Rolling Stone - 03/15/2001
"...[A] mesmerizing mind-bender....A new classic among thrillers....This jolting jigsaw puzzle of a movie grabs you and won't let go..."
Movieline's Hollywood Life - 03/01/2001
"...A stylish thriller with a touch of novelty....This mind-teasing puzzle is engrossing..."
Entertainment Weekly - 03/23/2001
"...MEMENTO has the uniquely disorienting quality of a puzzle....It's the rare mystery in which every moment lives....Pearce's extraordinary performance lends even the smallest events the aura of a life-or-death search..."
New York Times - 03/16/2001
"...Ingenious....MEMENTO is a brilliant feat of rug-pulling, sure to delight fans of movies like THE USUAL SUSPECTS and PI..."
USA Today - 03/16/2001
"...A terrifically compelling little mystery..."
Hollywood Reporter - 09/12/2000
"...Nolan has literally turned the genre inside-out and reassembled it as an intriguing jigsaw puzzle of a whodunit..."
Los Angeles Times - 03/16/2001
"...Exceptional....A haunting, nervy thriller....MEMENTO is a provocatively structured and thrillingly executed film noir..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 04/13/2001
"...MEMENTO is a diabolical and absorbing experience..."
Uncut - 01/01/2005
"MEMENTO marks a quantum leap in the thriller genre..."
Total Film - 11/01/2010 5 stars out of 5 -- "A brilliant idea, brilliantly executed....The final pay-off rockets Nolan's noir into even darker territory..."
MEMENTO, the second feature by writer-director Christopher Nolan (FOLLOWING), is an intricately constructed film noir that masterfully inverts time to comment on the foggy relationship between memory and truth. MEMENTO tells the story of Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce), a former insurance investigator who witnesses a brutal attack on his wife. Knocked unconscious, Leonard wakes up with a rare brain condition--he no longer possesses short-term memory. He can remember his name and all the details of his past, but he can no longer make new memories. Armed with a careful system of remembering details (he compulsively snaps Polaroids and scribbles notes, then tattoos the important facts directly onto his body), the distraught Leonard goes on a manhunt to avenge his wife's death. To illustrate the unique and frightening state of the protagonist's mind (he cannot remember what happened even seconds before), Nolan takes a brilliantly successful risk in telling the story backwards. The film begins with Leonard killing the man he's looking for. From there MEMENTO unravels a compellingly disconcerting trail back to the start. As the layers of the story are peeled back scene by scene, Leonard's involvement with two enigmatic "friends"--who both claim to be helping him--complicates the mystery.
Based on a short story by the director's brother, Jonathan Nolan, MEMENTO is an incredibly original film that is so wonderfully puzzling and eerily ambiguous that it will surely warrant repeated viewings.