Capsule Review: "Memento"

by Eric Melin on March 30, 2001

in Print Reviews

This is my favorite movie of the new year, hands down. Yes, I’m a sucker for the mystery/noir/thriller. Like “The Usual Suspects,” “Memento” takes a familiar plot device and does something completely new with it. Director Christopher Nolan also wrote this amazing screenplay, and it warrants many repeated viewings.

Without giving too much away, it stars Guy Pearce as a man with no short term memory (Remember “Clean Slate” with Dana Carvey? I didn’t.) who wakes up each morning with a tattoo that reminds him that his wife was murdered. It’s much more than a revenge story, though. The movie is told backwards, with the ending rolling directly after the opening credit, so it’s this convention that the drama is based on.

And, amazingly, it works. I believe that if the movie were edited in a more traditional way, it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting. Although if the DVD came out with a feature like that, I would definitely watch it. I have a feeling I’ll be seeing this one many more times. With any luck, this will be the sleeper hit of the early summer season.

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of Scene-Stealers.com and writes the Screen Stealers column for The Pitch. He’s President of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls and Ultimate Fakebook. He is also Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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