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Unknown (2011)

tomatometer

56

Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 192
Fresh: 107 | Rotten: 85

Liam Neeson elevates the proceedings considerably, but Unknown is ultimately too derivative -- and implausible -- to take advantage of its intriguing premise.

61

Average Rating: 6/10
Critic Reviews: 41
Fresh: 25 | Rotten: 16

Liam Neeson elevates the proceedings considerably, but Unknown is ultimately too derivative -- and implausible -- to take advantage of its intriguing premise.

audience

55

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 74,310

My Rating

Movie Info

Dr. Martin Harris (Liam Neeson) awakens after a car accident in Berlin to discover that his wife (January Jones) suddenly doesn't recognize him and another man (Aidan Quinn) has assumed his identity. Ignored by disbelieving authorities and hunted by mysterious assassins, he finds himself alone, tired and on the run. Aided by an unlikely ally (Diane Kruger), Martin plunges headlong into a deadly mystery that will force him to question his sanity, his identity, and just how far he's willing to go

Jun 21, 2011

$63.7M

Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (192) | Top Critics (41) | Fresh (107) | Rotten (85) | DVD (12)

May eventually surrender to convention and implausibility in equal measure, but until then, Collet-Serra grounds the conspiracy with a proper sense of mystery and mood.

June 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Film.com
Film.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie rather crumbles when it eventually has to deliver its secrets.

March 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For about an hour or so, "Unknown" is intriguing.

March 1, 2011 Full Review Source: New Yorker | Comment (1)
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Neeson's comforting intelligence (and a marvelous turn by Bruno Ganz as an ailing former member of the East German secret police), are not enough to prevent the film from choking on obviousness and directorial fumbling.

February 18, 2011 Full Review Source: NPR
NPR
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Unknown" obviously knows its limitations, and it doesn't bother to rise above them. It just keeps throwing the punches the audience wants and expects. It won't cure world hunger, but chances are it will sell a lot of popcorn.

February 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Detroit News | Comment (1)
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The cat-and-mouse game that the filmmakers are playing with us is only partially successful because this thriller is only intermittently thrilling. Instead of being captivated by the twist and turns, we're more likely to be rankled.

February 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As the film progresses, it becomes incomprehensible. The twists are too preposterous and the plot holes are too plentiful, making Unknown an absolute mess.

July 24, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

The thriller is fun and action-packed but a few major plot holes and a few lazy twists definitely weigh it down.

June 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Big Hollywood
Big Hollywood

What started as a mildly intriguing innocent-man-wrongly-accused pseudo-thriller just turns into series of lame implausibilites in pursuit of an ending.

June 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin
Deadspin

A paranoid thriller has to be more paranoid than this, with far more urgency to it, to work.

January 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Nation
Movie Nation

An exciting film that moviegoers will enjoy - even if they leave with a somewhat ambiguous understanding of the story that was unfolding outside of Neeson's character.

October 4, 2012 Full Review Source: ScreenRant
ScreenRant

With its intriguing story and thrilling action sequences, "Unknown" is worth checking out for those who are into action films as well as those who like a good mystery that needs solving.

September 21, 2012 Full Review Source: Examiner.com
Examiner.com

With an actor of Neeson's caliber you also get something extra--a convincing sell of the emotional and dramatic beats.

February 13, 2012 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

Unknown isn't offensive at all, but it isn't startlingly good either: it is a near-perfect popcorn thriller that convinces of its story despite some fairly ludicrous plot shifts and an ultimately very self-serving resolution.

August 15, 2011 Full Review Source: What Culture
What Culture

The stop-start pacing, stock villains and predictable plot leave it trailing in Jason Bourne's wake.

July 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

In a bloodless scene between two old men, there's more pathos and tension... than in any of the hyper-kinetic fight scenes or car chases that pad out the rest of the running time.

June 29, 2011 Full Review Source: The Ooh Tray
The Ooh Tray

In the French-made, English-language sleeper Taken, Liam Neeson was a former CIA operative who was (outlandishly) able to thwart a sex-trafficking ring. Audiences responded vociferously to his take-charge character. His latest film, Unknown...

