Memento Reviews

Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
March 26, 2014
I can't remember when a movie has seemed so clever, strangely affecting and slyly funny at the very same time.
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
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
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
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.
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
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.
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Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
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.
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
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.
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
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.
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Chris Nashawaty
Entertainment Weekly
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-
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
April 27, 2007
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.
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Geoff Andrew
Time Out
February 9, 2006
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.
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Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
September 26, 2002
It's all pretty confusing, but then again, so were many of the classic film noirs.
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
March 22, 2002
By the conclusion, your immediate reaction is to want to see the movie again to try to put the pieces together. Your second instinct is to give it a rest.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Susan Stark
Detroit News
October 30, 2001
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
September 7, 2001
Christopher Nolan's extraordinary film is a brainteaser and a heartbreaker.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
April 13, 2001
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 | Original Score: 3/4
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
April 12, 2001
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.
Top Critic
Rita Kempley
Washington Post
April 12, 2001
Challenge all viewers and gives them plenty to ponder after the credits roll, the lights go out and they reach the parking lot.
Top Critic
Mark Caro
Chicago Tribune
April 12, 2001
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
April 11, 2001
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.
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Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
April 9, 2001
Full of odd, hypnotic menace.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
April 6, 2001
It will be an unadventurous or lazy filmgoer who doesn't want to play the movie's ingenious game.
Top Critic
Steven Rosen
Denver Post
April 6, 2001
Destined to become a new noir classic.
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
March 30, 2001
Memento's boldest stroke is its ingenious synthesis of structure and theme.
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John Zebrowski
Seattle Times
March 30, 2001
Memento becomes less a fascinating portrait of a damaged man than a typical revenge thriller. But it's still a very cool movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Edward Guthmann
San Francisco Chronicle
March 30, 2001
Bound to be talked about, debated and eviscerated far more than it's understood.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
March 30, 2001
This terrifically satisfying film brings to mind '40s and '50s noir films in which the audience is as unsure about the protagonist's hold on reality as the protagonist is himself.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
March 30, 2001
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.
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
March 30, 2001
Unique, tantalizing and ultimately brilliant.
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Jay Carr
Boston Globe
March 30, 2001
The most disorienting and trippiest data-retrieval caper in years.
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Mike Clark
USA Today
March 16, 2001
A terrifically compelling little mystery.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
March 16, 2001
In most mysteries, you're dying to know what happens next. In this one, you can hardly wait for the beginning.
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
March 16, 2001
Pearce gives a first-rate performance and Memento likely will stay with you like a tattoo on your mind.
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
March 16, 2001
Memento is like an existential crossword puzzle, or a pungent 50's B-thriller with a script by Jorge Luis Borges.
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
March 16, 2001
Those who stay with it will experience perhaps the most dazzling film released so far this year.
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Charles Taylor
Salon.com
March 16, 2001
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.
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
March 15, 2001
Watching Memento is a unique experience: tense, irritating, and all-absorbing.
Top Critic
Kevin Maynard
Mr. Showbiz
March 15, 2001
With its capable cast, twisty plot, and gritty style, Memento is a real keepsake.
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
March 15, 2001
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.
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Peter Brunette
Film.com
March 15, 2001
Probably the most devilishly fascinating movie I've seen in months, if not years.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
March 15, 2001
A moody craftsman of dazzling vision and skill.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
March 15, 2001
When it comes to making a Top 10 list for 2001, one title I won't forget is Memento.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
February 22, 2001
This jolting jigsaw puzzle of a movie grabs you and won't let go.
Top Critic
Lisa Nesselson
Variety
February 7, 2001
Deconstructs time and space with Einstein-caliber dexterity in the service of a delectably disturbing tale of revenge.