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Unknown (2011)


Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 191
Fresh: 106
Rotten: 85

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

Average Rating: 6/10
Reviews Counted: 42
Fresh: 25
Rotten: 17

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


Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 74,860


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 … More

PG-13 (for some intense sequences of violence and action, and brief sexual content)
Drama , Horror , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
Oliver Butcher , Stephen Cornwell
In Theaters:
Jun 21, 2011
Box Office:
Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Unknown

All Critics (191) | Top Critics (42) | Fresh (106) | 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.

Full Review… | June 21, 2011
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | March 2, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | March 1, 2011
New Yorker
Top 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.

Full Review… | February 18, 2011
Top 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.

Full Review… | February 18, 2011
Detroit News
Top 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.

Full Review… | February 18, 2011
Christian Science Monitor
Top 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.

Full Review… | July 24, 2013
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.

Full Review… | June 30, 2013
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.

Full Review… | June 23, 2013

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

Full Review… | January 18, 2013
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.

Full Review… | October 4, 2012

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.

Full Review… | September 21, 2012

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

Full Review… | February 13, 2012

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.

Full Review… | August 15, 2011
What Culture

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

Full Review… | July 14, 2011
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.

Full Review… | June 29, 2011
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...

Full Review… | June 24, 2011
Leonard Maltin's Picks

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

Full Review… | June 21, 2011
Aisle Seat

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

Full Review… | June 19, 2011
Movie Metropolis

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

Full Review… | June 12, 2011
Cinema Crazed

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

Full Review… | May 20, 2011

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.

Full Review… | May 12, 2011
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.

Full Review… | May 5, 2011

full review at Movies for the Masses

Full Review… | April 13, 2011
Movies for the Masses

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

Full Review… | April 8, 2011
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.

Nicki Marie

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.

Candy Rose

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.

Al S

Super Reviewer

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

Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

Unknown Quotes

Dr. Martin Harris:
I May have forgotten everything but I sure hell know how to kill you asshole.
– Submitted by Tavonga S (2 years ago)
Dr. Martin Harris:
I didn't forget everything. I remember how to kill you, asshole!
– Submitted by Millind P (2 years ago)
Dr. Martin Harris:
I didn't forget everything. I remember how to kill you, asshole!
– Submitted by Jayesh L (2 years ago)
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)
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)
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)

Discussion Forum

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