Amnesia Films: The Ones to Remember

Television soap operas, which must employ unprecedented numbers of medical technical advisors, truly own this fascinating cranial condition. Lucky for us, a few examples of this affliction have made it to the big screen…

It’s almost a mystery how screenwriters are able to lay off of this character building goldmine! Here are just a few of the finer examples of this brilliant plot device:

Clean Slate

Dana Carvey in a lead role! What better way to excuse a poorly developed main character, than by relieving him of his memory? This film has a few cute jokes and comically recurring lines, “What happened to your thumb?”, and I’ve deemed it worthy of three viewings!


Wait, would it be a plot spoiler to call this an amnesia film? I can’t remember. I do remember that it would be an evening spoiler to let you watch this movie, so I’m going to recommend you don’t. Unless you’re having a big amnesia night.

The Jacket

I haven’t seen this film, but I read the plot summary, and I think it’s a lot like Rambo: First Blood… if Rambo had amnesia instead of a survival knife. I’ll watch it soon, and write an update.

The Majestic

It’s another one of those blacklisting, McCarthy era things… only this one has amnesia. And it’s got excellent cinematography. And a freaky monkey doll. Oh, and Jim Carrey keeps the facial contortions to a minimum.

Regarding Henry

Harrison Ford gets shot in the head and when he’s done with his coma, he can’t remember he’s an asshole lawyer. Personally, I find it hard to believe you could stop a lawyer from being an ass just by shooting him in the head, but I suspended my disbelief for this heart-wrenching 180-flick…

The Muppets Take Manhattan

Kermit gets amnesia and ends up the ad biz. Who better to write jingles than someone with no memory? Of course, he’s missing from the broadway show he’s supposed to be putting on, so the other muppets need to track him down in the big city. You know what, if Miss Piggy kept trying to get in my non-existent pants, I’d probably feign amnesia too.

Finding Nemo

Apparently the usage of amnesia in this film, through the character Dory, is considerably more accurate than amnesia in other films. A doctor told me so. It’s still pretty damn funny, even if it is medically accurate. Though, I always thought Ellen Degeneres’ character was only met to embody that story about goldfish swimming in circles continually because they have only a three-second memory… not to raise awareness of the horrors and hilarities of memory problems.


Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell come together for this amnesiac, fish out of water, revenge flick. It’s got everything… and rowdy kids too.

Resident Evil

Like every net-gen male, I’m looking for three things in my woman:

  1. Supermodel
  2. Passable acting
  3. Ability to protect me from zombies

Meet Milla as video game character Alice. Check, check, check and swoon. Also, if said ultimate woman also had amnesia, she might not remember that she’s way too good for me.

50 First Dates

If you think Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler would make a nice couple, and that they should be living in Hawaii, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised! Because they do! And they are! And Drew’s got that daily amnesia thing, antereograde amnesia, like is used in Clean Slate and Memento. That’s a cool kind of amnesia. I really enjoyed this film–if you rent one amnesia film this year, make this the one.