Memento (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes


Memento (2000)



Critic Consensus: Christopher Nolan skillfully guides the audience through Memento's fractured narrative, seeping his film in existential dread.

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Movie Info

A man is determined to find justice after the loss of a loved one, even though he is incapable of fully remembering the crime, in this offbeat thriller. Leonard (Guy Pearce) is a man who is struggling to put his life back together after the brutal rape and murder of his wife. But Leonard's problems are different from those of most people in his situation; he was beaten severely by the same man who killed his wife. The most significant manifestation of Leonard's injuries is that his short-term memory has been destroyed; he is incapable of retaining any new information, and must resort to copious note-taking and Polaroid photographs in order to keep track of what happens to him over the course of a day (he's even tattooed himself with a few crucial bits of information he can't get along without). Leonard retains awareness that his wife was brutally murdered, however, and he's convinced that the culprit still walks the streets. Leonard is obsessed with the notion of taking revenge against the man who has ruined his life, and he sets out to find him, getting help from Natalie (Carrie-Anne Moss), who appears to be a sympathetic barmaid, and Teddy (Joe Pantoliano), who claims to be Leonard's friend, even though Leonard senses that he cannot be trusted. Writer/director Christopher Nolan adapted Memento from a short story by his brother Jonathan Nolan. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Guy Pearce
as Leonard Shelby
Stephen Tobolowsky
as Sammy Jankis
Jorja Fox
as Leonard's Wife
Larry Holden
as Jimmy Grantz
Russ Fega
as Waiter
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Critic Reviews for Memento

All Critics (176) | Top Critics (43)

I can't remember when a movie has seemed so clever, strangely affecting and slyly funny at the very same time.

March 26, 2014

Writer-director Christopher Nolan's second film is one of the most original and ultimately confounding mind games to reach the screen since The Usual Suspects.

March 26, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

The young British writer and director Christopher Nolan, who has every intention of putting us through the mill, doubles his fun by running the whole story backward.

March 26, 2014

The astonishing payoff takes the film to another level entirely, unleashing a battery of existential questions that shed new light on everything that precedes it.

March 26, 2014 | Full Review…
Top Critic

You have to pay close attention to Memento, the most original thriller to come along in years -- and one of the best.

March 26, 2014 | Full Review…

More a puzzle than a meaningful story, it reminds me of how Edmund Wilson compared reading a mystery to eagerly unpacking a box of excelsior, only to find a few rusty nails at the bottom.

September 27, 2011 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Memento

Christopher and Jonathan Nolan make a shocking and enticing story in Memento. From its unconventional formula of storytelling to the shocking revelations, the film is a landmark for the brothers as one of their bests and one cinemas groundbreaking tales. 5/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer


An intellectually stimulating and expertly edited exercise in storytelling built upon two alternating threads that move in opposite directions (the main one backwards and a black-and-white subplot forward) until they converge in the end, making us undergo the same disorientation of its character.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


I need to watch this again.

Wildaly M
Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

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