|Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Drama, Horror, Murder, Suspense, Serial Killer, Marriage, Law, Surreal, Psychodrama, Mental Illness, Gore, Revenge, Prostitution|
Tagline: The secret lies within.
Plot: IDENTITY, directed by James Mangold, is a thriller set at an isolated motel in rural Nevada during an unrelenting rainstorm. With all roads washed out and all forms of communication dead, a group of people become stranded at the motel along with the shifty manager (John Hawkes). Among the stranded are Ed (John Cusack), a former cop turned limo driver; Caroline (Rebecca De Mornay), a self-absorbed actress; Paris (Amanda Peet), a prostitute attempting to escape her profession; Rhodes (Ray Liotta), a cop transporting a prisoner (Jake Busey); Lou (William Lee Scott) and Ginny (Clea DuVall), bickering newlyweds; and George (John McGinley) and Alice (Leila Kenzle), a married couple travelling with their young son. Soon the waterlogged lodgers start dying in mysterious--and brutal--ways, and the increasingly dwindling number of survivors must discover the killer to prevent their own demises.
Riveting from the opening sequence, Mangold's suspenseful murder mystery wastes no time in turning on the tension. Realizing that truly scary cinema comes from the unknown and the unexpected, Mangold and screenwriter Michael Cooney keep the audience--and the film's characters--in the dark and continually create situations that go from bad to worse for the luckless travelers. Cusack anchors the
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Discussion forum for this movie
In James Mangold's brain-teasing, heart-stopping thriller -- think "The Usual Suspects" or "Memento" -- everybody in a lonely motel's got a secret. And someone's trying to kill them all.
--Andrew O'Hehir (Salon)
"Identity" is a rarity, a movie that seems to be on autopilot for the first two acts and then reveals that it was not, with a third act that causes us to rethink everything that has gone before. Ingenious, how simple and yet how devious the solution is.
--Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times)
Can one take the least reputable, the tawdriest, sleaziest, most banal and pathetic genre -- the slasher film -- and transform it into something fresh, clever and confident, while sticking strictly to the obligations of the form. ... Yes, pretty much.
--Stephen Hunter (Washington Post)
It's not art, but it's fun artfully done. And as long as you're paying less than the price of a cheapo motel for the night, it's worth checking into.
--Desson Howe (Washington Post)
Identity does what the majority of films don’t; it engages due to the unknown, makes you think hard even if you may not get to the right destinations, and walking out it reminds you how fun these experiences can be. B+
--Lee Tistaert (Lee's Movie Info)
Identity fits the bill if you're in the mood for an intense thriller that will keep you guessing throughout. I certainly was. 8/10
--Nate Anderson (Movie-Vault.com)
Identity falls short, mistaking fraudulent shock for honest surprise.
--Chad Law (MovieWeb)
A predictable and ultimately disappointing flick
--Dave Brennan (MovieWeb)
Identity falls short, mistaking fraudulent shock for honest surprise
--Christopher Monfette (MovieWeb)
There must have been a mainstream Hollywood film thicker and more incoherent than this. None, however, springs immediately to mind.
--Nev Pierce (BBC Films)
“Identity” turns out to be preposterous shlock, more like a “Nightmare on Elm Street” sequel than a Shyamalan flick, but the colorful performances and the general look and feel of the movie almost make up for the hollow scares and the retarded twist ending. Almost.
--Kevin N. Laforest (Montreal Film Journal)
The script, direction and acting are good enough that we aren’t just waiting for the final payoff – we have plenty of fun getting there as well. 78/100
--Brian Webster (Apollo Guide)
Impressive, well-acted thriller that provides an enjoyable guessing game, though it’s best seen knowing as little about it as possible.
--Matthew Turner (ViewLondon)
"Identity" is more than an entertaining thriller. It's a highly original one.
--Mick LaSalle (San Francisco Chronicle)
It's a film whose best parts are unapologetically lifted from others of the genre, but by the end it will entrench itself firmly in your mind. And when you're leaving the theatre, you'll want to turn right around, throw down another ten bucks, and go seeit again. It's that good. A-
--Larry Carroll (CountingDown)
|An impressive, well-acted horror mystery with a superbly-woven plot device. It'll get you thinking, that's for sure. 8/10|
--Gary Panton (Movie Gazette)
You'll go in thinking it's one thing, change your mind a bit later, change it again soon after that, and so on. That's one of the many great things about this film...it's defintiely not predictable; and that's good to see for once.
--Sonny Fernandez & Mike Skinn (Diabolical-Dominion.com)
The movie wasn't very scary in my opinion, but it did have some tense sense that I'm sure will get to others. ... An excellent flick to check out at the theatres. Good story and cast. I recommend this mutha. 8/10
Unconventional film is a confident effort from director James Mangold with lots of eerie mood, some good suspense, a great sense of foreboding dread and one really twisty script that has events that fit together nicely with multiple surprises and a greattwist end.
Successfully combining elements from "Psycho," "10 Little Indians," Rod Serling, and even (in my view) "The Matrix," "Identity" stood out as the best horror film of 2003 at the time of its release ... Unfortunately its big twist at the end of the film istoo much for some people. It's a mind blower to say the least. It worked for me.