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De Zaak Alzheimer (The Memory of a Killer) (The Alzheimer Case) (2003)

tomatometer

84

Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 67
Fresh: 56 | Rotten: 11

Even though The Memory of a Killer is standard genre fare, it is also engaging and stylish.

84

Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critic Reviews: 25
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 4

Even though The Memory of a Killer is standard genre fare, it is also engaging and stylish.

audience

80

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 3,793

My Rating

Movie Info

A career criminal struggles to perform an act of street justice as he loses control of his faculties in this thriller from Belgium. Angelo Ledda (Jan Decleir) is a veteran hitman who has spent most of his life as a hired killer. Angelo decides to get out of the business when he finds he's losing his memory due to the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, but he's been offered a lucrative final assignment that involves murdering two people. Angelo initially says yes to the job, until he finds out

Feb 21, 2006

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All Critics (72) | Top Critics (28) | Fresh (56) | Rotten (11) | DVD (7)

It is distinguished by the intelligence of its plotting and the fullness of its characterizations: These are believable people, not merely plot fodder.

December 24, 2005 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A jaw-dropping premise so smartly executed that if this movie weren't in Flemish I'd swear that Michael Mann had directed it.

September 29, 2005
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Close, but not quite.

September 26, 2005 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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Though Memory works perfectly well as a policier, it works even better as a character study of a man losing his edge.

September 26, 2005 Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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The film won't put you at the edge of your seat, but will keep your attention.

September 23, 2005 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
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This Belgian film has the sheen of polished Hollywood product, amplified by continental elegance and depth.

September 22, 2005 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The moral dilemmas raised by the assassin and Mr. Decleir's fierce performance are what make the stylish straightforward policier somewhat memorable.

April 12, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Not only as good as any American thriller of the past several years, but boasts a totally unique premise.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

exemplary crime stuff, complex anti-hero and all.

December 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

The unusual Antwerp locations, the visual style of the filmmaking, and the soulfulness of the performances make it a welcome European addition to the genre.

November 10, 2005 Full Review
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

What if grandpa was a hit man, and he was rapidly losing his mind during a killer assignment?

October 17, 2005

The cat-and-mouse game that Ledda and especially Vincke play is fun to watch.

October 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

A sort of 'CSI: Antwerp' episode from a director who seems to be auditioning for the next Jason Bourne adventure.

October 14, 2005
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

While Decleir and De Bouw provide exceptionally fine performances, the film devolves into stolid predictability in the third act.

October 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

A strong showcase for Declair, who plays Ledda as a cagey survivor on a vendetta and juggling cat-and-mouse games with the cops, his future victims and his faltering mind.

October 14, 2005
Salt Lake Tribune

The filmmakers who redo Killer will be hard-pressed to find an actor who can make Killer fans forget Decleir's indelible performance.

September 30, 2005
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The movie is tightly wound and expertly unraveled, resulting in a thriller that you'll remember.

September 26, 2005 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Decleir's performance alone would be reason enough to see it, but the clever script and nifty execution are added attractions.

September 25, 2005 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

Without flashy, Hollywood-style pyrotechnics to get in the way, solid human drama provides the suspense.

September 22, 2005
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Audience Reviews for De Zaak Alzheimer (The Memory of a Killer) (The Alzheimer Case)

A watchable thriller, but does feel like a drag at times. It'd have been better if they'd concentrated more on substance than style. 6.5/10.
July 11, 2010
imrealgod

Super Reviewer

An interesting premise, and quite suspenseful for the first half. Sadly, this becomes less about Decleir's struggle with Alzheimer's, and more mundane to the point of evaporating into nothingness. I give it three stars for a great first half.
December 3, 2007
binky013

Super Reviewer

A very neat story that just goes on a bit too long, I hear they have plans for an american remake, so I am interested. Good work between the hitman and the cop, and some very cool scenes, if only it could come together a little better.
September 20, 2006
DrZeek

Super Reviewer

As we get older, we find ourselves not functioning as we once did, mentally and physically, so we need to take it easy. Angelo Leddo(Jan Decleir) does not have that option, even as he is losing his memory, because as his business partner Gilles(Patrick Descamps) puts it, people like them in the assassination business cannot retire. So, Angelo takes a job in Antwerp where he can also visit his brother in a rest home. The first part of the job goes as planned but he refuses to kill Bieke Cuypers(Laurien Van den Broeck), an 11-year old who was just at the center of a child prostitution investigation by Detective Chief Inspector Vincke(Koen De Bouw) and Detective Verstuyft(Werner De Smedt) who are also one step behind Angelo.

Even as it goes on much too long with its running debate on the meaning of justice, "The Memory of a Killer" still has moments where it shows the kind of movie it could have been. One key point comes when Angelo is worried if he killed somebody, but the movie does nothing really with this. Actually, the movie has less to do with his degrading memory(so nobody call any lawyers), than his mortality, proving that there is nothing more dangerous than somebody with nothing to lose, as the movie tries to get inside of his head.(For the record and from the information provided, I don't think he is suffering from Alzheimer's disease.) But again I have a problem believing a hitman would have trouble killing a child. At the same time, Angelo does seem rather honorable for his profession. In this job where even the killers are told not to ask questions, some crimes may be too much to handle. Then there are the cliches like the world weary cop(apparently one of a few detectives in Antwerp). So while the political situation in Belgium is unique, bureaucracy and power games seem to be everywhere. To be honest, I had never heard of pissing in a lock before.
February 10, 2012
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Movies Like De Zaak Alzheimer (The Memory of a Killer) (The Alzheimer Case)

    1. Angelo Ledda: It's scandalous, but not my doing. You don't touch children.
    – Submitted by Christopher B (10 months ago)
    1. Angelo Ledda: I spent the whole night here? Tell me! I spent the whole night here?
    2. Anja: Yes, where else?
    – Submitted by Christopher B (10 months ago)
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