MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 62 this week

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

 -  Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi  -  19 March 2004 (USA)
8.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.4/10 from 479,943 users   Metascore: 89/100
Reviews: 1,448 user | 253 critic | 41 from Metacritic.com

A couple undergo a procedure to erase each other from their memories when their relationship turns sour, but it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story), 2 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 38 titles
created 31 Mar 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 16 Jul 2012
 
a list of 45 titles
created 14 Jan 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 04 Mar 2013
 
a list of 45 titles
created 7 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) on IMDb 8.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

User Polls

Top 250 #82 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 47 wins & 55 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Fountain (2006)
Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Spanning three parallel stories over a millennium, 'The Fountain' is a story of love, death, spirituality, and the fragility of our existence in this world.

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz, Sean Patrick Thomas
Gattaca (1997)
Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A genetically inferior man assumes the identity of a superior one in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel.

Director: Andrew Niccol
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law
Mr. Nobody (2009)
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A boy stands on a station platform as a train is about to leave. Should he go with his mother or stay with his father? Infinite possibilities arise from this decision. As long as he doesn't choose, anything is possible.

Director: Jaco Van Dormael
Stars: Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger
Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

George Orwell's novel of a totalitarian future society in which a man whose daily work is rewriting history tries to rebel by falling in love.

Director: Michael Radford
Stars: John Hurt, Richard Burton, Suzanna Hamilton
2046 (2004)
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

He was a writer. He thought he wrote about the future but it really was the past. In his novel, a mysterious train left for 2046 every once in a while. Everyone who went there had the same ... See full summary »

Director: Kar Wai Wong
Stars: Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Ziyi Zhang, Faye Wong
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A young man and woman meet on a train in Europe, and wind up spending one evening together in Vienna. Unfortunately, both know that this will probably be their only night together.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Andrea Eckert
Before Sunset (2004)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Nine years after Jesse and Celine first met, they encounter each other again on the French leg of Jesse's book tour.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Vernon Dobtcheff
Forrest Gump (1994)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

Forrest Gump, while not intelligent, has accidentally been present at many historic moments, but his true love, Jenny Curran, eludes him.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Gilbert has to care for his brother Arnie and his obese mother, which gets in the way when love walks into his life.

Director: Lasse Hallström
Stars: Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Juliette Lewis
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The lives of two lovelorn spouses from separate marriages, a registered sex offender, and a disgraced ex-police officer intersect as they struggle to resist their vulnerabilities and temptations in suburban Connecticut.

Director: Todd Field
Stars: Kate Winslet, Jennifer Connelly, Patrick Wilson
Source Code (2011)
Mystery | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An action thriller centered on a soldier who wakes up in the body of an unknown man and discovers he's part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train.

Director: Duncan Jones
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The film centers on a contemporary married couple, charting their evolution over a span of years by cross-cutting between time periods.

Director: Derek Cianfrance
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, John Doman
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Thomas Jay Ryan ...
...
...
...
Rob
...
...
Ryan Whitney ...
...
...
Brian Price ...
...
Young Bully (as Paul Litowski)
Edit

Storyline

A man, Joel Barish, heartbroken that his girlfriend Clementine underwent a procedure to erase him from her memory, decides to do the same. However, as he watches his memories of her fade away, he realizes that he still loves her, and may be too late to correct his mistake. Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This Spring, clear your mind See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 March 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind  »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$268,118 (Japan) (18 March 2005)

Gross:

$1,747,623 (Japan) (8 April 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(as dts)|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The idea was brought to Michel Gondry by his friend the artist Pierre Bismuth who suggested, "You get a card in the mail that says: someone you know has just erased you from their memory..." See more »

Goofs

When Mary first comes to Joel's apartment to visit Stan and Patrick, she goes into the kitchen to pour drinks. Just after she says "Let me do the honors," the pendulum of the clock on the wall is not moving. About 2 seconds later, as she is pouring the drinks, the pendulum on the clock is swinging. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Joel: [voice over] random thoughts for Valentine's day, 2004. Today is a holiday invented by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits are right justified, versus the usual center justified credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in 90210: Help Me, Rhonda (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Mr. Blue Sky
Written by Jeff Lynne
Performed by Electric Light Orchestra
Courtesy of Epic Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" is a bizarre but wonderful movie, a very strange and remarkably tender experience.
2 June 2004 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

"How happy is the blameless vestal's lot! The world forgetting, by the world forgot. Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd." - Alexander Pope

Michel Gondry's "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" is a bizarre but wonderful movie, a very strange and remarkably tender experience, which I suppose is only to be expected from screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, the man behind "Being John Malkovich."

