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on 21 November 2016
This was good. Sometimes you come across movies with a logical plot, impressive acting, fantastic twist and a plausible ending. This is one of them. Excellent chases, explosion, spies and the greater good of the humanity are all the parts of the show. I think Liam Neeson was the best actor for his character, who turns out to be not what you think he is. Memory loss or not exactly a memory loss? Hugely satisfying entertainment.
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on 21 October 2017
As an action/thriller it's entertaining and easy on the brain while you are watching it, but it loses a star due to the story not standing up to the briefest post-viewing reflection (too many things about the villainous plot simply couldn't work in reality - e.g. do universities never look at what is on their own websites?).
As long as you stop thinking about it the moment the credits roll it's fine though, the momentum carries you along.

While watching it the funny thing is the long succession of other movies it constantly reminds you of. "Taken" of course (but this is better, because its far less unpleasant and not borderline-racist), but also that Harrison Ford one when his wife goes missing in Paris, and another movie that I can't mention because it would be a spoiler.

Main thing I take away from it though is that there's a decent-sounding DJ remix of Blue Monday out there that I don't have and which doesn't seem to be available anywhere!
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on 19 November 2017
Every time an American goes to Europe, very bad things happen to him.
Luckily, he is always a sociopath with an unusual set of skills (Bourne, Neeson in this and Taken, Costner in 3 Days to Die), and comes out on top.

The plot is Bourne Identity meets Taken, but is fun for all that.

Performances in Unknown are all fine, with the exception of January Jones, who is appalling.
Stupid, stupid name, too.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 26 January 2017
Liam Neeson plays the part of Dr Martin Harris well, and Aiden Quinn does a reasonable job of playing Martin ‘B’, when the original Martin has a car accident, and Martin B takes his place.

The original Martin loses some of his memory, but begins to think that he is losing his mind, when even his wife Elizabeth (January Jones) doesn’t recognise him, past events and records are all different from what he expects, and people are trying to kill him

Diane Kruger does well with the part of the Taxi driver who saved him from drowning after the accident, and to whom he turns for more help, and so does Bruno Ganz, who plays Ernst Jurgen, an ex-Nazi, turned investigator.

The best parts of the film for me come when Martin regains both his memory and his true identity, and there are some decent fight scenes and a passably exciting car chase.
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VINE VOICETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 30 March 2014
Fresh from his exploits in Taken it was obviously a good idea to exploit Neeson's newly minted tough guy persona while still fresh in the mind of the film-going public: hence Unknown, a shamelessly derivative product if ever there was one! Perhaps I'm being a little too harsh, but I think not. Naturally, it's impossible to escape our cultural influences and we cannot look at anything without looking through the filters of our experience and here we have a perfect example. Whether consciously put there or otherwise the visual echoes of previous productions flicker and sometimes beam from the screen almost blindingly throughout.

But this isn't meant to be a criticism: for the movie buff it's all part of the entertainment! We have bio-scientist, Dr Martin Harris (Neeson), arriving in a snowy, wintery Berlin accompanied by his wife (January Jones). Almost three decades before, in Hitchcock's Torn Curtain, we had physicist, Dr Michael Armstrong (Paul Newman), arriving in Copenhagen accompanied by his fiancée (Julie Andrews). Both esteemed American scientists are visiting European capitals to give presentations at an important scientific conference.

On arriving at their hotel Harris realizes that his briefcase, containing important items like a passport and his presentation papers, has been left at the airport and, bizarrely, without telling his wife he hops back into the taxi and returns to the airport hoping to retrieve the lost briefcase. However, calamity strikes and the taxi is involved in an incident that causes it to swerve and hurtle through a barrier into the icy river. Harris is knocked unconscious but the female driver, who we later come to know as Gina (Diane Kruger) is able to escape and make the surface. She realizes Harris is still in the car and manages to dive down and save him!

He wakes up in hospital and is told he's been `out' for four days. Immediately discharging himself he manages to make his way back to his hotel to find his wife who steadfastly refuses to recognize him having in the meantime mysteriously acquired another husband, Dr Martin Harris (Aidan Quinn), who has all the necessary documentation to prove that he is the real Harris and Neeson the imposter!

