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The Bourne Identity (2002)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Mystery, Thriller  |  14 June 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 375,387 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 838 user | 242 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

A man is picked up by a fishing boat, bullet-riddled and suffering from amnesia, before racing to elude assassins and regain his memory.



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as William Blake Herron) , 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Research Tech
Research Tech
Giancarlo (as Orso Maria-Guerrini)
Denis Braccini ...
Castel (as Nicky Naude)


Based very loosely on Robert Ludlum's novel, the Bourne Identity is the story of a man whose wounded body is discovered by fishermen who nurse him back to health. He can remember nothing and begins to try to rebuild his memory based on clues such as the Swiss bank account, the number of which, is implanted in his hip. He soon realizes that he is being hunted and takes off with Marie on a search to find out who he is and why he is being hunted. Written by ibjsm

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He was the perfect weapon until he became the target. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


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Release Date:

14 June 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Identidad desconocida  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$27,118,640 (USA) (14 June 2002)


$4,874,565 (Japan) (28 February 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Most of the US Marines in the Zurich consulate were actual Marine Security Guards assigned to embassies in Europe, at the request of producer Frank Marshall. They used their own uniforms, worked with the director on dialogue (eventually cut), and developed the tactics they use in clearing the embassy. See more »


During the close quarter fight at the consulate, the cap falls from the Marine's head three times: when Jason twists and locks his arm, when he parries his baton and finally when Jason pushes him back. See more »


Jason Bourne: [during a car chase] So...
Marie: What?
Jason Bourne: ...we got a bump coming up.
[drives the car down a flight of stairs]
See more »

Crazy Credits

A thunderstorm sounds in the background of the Universal logo. See more »


Referenced in The Middleman: The Palindrome Reversal Palindrome (2008) See more »


Ready Steady Go
Written by Paul Oakenfold and Andy Gray
Performed by Oakenfold, Vocals by Asher D.
Courtesy of Maverick Recording Company
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products and Courtesy of Mushroom Records (UK) Ltd. / Perfecto Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Hooray for decent, more realistic spy films!
17 March 2003 | by See all my reviews

I have grown extremely tired of the typical formula spy film like Bond, or the juvenile stunt exhibition "Triple X." There have been a bare handful of spy films that feature relatively realistic spy thrillers, especially recently with a concentration on spectacular movies that have less substance than cotton candy.

Besides "The Bourne Identity," "Ronin" is the only other recent spy movie I can think of that didn't feature skydiving, bungie jumping, skiing downhill while shooting innumerable bad guys, laser pens, cars with ejection seats, or silicone breasted women with names you'd be vaguely embarrassed to say in front of your mother. Most of the crap that passes for an espionage film has no plot or reason for existing other than to meet a quota of explosions and cleavage in order to draw the summer action film crowd.

While "Bourne" does not have a particularly deep plot, it is consistent and focused. The focus is entirely upon Bourne and how he is to deal with having no memory of his past, being hunted without knowing why. Some people have complained about being confused by the movie. I for one, do not need to have everything spelled out since in many cases this smacks of unreality in the first place; the essence of espionage is drawing conclusions from very sketchy information. If you can't handle a little of that, you probably should stick to Disney films or TV's Scooby Doo where everything is explained in the end. We never find out about what is in the case in "Ronin" and I can live without some information being filled in about Bourne's past.

To those who have moaned about the incompatibility of the book and the movie, seek help. There are probably several things that work in the book that would either be boring and take too much screen time to explain, or would be viewed as cliche to modern screen audiences. As I remember, I liked the book, and I definitely like this movie. I view any movie adaptation as an interpretation of the book rather than a translation from words to pictures anyway.

As for realism, most of the action scenes are believable, no super-gadgets are to be seen, no incredibly lovely models fall madly in bed with Bourne, and the hero shows definite signs of physical vulnerability despite a very high level of training and competance. As someone who has trained in martial arts for over 10 years, unrealistic fight scenes are a pet peeve. The fights in "Bourne" are fast, nasty, and very realistic while still being entertaining for the layman. (And yes, taking a gun away from some idiot who is standing well within your striking radius without getting shot is definitely doable, though I had serious doubts until we tested it for ourselves with plastic dart guns in the dojo several years ago).

While not being perfect, "The Bourne Identity" is, simply put, several grades above the typical spy film. Being focused on an individual level rather than involving itself huge political ramifications lends it another layer of respectability rather than detracting from it as some comments have implied since it remains a human problem on a comprehensible scale. The mysteries that are left are bigger mysteries for Bourne than us, and I think should be viewed as intentional omissions rather than loose ends. The implausibilities are kept to a minimum and the realism to as high a level as possible while still being spectacular enough to meet the expectations of the genre.

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