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The Forgotten (2004)

2:25 | Trailer
After being told that their children never existed, a man and woman soon discover there is a much bigger enemy at work.


Joseph Ruben


Gerald Di Pego
7 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Julianne Moore ... Telly
Christopher Kovaleski Christopher Kovaleski ... Sam
Matthew Pleszewicz Matthew Pleszewicz ... Sam at 5
Anthony Edwards ... Jim
Jessica Hecht ... Eliot
Linus Roache ... A Friendly Man
Gary Sinise ... Dr. Jack Munce
Dominic West ... Ash
Katie Cooper Katie Cooper ... Library Clerk
Scott Nicholson ... Cop
P.J. Morrison P.J. Morrison ... Cop (as PJ Morrison)
Robert Wisdom ... Carl Dayton
Tim Kang ... Agent Alec Wong
Kathryn Faughnan Kathryn Faughnan ... Lauren
Alfre Woodard ... Anne Pope


In New York, Telly Paretta has been under the psychiatric care of A doctor for months, the therapy to help her deal with the grief associated with losing her nine year old son, Sam, one of 6 children in a plane which disappeared, Slowly, incidents make it seem like Telly is losing her grip on the past, until one day all physical evidence of Sam ever existing disappears.. her husband, Jim and Dr. Munce try to explain to her that her therapy is to help her get over the delusion that she /had a son. As Telly alone goes on a search for evidence to prove the existence of Sam, the only person she is eventually able to convince is Ash Correll, an ex-Hockey player whose daughter was also one of the missing children. One other person they're able to convince of there ever having been a Sam and Lauren is NYC cop, Ann Pope. Pope believes that 2 people having the same delusion is not a coincidence, Pope has to figure who she can or can't trust in the matter in uncovering the truth. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


What if everything you've experienced, everything you've known... Never happened? See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense thematic material, some violence and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


After Julianne Moore runs through a grocery store and an alley, she stops in front of white graffiti on a wall. It's the logo of Revolution Studios, which produced the movie. See more »


Julianne Moore's character is wearing a knee length black sweater when she runs away from nsa agents. Next shot of her walking on the bridge (and for the rest of the film) shows her wearing a shorter black sweater. See more »


[first lines]
Dr. Jack Munce: How much time did you spend at the dresser compared to last week?
Telly Paretta: Less.
Dr. Jack Munce: How much less?
Telly Paretta: I don't know exactly.
Dr. Jack Munce: You wanna make a guess, roughly, for the week?
Telly Paretta: Oh, not even an hour a day.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The movie has two endings; one for the theatrical release, and an alternate version included in the movie's DVD. In the first, after a brief dialogue with Telly, the man creates an illusion of Sam which Telly chases through the hangar, and then confronts her again. He reveals that the purpose of the experiment is not to investigate the children, but rather the bond that exists between a parent and child, and that he believes it can be broken. He admits, however, that the experiment has so far produced no positive results with regards to Telly, and that it will fail soon if she doesn't forget, and he will be responsible for that failure. However, despite him revealing himself as an alien and almost succeeding by stealing the memory of Sam's birth, Telly can still remember her son, and he is whisked away by an unseen force, presumably to face the consequences of failure. Reality is restored to normal, and Telly is the only one who can remember the events that transpired. The alternate version is very similar, except that Telly is faced with a facsimile of Sam's room. She tries to force her way in, but cannot reach Sam. The alien scientist tries to convince her to forget Sam, but fails. He then accepts that the experiment has failed, and explains that she will be the only one who remembers what transpired there. Reality is again restored to normal. See more »


Featured in On the Set: The Making of 'The Forgotten' (2005) See more »

User Reviews

Psychotic women and the men, who love them.
24 March 2005 | by film-criticSee all my reviews

