Sunday, 20 January 2013

Film Review: UNKNOWN (2011)

Unknown - poster Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Writers: Oliver Butcher (screenplay), Stephen Cornwell (screenplay), Didier Van Cauwelaert (novel “Out of My Head”)
Running time: 113 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12

Genre: Action/Mystery/Thriller
UK Release date: 4th March 2011

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 20th January 2013.


I’ll admit I am partial to the odd mystery thriller and this one seemed to fit the bill. From what I recall, it came out to a bit of a luke-warm reception from the critics and so I wasn’t expecting a great deal. I was pleasantly surprised; a nice slick thriller which, although it didn’t break any new ground, was entertaining enough. Here’s a very brief outline before I give you my thoughts.

UNKNOWN When scientist Dr. Martin Harris (Liam Neeson) arrives in Berlin with his wife, Elizabeth (January Jones), he is involved in a traffic accident. This leaves him in a coma for four days and when he wakes he can only remember fragments of his life. He checks out of the hospital and returns to their hotel where Elizabeth denies knowing him, and what’s worse, there’s another man (Aidan Quinn), pretending to be him! Now desperate, he tracks down the driver of the taxi that was involved in the accident; Gina (Diane Kruger). She is reluctant to help him because she is an illegal immigrant but finally agrees. A former Stazi agent, Ernst Jürgen (Bruno Ganz) also agrees to help him and from here the pieces finally begin to come together. I will say no more or you will know too much.

Unknown - 4 Very well made with some very slick editing keeping the pace pretty high all the way through. It did feel a little like a travelogue in parts, giving us all the iconic views of Berlin whenever the plot brings the action outside. To be fair though, there are a few seedier parts of the city shown as well. All the main cast played their parts well with Liam Neeson and Diane Kruger standing out. I also enjoyed the performance of Bruno Ganz as the ageing former Stazi agent and it was nice to see Frank Langella as Martin’s old colleague, Rodney Cole. Over all, a decent watch that doesn’t really break any new ground but does what it says on the tin (and I can’t knock it for that).

SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED

My score: 7.0/10.

IMDb Score: 6.9/10 (based on 122,682 votes when this review was written).

MetaScore: 56/100: (Based on 38 critic reviews provided by at the time of going to press).

Unknown - 6 Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 65/100 (based on 189 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 56/100 (based on 70,656 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).

If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:

[first lines]
Pilot's Voice: Ladies and gentlemen, we're beginning our descent into Berlin Tegel, where local time is 8:30 AM, and the temperature is a cool minus four degrees.
Dr. Martin Harris: Morning.
Elizabeth Harris: Did you sleep?
Dr. Martin Harris: No. I'll sleep at the hotel.

Dr. Martin Harris: I don't know who this man is but you have to arrest him or many people will die!

UNKNOWN Ernst Jürgen: We Germans are experts at forgetting. We forgot we were Nazis. Now we have forgotten 40 years of Communism - all gone.

Gina: [accepting his special watch in payment] Sentiment, it's always the first thing to go.

Dr. Martin Harris: You should have let me drown.
Gina: What matters is what you do now, Martin.

Unknown - 1 LINKS:
(NOTE: All links were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site:

No comments: