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Unknown Review

Movies.com Critics

3.5

Dave White Profile

Bourne this way. Read full review

3.5

Grae Drake Profile

Takes the winter chill off. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 3.0
    56

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 30

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    All of the nonsense piled on nonsense does provide some measure of pleasure. Unknown gets better by getting worse.

    Read Full Review

  • 38

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Trying to decipher all the convoluted pathways could drive you mad. Mostly, though, it is so ludicrous that it will unintentionally inspire laughter.

    Read Full Review

  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The movie whips up a big old puree of ingredients borrowed from other cinematic recipes.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Director Jaume Collet-Serra provides a steady flow of suspense and a very Polanski-esque feeling of paranoia.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Unknown reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 14+

Disappointing, often-violent thriller has one good twist.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that even though it has one great plot twist, Unknown will disappoint those who liked star Liam Neeson's last thriller, Taken. It has quite a lot of violence, mostly centered around big, brawling fistfights, car chases and crashes, and explosions. Brief flashback scenes show a married couple kissing and making love (no nudity). Language is infrequent (a couple of uses of "s--t" is the worst of it), and while the bad guys use an array of mysterious lethal/knockout drugs, there are no "real" drugs. Overall, the biggest problem is that it's slow and uninvolving, with a downer of a message ("you can't trust anyone") and a main character who isn't particularly sympathetic or admirable.

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. Is it thrilling or disturbing? Why? How does it compare to what you might see in a horror movie?
  • Is the main character justified in going to extreme mesures to retrieve his identity? What consequences does he face for his actions? Do the ends ever justify the means?
  • Did the movie's big twist work for you? How did it work? How does it change everything that came before it?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The movie's message is a downer: You may believe one thing about yourself, but if enough people tell you otherwise, it may not be true. You can't trust anyone, and if you do, your life -- and the lives of your friends -- could be in danger.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The movie's hero isn't a particularly good role model in that he's violent and argumentative, acts desperately, and is really rather helpless. He asks for help from others, but he doesn't particularly work well in a team. He tries hard to solve his problem but in a rather destructive way, with few consequences.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Several car chases and crashes, several fistfights, and a little blood. Guns are drawn and fired. A man murders a woman by twisting and snapping her neck. A woman is knocked unconscious, a character is zapped with a Taser, and a character is sliced open with broken glass. There are huge explosions, with fatalities. Characters frequently argue with and confront one another.

  • sex false2

    Sex: The main character and his wife are shown kissing and making love in flashbacks. No nudity, but viewers hear moaning and heavy breathing.

  • language false3

    Language: Language includes infrequent use of "s--t," "ass," "bitch," "hell," "damn," "a--hole," "oh my God," and both "Jesus" and "Christ" used as exclamations.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The main character gets some sort of knockout drug while in the hospital. The villains have a deadly drug that kills its victim in seconds. One character takes cyanide.

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