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The Bourne Identity (2002)


Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 185
Fresh: 154
Rotten: 31

Critics Consensus: Expertly blending genre formula with bursts of unexpected wit, The Bourne Identity is an action thriller that delivers -- and then some.

Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 41
Fresh: 32
Rotten: 9

Critics Consensus: Expertly blending genre formula with bursts of unexpected wit, The Bourne Identity is an action thriller that delivers -- and then some.


Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 960,451


Movie Info

The best-selling suspense novel by late author Robert Ludlum comes to the screen for a second time, following a 1988 made-for-TV movie. Matt Damon stars as Jason Bourne, a barely alive amnesiac with a pair of bullet wounds in his back, pulled from the Mediterranean by Italian fishermen. Bourne's only clue to his own identity is a bank account number etched on a capsule implanted in his body. He quickly finds the Zurich bank where money, a gun, and a few identification documents await, but after … More

PG-13 (for violence and some language)
Mystery & Suspense , Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By:
David Self , W. Blake Herron , Tony Gilroy , William Blake Herron
In Theaters:
Jan 21, 2003
Box Office:
Universal Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for The Bourne Identity

All Critics (185) | Top Critics (41) | Fresh (154) | Rotten (31) | DVD (46)

A first-rate thriller with grit and intrigue to spare.

Full Review… | June 12, 2008
Top Critic

Efficient set pieces come neatly spaced every ten to 15 minutes -- just often enough to keep you credulous -- and the trans-European settings lend a classy backdrop.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Liman can uncork leap-out-of-your-seat shocks, draw out suspense scenes with malicious finesse and even ease a touch of romance and droll humor into the yarn.

Full Review… | May 19, 2004
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

A rollicking adventure yarn.

Full Review… | July 25, 2002
New York Observer
Top Critic

The Bourne Identity is no mere summer amusement park ride. It's as gray as Go was colorful and a cool contrast to its source material.

Full Review… | July 20, 2002
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Great fights. You wouldn't think of Damon as a tough guy, but he's worked really hard on the physical stuff here and it shows.

Full Review… | June 26, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

Whether you consider it a smart thriller or a paint-by-numbers spy caper, The Bourne Identity is a dynamic interpretation of Robert Ludlum's bestselling novel.

Full Review… | July 7, 2014

Violent but thrilling first of the Bourne action trilogy.

Full Review… | January 1, 2011
Common Sense Media

"The Bourne Identity" is a well-written action spy film that stays true to its espionage thriller genre while inflicting flinch-inducing moments of pure cinematic action.

Full Review… | February 28, 2010

A suspenseful thriller that showcases stunning visuals, great acting and a story that will keep you entertained from start to finish.

Full Review… | September 8, 2009

This is a long sweet breath of fresh air in the action genre...

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

Farfetched plotting nearly capsizes this globe-trotting thriller but director Doug Liman certainly keeps the international intrigue and testosterone flowing at an entertaining clip.

Full Review… | August 7, 2008
Sacramento News & Review

You may be surprised by the fact that this formula spy thriller has been delivered with a matter-of-fact efficiency that proves highly entertaining.

August 3, 2007

A sleek espionage thriller that reduces the world to the size of a postage stamp. Matt Damon is terrific.

Full Review… | July 26, 2007
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

The movie is about muscular speed and skill, and that's all it's about. Like its hero, it's blank by design.

Full Review… | July 23, 2007

For once, a sequel would be welcome.

Full Review… | December 30, 2006
Empire Magazine

...Liman is also clever enough to make the real action start when the motor stops.

March 3, 2005
The Nation

Plenty of very cool fight scenes, edited such that although they are fast-paced, you can actually see what's happening.

Full Review… | January 15, 2005

The Bourne Identity is an intense, violent, bite-your-nails-to-the-quick thriller.

December 6, 2004
Looking Closer

One of the many problems, other than Damon's lack of emotion, is the fact that there's no suspense.

Full Review… | October 7, 2004

...puts the snap, crackle and pop back into the spy thriller.

Full Review… | July 23, 2004

The result is an intriguingly paced thriller that knows how to milk some excitement out of smaller scenes.

Full Review… | February 1, 2004

All the style cannot make up for the flagging energy level of the narrative.

Full Review… | January 12, 2004

Audience Reviews for The Bourne Identity

The Bourne Identity is a clever action/thriller that is well blended in regards to the formulaic tone within the script. Matt Damon is impressive in Doug Liman's film of a super agent who has no knowledge of his identity and his ventures to avoid trouble and gain it back. 4/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer


A fishing vessel rescues a bullet-riddled amnesiac from the ocean and upon reaching shore, he discovers that not only is he a world class ass kicker but nearly every government agency in the world seems to want him dead. Along with Ronin, The Bourne Identity heralded a new era of high octane grittiness for the action thriller and a decade on, it actually stands up pretty well. Of course the "hi tec" aspects look a little dated, but it's still a breathlessly exciting conspiracy thriller that dispenses with any irrelevances and gets straight down to the bare bones of a tire screeching, bone crunching rollercoaster ride. Matt Damon is the perfect combination of hard case and bemused victim and Franka Potente makes a much more interesting romantic interest than the generic dead-eyed bimbette that usually adorns this kind of thing. It all looks a bit familiar in this day and age, but this was one of the originals and is still the best Bourne film in my opinion.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

16/02/2013 (Online)

EightThirty .

Super Reviewer


the more i consider and watch this series, the more i like it. like bob dylan on rock and folk music, and die hard on action films of the 90's, this series has its fingerprints all over action films since its release in 2002. one of the best action films of its decade.

danny d

Super Reviewer

The Bourne Identity Quotes

The Professor:
Look at us. Look at what they make you give.
– Submitted by Brandon M (9 months ago)
Ted Conklin:
What is the French word for "stakeout"?
– Submitted by Ann A (20 months ago)
Marie Kreutz:
Do you have ID?
Jason Bourne:
Not really.
– Submitted by Nandu J (2 years ago)
Marie Kreutz:
Do you have ID?
Jason Bourne:
Not really.
– Submitted by Lucas M (2 years ago)
Jason Bourne:
[talking to Conklin] I told you to come alone, but I guess that was too hard. So try this- I'm gone. [hangs up cell phone]
– Submitted by Lucas M (2 years ago)
Jason Bourne:
I swear to God, if I so much as feel someone behind me; there is no measure to how fast and how hard I will bring this fight to your doorstep.
– Submitted by Thomas M (2 years ago)

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