Metascore
56

Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 38
  2. Negative: 3 out of 38
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Feb 21, 2011
    60
    It is the rare conspiracy thriller that ripens as the villains' organization and motives are gradually revealed.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Feb 17, 2011
    60
    Twisty, engaging thriller.
  3. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Feb 15, 2011
    60
    Unknown is probably the movie "The Tourist" wanted to be, if it had a pulse. Its sheer momentum makes Neeson and Kruger more attractive than even Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Feb 18, 2011
    58
    Framed as a cautionary thriller about the perils of high-stakes terrorism, but I took away a different message from it: Don't forget your briefcase at the airport.
  5. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Feb 16, 2011
    58
    The movie whips up a big old puree of ingredients borrowed from other cinematic recipes.
  6. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Feb 28, 2011
    50
    Not even Neeson, with his strength and his wounded-giant vulnerability, can prevent our interest in Unknown from sliding into contempt.
  7. Reviewed by: Michael Wilmington
    Feb 19, 2011
    50
    The snow and haze that Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan) keeps pumping into the street scenes seem to have drifted into the script as well.
  8. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Feb 17, 2011
    50
    The art of the classic Hitchcockian thriller is about style, pace and misdirection – and though Unknown is occasionally baffling and involves running and car chases, the film rarely manages to thrill.
  9. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Feb 17, 2011
    50
    ignore the pileup of implausibilities and Unknown becomes a diabolically entertaining con game. Does it jerk you around? Yes. Suck it up. The ride's worth it.
  10. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Feb 17, 2011
    50
    Yes, Unknown is preposterous. That in and of itself is not a reason to avoid the movie. The problems lie in the way the absurdity is presented and the manner in which the screenplay resolves once the "truth" is revealed.
  11. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Feb 17, 2011
    50
    Tacked onto a perfectly respectable thriller, Unknown's mass of unlikely turns and implausible reveals make the whole film seem retroactively less sophisticated.
  12. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Feb 16, 2011
    50
    I confess I felt involved in Unknown until it pulled one too many rabbits out of its hat. At some point, a thriller has to play fair.
  13. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Feb 16, 2011
    50
    It's a solid, engrossing thriller, but a slack one.
  14. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Feb 16, 2011
    50
    Beyond the occasional plot frissons and juicy supporting turns, it's an emotionally and psychologically threadbare exercise.
  15. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Feb 15, 2011
    50
    As with its protagonist, Unknown boasts tantalizing issues buried deep beneath its frantic exterior, but little idea how to unlock or address them.
  16. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Feb 24, 2011
    40
    This is no more (but no less?) than what we have rather oddly come to expect from Neeson in his late period (Taken, The A-Team).
  17. Reviewed by: Elvis Mitchell
    Feb 17, 2011
    40
    That's eventually what Unknown is - violent, impersonal and comforting.
  18. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Feb 16, 2011
    40
    There are a couple of intriguing ideas floating around here and there, but that's all they do - float around, unmoored by any sense of reality and, thus, suspense.
User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 271 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 52 out of 80
  2. Negative: 13 out of 80
  1. Feb 19, 2011
    10
    I do not expect this movie to win any awards. However, this movie was very entertaining. It kept my attention from start to finish. TheI do not expect this movie to win any awards. However, this movie was very entertaining. It kept my attention from start to finish. The acting was good. The plot was interesting. There were several "twists" in the story that were interesting and understandable. It is my opinion that a few of the "action" scenes were exorbitant, but in 2011 it is probably expected by a majority of the audience. I recommend this film. Full Review »
  2. Feb 21, 2011
    8
    Very entertaining movie. Lots of action but not overdone and good plot. I went in thinking the plot was going to be ridiculous but itVery entertaining movie. Lots of action but not overdone and good plot. I went in thinking the plot was going to be ridiculous but it wasn't, it was reasonable. Enjoyable actors to watch. Overall a fun time at a movie. Full Review »
  3. Feb 20, 2011
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Enjoyed the movie until the ending. Not as much action for something that is advertised as action packed. Had more then one occasion where moments that should have been surprising were not. Diane Kruger kicked more butt then Neeson. Spoilers:

    How a terrorist can plant a bomb, admit to planting it to a room filled with people, have it explode, then stroll away without a whole country searching for him is crazy. Yes, the guy saved some people's lives, but he still blew up a hotel! The ending was absolutely unrealistic. The writing was trying so hard to be smart and then made such a stupid mistake in the end.
    Full Review »