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Parents' Guide to

Before I Go to Sleep

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Violent amnesia thriller is entertaining but unmemorable.

Movie R 2014 92 minutes
Before I Go to Sleep Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 18+
age 14+

Just enough. Just barely.

No one is going to see this movie. I wouldn't necessarily say that that's indicative of the movie's quality, but it tells you the type of movie that it is. It's a movie that slips through the cracks and when you mention it, the other person will say something like, "Why haven't I heard of that? You'd think I would given its cast." Like the main character, I'm likely not going to remember this movie soon, yet it's still serviceable. The acting really does help elevate this movie's interesting premise from underwhelming to almost pretty good. It's not the only thing that works, though: it's interesting while watching it and suitably tense enough. The movie keeps us as in the dark as Kidman's character is and it works for the most part and she does a very good job of being frail yet determined. She's always a terrific actress and she's the best thing about this movie. The script has its fair share of twists, and they work enough. The movie looks good; there were a number of times that I thought, "Oh, that looks nice," or, "That's a nice effect." The direction does its job well despite the occasionally obvious visual flair to indicate when something is a flashback or meant to feel delirious. I'm happy to say that it is rather thrilling for a thriller, with about four or five good jump moments. Overall, the words to describe this movie would be "just enough," whether it's just enough flair, just enough good direction, or just enough twists. It's rarely anything more, but I still enjoyed myself more than I expected. It works (enough). 6.8/10, okay, one thumb barely up, barely above average, etc.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (2 ):

BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP feels like an slightly better-than-average made-for-cable movie from the 1990s. It's not particularly outstanding, but a pleasant surprise for viewers who might accidentally stumble upon it one night. Kidman is the main reason it works at all; she exudes old-fashioned star power, here coupled with an appealing vulnerability. Our hearts go out to her.

Working from a novel by S.J. Watson, writer and director Rowan Joffe -- the son of Oscar-nominated director Roland Joffe (The Killing Fields, The Mission) -- dutifully deals out clues and red herrings, though he doesn't really make the best use of the amnesia angle (Christine could easily forget a crucial clue if she doesn't record it). Some of the surprises are more technical than emotional, but overall, the movie keeps up a good pace, hitting all the right beats. Yet it's still likely that you'll forget it all by morning.

Movie Details

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