicting this expensive movie starring Leonardo Dicaprio, Ellen Page and Joseph Gordon Levitt may play be too smart to rack up numbers anything like The Dark Knight ,” Lumenick writes. “But he sure makes it sound intriguing.”