Unknown Reviews

Top Critic
William Goss
Film.com
June 21, 2011
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.
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Trevor Johnston
Time Out
March 2, 2011
The movie rather crumbles when it eventually has to deliver its secrets.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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David Denby
New Yorker
March 1, 2011
For about an hour or so, "Unknown" is intriguing.
Top Critic
February 18, 2011
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.
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Tom Long
Detroit News
February 18, 2011
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 | Original Score: B-
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
February 18, 2011
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 | Original Score: C+
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Reader
February 18, 2011
The snow and haze that Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra keeps pumping into the street scenes seem to have drifted into the script as well.
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Anthony Venutolo
Newark Star-Ledger
February 18, 2011
It's not "North by Northwest," of course. But at least it's heading in the right direction.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
February 18, 2011
Has no connection to anything resembling reality, but it's entertaining as hell.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
February 18, 2011
The art of the classic Hitchcockian thriller is about style, pace and misdirection -- and though Unknown is occasionally baffling and involves running and car chases, the film rarely manages to thrill.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
February 18, 2011
Despite its A-movie aspirations, as the chases continue and the plot holes widen, Unknown quickly settles into the familiar B-movie comfort zone.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
February 18, 2011
As long as filmgoers come to "Unknown" unencumbered by a need for plausibility, this handsome, well-paced production possesses its share of twisty, visceral pleasures.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
February 18, 2011
Plot holes you can drive a truck through are ultimately less important for your enjoyment than how they set up the film's big set pieces.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
February 18, 2011
A stylish and muscular thriller with some nifty twists and turns, a wicked sense of humor, several terrific performances and not one or even two but three of the best car chases in recent action-flick history.
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
February 18, 2011
On a minute-to-minute level, it's an engaging mystery, the kind that rewards our participation with eye candy and adrenaline shots.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Eric D. Snider
Film.com
February 17, 2011
Neeson is always magnetic, though, even when he's just repeating his Taken performance and delivering cheesy one-liners, as he is eventually required to do here.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
February 17, 2011
When the dots are connected (sort of), Unknown still doesn't make much sense.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
February 17, 2011
Neeson has a way of getting upset - a frantic purposefulness - that fills viewers with both empathy and anticipation: He's so miserable that we care.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
February 17, 2011
But if you dig Liam Neeson as an action hero, you could do worse than this fast-paced, cheerfully ridiculous, generally satisfying romp.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
February 17, 2011
The material keeps our attention but, as we get closer to the inevitable point at which the curtain is pulled back, the movie starts to feel more like a parody than a serious endeavor.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
February 17, 2011
It mixes and mismatches jagged fragments of Jason Bourne, Alfred Hitchcock, "Total Recall" and Mel Gibson's underappreciated "Conspiracy Theory," although underappreciation isn't a risk for a movie that amounts to "The Stillbourne Identity."
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
February 17, 2011
Neeson, often chided for cashing easy action-flick paychecks at the expense of his serious-actor cred, knows who he is - an action star of a certain age who brings gravitas to pulpy stuff. And if that's who he is, he could do worse than "Unknown."
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
February 17, 2011
Neeson has a fine way with expressions of anguish. This is brow-knitting of a very high order.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
February 17, 2011
With his soulful gaze and crooked nose, his seeming reluctance to throw a karate chop but his deft ability to do so, Neeson has an air of melancholy and menace - you feel sorry for the guy, and wary of him at the same time.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
February 17, 2011
Ignore the pileup of implausibilities and 'Unknown' becomes a diabolically entertaining con game.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
February 17, 2011
I saw "Unknown'' with an entourage whose average age was about 70. They loved it, although one of them kept calling it "The Bond Ultimatum.'' Which sounds about right.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
February 17, 2011
Turn off your 'I hope this plot twist is awesome' part of your brain and just enjoy big, gruff, increasingly Frankenstein-monster-looking Neeson kicking the crap out of everyone who gets in his way...
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
February 17, 2011
Tacked onto a perfectly respectable thriller, Unknown's mass of unlikely turns and implausible reveals make the whole film seem retroactively less sophisticated.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
February 17, 2011
The film plays more like a "whydunit" than a whodunit.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
February 17, 2011
Consistently albeit genteelly thrilling, a pleasantly implausible item that employs the holy trinity of action elements: explosions, hand-to-hand combat and car chases where tires squeal like there is no tomorrow.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
February 17, 2011
The car chases and piled-on action eventually feel rote, as do Neeson's various badass stunts.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
February 17, 2011
More subtly than Harrison Ford, Neeson excels at the slow fuse snaking its way to explosive revenge.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
February 17, 2011
I felt involved in "Unknown" until it pulled one too many rabbits out of its hat. At some point, a thriller has to play fair.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
February 16, 2011
Neeson's always-intelligent screen presence, his nuance and gravitas, help elevate Unknown beyond its preposterous elements.
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
February 16, 2011
There are a couple of intriguing ideas floating around here and there, but that's all they do -- float around, unmoored by any sense of reality and, thus, suspense.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
February 16, 2011
Unknown has its moments, but ultimately it's as forgettable as Martin's identity.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
February 16, 2011
The movie whips up a big old puree of ingredients borrowed from other cinematic recipes. Then it dishes out the mildly spiced results as post-Oscar-quality snack food...
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Justin Chang
Variety
February 16, 2011
Beyond the occasional plot frissons and juicy supporting turns, it's an emotionally and psychologically threadbare exercise.
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Jordan Mintzer
Hollywood Reporter
February 16, 2011
Liam Neeson stars in a paranoid caper showcasing the city of Berlin.
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
February 16, 2011
Unknown makes no sense at all, so you not only worry about Liam Neeson's judgment in movies, but you begin to wonder if he's forgotten how to read.
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
February 16, 2011
We're spun through parking garages, dance clubs and good old-fashioned car chases; Unknown is probably the movie The Tourist wanted to be, if it had a pulse.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Nick Schager
Village Voice
February 15, 2011
As with its protagonist, Unknown boasts tantalizing issues buried deep beneath its frantic exterior, but little idea how to unlock or address them.