So which one is the real Harris? Since Neeson is the star, it must be him, surely! But just like Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) before him in North by North West, he has a tough job persuading just about anybody! However, he's given the name of a private detective, a former Stasi operative named Ernst Jurgen (Bruno Ganz) who acts as the `wiser older mentor' type figure a la, Dr Brulov (Michael Chekov) in Hitchcock's Spellbound. Jurgen advises `Harris' to find the taxi driver, Gina, as he thinks she may be the key!

And, indeed, this turns out to be a valid assertion. Gina, just like Michelle (Emanuelle Seigner) in Polanski's Frantic, who aids Harrison Ford's Dr Richard Walker (a `mere' medical practitioner) in an `unknown' Paris, proves to be just the kind of streetwise, knowledgeable young sidekick `Harris' needs.

So, we've seen many of the elements before but the principal source seems to be Hitchcock, primarily, in North by North West: even an evil though amiable and courteous `Mr Big' a la James Mason's, Phillip Vandamm, in the form of Frank Langella, enters the action about half way through and January Jones and Diana Kruger are a kind of amalgam of Eva Marie Saint's, Eve Kendall.

Fittingly, then, after suitably Machiavellian plot machinations, the film ends on a train. It might be derivative but very entertainingly so!
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on 24 June 2014
This is one of Liam Neeson's best movies and certainly the most intriguing in my view. I much prefer its Alfred Hitchcock style plot to the rather more straight forward 'Dad on the rampage' story behind 'Taken' to which 'Unknown' has been compared. Set in Berlin, it is a real mind bender with major twists which takes Neeson's character to the brink of insanity. Ably supported by January Jones and Diane Kruger, this is a highly enjoyable stolen identity thriller which, despite mixed reviews at the time, did very well at the box office. Recommended.

Christopher Garfield Allen is a Technical Author and a crime writer specializing in unusual and well researched fiction with the following books available through Amazon:
His latest novel: Reality Shaper: The Quantum Detective
Parallel Lifetimes
The Beam of Interest: Taken by Storm
Hypnotic Tales 2013: Some Light Some Dark
Call of the Void: The Strange Life and Times of a Confused Person: 1
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 10 October 2015
One of the best films I have watched recently. Bear in mind that I don't follow trends in films, I am not always knowledgeable about actors, but when I like a film, I like it, whether it is old or new. ''Unknown'' has everything I like in an action film, intelligent plot, good acting and a twist in the end. It is true that the plot is not new, a man with temporary loss of memory, someone else takes his place and a beautiful stranger helps him, but the film is so brilliantly made that it avoided to fall into cliches and deja vus. I think for this kind of plot, you really need solid actors, otherwise, it becomes cheesy. Liam Neeson is very charismatic and Diane Kruger is excellent. A film I will watch again with pleasure.
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on 23 November 2016
I really enjoyed this 113 min REGION B/2 DVD and as a big fan of Liam Neeson was very pleased with his performance. The film had a very good story line with many twists and turns and would recommend this DVD to anyone who enjoys crime ,drama, action and adventure.
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on 19 September 2017
Some strangers wake up in a warehouse. Some are tied up. Who are the guards and who the captives? Are the guards really kidnappers? Who knows? As it turns out, no one does, because when we first meet them, it turns out that they've all lost their memories. The interest comes when their memories slowly recover and we join them in their quest for answers.
Jim Caviezel is especially good.
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on 26 December 2012
SLIGHT SPOILERS Liam Neeson plays his usual hard-man role to perfection. The first half of this film is terrific. Neeson plays scientist Dr Martin Harris who has travelled to Berlin for a conference. He is accompanied by his beautiful young wife, Liz, played by January Jones. As soon as they reach their hotel things start to go wrong for Harris and his feelings of confusion, paranoia and dis-orientation really come across. He meets another beautiful blonde, Gina (Diane Kruger) and they team up out of desperation. Fortunately, Gina can handle herself as well as Harris and they fend off one thug after another. There are many fight sequences and car-chases, some of them ridiculous. Watching this film it is hard to figure out how the plot can come to a sensible conclusion and it is fair to say that it doesn't entirely. It gets more far fetched by the minute. Despite it's plot faults "Unknown" is an very enjoyable action movie that will keep you guessing until the end.
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