(guest review by Mike Anthony)
After posting many "Guest Review" columns here, I believe this is my first review to grant a film a perfect score on the website's rating system.  Not because this approximately 2 hour thriller is Oscar quality, or because it will be remembered forvever, but rather because I think it is one of the best movies I've seen in years, and one that is pretty much perfect at what it's SUPPOSED TO BE!  And what is that? Complex and yet not confusing, a thriller without cheap thrills, and a mind-game.  It captures just the right feel for the audience that likes smart, well written, modernized versions of the Alfred Hitchcock "man on the run" theme.
Although it intially seemed to be a carbon copy of Liam's previous smash hit "TAKEN", they are not duplicates.  "TAKEN" was more head-on action, and while there are more than enough dust-ups for that crowd, this new movie is more subtle.  It's layered and ends with a few deliciously-devised twists.
After a few gentle opening minutes, the story starts to grab you: a Doctor lands in Europe with his wife, to speak at a bio-tech conference.  After a nasty accident involving his taxi-ride with a female cabbie, he wakes in hospital to find his wife doesn't remember him.  And to make things even more confusing, a new man has taken his name, his background, and his spouse.  It gently builds tension, and reaches a satisfying conclusion that I doubt most people will honestly be able to say they saw coming.  Sure; from the ads and trailers alone you know that the movie is about a guy who's lost his identity, and is on the hunt to find it.  But you proably won't see the precise details as you try to guess ahead.
Includes some terrific car chases, and a fantastically quiet and slow-building moment in an apartment where two old men talk while the kettle bubbles away.  Tea is served along with a masterful moment that really starts your mind moving and your blood pressure rising.
See this one now on the big screen , or on DVD/BlueRay, Netflix, whatever.  But see it.  Highly recommended for fans of smart thrillers that leave you smiling & satisfied as you walk out of the theater.
3 Good Things about this film:
* Great pacing: I usually prefer movies around 80 to 90 minutes but this is almost two hours and I enjoyed all of it.
* The female leads. While the actress who plays the wife (January Jones) is walking-sexuality in heels, I was even more impressed by the cab-driver(Diane Kruger) and she is hell on wheels. You just may fall in love with her.
* The older male supporting roles are great.  These are the aging private-eye (actually a retired German Government Officer) played by Bruno Ganz, and the old friend who shows up to help played by Frank Langella.
3 Bad things about this movie:
This is tough because I didn't think anything was really that bad, but here goes...
* Aiden Quinn is okay in his role but doesn't keep up with all the other actors I've mentioned
* It will probably continue to be compared (unfairly, in my opinion) with Neeson's earlier hit "TAKEN".  I believe it will be under-appreciated; and I think the marketing is to blame: it plays to the action side of things instead of the cerebral qualities.  This may leave some action-fans wanting more if they thought it was supposed to be another over-the-top shoot'em up.
* No spoiler here, but re-think this last comment AFTER you've seen the movie. Here it is: I think some people will say, after much thought, "Well why didn't the wife file a missing person report?"  But if you really think things through I believe it will all make sense in the end.  And even if not; that's a pretty minor hitch in an otherwise GREAT ride.
5 out of 5 cookies for doing what it does really well.