The film was produced by Focus Features ("Lost in Translation," "21 Grams"), a company which strives to offer original, quality films to the true cinema lovers. If the company keeps producing films this good, they may become hugely successful in the future, if not already.

The previews portrayed the movie as a bouncy, cheery comedy in the vein of "Adaptation," the last film written for the big screen by Charlie Kaufman, when it is really a tender movie about love and romance. This is Jim Carrey's best performance to date, and may open the eyes of his prejudiced haters who have only imagined him as Ace Ventura and a certain cable guy for his entire career. No snippy quotes, outrageous humor or bizarre antics in "Sunshine" -- Carrey plays a true, realistic, three-dimensional character named Joel Barrish, who plans to have memories of his girlfriend, Clementine (Kate Winslet), erased by a new company called Lacuna, after he discovers that she herself has had the procedure performed only a week before. Joel meets with the company's founder, Dr. Howard Mierzwiak (Tom Wilkinson), and is informed that the procedure -- although "technically" brain damage -- is on par with a heavy night of drinking. "Nothing you'll miss much," he is told, as he plunges into a bizarre world of long forgotten memories.

The entire process of the operation is quite fascinating, really, if a bit reminiscent of an idea founded by none other than one of Kaufman's favorite writers, Philip K. Dick, who wrote the source short story for the Ah-nuld movie "Total Recall." All items relating to the person you want erased from your brain are assembled together, and the technicians at Lacuna (Mark Ruffalo and Elijah Wood) then "map" an outline of your memories, which are supposedly stemmed together. I have my doubts about the seriousness and remote possibility of such a procedure being performed, and the explanation is quite simply utter bull, but we don't care because the entire erasing of Joel's memories serves as a backdrop for a deeper meaning: If you could forget about past romances, would you really want to? And if so, would you be willing to sacrifice all the good ones, along with the bad ones?

The conclusion that "Sunshine" arrives at is, to be totally truthful, as honest as can be. During the procedure, Joel's subconscious realizes that it doesn't want to let go of its memories of Clementine, and so begins a strange labyrinth of fragmented memories, constantly changing surroundings, and mental materializations of Clementine. The movie is like a very bizarre dream, when you're trying to interact with people, but they're not responding, and you shout and try to get their attention but they don't seem to notice. Joel's entire odyssey of the interior of his mind makes "Being John Malkovich" look normal -- but as I didn't like "Malkovich" very much, and thought its strangeness was unjustified, it fits perfectly in "Sunshine" -- there are some great special effects, such as when Joel is wandering through his own memories, drifting in and out of sleep, hearing the voices of the technicians erasing his memories and watching as objects and areas around him vanish and deconstruct. It's so bizarre but yet also so beautiful. Gondry was a former music video director (his complete works are available on DVD) and he is the perfect candidate for this project, having worked with Kaufman before on the 2001 flop "Human Nature." It seems that he has finally found a unique directing style that ties in perfectly with the underlying themes of the movie.

There is a very deep message in "Sunshine," and it is arguably Kaufman's deepest film to date. Love and romance and memories of both have rarely been examined as thought-provokingly and tenderly as they are in this wonderful motion picture. The movie has a very profound message that all viewers should pay attention to. There are many small intricacies in the film, surely picked up on more thoroughly on repeat viewings, and the entire construction of the movie is completely enthralling and intelligent. I saw two people leave the rather empty theater during the screening I attended. It tanked in the US and I predict it will do the same in the UK, which is a shame, because this is the smartest film of 2004 and has the most to say about our lives than any other film this year. While everyone flocks to see the new Denzel Washington action movie, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" is forgotten, which is quite depressing -- people would rather spend their money on forgettable entertainment than view something unique that has something important at its core.

I think what the movie finally asks us after its long, emotional journey, is would we want our own memories erased? And if so, what would the consequences be? A lesser film might examine this idea poorly -- "Sunshine" is not. It is perfect in almost every conceivable way, and anyone who complains that it is not original must be joking -- in my entire lifetime, this is one of the most unique film experiences I have ever had.

"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" is a beautiful movie, eloquently voiced by Gondry, firmly constructed and rooted in an eerie nightmarish fantasy land where anything is possible. It's beautiful, it's bizarre, it's exceptional, it's funny, it's lovely, it's touching, it's witty, and it's one of the best movies I have ever seen.


639 of 745 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Rated R... seriously? albertomtz
Movies similar to Eternal Sunshine chuchupa99
I still don't get this part -- Stan and miss_jaded
Enjoyed it as a film, but one thing kept niggling at me... douglashallth
the Huckleberry Hound thing OutOfTimeMan
Never been disturbed and depressed in a movie til I watched this johnvonmacz

Contribute to This Page