I think everyone will agree that if this was an X-Files episode FOX would have proceeded it with the announcement that "all of our questions would be answered". Then, upon watching this episode, we would realize that not all of our questions were answered, but instead left on the table to allow us to figure out ourselves or not at all. That was a huge downfall for The Forgotten that really irritated me throughout the picture. Here we had the gorgeous concept of abduction, a mother's ability never to forget the child she lost, and this enormous possibility of government conspiracies, but it literally went nowhere. Throughout the film new concepts, new ideas, and possibilities that seem endless constantly attack us, but we are given no explanation. That is what bothered me the most. We had the framework for a very decent little sci-fi thriller, but instead director Joseph Ruben decided to go with a familiar story that would appeal to a non-intelligent audience instead of a crisp thriller that could have really bent your mind. I wanted my mind to wrap around this film, but instead I think my mind fell asleep.

Julianne Moore did a decent job in this film, but perhaps gave a bit too much emotion behind her character. If she wasn't crying than she was screaming or running. I wanted to see the strength of this woman and her perseverance to find her missing child, not this emotional nut case that has a reaction to everything that happens to her. I know that Moore can do a very emotionally heavy film, but I didn't think that this project needed her to be at such a top level. Perhaps that is what was wrong with this film. The focus was completely off. Here we are focusing on the emotional struggle that Moore is going through, when we really should be trying to uncover the truth behind the disappearance. There was nearly no attempt to find out the truth. For some strange reason, I remember feeling like the honest truth was difficult for our actors to say. I felt as if they were forced into this side event that would stop Moore from being so emotional. Or, perhaps, nobody really knew what the truth was. Here we had this huge surprise Shyamalan-esque styled ending, but I never really felt as if the actors were on the same page. I could hear Ruben gasping from excitement in the background, but Sinise, West, and even Woodard seemed less surprised by it all.

I think that this film didn't do as well as hoped because the lines between what type of genre this was were skewed. Was it a sci-fi? People flying up into the air just doesn't quite do it enough for me (kinda felt like a cheap way of explaining things). Was Moore really just imagining all of this? Yet another question that needed a definite answer by the end because there were so many other elements happening that a direct answer would have only strengthened the entire film. Did anyone really care why the child was abducted? It seemed a bit flimsy to me, but again, I am no mother. I needed something, perhaps others did not, but there were these huge gaping plot holes in the film that needed to be filled somehow, but apparently the repairman couldn't make it to the set. We just jumped from moment to moment without any further explanation or reasoning. I cannot express this enough. That is the ultimate downfall for this film, the utter lack of coherence and connection between everything. I felt like I was watching a connect-the-dots that followed no order and the performers just went where ever they wanted instead of going from point A to point B.

I think I have gone a bit sidetracked here, but when I think of this film, I just cannot put everything together. I don't need something handed to me on a silver platter, in fact, I love movies that make me ponder the truth. The sad part about The Forgotten is that I nearly forgot why I was watching it midway through the film. I was connected to nothing and the unanswered questions that only broadened the scope of the film into this massive ordeal that nobody, from the director to the actors could handle.

I would also like to comment on the DVD itself of this film. For me, the theatrical version was much better than the extended version. I have heard others say that they would prefer to watch the extended because it gives us a better answer to the end (and I won't get into unanswered questions again), but for me the original ending was a hair better. Perhaps it is because I watched the extended first and it gave me such a sour taste in my mouth that the original might have just helped dissipate that sour sensation. Either way, that is my two cents.

Overall, I thought this was nothing more than just your standard issue sci-fi thriller that could have been pushed into the category of interesting or creative if it wasn't so clichéd ridden with this overwhelming desire to be "secretive". The secret is given away by the middle of the film, which still doesn't answer the questions that we have. Ruben was working with too big of a concept for his britches with this project and you can tell by the finished product that more could have been done to capture the sensationalism of aliens and abduction. It has been done before in other films, why couldn't he do it here? Yet another question that will never be answered as this film becomes just another cinematic mediocrity.

Grade: *** out of *****

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Release Date:

24 September 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Forgotten See more »


Box Office


$42,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,022,111, 26 September 2004

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (extended)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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