The Forgotten

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
The Forgotten Movie Poster Image
Creepy thriller not for faint of heart.
  • PG-13
  • 2004
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 10 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Role Models & Representations

Strong female and minority characters.


A lot of tension and peril and some jump-out-at-you surprises, brief grisly images.


Brief strong language.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Character abuses alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie has frequent tense scenes with characters in peril and some startling surprises. The plot concerns the death of six children, and other characters are injured and apparently killed. There are brief frightening images and a few bad words. A character abuses alcohol.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 10-year-old Written bypbowyer86 August 13, 2018

underated film

great film, some jump scares that come out of nowhere, very much an xfiles feel.
few bits parents should know, one particularly intense bit near the end where a... Continue reading
Adult Written byJK4 September 7, 2011

Good movie

Interesting story, lots of jumpy parts. The overall language wasn't bad, although they did throw in the F bomb which made me mad. There's one scene of... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old August 10, 2014
Kid, 12 years old October 8, 2011

ok movie

this movie is ok, there really isnt any swearing or sex, and isnt gorey at all. it isnt very scary though

What's the story?

In THE FORGOTTEN, Telly (Julianne Moore) mourns her son Sam, who died along with five other children on a plane to summer camp fourteen months before. Her therapist, Dr. Munce (Gary Sinise), that she still spends time every day going through Sam's dresser drawer, watching him in home movies on video, looking at him in photographs. Dr. Munce tells her that it's just "memory, doing its job." While Telly's memory is failing her when it comes to everyday issues, she thinks of Sam every minute. Dr. Munce tells her that "sometimes the mind needs help in letting a thing go." But Telly does not want help. Then, her husband Jim (Anthony Edwards) tells her something shocking. There never was a Sam. Telly has been mentally ill, suffering from "paramnesia" since her miscarriage. Jim and Dr. Munce have been trying to lead her gradually back to reality. All external evidence of Sam has disappeared and no one remembers him. Who should Telly believe? She trusts her husband and doctor. But somehow she believes what she remembers, even though it seems to make no sense.

Is it any good?

The Forgotten does a pretty good job of creating the atmosphere early on, keeping us as unbalanced and unsure of what to believe as Telly is. But then the plot goes off in a direction that is so nutty, even by movie standards, that it is just plain silly, leaving so many holes that it knocks us out of that nice creepy atmosphere and into oh-come-off-it-land. It feels like the screenwriters had no idea where to go and so just randomly spun the wheel of movie genres to pick an ending. They should have spun again.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how we know whether our memories are accurate. What can we do to make sure we remember the things that are important to us?

Movie details

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