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Identity (2003) - movie overview

Identity (2003)

User Rating
(339 votes)
Critic Rating
(29 reviews)
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Quotes (17)
Trivia (9)
Goofs (4)
Plot Description
Shooting Locations

Release Date
• USA: Apr 25, 2003
• UK: 13 Jun 2003
DVD Release Date
• R1: Sep 2, 2003
• R2: 12 Jan 2004

Budget USD 30,000,000

Official Website:
Identity Website

MPAA Rating
Rated R for strong violence and language.

Running Time
1 hour, 30 minutes

Country USA

Production Companies
Columbia Pictures Corporation, Konrad Pictures

Studio Columbia Pictures, Konrad Pictures

More info on

Other Titles
• Identity (2003)
• I.D.

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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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 External Reviews
external linkIn 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.

external link"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. 3/4
--Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times)

external linkCan 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)

external linkIt'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)

external linkIdentity 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)

external linkIdentity 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 (

external linkIdentity falls short, mistaking fraudulent shock for honest surprise. 4/5
--Chad Law (MovieWeb)

external linkA predictable and ultimately disappointing flick 2/5
--Dave Brennan (MovieWeb)

external linkIdentity falls short, mistaking fraudulent shock for honest surprise 2.5/5
--Christopher Monfette (MovieWeb)

external linkThere must have been a mainstream Hollywood film thicker and more incoherent than this. None, however, springs immediately to mind. 2/5
--Nev Pierce (BBC Films)

external link“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. 2.5/4
--Kevin N. Laforest (Montreal Film Journal)

external linkThe 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)

external linkImpressive, well-acted thriller that provides an enjoyable guessing game, though it’s best seen knowing as little about it as possible. 4/5
--Matthew Turner (ViewLondon)

external link"Identity" is more than an entertaining thriller. It's a highly original one.
--Mick LaSalle (San Francisco Chronicle)

external linkIt'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)

 Directed by
James Mangold
Walk the Line, Girl, Interrupted, Cop Land
 Written by
Michael Cooney
The I Inside, Murder in Mind, Tracks of a Killer
John Cusack
Being John Malkovich, High Fidelity, Stand by Me
Ray Liotta
Goodfellas, Hannibal, Field of Dreams
Amanda Peet
The Whole Nine Yards, Changing Lanes, Something's Gotta Give
Alfred Molina
Raiders of the Lost Ark, Spider-Man 2, Magnolia
Clea DuVall
21 Grams, The Grudge, Girl, Interrupted
John C. McGinley
The Rock, Platoon, Office Space
William Lee Scott
The Butterfly Effect, Pearl Harbor, Gone in Sixty Seconds
 Music By
Alan Silvestri
Forrest Gump, Back to the Future, Cast Away

external linkAn 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)

external linkYou'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's defintiely not predictable; and that's good to see for once.
--Sonny Fernandez & Mike Skinn (

external linkThe 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
-- (UHM)

external linkUnconventional 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. 3.5/4
-- (

external linkSuccessfully 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.
-- (



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