The Source for Youth Ministry

Movie Reviews
by Jonathan McKee

Forgotten, The (1/18/2005)

Rated PG-13 (for intense thematic material, some violence and brief language)

Directed by Joseph Ruben (Return to Paradise, The Good Son, Sleeping with the Enemy)

Starring Julianne Moore, Dominic West, and Gary Sinise

Jonathan's Rating: Rental

Some reviewers are telling you to “forget” this one . . . forget that!

Forgotten didn’t disappoint me and I don’t think it will disappoint you. I’m not going to tell you to rush out and buy the DVD when it’s released, but it is definitely worth seeing. It will keep you guessing and it has some great moments.

The storyline caught me right away. It’s been 14 months and Telly Paretta (Julianne Moore) is still grieving the loss of Sam, her 9-year-old boy who was killed in a plane crash. Her husband (Anthony Edwards) and her shrink (Gary Sinise) want her to move on, even “forget” about Sam. But Telly is holding on to the memory . . . what’s left of it anyway. Because her memory seems to be slipping.

Or is it?

Pictures of Sam start disappearing. People that knew him, now don’t remember his memory. And her shrink drops the biggest bomb of them all, “You never had any children Telly.” But Telly can’t believe it . . . she isn’t going to let Sam be forgotten.

And that’s just the start. I’m not going to go further, because I don’t want to spoil any of it for you. As a matter of fact, if you haven’t seen the previews for this film, AVOID them. The preview has a few spoilers of its own, including one scene that will blow you away!

The ending of the film . . . well that brings up a whole other subject: film endings. Endings can make or break a film. For example—1989’s The Abyss. A fantastic film . . . with a LOUSY ending. As a result, many people hated the film. That’s a shame, because the film was amazing on so many levels: groundbreaking special affects (Cameron’s first shot at the computer graphics that made the liquid metal T1000 possible in T2), incredible performances by the whole cast—especially Ed Harris, and creative dialogue . . . okay . . . sorry . . . I got distracted. Back to film endings.

Forgotten’s ending was about as average as a film could muster. It won’t disappoint you (like The Abyss) but it won’t WOW you either (like The Usual Suspects).

Too bad. A WOW ending could have been the icing on the cake to make this a The Sixth Sense. Unfortunately now, in about a year the film will just be “forgotten.” (Okay . . . every reviewer is using that one . . . but it really worked well in that sentence. I couldn’t pass it up!)

Should kids see it?
Nope- not for the young'ins. I wouldn’t hesitate to let teenagers watch it however. There are several moments that the film could have done the proverbial nudity or sex scenes . . . and it DIDN’T. Amazing. The film does have some profanity, including one quick use of the grand-daddy of all cuss words. Jump on to's web site (CLICK HERE) for a closer look and use your own discretion.

Should you see it?
Forgotten is an attempt at A Beautiful Mind meets The Sixth Sense. Unfortunately, Forgotten falls short of both of those films, but if you like “intense,” and if you like mystery . . . it isn’t bad. Definitely worth the rental anyway.

Conversation Starter
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):

  1. What are some of the messages or themes you observed in this movie?

  2. How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?

  3. How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?

Jonathan McKee Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, and You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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