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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi  |  19 March 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 615,124 users   Metascore: 89/100
Reviews: 1,489 user | 266 critic | 41 from Metacritic.com

When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a procedure to have each other erased from their memories. But it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.



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Top Rated Movies #85 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 57 wins & 82 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


I already forget how I used to feel about you. See more »


Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

19 March 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eterno resplandor de una mente sin recuerdos  »

Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$8,175,198 (USA) (19 March 2004)


$1,747,623 (Japan) (8 April 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(as dts)|


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


All of the train shots were shot onboard a real, moving, train. See more »


When Clementine and Patrick are driving back from Boston and Clementine is clearly upset, Patrick tries to comfort her by praising her with compliments. Once he calls her 'nice', she gets even more upset, which seems to call back to her "memory" of her and Joel discussing 'nice' on the train. However, that happens the next day, after the erasing happens, when Joel and Clementine both go to Montauk. Unless the word 'nice' had had a similar meaning in their previous relationship, as they are potentially meant to be repeating the same relationship over and over. See more »


[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.
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Crazy Credits

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


Row Row Row Your Boat
Sung by Joel and Clementine as he tries to break out of process
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Best Film of 2004
13 February 2005 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Joel (Jim Carrey) is a rather milquetoast man who meets up with free spirit Clementine (Kate Winslet), and they become romantically involved. However, they endure a messy breakup and Clementine goes to a business called Lacuna, Inc., where she has all of her memories of Joel erased. Not wanting to be left out, Joel also goes to have his memory erased. However, soon after it begins, Joel realizes that he wants to keep the memory of Clementine, so he tries to reverse the process.

Well, if you're familiar with Kaufman's work, then you know what your getting yourself into. This is just as weird if not weirder than his previous work, Being John Malkovich. I knew what I was getting myself into, but 90% of the movie I was saying to myself "What the hell is going on?", but in a good way. It opens with Joel calling in sick for work and going on a different train, heading for Montauk. He meets Clementine and they hit it off. Now this is about 15 minutes into the movie, then out of nowhere come the opening credit sequence. I will admit, I thought it would be different, but I'm glad that it is the way it is, the movie is 80% of the time in Joel's head.

If you think you know Carrey, think again. This movie is his best performance, better than Majestic, Truman show and all of his comedic roles (which is what I love him for). Just looking at his face from the second we see him, we feel his pain, then like that, we feel his joy, embarrassment and hate. Just awesome acting on his part, and Winslet was great as the free spirit who never seems satisfied. The supporting cast all work well in their small, yet important roles. Oscar nominations for Winslet and (crosses fingers) Carrey.

But if I were to bet any money on any Oscar nominations it would obviously be the writing, what a mess, but beautifully constructed. You think to yourself, is that scene really necessary? Then ten minutes later you think to yourself how brilliant it was, that's beautiful, crazy, give me whatever he's smoking kind of writing. Charlie Kaufman's writing is always clever, but this time he's one-upped himself by making something simultaneously bizarre and emotionally engaging. It seemed like his earlier movies were clever for the sake of cleverness, but 'Eternal Sunshine' manages to dazzle you with it's originality and it's poignancy. The fact that this movie was able to wrap such profound loss, emotional tenderness, and hope in such a self-consciously stylized package illustrates the incredible talent of the people behind it.

Michel Gondry's use of vibrant coloring and quick camera movement give the film a very involving first hand feeling. The constant use of the handy cam is very all involving for the viewer, and I suppose that this is exactly what is needed in such a personal movie. His work on the dream sequences is incredible as well. He decides to use more practical effects than what we see today with computers.

Eternal Sunshine is a tragic, yet beautiful film that sits at the top of my list of "Best of 2004".

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