Memento 2000

Critics score:
92 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune: Memento is a thriller for people who are sick of thrillers, a puzzle movie in which the puzzle is actually worth the time and effort to solve. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Provocatively structured and thrillingly executed film noir, an intricate, inventive use of cinema's possibilities that pushes what can be done on screen in an unusual direction. Read more

Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel: You have to pay close attention to Memento, the most original thriller to come along in years -- and one of the best. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: This terrifically satisfying film brings to mind '40s and '50s noir films in which the audience is as unsure about the protagonist's hold on reality as the protagonist is himself. Read more

John Zebrowski, Seattle Times: Memento becomes less a fascinating portrait of a damaged man than a typical revenge thriller. But it's still a very cool movie. Read more

Susan Stark, Detroit News: Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: Unique, tantalizing and ultimately brilliant. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: Memento is like an existential crossword puzzle, or a pungent 50's B-thriller with a script by Jorge Luis Borges. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: Those who stay with it will experience perhaps the most dazzling film released so far this year. Read more

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer: I am neither upset nor disturbed by Memento , only vaguely dissatisfied. I simply don't buy Jonathan Nolan's thesis that audiences know all the tropes and tricks of crime thrillers backward and forward. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: I can't remember when a movie has seemed so clever, strangely affecting and slyly funny at the very same time. Read more

Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star: Memento's boldest stroke is its ingenious synthesis of structure and theme. Read more

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Christopher Nolan's extraordinary film is a brainteaser and a heartbreaker. Read more

Scott Tobias, AV Club: The astonishing payoff takes the film to another level entirely, unleashing a battery of existential questions that shed new light on everything that precedes it. Read more

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader: More a puzzle than a meaningful story, it reminds me of how Edmund Wilson compared reading a mystery to eagerly unpacking a box of excelsior, only to find a few rusty nails at the bottom. Read more

Eric Harrison, Houston Chronicle: Wild, daring, smart and funny, Memento is this year's quirky film-festival hit that deserves to break out of the art houses and into mainstream consciousness. Read more

Steven Rosen, Denver Post: Destined to become a new noir classic. Read more

Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly: Memento is one of those jigsaw puzzles whose pieces snap together more tightly with each viewing. Fueling it all is a performance by Guy Pearce that's as indelible as the tattoo ink covering his body. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: A moody craftsman of dazzling vision and skill. Read more

Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly: If nothing else, Memento is a savvy comment on the queasy uncertainties of the postmodern condition, in which history goes no further back than yesterday's news. Read more

John Anderson, Newsday: Pearce gives a first-rate performance and Memento likely will stay with you like a tattoo on your mind. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: The young British writer and director Christopher Nolan, who has every intention of putting us through the mill, doubles his fun by running the whole story backward. Read more

Peter Rainer, New York Magazine/Vulture: It's all pretty confusing, but then again, so were many of the classic film noirs. Read more

Jack Mathews, New York Daily News: Writer-director Christopher Nolan's second film is one of the most original and ultimately confounding mind games to reach the screen since The Usual Suspects. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: When it comes to making a Top 10 list for 2001, one title I won't forget is Memento. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: The movie doesn't supply the usual payoff of a thriller (how can it?), but it's uncanny in evoking a state of mind. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: This jolting jigsaw puzzle of a movie grabs you and won't let go. Read more

Charles Taylor, You might suspect that it's told backwards because telling it forwards would tip us off much sooner that it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Read more

Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle: Bound to be talked about, debated and eviscerated far more than it's understood. Read more

David Edelstein, Slate: In most mysteries, you're dying to know what happens next. In this one, you can hardly wait for the beginning. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: By the conclusion, your immediate reaction is to want to see the movie again to try to put the pieces together. Your second instinct is to give it a rest. Read more

Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine: Full of odd, hypnotic menace. Read more

Geoff Andrew, Time Out: There's grade A work from all concerned, especially Pearce, but in the end this is Nolan's film. And he delivers, with a vengeance. Read more

Mike Clark, USA Today: A terrifically compelling little mystery. Read more

Lisa Nesselson, Variety: Deconstructs time and space with Einstein-caliber dexterity in the service of a delectably disturbing tale of revenge. Read more

J. Hoberman, Village Voice: Watching Memento is a unique experience: tense, irritating, and all-absorbing. Read more

Desson Thomson, Washington Post: Memento doesn't just draw you into a dramatic mystery, it makes you aware of human mystery. And that's food for thought and entertainment. Read more

Rita Kempley, Washington Post: Challenge all viewers and gives them plenty to ponder after the credits roll, the lights go out and they reach the parking lot. Read more