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Memento (2000)



Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 167
Fresh: 154 | Rotten: 13

Christopher Nolan skillfully guides the audience through Memento's fractured narrative, seeping his film in existential dread.


Average Rating: 7.8/10
Critic Reviews: 42
Fresh: 38 | Rotten: 4

Christopher Nolan skillfully guides the audience through Memento's fractured narrative, seeping his film in existential dread.



liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 372,240

My Rating

Movie Info

A man is determined to find justice after the loss of a loved one, even though he is incapable of fully remembering the crime, in this offbeat thriller. Leonard (Guy Pearce) is a man who is struggling to put his life back together after the brutal rape and murder of his wife. But Leonard's problems are different from those of most people in his situation; he was beaten severely by the same man who killed his wife. The most significant manifestation of Leonard's injuries is that his short-term


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan

Sep 4, 2001


Newmarket Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (167) | Top Critics (42) | Fresh (154) | Rotten (13) | DVD (58)

I can't remember when a movie has seemed so clever, strangely affecting and slyly funny at the very same time.

March 26, 2014 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Writer-director Christopher Nolan's second film is one of the most original and ultimately confounding mind games to reach the screen since The Usual Suspects.

March 26, 2014 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The young British writer and director Christopher Nolan, who has every intention of putting us through the mill, doubles his fun by running the whole story backward.

March 26, 2014 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You have to pay close attention to Memento, the most original thriller to come along in years -- and one of the best.

March 26, 2014 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If nothing else, Memento is a savvy comment on the queasy uncertainties of the postmodern condition, in which history goes no further back than yesterday's news.

March 26, 2014 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

More a puzzle than a meaningful story, it reminds me of how Edmund Wilson compared reading a mystery to eagerly unpacking a box of excelsior, only to find a few rusty nails at the bottom.

September 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (10)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The astonishing payoff takes the film to another level entirely, unleashing a battery of existential questions that shed new light on everything that precedes it.

March 26, 2014 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

The three leads are excellent, but it's the masterful execution of an almost-too-clever-for-its-own-good concept which really makes this the most delicious kind of food for the mind.

March 26, 2014 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Pearce's central performance is as compelling as the film's premise and Nolan's execution of it. In Pearce's hands, Leonard is a time bomb with a short fuse.

March 26, 2014 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

This terrific movie, about one man's quest for vengeance, does everything a thriller is supposed to do: intrigue, involve and keep you guessing.

March 26, 2014 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

The mystery requires a lot of concentration, but the stunning final scene is ample reward. Not just an indulgence, the ingenious structure makes the point that memory, although unreliable, is what we depend upon for our sense of reality.

March 26, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

This is the kind of movie that gas-bag instructors use to illustrate the concept that one man's reality is another's fiction. But it's puny stuff compared to Kurosawa's Rashomon.

March 26, 2014 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

treats the audience with respect without being overly pretentious

January 2, 2013 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews

Occasionally the film trips over its own complexity, but it's tense, devious and evokes Leonard's disorientation quite brilliantly. Operation of heavy machinery after watching is a definite no-no.

September 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Film4

A brilliantly told mindbender, a perfect example of how the right approach to storytelling can elevate a film

March 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune

Nolan built a better mousetrap of a neo-noir, using the tricky gimmick of a complex, purposefully disorienting narrative. [Blu-ray]

February 22, 2011 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

Innovative movie with a mature premise.

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Comments (2)
Common Sense Media

More than an enigmatic, jittery, occasionally funny treatise on vengeance's fruitlessness, "Memento" never abandons an emotional quandary: How can a man unable to feel time expect to heal? Leonard loses himself, as we all do, in habit and repetition.

September 19, 2010 Full Review Source:

Christopher Nolan's breakthrough feature is a terrific film noir, witty, inventive, thrilling and intriguing from the first frame to the very last.

