Memento Reviews

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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic
March 26, 2014

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

Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
Top Critic
March 26, 2014

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
Top Critic
March 26, 2014

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.

Scott Tobias
AV Club
Top Critic
March 26, 2014

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.

Total Film
March 26, 2014

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Louis B. Hobson
Jam! Movies
March 26, 2014

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.

Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic
March 26, 2014

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

Leah Rozen
People Magazine
March 26, 2014

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

Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic
March 26, 2014

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.

David McGillivray
Radio Times
March 26, 2014

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Michael Sragow
Baltimore Sun
March 26, 2014

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
John A. Nesbit
Old School Reviews
January 2, 2013

treats the audience with respect without being overly pretentious

Full Review | Original Score: B

September 27, 2011

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
September 27, 2011

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.

Mike Scott
March 18, 2011

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

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews
February 22, 2011

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

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Chris Nashawaty
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
February 17, 2011

Memento is one of those jigsaw puzzles whose pieces snap together more tightly with each viewing. Fueling it all is a performance by Guy Pearce that's as indelible as the tattoo ink covering his body.

Full Review | Original Score: A-
Carly Kocurek
Common Sense Media
January 1, 2011

Innovative movie with a mature premise.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Nick Rogers
September 19, 2010

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Emanuel Levy
July 16, 2010

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

Full Review | Original Score: A
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