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Overall Rating

Awesome: 6.98%
Worth A Look: 17.44%
Average: 23.26%
Pretty Bad: 18.6%
Total Crap33.72%

7 reviews, 44 user ratings

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Forgotten, The
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by Jay Seaver

"(Blanks) doing (blank) for (blank) reasons."
3 stars

So, what's the proper way to grade a movie? After careful consideration, I figure The Forgotten is probably a 2.5-star movie, but before careful consideration, while I was watching it, I enjoyed it quite a bit, maybe three and a half stars' worth. For all the annoying parts and the story that really doesn't hold together that well, it's got some pretty fine craft and manages to engage the audience's curiosity.

There's a nice feeling of uncertainty during the first act; not only the plot twists revealed in the trailer show up early, but the very way the movie is shot is a little eerie. Both the opening credit sequence and a lot of establishing shots are long helicopter shots, with the camera taking odd turns. I was initially a little disappointed, since the possibility that Telly (Julianne Moore) had only imagined having a son was an intriguing one, but had been dashed by the advertising. Another plot twist soon appears, though, and I though, hmm, that's interesting. One point for writer Gerald Di Pego there.

And, I suppose, credit him and journeyman director Joseph Ruben for the progression of the story. The movie is a trim 91-odd minutes, and moves quickly enough to prevent a lot of question during the actual running time. Ruben stages some pretty darn good jump scenes when the movie threatens to slow down, or starts a chase scene. Good chases, but they do sort of come out of nowhere, like they're obviously trying to distract the audience.

And the audience needs distracting at times. I'm not sure whether the film is canny or cynical in how it plays with genre. Telly recognizes early on that the events of the story - everybody but her forgetting the very existence of her son who died fourteen months earlier - would require an extraordinary agency, and suggests it might be (blank). However, by not actually saying (blank), the movie avoids outright committing to either the sci-fi or horror genre, specifically. This is useful, because science fiction demands explanations on how this entity/group does what it does, whereas horror would demand knowing just what sort of checks exist on the bad guys who appear basically omiscient and omnipotent. Sure, you can explain that (blanks) do (blank) things for (blank) reasons, but that would require admitting they're (blanks). It makes a deus ex machina ending believable, if not quite palatable.

Julianne Moore is good; I don't think she's got it in her to simply mail a performance in. I can't say the same thing about Gary Sinise; even before signing up for the ultimate mail-in gig with a CSI spin-off, it's been a while since his last memorable role. Alfre Woodard is in about the same boat; the rest of the cast (including Dominic West as a father who also lost a child) are pretty nondescipt.

It's taken me an hour or so to write this; over that time, it's gotten harder and harder to concentrate on the thrills that the movie did, in fact deliver. I suppose that makes this a good example of a director making a good movie out of a faulty script.

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originally posted: 10/07/04 15:52:03
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell it sucks u will forget it fast 1 stars
7/09/09 cialis ilman reseptiä iTtHDM vozixzjp wowfhhdo drqkbquf 2 stars
11/23/08 Andrew Silly Silly Mess .. Utterly incoherent crap!!!! 1 stars
5/21/08 Keith I'm no film critic, but this is garbage, used to start bumfires,$42 mil budget,im disgusted 1 stars
2/18/07 David Pollastrini I saw it and have no memory of it. must have sucked 1 stars
2/16/07 Jenni Horrible, horrible, horrible! 1 stars
12/05/06 Stanley Thai A good film, no matter how rediculous it got. 4 stars
6/30/06 MP Bartley Very strange, and brave to keep this strangeness til the end, with no pat answers. 3 stars
6/09/06 Frank Rountree Just another movie to escape into for a brief time, it was fair 3 stars
5/08/06 Jim One would think advanced beings could come up with better experiments. 2 stars
10/21/05 Bad Critic Aliens suck! There was a pretty cool car crash, though. 2 stars
9/02/05 Tom Burns The movie had some very shocking parts for first time viewers of the film. 4 stars
8/19/05 ES boring, confusing, silly, irrelevant. I could go on . . . 2 stars
8/01/05 Taylor Fladgate Where did all those airborne people go??? 4 stars
7/18/05 Littlepurch Not perfect but really enjoyed it. Scary, mysterious and suspenseful. 4 stars
5/08/05 Valerie Sort of Scifi, but pretty interesting 4 stars
4/25/05 Quigley pretty great scares but way too predictable with horrid acting and bullet hole-ridden plot 3 stars
4/10/05 indrid cold A good movie about aliens is very rare. See "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." 2 stars
3/20/05 Dick Grill Incredibly bad. 1 stars
2/28/05 Sum Yung Guy Uh, Aliens? OK, sure, whatever. Should have locked her up in the end. . . 3 stars
2/18/05 Dan Great ass movie, kind of predictable though. 5 stars
2/07/05 ELI Didn't make much was...odd. ending did suck though 3 stars
2/05/05 Valerie White not bad/not great 3 stars
2/03/05 haha makes me want to rape a captured monkey, and have an aids fag suck my shitty dick, peace! 4 stars
1/29/05 jj This is an excellent emotional sci-fi thriller!!! 5 stars
1/24/05 Darryl Just an okay film. Agree with everyone who thinks the ending is stupid! 3 stars
1/22/05 jeff good story line but horrible ending. 2 stars
1/22/05 Tjalda L. Schiel No charisma between any of the actors. Lousy ending. Bad, bad, bad. 1 stars
1/16/05 Jeff Anderson A BIG SURPRISE! Thrilling and Joseph Ruben's best film since THE STEPFATHER 5 stars
12/30/04 Jenna Furr Suspenseful promise falls apart after JM's hands don't bleed when she falls on glass shards 2 stars
12/02/04 Tom Not brilliant but good enough 4 stars
10/28/04 Kathleen Fantastic writting and acting. Interesting story line. Everyone loved it! 5 stars
10/04/04 T Money ... I ALMOST forgot that this movie sucked 1 stars
9/30/04 Katheryn Gaping plot holes, ludicrous ending, don't bother 2 stars
9/30/04 Kevin After "Laws of Attraction" and this, Julianne Moore needs to fire her agent. 1 stars
9/29/04 C. Cunningham It had such a switch in genre that it sort of bothered me. 3 stars
9/28/04 Shten A shocking, engrossing tale 5 stars
9/27/04 Elizabeth Very hokey, and gets more and more ludicrous. 2 stars
9/26/04 Coolhand Save $8 and watch 2 episodes of X-files and one episode of Millenium... 2 stars
9/26/04 Naka No. 1 stars
9/25/04 Kris what? oh I'm reviewing this? I forgot. 1 stars
9/23/04 el burro Worth eight bucks. 4 stars
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  24-Sep-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 18-Jan-2005



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