Unknown (2011) Poster

(I) (2011)


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  • The film is based on the 2003 French novel Hors de moi (2003), published in English as Out of My Head, by French author Didier Van Cauwelaert. The novel was adapted for the movie by screenwriters Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Doctor Martin Harris (Liam Neeson), a biochemist on his way to a summit conference in Berlin (Germany), discovers that he's left his briefcase and passport at the airport. While wife Elizabeth "Liz" (January Jones) checks into their hotel, Martin takes a cab back to the airport to retrieve his luggage. On his way there, his cab is involved in an accident, and he is taken to a hospital where he spends the next four days in a coma. When he awakens, he returns to the hotel only to find that another man is claiming to be Martin Harris (Aidan Quinn) that Liz is treating the imposter as though he really is her husband. With the help of illegal alien Gina (Diane Kruger), the cab driver who pulled him out of the wreck, Martin tries to unravel who he is and what is happening to him. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Presumably, Martin was frantic about leaving his briefcase at the airport, grabbed the very next taxi to pull up to the hotel entrance, and figured to call Liz on the way. The real reason is that, for purposes of the plot, he couldn't be seen checking into the hotel by the hotel staff or on the closed circuit camera. If he had, that would confirm that he and Liz arrived together, which would completely change the story. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Smith (Olivier Schneider) was following Martin, probably ever since Martin left the Adlon Hotel after being discharged from the hospital. He was seen following Martin into the subway, and he later shows up at the hospital where he kills Nurse Gretchen (Eva Löbau) and tries to kill Martin, who has just undergone another MRI. Some viewers have also suggested that the wristwatch Liz gave Martin may have contained a tracking device. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • They were the A-team at Section 15 and no doubt had a close and affectionate working relationship with each other. In several scenes, i.e., on the airplane, in the shower, and at the photography exhibit, they are shown holding hands, kissing, and making love. Some viewers conclude that they had a relationship in real life, others that Liz was only acting in character or that the shower scenes were fabricated by Martin to fill in the gaps after losing his memory. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Yes. In an attempt to prove that he is the real Dr Martin Harris, Martin contacts Ernst Jürgen, an ex-agent in the East German Stasi, short for Ministerium für Staatssicherheit [The Ministry for State Security]. The Stasi was headquartered in East Berlin and was regarded as one of the most effective secret police agencies in the world. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Three. First there was the taxi that was hit by a large container while Gina was taking Martin back to the airport. This is the accident that sent the taxi into the water and resulted in Martin's head injury. The second was Biko's taxi that was demolished by a streetcar after being chased by Jones. The third was the taxi she "borrowed" to follow Martin when he was carried off by his old friend Rodney Cole (Frank Langella). Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Yes. Calochortus albus (Fairy Lantern) is a native California plant in the Lily family. Umbellularia californica (California Bay) is a native California tree that resembles a bay laurel. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • While Professor Bressler (Sebastian Koch) and Prince Shada (Mido Hamada) circulate among the guests at their dinner party, Liz remotely copies Bressler's data from his laptop and activates the bomb that she and Martin planted three months earlier in the Eisenhower suite. Meanwhile, Martin and Gina sneak into the hotel, but they are immediately apprehended by the security guards. Martin is eventually able to convince them that there is a bomb in Prince Shada's suite, and Herr Strauss (Rainer Bock), the head of hotel security, gives the order to evacuate the entire hotel in five minutes. Realizing that their plan has been thwarted, Liz orders the substitute Martin to kill the target. Martin suddenly realizes that Bressler is the target, not Shada. Shada was simply funding Bressler's research into a new strain of corn that would grow in any climate. Bressler and Shada were planning to donate the formula to the world for free. With Bressler's death and the theft of his research, billions of dollars would fall into the wrong hands. Martin goes looking for Bressler and stops the substitute Martin from assassinating him. Meanwhile, Liz attempts unsuccessfully to deactivate the bomb, since it's no longer needed. The bomb blows up part of the top floor of the hotel and kills Liz. The blast causes Martin's memory to return, and he realizes that he is really an assassin for Section 15 and uses his skill to kill the other Martin. As the police and fire trucks arrive, Martin and Gina leave the building, apparently unnoticed. In the final scene, which occurs 24 hours later, a news report shows Shada and Bressler presenting the corn to the public without patent or copyright costs. Meanwhile, Martin and Gina are shown at the train station where Martin presents her with a passport under the name Claudia Marie Taylor, while he will now be traveling under the name Henry Taylor. They board the train and leave Berlin. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Viewers who have seen Unknown have likened it several other movies that feature a man (or a woman) who loses his memory and must search to find out who he is, often with dangerous repercussions. These include Frantic (1988) (1988), The Bourne Identity (2002) (2002), Total Recall (1990) (1990), The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) (1996), Blind Horizon (2003) (2003), Mirage (1965) (1965), As Good as Dead (1995) (1995) and Memento (2000) (2000). There is also a whole other story, also titled Unknown (2006) (2006), involving a group of several men who are uncertain of their own identities and in very awkward situation together. Edit (Coming Soon)


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