Metascore
44

Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 17
  2. Negative: 2 out of 17
  1. 70
    Music video director Simon Brand makes an impressively taut debut with Unknown, a nifty little psychological crime thriller that suggests a "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" for the postindustrial age.
  2. 63
    It's an entertaining diversion whose clever structure gives pulp-crime cliches a welcome twist.
  3. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    60
    Brand has assembled a cast of world class improvisers, yet doesn't take advantage of their own particularized, inflected rhythms, as each ritualistically experiences a jump-cut fragmentary flashback in front of the same bathroom mirror.
  4. Unknown seems fairly stale and unoriginal, mainly because it's yet another movie with the short-term memory loss premise ("Memento," "Fifty First Dates," etc.), and it comes so late in the cycle that it feels like a dying gasp.
  5. While Brand manages a couple of effectively brutal bits of violence, Matthew Waynee's gassy screenplay is all premise and no propulsion.
  6. It all comes together at the end, logically and with a twist. But it's not a game that allows the audience to play along. When the story is controlled by whatever memories the writer and director choose to put in the characters' heads, you're always on the outside looking in.
  7. 50
    To kill 80 minutes, the movie has to pad itself with several dull speeches and stagy moments. The worst? How about when the five men, who have ample reason to fear each other and are facing a life-or-death reckoning, whistle "Ode to Joy" together like a bunch of Whiffenpoofs?
  8. Despite a clever script and top-notch cast, whose commitment to doing service in the indie branch of the industry is commendable, Unknown falls apart just when it should be coming together.
  9. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    50
    Unknown is punchy and entertaining. Maybe not the sort of thing you'd want to spend $10 plus a mortgage for popcorn on, but a nifty surprise on DVD several months from now -- or on pay-cable on-demand right now.
  10. Unfortunately, the film's charm ends with the plot gimmick.
  11. Reviewed by: Luke Y. Thompson
    50
    Director Simon Brand channels both "Saw" and "Reservoir Dogs" (good influences, both) to propel his main story forward, and even gets nicely twisty when the climax comes, but it's hard to escape the feeling that the B-story was added in to pad the film's running time.
  12. 42
    Unknown manages a hat trick by making its march toward the climax so tedious and unlikely that it unravels even as it gets off the ground.
  13. Reviewed by: James Dyer
    40
    Moderately lame horror.
  14. Reviewed by: Jean Oppenheimer
    40
    The pacing is slightly off, with the action switching between the imprisoned men and the police who are trying to find them, and what should be a mounting sense of urgency inside the warehouse (think Reservoir Dogs) falters and goes slack.
  15. 40
    After a whole lot of buildup, and a real letdown of a payoff, the only enigma left is why we should care.
  16. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    30
    The movie's disinterest in character might be forgivable were its plot not riddled with holes.
  17. 30
    Feeble exercise in brain-teaser noir.
User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 17 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Sep 22, 2013
    7
    Solid acting by the cast and interesting story. The side plot involving the cops really takes away from the main plot and was sort of unneeded. The twist ending certainly helped end the film on a high note. Overall, It was actually quite good and I'd recommend watching. Full Review »
  2. Feb 24, 2013
    8
    This movie was really cool, not only because of it's terrific cast, but also for the way the story is done. At many points this film seems familiar, mainly because it has similar pieces to similar movies all put together into one original story. A group of people wake up locked in a warehouse with no memory of who they are or how they got there. Only one thing becomes immediately clear, if they don't discover the truth and how to escape, they'll all be dead soon. Its not the strongest story or ending, but the way this film was done was just pure genius. Defiantly worth seeing! Full Review »
  3. Jan 7, 2011
    5
    Not great, but really not bad. Cool concept and good cast, but lacked something... Can't quite place what.

    Maybe it would be better if it
    kept to the 'one-room film' formula. The scenes on the outside with the cops were distracting and not really necessary for the plot... Full Review »