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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 Lybarger

"The Sixth Nonsense"
1 stars

Watching The Forgotten is about like listening to a five-year-old telling a joke. You get a sense that the artist is pleased with the content. In the case of kids, they tend to crack up before delivering the punch line, leaving the listener befuddled.

The makers of The Forgotten, screenwriter Gerald Di Pego (the annoyingly pretentious and dull Instinct) and director Joseph Ruben (Sleeping with the Media), have their characters screaming and running for their lives, and it becomes exceedingly hard to figure out or even care why.

Julianne Moore leads an overqualified cast as a mother named Telly, who after a year has struggled with the death of her son Sam.

When the lad's picture starts mysteriously fading from family portraits, her husband Jim (Anthony Edwards) and her psychiatrist (Gary Sinise) inform her that Sam was actually stillborn and that all of her memories are delusions.

Telly's maternal instincts tell her differently, and she discovers another "former" parent named Ash (Dominic West) who has forgotten having a child that Telly clearly remembers.

In their attempts to surprise or jolt audiences, Ruben and Di Pego manage to make the film more nonsensical as it progresses. Even when The Forgotten grinds to a halt, the conclusion feels more arbitrary than cathartic. As a character study, The Forgotten could have been really affecting because little is scarier that the notion of not being able to trust one's own memories or sanity.

Instead Ruben and Di Pego throw in car chases, political conspiracies and even hints of the supernatural to mix. It's almost as if they got bored after a realizing the setup and patched together whatever elements came to mind. None of these ideas blend well, and gradually the attempts at jolting the audience only induce giggles.

Superfluous special effects donít help. As people start to zoom toward the heavens as if propelled by a vacuum cleaner, it's hard not to wish such a force could deliver a person from the theater.

A plot shift that works or a twist ending that actually shocks should be treasured because such developments are tricky to pull off. As anyone who's seen M. Night Shyamalan's movies can tell you, for every The Sixth Sense ending, there are dozens of conclusions like the one to Signs. Either the twist can be seen light years away, or the resolution is so forced that it feels more like a swindle than a surprise.

The latter is certainly the case here. With a consistent point of view from Moore's character, it would have been easier to identify with her confusion. Instead, we occasionally see the story from an outside perspective, which undermines the logic of the later developments. When weird things start happening, it seems too out of character to be convincing.

All of this muddle winds up obscuring the performers, making it harder to follow or empathize with them. Linus Roche (Priest) is stuck playing a character dubbed (Iím not making this up) ďFriendly Man,Ē and Alfre Woodard has little to do but spout Jack Webb-isms as a cop.

Itís interesting that the comedy Shaun of the Dead, which also opens in the U.S. this week, has more genuine chills than this straight thriller, and the laughs it elicits are intentional. The Forgotten sadly lives up to its name.

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originally posted: 09/25/04 10:02:34
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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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