Rememory

Movie review by
Michael Ordona, Common Sense Media
Rememory Movie Poster Image
Some violence and creepiness in slow-moving mystery.
  • PG-13
  • 2017
  • 111 minutes

Parents say

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Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The messages are muddled, but the film seems to be about accepting past trauma in order to cope with it. It's an admirable thought, but it's not delivered effectively enough here.

Positive Role Models & Representations

None of the characters stands out as a particularly positive or negative model of anything. While the cast isn't particularly diverse, what does stand out positively is that no issue is made of Dinklage's stature in the film.

Violence

A fatal car crash is shown several times, including its bloody aftermath. A fatal workplace shooting is depicted, though without gore. Talk of another murder and suicide; the acts aren't shown graphically. Angry confrontations, including one in which a gun is brandished and fired for effect.

Sex

An affair is discussed. Images of people together after clearly having had sex. No nudity or graphic sexual content. 

Language

Infrequent but includes a few uses of "s--t," plus one complete "f--k" and one partial one, as well as "a--hole."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking leads to a fatal car accident.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Rememory is a slow-moving, dour murder mystery with more dark atmosphere than graphic action. But you can expect to see some blood, violence, and deeply emotionally damaged people in it. Even though it stars Game of Thrones' Peter Dinklage, it isn't likely to appeal to most kids (or adults, for that matter) because of its heavy handedness and glacial pacing -- not to mention its "Is that all?" conclusion. That said, it does pose worthy questions about traumatic memories and the value of confronting them. It's intended for adults but doesn't contain particularly graphic sex or violence. On the former front, characters discuss an affair and are shown post-sex. On the latter, a fatal car crash is shown several times, and a workplace shooting is depicted. There's also talk of another murder and suicide and some angry confrontations. Language is infrequent but includes "s--t" and one "f--k."

User Reviews

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 13 years old Written byHarunG58 September 6, 2017

What's the story?

In REMEMORY, new technology allows users to perfectly recall past experiences and record them so that others can view them. Sam (Peter Dinklage), haunted by the death of his brother -- which happened in Sam's presence -- wants to use the machine to better understand what happened when his brother died. But before he can, the machine's doctor-inventor, Gordon (Martin Donovan), dies mysteriously. Sam uses the machine to investigate Gordon's death and unravel many secrets, including those of Gordon's patients (Évelyne Brochu, Anton Yelchin), his wife (Julia Ormond), and Sam himself.

Is it any good?

This film feels mired in a swamp between uninvolving mystery and heavy-handed drama. There's some violence (a repeatedly viewed fatal car accident, a workplace shooting, angry confrontations) and spooky stuff that might scare younger viewers -- as when figures from memories show up like ghosts outside of the machine. But audiences are less likely to be turned off by those aspects than they are by Rememory's slow pace and weak payoff. Sam is in it for personal reasons -- he wants to use the memory-recording machine to understand his brother's death. But instead of immediately fulfilling his own quest, he takes on this other question of whether doctor-inventor Gordon was murdered. The two mysteries unravel in a clockwork march toward what are apparently supposed to be surprise answers but seem fairly obvious. And the movie takes its sweet time arriving at those destinations, throwing unconvincing red herrings in viewers' path. The notion of reading others' memories/thoughts to solve mysteries isn't new (Strange Days, Minority Report, etc.), but it could still provide an interesting twist on the murder-mystery procedural. Unfortunately, Rememory only scratches the surface of this potential, while not adding anything compelling to the exploration of repressed memory.

The murder investigation is uninvolving, perhaps because the recorded memories aren't fascinating or emotionally affecting. And while the dredging up of painful memories is sort of like disturbing poisons at the bottom of a river, Rememory doesn't make a strong case for that being a good or bad thing. Certainly it would depend on the individual, but it's unclear what the filmmakers think should be done once these things have come to light. The film also uses some storytelling cheats to get where it’s going, further lessening its potential impact. Rememory will likely be best remembered as the late Yelchin's final screen appearance.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Rememory's tone. What makes it feel dark/serious? Is it a drama or a mystery/thriller? How can you tell? What sets the genres apart?

  • Was any part of the film scary or creepy to you? Why? Why do you think the filmmakers decided to show people from the memories turning up outside the use of the machine?

  • Why do you think people repress memories? Is it the mind's defense mechanism? Should such memories stay "forgotten," or is there value in bringing them to light?

Movie details

For kids who love dramas and mystery

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