The Forgotten

2004

The Forgotten

Critics Consensus

The premise grows too ridiculous to take seriously.

32%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 174

36%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 183,729
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Movie Info

Telly Paretta is tormented by the memory of her eight-year-old son Sam's death in a plane crash 14 months ago. While trying to work through her grief, and her subsequent estrangement from her husband Jim, she is informed by her psychiatrist, Dr. Munce, that she is suffering from delusions, that her son never existed and she is fabricating his memories. Stunned, she tries to find evidence of Sam's existence. But it has all disappeared. Telly is convinced she is going mad until she meets Ash Correll, the father of one of the other plane crash victims. Together, they embark on a search to prove the existence of their children and reclaim their sanity.

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Critic Reviews for The Forgotten

All Critics (174) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (55) | Rotten (119)

Audience Reviews for The Forgotten

  • Nov 06, 2015
    Full of mystery and intrigue, The Forgotten is a suspenseful psychological thriller that kind of goes off the rails. The story follows a grieving mother who lost her son in a plane crash, but soon all evidence of her son's existence is erased, leaving her to question her sanity and desperate to prove that he was real. Julianne Moore gives a fairly good performance, as does Gary Sinise. Additionally, the storytelling does an impressive job at building up the mystery of the missing child. But the ending is completely ridiculous and comes out of nowhere. A rather pointless and inane film, The Forgotten fails to payoff its mystery and insults the audience with nonsensical tripe.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 08, 2015
    The Forgotten is a well-made and well-acted film that requires you to either disengage your brain or play along. If you can then it is an enjoyable film, in spite of an unrealistic plot. Julianne Moore great to watch, as always, and there are a few nice dramatic effects. Fans of paranormal thrillers should enjoy this one.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 12, 2014
    It started off good, a heart wrenching story of a mother's maternal instinct that helps her to find her son despite everyone around her claims that her son never existed. Then there comes the twist, a stupid twist that made no sense at all. Casting Julianne Moore was a bad decision, she's a good actress for sure, but she doesn't suit playing a mother (she loves abortion) and the acting was unconvincing. Utterly a disappointment because the writer couldn't provide a valid explanation for the missing child.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Sep 04, 2013
    The film is just fine, I guess, but its title couldn't be any more fitting, because it won't be too long before this effort is "forgotten" by me, as surely as I has been "forgotten" by everyone else. Man, you know that lame joke was abusively overused by the people who actually saw this film when it first came out, but again, everyone has "forgotten" this film, so I doubt they even recollect jokes they cracked about this film, even if they were about as obvious as this film itself. No, again, people, this film is alright, or else it wouldn't have done a pretty solid job at the box office, unless, of course, people were going because they either had forgotten that they had seen this film, or simply had to follow the lead of Julianne Moore's son-seeking character in this film and thoroughly double-check to make sure that Gary Sinise was, in fact, still alive. Man, speaking of "forgotten", poor old Lt. Dan had fallen off of the radar by the time this film was released, probably because he didn't have legs to hold him up (The references are forced, I know, but honestly, how well do you remember him in other films?). Hey, at least he's been somewhere ever since, meaning that he's been doing better than Joseph Ruben, who really did just disappear after this film, not unlike Julianne Moore's Telly Paretta character's life in this film. Yeah, now is usually around the time where I would joke that Clarice Starling should leave Hannibal Lecter alone and worry more about trying to investigate whatever happened to Ruben, but if these are the types of films that he would have been doing after 2004, then I doubt we're missing all that much. Once more, the film is decent, at least to some extent, but there is by no means a chance of you forgetting this effort's problems. A very short, often somewhat busy thriller, this film doesn't have a whole lot of time to spend on building things up, so it ostensibly figures that it may as well not even try, offering the barest minimum of immediate development, then proceeding to thin the body's expository depth nearly into dissipation, until what you end up with is an undercooked dramatic thriller that challenges your investment in the characters whose conceptual depth seems to drive it. Underdevelopment is a serious issue in this thriller, but what really slows momentum down about as much as anything are, of course, the slow spells, of which there are many, because no matter how undercooked the film is, it takes plenty of time to drag itself