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Memento (2000)

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A man juggles searching for his wife's murderer and keeping his short-term memory loss from being an obstacle.



(screenplay), (short story "Memento Mori")
422 ( 42)
Top Rated Movies #47 | Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 54 wins & 55 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
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Did You Know?


Guy Pearce appears in every scene. See more »


Leonard has several tattoos on his chest and arms that he would never be able to read clearly himself; they are not reversed so that he could read them while looking at himself in a mirror, nor are they upside down so that he could read them by looking down at his body. The only person who could read them without difficulty would be someone who was staring directly at Leonard, making these tattoos useless to Leonard himself. 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.
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Referenced in The Darkness (2007) See more »


Something in the Air
Music by David Bowie and Reeves Gabrels
Lyrics by David Bowie
Performed by David Bowie
Courtesy of RZO Music, Inc./Virgin Records America, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Addictive and fun to figure out
1 September 2003 | by (Ottawa, Ontario) – See all my reviews

Christopher Nolan's "Memento" is truly a rare and exceptional achievement in modern filmmaking in that it manages to be new, fresh, hip, and exciting without ever tiring its audience out - unless you're walking into this film without the desire to participate and actively analyze the mysterious details.

If that's the case, then this is DEFINITELY not a movie you should see. If, on the other hand, you are open-minded, creative, and alert, you'll definitely appreciate and get a kick out of this one. "Memento" is an old-fashioned "film noir"-type mystery thriller with an intriguing, ingenious twist: outfitting the entire film with a style that mirrors the protagonist's own mental condition while giving the poor viewer(s) his own perspective as well. It is masterfully filmed and edited in such a way that it is chronologically presented backwards (with two initially separate, parallel storylines - the main one, shot in colour, is the chronologically-backwards story with scenes that intercut with those of the other story, which is filmed more like a documentary, shot in black & white, and mostly takes place inside a motel room with the main character narrating, talking about the effects of his condition, etc.) While the average viewer may already be put off by such a complicated, confusing format, it is a very original premise that is well worth the struggle to figure out.

Acting is solid across the board, as is the writing, directing, etc., but special kudos must be extended to the very talented editor Dody Dorn, who successfully managed to put all of these fragments together and help them flow in a smooth, healthy manner that is not easy to pull off.

One of the most "memorable" (sorry, couldn't help slipping in the bad joke) films you're likely to ever see, "Memento" is an instant classic due to its groundbreaking narrative style and impressive dramatic undertones. For those jaded moviegoers who seek something to keep them awake, interested, and constantly thinking, there couldn't be a better choice than this film.

379 of 430 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why Teddy keep helping Leonard if he had already helped him out once? pj-126-208773
Why did Leonard decide to target Teddy? melissaped523
What is the memento in Memento? shreydesai
There is no way to truly know what happened. komedydude85-203-796954
The ending of this movie was just ' full of it ' yehia_5000
Any reasons why Nolan inserted clues supporting Teddy's story if untrue? m-madel
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