Parents' Guide to


By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Violent Neeson action thriller is meaty but not memorable.

Movie R 2022 114 minutes
Memory Movie Poster

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While Neeson is playing yet another character who has "a certain set of skills," he does bring nuance to the role of Alex Lewis, an aging assassin who's dealing with cognitive decline. His enlightening performance -- and this unusual angle -- elevates a standard hitman-for-hire story into a thought-provoking one. Are "bad" people just bad, or do they have their own ethical boundaries? And when they decide to do the right thing, should we view them differently? Director Martin Campbell toys with viewers to some degree, allowing us to feel compassion and root for Alex and then slapping us with a cold reminder that he doesn't deserve our warm feelings.

Campbell, who was also behind the James Bond films Casino Royale and Goldeneye, is definitely creating a violent Liam Neeson actioner here, rather than a popcorn 007 flick. The killings are very graphic, and the story upsetting. The director knows what he's doing, and Memory is a well-made film, but some things fall through the cracks, including a few supporting actors whose performances are so bad, they're laugh-inducing. Additionally, opting to make a 13-year-old character who's being trafficked seemingly supportive of the decision to be used as a sex worker is bizarre. The end result is that Memory gives you something to think about for a week or two but is ultimately forgettable.

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