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Memento Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Memento, which may be the ultimate existential thriller, has a spooky repetitive urgency that takes on the clarity of a dream.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    Has the unanticipated craft and artfully ambiguous appeal of last year's "Croupier," a movie whose art-house word-of-mouth success could be duplicated here.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Mark Caro

    A puzzle movie in which the puzzle is actually worth the time and effort to solve.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Operates in an orbit somewhere between Oliver Sacks and Lewis Carroll. I can't remember when a movie has seemed so clever, strangely affecting and slyly funny at the very same time.

  • See all Memento reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 16 & under

Innovative thriller has a mature premise, edgy content.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Memento follows the efforts of a man to avenge the rape and murder of his wife. Throughout the film, Leonard is motivated solely by his desire to find and execute the man he believes killed her. Characters drink, smoke, steal, lie to one another, sell drugs and commit murders. This isn't a film that most viewers will be able to absorb easily: The plot is relayed in a jumbled fashion, as Leonard suffers from short-term memory lost, and the audience primarily relies on him for information. Expect strong language, some blood and fighting, and a dark/mature feel.

  • Families can talk about Memento's unorthodox storytelling. Did you find the different style here engaging -- or just confusing?
  • Why don't more movies take risks like this one? Can you think other stories -- movies, books, etc. -- that unfold in non-linear ways?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The main character is wholly motivated by vengeance.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Characters drink, smoke, steal, lie to one another, sell drugs, and commit murders.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: The actions depicted in the film are set into motion by the rape and murder of Leonard's wife. Leonard is motivated solely by his desire to find and execute the man he believes killed her. Blood and fighting are seen.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Lots of bare-chested shots of the main character, plus one glimpse of his naked rear end.

  • language false4

    Language: Many uses of "f--k" and "s--t," plus "c--t" and more.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false4

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The film deals extensively with drug deals, although the only drug use actually shown is a woman who snorted something that was probably cocaine.