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.
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.
| Original Score: A-
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.
There's grade A work from all concerned, especially Pearce, but in the end this is Nolan's film. And he delivers, with a vengeance.
It's all pretty confusing, but then again, so were many of the classic film noirs.
| Original Score: 3/4
Christopher Nolan's extraordinary film is a brainteaser and a heartbreaker.
| Original Score: A
A diabolical and absorbing experience.
Memento doesn't just draw you into a dramatic mystery, it makes you aware of human mystery. And that's food for thought and entertainment.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
Challenge all viewers and gives them plenty to ponder after the credits roll, the lights go out and they reach the parking lot.
Memento is a thriller for people who are sick of thrillers, a puzzle movie in which the puzzle is actually worth the time and effort to solve.
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.
Full of odd, hypnotic menace.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Nolan is a breath of fresh air as a filmmaker.
It will be an unadventurous or lazy filmgoer who doesn't want to play the movie's ingenious game.
Destined to become a new noir classic.
Memento's boldest stroke is its ingenious synthesis of structure and theme.
Memento becomes less a fascinating portrait of a damaged man than a typical revenge thriller. But it's still a very cool movie.
Bound to be talked about, debated and eviscerated far more than it's understood.
Terrifically satisfying film.
Wild, daring, smart and funny, Memento is this year's quirky film-festival hit that deserves to break out of the art houses and into mainstream consciousness.
Unique, tantalizing and ultimately brilliant.
The most disorienting and trippiest data-retrieval caper in years.
A terrifically compelling little mystery.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Scary and exhilarating, at least for an hour.
Pearce gives a first-rate performance and Memento likely will stay with you like a tattoo on your mind.
A brilliant feat of rug-pulling.
Those who stay with it will experience perhaps the most dazzling film released so far this year.
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.
Watching Memento is a unique experience: tense, irritating, and all-absorbing.
With its capable cast, twisty plot, and gritty style, Memento is a real keepsake.
Provocatively structured and thrillingly executed film noir, an intricate, inventive use of cinema's possibilities that pushes what can be done on screen in an unusual direction.
Probably the most devilishly fascinating movie I've seen in months, if not years.
A moody craftsman of dazzling vision and skill.
When it comes to making a Top 10 list for 2001, one title I won't forget is Memento.
| Original Score: 4/4
This jolting jigsaw puzzle of a movie grabs you and won't let go.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
Deconstructs time and space with Einstein-caliber dexterity in the service of a delectably disturbing tale of revenge.