June 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Leonard Maltin's Picks
Leonard Maltin's Picks

I didn't believe a second of it, but I certainly had fun watching it.

June 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Aisle Seat
Aisle Seat

...with Liam Neeson in the lead, he makes everything we see on screen, no matter how far-fetched, seem plausible.

June 19, 2011 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

I found the time spent not so proportionate to the powerful delivery, in the end...

June 12, 2011 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

The movie is a well-performed, well-directed thriller that kept me interested the entire time.

May 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Movies.com
Movies.com

Not as well executed as Taken or with the depth of 1988's Frantic but Neeson can cover up a lot of plot problems. A good rental.

May 12, 2011 Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

Each situation is pulled off with a by-the-numbers precision. Sorely lacking is the dark humor Hitchcock invested in similar no-one-believes-me scenarios.

May 5, 2011 Full Review Source: CinemaDope
CinemaDope

full review at Movies for the Masses

April 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

The freak-out scenario is thoroughly engaging, but even Collet-Serra's ceaseless velocity can't gloss over gaping holes

April 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

Audience Reviews for Unknown

I thought it was okay at first, but gradually lost me. Still not entirely sure what was going on by the end, but found I didn't really care by then either.
Typical dumb "blockbuster" type movie that's only good for a one off watch and preferably for free on tv.
March 29, 2014
romy861

Super Reviewer

After a car accident Dr Martin Harris (Liam) wakes up from a coma to find that his wife doesn't recognise him and another man has stolen his identity. Similar to Bourne Identity. Good cast and interesting storyline.
January 27, 2013
thmtsang
T Tsang

Super Reviewer

An explosive knockout of a film. It's Taken meets The Bourne Identity. A sharp, stylish, intense and unbelievably unpredictable edge of your seat thriller that will have your guessing right until the very end. A slickly directed and very well performed mystery that keeps the thrills coming and keeps you entertained as hell. A mind-blowing and heart-pounding action-packed mind-game of a thrill-machine. A brilliant and twist-filled movie that just jam-packs the excitement from beginning of end. An unforgettable guilty pleasure that just purely satisfies. Director, Jaume Collet-Serra crafts a Hitchcockian style film that mixes stunning action sequences and compelling storytelling into an exhilarating entertainment. The all-star cast also delivers. Liam Neeson is pure undeniable star power, he gives another incredible powerhouse performance. Neeson proves that the older he gets, the more capable he is at playing these intense and fun roles. Diane Kruger is stunning, she gives a strong and capable performance that works. A spectacular movie ride.
October 30, 2012
allan913

Super Reviewer

The typical role that Liam Neeson has become know for, excellent story line, plenty of action, awesome chase scenes. 5 stars
October 1, 2012
bbcfloridabound
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

    1. Dr. Martin Harris: I May have forgotten everything but I sure hell know how to kill you asshole.
    – Submitted by Tavonga S (20 months ago)
    1. Dr. Martin Harris: I didn't forget everything. I remember how to kill you, asshole!
    – Submitted by Millind P (2 years ago)
    1. Dr. Martin Harris: I didn't forget everything. I remember how to kill you, asshole!
    – Submitted by Jayesh L (2 years ago)
    1. Dr. Martin Harris: Do you know what it feels like to become insane? It's a war between being told who you are and knowing who you are... Which do you think wins?
    – Submitted by rob g (3 years ago)
    1. Dr. Martin Harris: Do you know what it feels like to become insane? It's a war between being told who you are and knowing who you are... which do you think wins?
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. Dr. Martin Harris: They had me convinced that I was crazy. But when they came to take me I knew.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (7)

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February 22, 2011:
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Liam Neeson's latest European-set single-word-titled action thriller Unknown debuted at number one...
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Critics Consensus: Unknown's Plot Twists Too Much
This week at the movies, we've got a mystery man (Unknown, starring Liam Neeson and January Jones),...
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In a new interview, January Jones discusses her work on "Unknown," and tells you why you should be...

Foreign Titles

  • Unknown Identity (DE)
  • Sans identité (FR)
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