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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 Luke Pyzik

"Someone must have FORGOTTEN to take a screenwriting class"
1 stars

“The Forgotten” is like an episode of the “The X Files” without the clever writing or endearing characters, and is about as suspenseful as watching grass grow. The problem is not necessarily that the movie is illogical and utterly meaningless, but rather that it is stubbornly unwilling to following through on any of the characters’ shattered emotions or the horrific implications of the story’s supposed truths. It wants to send us to the exits feeling warm and fuzzy when all we want is for the movie to make good on the promise of a mysterious and labyrinth plot. No such luck. “The Forgotten” is soft as a marshmallow.

Julianne Moore stars as Telly Paretta, a woman who claims to have a son that died in a plane crash, while everyone else– her husband, her neighbor, her shrink, and an ex-hockey player – tells her she’s nuts. Telly is so sure that she is not nuts, she doesn’t even believe “The New York Times” when their archives turn up no stories about the plane crash. Her only lead is a drunken ex-hockey player, splendidly named Ash Correll (Simon West), whose daughter used to play with Telly's son at the neighborhood park. Ash has no memory of having a daughter and certainly no memory of this crazy (but sexy) redhead who insists they once knew each other. As a former professional athlete, this probably isn’t the first time Ash has had a crazy (but sexy) redhead claim to have once known him, but it probably ranks as the strangest.

To say much more about the plot would be a disservice to those misguided souls who want to see “The Forgotten,” and even though the marketing campaign gives away much more than I ever would, the plot summary will end here. “The Forgotten” is yet another in a long line of movies that have not just been spoiled by trailers that expose too much, but have down right been ruined by this ugly practice. The surprises in “The Forgotten” depend so heavily on particular shots that their presence in the ads is absolutely inexcusable. It can be debated how much one can “blame” a movie for its own marketing campaign, but Hollywood ads, particularly for the two or three biggest openings of any particular week, are absolutely pummeled into the consciousness of anyone who might watch television, read magazines, or listen to the radio. What advertisers decide to show and/or tell in the spots is a hugely significant factor in how moviegoers will view the film. It is no less important than any other social, political, or economic lens through which audiences justifiably judge a piece of cinema. I’m not sure if “The Forgotten” would be a good movie if it had a more ambiguous ad campaign, but it would almost certainly be a better one.

After all, the movie is adequately acted and directed. Julianne Moore classes up any project she lends herself to, and she does respectable work here. Simon West of television’s “The Wire” may be a little too toothy and handsome to be an ex-hockey player, but he does a nice job with the kind of role that could easily go very wrong. And it’s also nice to see Anthony Edwards, whose movie work is always solid, to turn up in a crucial supporting role as Telly’s severely confused husband. Journeyman director Joseph Ruben (“The Stepfather,” “Sleeping With the Enemy”) puts together a nice looking movie with that one terrific, original, terrifying special effect shot that was so rudely spoiled for us by the ads.

But boy, oh boy, is this script a mess. The movie resolves itself in just about the most spineless way possible, by completely disregarding any of the complex questions it raises throughout its convoluted journey. What is the motivation behind those responsible? Who is aligned with them and why? What happens to those other people? It is one thing to be ambiguous; it is another to build a movie around questions you have no intention of answering. It is the worst kind of resolution, with gaping holes that are supposed to be forgiven simply because of a happy ending. A movie has to earn the right to conclude with loose ends by posing questions that the audience can chew on and answer to form their own interpretation of the themes and issues contained within the story. But the questions posed by “The Forgotten” are neither thematic nor philosophical; they are merely symptoms of lazy screenwriting.

Perhaps the movie’s biggest mistake, at least the one that cannot be blamed on advertisers, is that we are never really allowed to distrust Telly. It almost seems natural that the movie should suggest the possibility that our heroine is indeed off of her rocker, but the script provides key evidence so early in the story that the suspense of having an unreliable lead is immediately extinguished. The result is a movie almost as dull as it is nonsensical. This is a thriller without any edge, suspense, or genuine shockers. So what the hell is the point?

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originally posted: 09/30/04 05:44:14
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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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