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The Forgotten (2004)

DVD Cover (Sony Home Entertainment)
Genres:
Psychological Thriller, Science Fiction, Supernatural Thriller, Thriller
Director:
Joseph Ruben Joseph Ruben
Starring:
Julianne Moore Julianne Moore
Christopher Kovaleski Christopher Kovaleski
Matthew Pleszewicz Matthew Pleszewicz
Anthony Edwards Anthony Edwards
Jessica Hecht Jessica Hecht

4.8 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: January 16, 2006
Tonight's tale of woe begins as we find Telly Paretta (Julianne Moore) mourning the loss of her son Sam (Christopher Kovaleski). He's been dead for a while now after being involved in a plane crash, but Telly still can't move on with her life. She's invested some time into seeing Dr. Jack Munce (Gary Sinise), a psychologist who is attempting to help her work through these issues. The movie picks up the pace when she returns home from one of these sessions and finds out that her scrapbooks have been cleared of all of the pictures with Sam in them and that all of her home movies have been erased. Thinking that her husband Jim (Anthony Edwards) did this in an attempt to help her forget about their son, she comes unglued and demands a divorce. However, that's when things get a little interesting... we find out that, according to Jim, they never had a son. It seems as though Telly had a miscarriage and is repressing this by creating nine years of memories of the son she never had, and we also find out that Jack knew about this all along and was trying to slowly work her through these memories in order to bring her back to reality. Telly is convinced that these memories are real, and with the help of former hockey player Ash Correll (Dominic West), a man who lost his daughter in the same plane crash, she intends to prove this to everyone. The only problem here is that Ash doesn't even remember having a daughter...

Prior to watching this movie, I had seen a few trailers on television and on various other DVD releases. I'd always thought that it looked mildly interesting, but I've always managed to find something that seemed to be just a tad bit more interesting when rental night rolled around. In these trailers, I saw the general gist of the storyline, which is the same thing that I revealed in the above synopsis. It's a good idea for a storyline, or else, I wouldn't have kept this movie in mind for over a year now. Sadly, the movie takes a step towards the bizarre towards the middle of the running-time, and then manages to completely leap into that realm of the bizarre towards the end. While I'm not going to completely bash the film as so many other critics have, I will say that these revelations did drag the movie down, and quite a bit at that.

Assuming that you, the reader, haven't seen this movie and haven't had it spoiled, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you may have your own ideas about what happens in the ninety minutes featured on this disc. There seems to be two logical conclusions - either Telly is crazy or everyone else is. One of these conclusions would be the typical Hollywood film, and the other would be something that would be damned interesting to see. Although I'm not going to spoil it (though it should be obvious), this movie takes one of those routes with its storyline. With that firmly in place, it's necessary to reveal the details behind how and why this has happened... and that's where things pass that aforementioned bizarre realm and starts to tread into the downright ludicrous territory. Go on, pick whichever one of the above "crazy" routes that you like and attempt to come up with an explanation for it in your mind. I'm still assuming that you haven't seen or spoiled the ending here, and if I am correct in my assumptions, then I can pretty much guarantee that you won't see the twist coming. That's normally a good thing, if the twist makes sense and is reasonable. Here, the twist is... well, it's not too good, if that explains anything about my take on the writing found in this script.

Now, to be fair towards the movie, the twist had some strength behind it. It could have worked out nicely had it been done in the hands of a better writer. However, it falls flat in this movie thanks in large part to far too many unanswered questions throughout the running-time, and with even more thanks to the typical happy ending that seems to be required from Hollywood films these days. Even though I found the movie to be bordering around the average mark towards the middle, this ending left me disgusted, full of questions, and wishing that I hadn't invested my time into this piece of cinema. It makes no sense, and instead of answering questions that the previous eighty-five minutes raised, it merely throws out a few more in order to send the audience home with a smile on their face and a tear in their eye. If that's what you want, be sure to check this out... however, if you're looking for something that will make you think or intrigue you with a well-developed storyline, you may want to look elsewhere.

There's a certain movie that came out back in 1998 that I won't reveal here for reasons that will soon be apparent. This movie wasn't a huge summer blockbuster or anything, but it should be fairly well-known to most sci-fi fans. The Forgotten seemed to borrow heavily from this movie for its twist, and while this idea worked out nicely as the general storyline in said mystery movie, it did not work out too well as the big twist found here. If you do decide to check this film out, I will say that it starts out very nicely and easily grabs your attention. You'll find yourself wondering what's going to happen, you'll become sucked in even as the bizarre revelations unfold, but when the credits start to roll, you'll likely have the same "That's it?" feeling that I walked away with. 4/10.
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Chad #1: Chad - added 01/16/2006, 07:29 PM
One thing I forgot to point out in my review. If you decide to view this movie, make sure to watch the extended version with the alternate ending found on the DVD. While the ending is basically the same as the theatrical version (contrary to what one would believe from the "alternate" tag), it answers a few questions that weren't covered in the original version. It's still not perfect and it still suffers from the same problems that I described in my review, but it works out slightly better.
bluemeanie #2: bluemeanie - added 01/17/2006, 12:10 AM
Shit, shit, shit. That is what this film was. I enjoyed Anthony Edwards and Alfre Woodard, but everything else was worthless. This has to be one of the worst films I have ever had the displeasure of sitting through. Yuck. 2/10.
Dametria #3: Dametria - added 06/12/2007, 02:14 AM
This looked so good in the trailers, but somehow when stretched into a full length movie they managed to screw it up. Yeah, watching it I was fairly certain Id seen this movie a few times in years before. The "alternate endings" were almost the same thing but with parts left out of some. Either you get a sugar sweet happy ending, a cliffhanger, or a meh.... suppose its over now. Thin plot that tries to have a big twist ending that winds up being stupid. Surley its some strange government experiment or mental disorder or even an opening of a paranormal gateway in the universe but no its *spoiler*.......Aliens, just mucking with people for the hell of it.
Rik #4: Rik - added 02/01/2009, 07:28 AM
What was the mystery movie in 1998?
Chad #5: Chad - added 02/01/2009, 07:36 AM
I wrote this three years ago - to be perfectly honest, I don't even remember the twist, much less what movie I was referencing.
Lucid Dreams #6: Lucid Dreams - added 07/12/2010, 12:59 AM
Julianne Moore should stay away from lead roles. 4/10
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