Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 34
  2. Negative: 1 out of 34
  1. One of the most original and ultimately confounding mind games to reach the screen since "The Usual Suspects."
  2. Pearce, who's in every scene except the Sammy flashbacks, dominates the picture through his feral performance.
  3. Memento, which may be the ultimate existential thriller, has a spooky repetitive urgency that takes on the clarity of a dream.
  4. Reviewed by: Jeff Giles
    A gripping, utterly unexpected noir, glinting with bits of poetry and a hard, deadpan humor.
  5. 91
    A hard and bright and tough film in all the best ways.
  6. 90
    Enthralling or infuriating.
  7. 90
    Like the best filmmakers at Sundance 2001, Nolan leaps into the wild blue and dares us to leap with him. Go for it.
  8. 90
    The video stores are filled with examples of retro-noir and neo-noir, but Christopher Nolan's audacious timebender is something else. Call it meta-noir.
  9. A provocatively structured and thrillingly executed film noir, an intricate, inventive use of cinema's possibilities that pushes what can be done on screen in an unusual direction.
  10. A brilliant feat of rug-pulling, sure to delight fans of movies like "The Usual Suspects" and "Pi."
  11. Reviewed by: Lisa Nesselson
    Deconstructs time and space with Einstein-caliber dexterity in the service of a delectably disturbing tale of revenge.
  12. Operates in an orbit somewhere between Oliver Sacks and Lewis Carroll. I can't remember when a movie has seemed so clever, strangely affecting and slyly funny at the very same time.
  13. You're exhilarated from beginning to end.
  14. 90
    Unforgettable, especially in Pearce's startling performance.
  15. 88
    A puzzle movie in which the puzzle is actually worth the time and effort to solve.
  16. 88
    This demanding puzzle is not for the "Chocolat" crowd, but those who stay with it will experience perhaps the most dazzling film released so far this year - even though a second viewing is virtually mandatory.
  17. Terrifically satisfying film.
  18. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Has the unanticipated craft and artfully ambiguous appeal of last year's "Croupier," a movie whose art-house word-of-mouth success could be duplicated here.
  19. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    The most disorienting and trippiest data-retrieval caper in years.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 601 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 3 out of 123
  1. Feb 22, 2011
    A Christopher Nolan's masterpiece, complex narrative is skillfully executed, keeping audiences guessing. Overall it's up to us, our interpretation, it's not just about the evidences Full Review »
  2. Feb 21, 2011
    Absolutely drop-dead brilliant. You just don't see film-making like this anymore. Christopher Nolan is the genius we"ve all been waiting for. Welcome to the second revival of great film-makers. It feels good. Full Review »
  3. Mar 3, 2012
    Another of my all-time favorites. Deep, compelling and always toeing the line of audaciousness. Great cast, genuinely original and watchable a dozen times over. A masterpiece that got swept under the rug years ago, shamefully.... An absolute must-watch!!! Full Review »