out with bland and often repetitious filler, whose sting goes exacerbated by atmospheric cold spells that are much too frequent, and bland things up much too much. The film is kind of dull at times, and that lays down some serious damage to compellingness, though it's not like the path that storytelling limps along isn't too worn for its own good. On top of being thin in some areas and draggy in others, the narrative of this film is riddled to the brim with clichés, upon clichés, upon clichés, following a near-trite formula that isn't exactly gratingly generic, but is nevertheless quite predictable, with some not-so-predictable points that aren't exactly worthy of polishing up this, in some areas, thin premise. There's a twist to this story that is presented in a way which is not quite as ridiculous as some are saying, but is still questionable, if not borderline lame, which isn't to say that I am completely blind to the reason behind such a twist's being forced in, because outside of that corny, but kicky plot note, there's hardly anything to this thriller, whose natural shortcomings water down potential and drive the final product toward a greater risk of collapse into mediocrity. Danger is intensified by, of all things, Joseph Ruben's ambition, which often ignites the inspiration that ultimately saves this mess, but emphasizes shortcomings, natural and consequential, to the point of securing the final product as decidedly underwhelming, with glimpses of mediocrity. However, at least me, these glimpses aren't frequent enough for mediocrity to overtake the final product, which is a mess, to be sure, but still carries on as decent on the wings of several commendable beats, some of which are light, but go a fair distance. The score by the great James Horner is on the most prime examples of an aspect out of this film that cannot be denied, but is still fairly light, or at least seems light, due to its being rather disappointingly conventional, but not to where you can completely disregard Horner's taking beats from commendable sources, as the tasteful minimalism to Horner's score is both often effective in establishing an intense tone, and consistently enjoyable on an aesthetic level. About the same can be said about Anastas N. Michos' cinematography, except Michos' efforts might be more commendable, because even though this film's visual style isn't stunning, hauntingly sparse, perhaps even gothic plays with lighting prove to be consistently beautiful, as well as complimentary to the tone of this sometimes claustrophobic thriller, sometimes to a near-piercing degree. The film isn't exactly outstanding on a stylistic level, but its more artistic touches are among the stronger aspects of the final product, being not only reasonably tasteful, but often supplement effectiveness, which isn't to say that style is the sole driver of relative highlights in this thriller's effectiveness. Joseph Ruben's direction gets to be faulty, and all too often flaunts a considerable overambition that emphasizes such faults, as well as natural shortcomings, thus making it one of the key elements that drive this thriller to the brink of mediocrity, as well as one of the key elements that save the final product as decent, because no matter how messy Ruben's efforts are at times, there are, in fact, high points, charged by subtle draws on atmosphere that often blanding, and perhaps just as often reasonably compelling, with chills and intrigue, at least to a certain extent. The hardest kicks in this film never really kick all that tremendously hard, but I found more genuinely engaging moments than they say, and it's not like the lowlights in intrigue are all that frequent, because there's a moderate degree of entertainment value through the final product that ends up playing an instrumental part in reinforcing decency, much like the performances, or at least a certain lead one. I emphasize that there is "a" lead performance to this film that is commendable, because co-lead Dominic West, outside of a flawless American accent, doesn't do much, and sometimes has mediocre moments that go anchored by questionable line delivery and a rather flat atmosphere, thus leaving leading lady Julianne Moore to stand as the onscreen carrier of this film, thanks to a certain emotional range that sells the suffering of a mother going through the loss of a son who may either have never existed or be in the hands of forces working against Moore's Telly Paretta character. If the film ever hits, then Moore is likely the anchor to such a hit, but she's not the only enjoyable attribute to this thriller, because as undercooked, overdrawn, unoriginal and overambitious as this piece of filler is, it gets you by, even if it itself can be easily "forgotten". Overall, underdevelopment is about as severe as repetitious dragging in filler, while genericism plagues this story about as much as natural shortcomings and questionable elements, until the final product is left to leap to the brink of mediocrity, but ultimately go carried to decency by the decent score work, fine cinematography, highlights in direction and strong performance by Julianne Moore that make Joseph Ruben's "The Forgotten" an adequately enjoyable, if, if you will... for, like, the tenth time, forgettable thriller. 2.5/5 - Fair
    Cameron J Super Reviewer

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