UNFORGETTABLE (1996) Reviews of Ray Liotta, Linda Fiorentino sci-fi mystery thriller

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Unforgettable is a 1996 science fiction mystery-thriller film about a medical examiner obsessed with finding out who murdered his wife.

Directed by John Dahl (You Kill Me; The Great Raid; The Last Hand; Joy Ride; Tomorrow I Die; The Last Seduction; Red Rock West; Kill Me Again). Produced by Dino De Laurentiis and Martha De Laurentiis.

The movie stars Ray Liotta, Linda Fiorentino, Peter Coyote, Christopher McDonald, David Paymer, Duncan Fraser, Caroline Elliott, Colleen Rennison and Kim Cattrall.


“The picture has dynamic momentum for the first hour, helped along by a credible performance from Liotta, who’s always best when absolutely fried with panic […] The second half of Unforgettable dissolves into a puddle of clichés, bad acting, logic holes, and crummy screenwriting…” Blu-ray.com

“Certainly, Unforgettable is well put together – well directed, well edited and well photographed. However, the theme of the serum that allows people to relive other’s memories is a well-worn one – one that, like the precognition thriller, has been overused […] One kept hoping that Unforgettable would do something new and original with the idea.” Moria

“Like any good over-the-top mad scientist film, Unforgettable features everything and more, including exploding labs, chase scenes, a shootout at a church baptism, a woman taped to a chair in a burning room, a mass killing in a drugstore, adultery, alcoholism and broken marriages. On top of that, whenever the story gets a little dull or Dahl decides that (for whatever reason) a shock is needed, Briggs has an unexpected flashback or hallucination.” A Wasted Life


Contemporary reviews:
” …a pretty twisted story, contrived but entertaining.”

“On a purely visceral level, the movie works better. At its best, Unforgettable recalls prime Hitchcock in the way it unearths great suspense in familiar situations, such as a long foot chase and a supermarket robbery. The performances are strong, too. Liotta is an ideal choice: Even at his most sympathetic, he seems capable of great evil — he has the eyes of a madman — but the movie settles the issue of his culpability too early.” The Miami Herald, February 23, 1996

“Though it’s well made, Unforgettable is also gimmicky, with too much of the plot revolving around voyeuristic tricks […] Insanely far-fetched as this is, it’s hardly dull. Mr Dahl’s visual imagination is in fine form, even if his storytelling shows no great eagerness to escape from the B-movie sphere.” The New York Times, February 23, 1996

“In a lightning series of cuts, Dahl shows three things: the murder, the murder from the perspective of the victim (which is what Krane is seeing), and Krane. The scene is brilliant and harrowing — and even more harrowing for the emotional component. For a good 45 minutes of its two-hour running time, Unforgettable has the viewer in a state of oppressive tension. The rest of the time you’re just nervous.” San Francisco Chronicle, July 26, 1996


Main cast and characters:
Ray Liotta … David Krane
Linda Fiorentino … Martha Briggs
Peter Coyote … Don Bresler
Christopher McDonald … Stewart Gleick
David Paymer … Curtis Avery
Duncan Fraser … Michael Stratton
Caroline Elliott … Cara Krane
Colleen Rennison … Lindy Krane
Kim Cattrall … Kelly
Stellina Rusich … Mary Krane
Kim Coates … Eddie Dutton
Saraphina Joachim … Sheila Wills
Garwin Sanford … Joseph Bodner
Jenafor Ryane … Donna Berman
Jim Broyden … Boyfriend
Dean Choe … Assistant Pharmacist
Mike Crestejo … Pharmacist

Filming locations:
Seattle, Washington
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Technical details:
1 hour 57 minutes
Audio: DTS | Dolby Digital
Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1

Box office:
Unforgettable was, unfortunately, a box office bomb, taking just $2,821,671 in the US on a reported budget of $18 million.


MOVIES and MANIA rating:

NB. This post is dedicated to the late Ray Liotta. It was chosen at random from his filmography with a view to avoiding the obvious films we’d seen (Good Fellas; et al) and, despite it being utter schlock, it’s thoroughly entertaining nonsense that benefits from Liotta’s committed performance.

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