Unknown (2011)

Many a great tale has been told concerning accidents and amnesia. From video games to books these stories often are thrillers which leave us guessing for more; they keep us in the dark, intrigued, and never sure who and what is good and evil. This is exactly the kind of movie “Unknown” is. Starring Liam Neeson as the star one doesn’t even have to watch it to know that it will be an experience.

Revolving around Dr. Martin Harris as he flies into Germany for a biochemistry summit our good man is caught within a car accident. Lucky to survive thanks to the help of his taxi-driver he awakens in A Berlin hospital with little recollection of who he is. Yet his memory retrieval must be put on hold as he discovers impersonators have stolen his life: his identity, job, and even wife are played by a stranger. To top it all off mysterious assassins stalk him throughout the city attempting to end his existence.

It is a thread of mind-harrowing trauma. Of a person struggling to regain their identity in a sea of doubt and second-guessing. In-between the chaos and narrow escapes are desperate characters searching for a better life and the answer to who they are. The development is streamlined and fits in marvelously among the plot points.

In truth I could find little wrong with the film. Other than the usual “as if” moments, the kind which only happen in movies, everything about this piece is well-done. The musical score is solid, albeit unoriginal, the acting is spot-on, and direction well edited. Unlike other thrillers which leave too much wiggle room and try too hard, ultimately creating a nauseating experience, Unknown kicks just enough spice without that unbearable flavor afterwards. In short: I recommend it.

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