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Memento (2000)

R  |   |  Mystery, Thriller  |  25 May 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 769,475 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 2,025 user | 269 critic | 34 from

A man creates a strange system to help him remember things; so he can hunt for the murderer of his wife without his short-term memory loss being an obstacle.



(screenplay), (short story "Memento Mori")
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Top 250 Movies #44 | Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 52 wins & 44 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Kimberly Campbell ...
Larry Holden ...


Memento chronicles two separate stories of Leonard, an ex-insurance investigator who can no longer build new memories, as he attempts to find the murderer of his wife, which is the last thing he remembers. One story line moves forward in time while the other tells the story backwards revealing more each time. Written by Scion013

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Some memories are best forgotten


Mystery | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language and some drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

25 May 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amnesia  »

Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£90,642 (UK) (20 October 2000)


$25,530,884 (USA) (9 November 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Christopher Nolan's white Honda Civic can be seen parked next to Leonard Shelby's Jaguar at the motel. See more »


In the two scenes where Sammy is administering insulin to his wife, he is placing the needle in the crook of her arm, as if mainlining it. Insulin is never injected at this site, but rather at the back of the bicep. The other shots, in the stomach and the thigh, are correct. See more »


[first lines]
Leonard Shelby: [voiceover] So where are you? You're in some motel room. You just - you just wake up and you're in - in a motel room. There's the key. It feels like maybe it's just the first time you've been there, but perhaps you've been there for a week, three months. It's - it's kind of hard to say. I don't - I don't know. It's just an anonymous room.
See more »


References The Shining (1980) See more »


Written by Chuck Hamshaw & Mark Schmidt
Published by JRM Music (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Megatrax Production Music, Inc. (1994)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

overused plot + often abused style = best movie of the year
7 May 2001 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

A man with no short term memory tries to solve a murder. The scenes in the movie are played in reverse. Sounds like yet another run of the mill comedy but in reality is one of the best suspense/dramas I've seen in years.

While some may claim showing the scenes in reverse is just an annoying trick to make a simple plot confusing and add a plethora of twists, I wholeheartedly disagree. Any good story teller knows it's not what you say, but how you say it.

By playing the scenes in reverse you experience the confusion Lenny undergoes throughout the film. Showing some of the scenes in chronological order (BTW, the use of B&W instead of color to make the time distinction was ingenious) creates suspense which builds as the two timelines converge. The somewhat rushed pace (compared to a written format) doesn't give you enough time to adequately analyze the events during the movie. This has two advantages: firstly you're going to talk about it after you leave the theater adding to experience immensely, and secondly you don't have time to think about what has happened (will happen) so you're experience better follows that of Lenny.

While many might find the movie rather confusing, it flows wonderfully for anyone familiar with writing styles that constantly jump around a timeline (e.g. Catch 22).

278 of 348 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Any reasons why Nolan inserted clues supporting Teddy's story if untrue? m-madel
### Proof That Teddy Was a Real Cop! ### MrJJay
Nolans best movie ? theonionhead
There is no way to truly know what happened. komedydude85-203-796954
The ending of this movie was just ' full of it ' yehia_5000
Im 99% with the theory posed in the exposition, except for ... buka001
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