July 16, 2010 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Audience Reviews for Memento

I need to watch this again.
February 2, 2014

Super Reviewer

An ex insurance investigator with a medical condition that leaves him with no short term memory is hunting the killer of his wife with the aid of notes left to himself in the form of tattoos all over his body. Christopher Nolan's big budget debut is a stunningly original twist on the detective movie formula, telling the story of a man's quest for vengeance in reverse chronological order. This sounds like a very simple, almost obvious idea, but it is done with such beautifully engineered intelligence and subtlety that it keeps you guessing not only til the end of the film, but also til the end of each scene as you, along with Guy Pearce's obsessive investigator, try to link each jigsaw puzzle piece of the story together. It's one of those films that is ironically unforgettable, and my only wish is that I could erase MY memory and watch it for the first time again and again. Truly unique and quite, quite brilliant.
May 29, 2013
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

A mind-blowing and electrifying thriller. A real classic. Stunning, breathtaking, mind-bending and exhilarating. It's stylish, witty, nail-biting, intoxicating and terrifically addictive. A great body of work. It works from all corners and pieces itself nicely. A masterpiece. It's amazing, astonishing and unforgettable. This film takes it's place as one of the finest crime thrillers ever created. An explosive and hard boiled plot that never let's up for a second. It gets richer with every layer. A real adrenaline fueled cocktail of a film. It will keep you on the edge of your seat then it will be blow you away. The suspense appears from every corner. Guy Pearce gives a brilliant and incredible performance, he acts with such dedication and nobility to this character. Carrie-Ann Moss gives a strong and compelling performance. Joe Pantoliano is terrific. Director, Christopher Nolan is an extraordinary new filmmaker of uncompromisable talent. A unique and creative style that will only get better. You will want to watch it again and again and it gets better every time.
October 29, 2012

Super Reviewer

Masterpiece thriller concerning a man suffering from short-term memory loss, and the clues he has tattooed on his body to remind him of who he is and what he's doing. Guy Pearce really gives a first-rate performance in a topsy-turvy script expertly constructed by the dark mind of Christopher Nolan. It takes balls to do a film in reverse motion, having scenes replayed over and over again, which risks losing its audience, luckily Nolan is no dummy and plays his cards masterfully. Without question one of the best thrillers of all-time.
September 22, 2012
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

    1. Teddy: You don't want the truth. You make up your own truth! Like your police file. It was complete when I gave it to you. Who took out the 12 pages?
    2. Leonard: You, probably
    3. Teddy: No, it wasnt' me. See, it was you!
    4. Leonard: Why would I do that?
    5. Teddy: To create a puzzle you could never solve!
    – Submitted by Ana M (3 months ago)
    1. Teddy: Lenny, you can't trust a man's life to your little notes and pictures
    2. Leonard: Why not?
    3. Teddy: Because your notes could be unreliable
    4. Leonard: Memory's unreliable
    5. Teddy: Oh, please!
    6. Leonard: No, no, really! Memory's not perfect. It's not even that good. Ask the police. Eyewitness testimony is unreliable. The cops don't catch a killer by sitting around remembering stuff. They collect facts, they make notes and they draw conclusions. Facts, not memory. That's how you investigate. I know. It's what I used to do. Look, memory cand change the shape of a room. It can change the colour of a car and memories can be distorted. They're just an interpretation. They're not a record. They're irrelevant if you have the facts.
    – Submitted by Ana M (3 months ago)
    1. Leonard: I can't remember to forget you.
    – Submitted by Andrea M (8 months ago)
    1. Leonard: Memories can be distorted. They're just an interpretation, they're not a record, and they're irrelevant if you have the facts.
    – Submitted by Andrea M (8 months ago)
    1. Leonard: OK, so what am I doing?
    2. Leonard: Oh, I'm chasing this guy.
    3. Leonard: No, he's chasing me.
    – Submitted by RAHUL B (13 months ago)
    1. Leonard: I met Sammy through work. Insurance. I was an investigator. I'd investigate the claims to see which ones were phony. I had to see through peoples' bullshit. It was a useful experience, 'cause now it's my life.
    – Submitted by Kia M (13 months ago)
View all quotes (46)

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Foreign Titles

  • Memento (DE)
  • Memento (UK)
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