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Memento Reviews

Page 1 of 9
Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com

"Memento" is a crime-revenge story that relies on its one big gimmick.

Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com | Original Score: C-

May 20, 2009
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
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.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

September 27, 2011
Sean Burns
Philadelphia Weekly

...for all its formal wizardry, ultimately an ice-cold feat of intellectual gamesmanship. Once the novelty wears off, there's nothing left.

August 10, 2002
Chuck Rudolph
Matinee Magazine

A con in the mode of Bryan Singer's The Usual Suspects--the scam of the year.

Full Review Source: Matinee Magazine | Original Score: short

September 18, 2001
Jimmy O
Film Snobs

Some have said that the film would work just as well beginning to end. I disagree.

Full Review Source: Film Snobs

June 10, 2002
Steven D. Greydanus
Decent Films Guide

Intriguing and accomplished as it was, Memento left me unpersuaded that this trip was really necessary.

Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide | Original Score: C-

May 9, 2002
Gregory Weinkauf
New Times

Although it's being trumpeted for its undeniably ambitious narrative structure, Memento feels mostly like an audacious prank.

Full Review Source: New Times

March 15, 2001
Charles Taylor
Salon.com
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You might suspect that it's told backwards because telling it forwards would tip us off much sooner that it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

March 16, 2001
David Elliott
San Diego Union-Tribune

It seems less than the sum of its time-slicing moves.

Full Review Source: San Diego Union-Tribune

March 30, 2001
Marjorie Baumgarten
Austin Chronicle

In forward progression, the narrative would garner little interest, thus making the reverse storytelling a filmmaker's conceit.

Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle | Original Score: 2/5

April 9, 2001
Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
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Nolan uses the structure simply as a gimmick to refresh a stale story of revenge, crime, sex, a film noir that never gets any darker than gris.

April 11, 2001
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
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I am neither upset nor disturbed by Memento , only vaguely dissatisfied. I simply don't buy Jonathan Nolan's thesis that audiences know all the tropes and tricks of crime thrillers backward and forward.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

April 27, 2007
Michael Sragow
Baltimore Sun

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 Source: Baltimore Sun | Original Score: 1.5/4

March 26, 2014
David McGillivray
Radio Times

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 Source: Radio Times | Original Score: 5/5

March 26, 2014
Carly Kocurek
Common Sense Media

Innovative movie with a mature premise.

Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Original Score: 4/5

January 1, 2011
Gina Carbone
Seacoast Newspapers (NH/Maine)

If Pulp Fiction represents the birth of post-modern filmmaking, Memento marks its adolescent spurt.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4

July 13, 2002
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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The movie doesn't supply the usual payoff of a thriller (how can it?), but it's uncanny in evoking a state of mind.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

April 13, 2001
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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When it comes to making a Top 10 list for 2001, one title I won't forget is Memento.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 4/4

March 15, 2001
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
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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.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

March 26, 2014
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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I can't remember when a movie has seemed so clever, strangely affecting and slyly funny at the very same time.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

March 26, 2014
Sam Adams
Philadelphia City Paper
March 30, 2001
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