Unknown (15)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarStarStarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner11/04/2007

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 81 mins

Enjoyable thriller with superb performances, a decent plot and some thought-provoking ideas about identity and human nature underneath its twisty tale.

What's it all about?
Five men (including Jim Caviezel, Greg Kinnear and Barry Pepper) wake up in a locked warehouse with no idea of who they are or how they got there. The evidence suggests that two of them are kidnapping victims and the other three are hardened criminals, but the men have no idea who's who so they try and piece together what happened.

It soon emerges that an escaped chemical is responsible for their collective memory loss and tension mounts as their flashback-assisted memories slowly return. Meanwhile, outside the warehouse, a woman (Bridget Moynahan) is working with the police and paying a ransom in order to trap one of the kidnappers (Peter Stormare).

The Good
Unknown boasts a superb, engaging premise, even if it's basically a rip-off of both Cube and Saw. The performances are excellent, really drawing you into the story as the characters struggle to remember who they are, particularly Kinnear, Pepper and Caveziel, who quickly emerge as the strongest personalities.

Although the film sticks closely to the thriller template, the concept nonetheless throws up some thought-provoking questions, such as whether people are inherently good or evil and whether someone would choose to change their ways if given the choice. It's fascinating to observe these characters react in tellingly different ways and the film really makes the most of its central gimmick.

The bad
If there's a problem with the film it's only that the twist-laden finale comes dangerously close to spoiling the film by making no sense at all. That said, the ending will at least provide plenty of material for post-film pub discussion and you'll still be trying to puzzle it out days later.

Worth seeing?
Despite the occasional flaw, this is a snappy little thriller with superb performances and an engaging, thought-provoking plot. More films like this, please.

Film Trailer

Unknown (15)
Be the first to review Unknown...
image
01 Into the Storm (tbc)

Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies, Jeremy Sump...

image
02 Horrible Bosses 2 (tbc)

Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennif...

image
03 God's Pocket (tbc)

Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Christina Hendricks, Rich...

image
04 Wakolda (tbc)

Alex Brendemuhl, Diego Peretti, Guillermo Pfening

image
05 Annabelle (tbc)

Annabelle Wallis, Alfre Woodard, Eric Ladin

Content updated: 30/07/2014 16:09

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

Mood Indigo (12A)

Breathtakingly imaginative and beautifully designed, this is an engaging, funny and ultimately moving love story. Starring Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films

Hot Tickets

Film 4 Summer ScreenFilm 4 Summer Screen

Taking over the big screen at Somerset House again for August 2014, the Film 4 Summer Screen series brings a variety of classics and brand new films to audiences in the capital.