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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Edge of your seat -- but don't give away the ending!
One of the best psychological thrillers made since Jacob's Ladder. This ensemble cast is perfectly blended to offer the right mix of fresh talent (Amanda Peet and Jake Busey) and seasoned veterans (Ray Liota, Alfred Molina and John Cusak) along with Rebecca DeMornay. You will be drawn in with the rhythmic poetry recited in the opening scenes and once the story begins at...
Published on July 19 2004 by frisky2000

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I can't believe I watched the whole thing.
A)- This movie is boring. Yawn city. It's about as suspenseful as watching your toenails grow.
B)- Yes, it's true that the premise of this movie is original and it's never been done before.... BUT the reason it's never been done before is because IT'S F***ING STUPID!!!
C)- The ending is so stupid and the big plot surprise at the end is so stupid your jaw will...
Published on June 9 2004 by The Poe Toaster


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Edge of your seat -- but don't give away the ending!, July 19 2004
By 
frisky2000 (Forever Summer) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Identity (Special Edition) (DVD)
One of the best psychological thrillers made since Jacob's Ladder. This ensemble cast is perfectly blended to offer the right mix of fresh talent (Amanda Peet and Jake Busey) and seasoned veterans (Ray Liota, Alfred Molina and John Cusak) along with Rebecca DeMornay. You will be drawn in with the rhythmic poetry recited in the opening scenes and once the story begins at the desert Motel, you are absolutely riveted. There are key clues throughout to sort of clue you in to the shock at the end, but don't ruin it by talking to others about it! Watching the director's commentary is helpful on the DVD, explaining odd scenes and intricate story lines to the viewer. This movie is one you will want to watch more than once or twice. You get most of the plot only superficially the first time watching, and only on the the second and third go around will you say, "AH HA! Now this makes sense!" IDENTITY is also John Cusak's tour de force, a superb job here in a performance you will not soon forget. Top notch entertainment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I can't believe I watched the whole thing., June 9 2004
By 
The Poe Toaster (Seattle, WA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Identity (Special Edition) (DVD)
A)- This movie is boring. Yawn city. It's about as suspenseful as watching your toenails grow.
B)- Yes, it's true that the premise of this movie is original and it's never been done before.... BUT the reason it's never been done before is because IT'S F***ING STUPID!!!
C)- The ending is so stupid and the big plot surprise at the end is so stupid your jaw will drop and you will feel like such a SUCKER for believing there was something at the end of this ultra-stupid movie worth watching it for.
I heard great things about this movie. I heard it was awesome and suspenseful and there were all these cool plot twists and it was really scary and yadda yadda yadda. All HYPE, I assure you. At the end of this film I felt like such a sucker I had to turn around and check to see if there was a stick protruding from my a**.
There are much better ways to spend your time than watching this turkey.... like performing eye surgery on yourself with a rusty Swiss Army knife or washing your face in public toilets.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS A GOOD ONE!!!!!!!, Oct. 4 2003
By 
Robert (PETOSKEY, MI, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Identity (Special Edition) (DVD)
Don't read many of these reviews, they give to much away to much of plot.
This is an excellent movie with the look of a 50's film, out in the desert, at one of those old motels,and it's raining like crazy,-----this is a great story.
I thought I had this all figured out I was wrong. You'll thnk thier doing Ten Little Indians---their not.
I wasn't sorry I bought this film.
That's just my opinion------I could be wrong.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Short, Thrilling, and Very Good!, June 28 2004
This review is from: Identity (Special Edition) (DVD)
The best part about "Identity" is that it didn't drag on for long amounts of time, and it felt like it started right away. It stars John Cusack from "Serendipity" and this is a totally different kind of movie. "Serendipity" being a sweet, romantic comedy, while "Identity" is a dark and disturbing thriller. It is loosely based on the mystery story "And Then There Was One" written by crime writer Agatha Cristie. I never read the story, so I can't say how similar the two are, but I know the basic ideas, and both of the stories are pretty much the same, plot wise. An istant problem with "Identity" is Ray Liotta who is a terrible actor. He is similar to Dennis Quiad, who is worse. Dennis Quaid seems to overact in every movie that I see him in, including "The Alamo" and "Far From Heaven." Liotta also overacts, only he does it worse. He never seems to be able to grab his character and steer him in the right direction. It always feels like he is reading his lines on a cue card taped on a wall. Amanda Peet was in the movie. She is a cute little actress, who is good in "Something's Gotta Give" and "The Whole Ten Yards," but this is another actress who is in a totally different role based on her past movies. The rest of the cast seems to be filled with unknowns except for Prutt Taylor Vince who is thought was good in "Simone" as well as Alfred Molina, who having no clue who he was when I saw this in the theatre, but recently saw him in the comic gem "Coffee and Cigarettes."
"Identity" starts off with the audience being introduced to Malcolm Rivers. He is charged with such a heavy crime, that he is about to be executed the next day. His psychiatrist wants to prove that Rivers is not mentally able to be the person to commit the crimes, and he convinced a judge to stand before Rivers and check again to make sure he didn't really commit his crimes. Miles away in a small hotel, a flash flood has brought many strangers together. George, his wife Alice, and his stepson Timmy have pulled into a hotel after an accident injured Alice. The accident had Alice getting hit by limo driver Ed, who hit her while they were changing a tire. Ed is bringing the former famous actress Caroline to wherever she needs to be. They go to the hotel after learning that the roads are flooded, and it turns out that the phones at the hotel do not work because of an accident involving a women named Paris hitting the telephone polls. Two more clusters of people come to the hotel. One is a cop named Rhodes who is bringing a murderer to someplace, and a newlywed couple. All of these people rent rooms in the hotel from Larry, and everything is alright. They agreed to wait until the storm lets up to get help. Everything is going fine until one of the guests die in a brutal way. Everyone is shocked and one by one the guests begin to die, as the remaining people try to figure out who is doing the killing, and who is going to be killed next, while also trying not to be killed, all leading up to a surprising and shocking conclusion.
"Identity" is a great thriller, and it is short enough to never be distracted by it. It seemed like it went very fast, and it only clocked in at around 95 minutes. I was really impressed by the ending, and it's one of those movies where you can't have anybody tell you what happens. It would only ruin the experience for you. Even though some movies with a surprise twist are easy to watch again, like "Matchstick Men" and "Godsend" this is not one of them. This is one of those movies where the twist affects the entire movie. In order not to ruin the movie, watch "Identity" and watch "Matchstick Men" back to back. The entire movie of "Identity" is based on the twist, and without it, it would be a totally different movie. The twist makes the movie better than it really is, even though this is a good movie. It is very entertaining, fun, and it has it share of good acting. Watch it once without anybody interrupting or ruining it for you, and then remember it, because it'll be better if you don't see it again. Leave a fresh image of this movie in your mind.
ENJOY!
Rated R for Strong Violence and Language.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Identity (2003), May 27 2004
By 
This review is from: Identity (Special Edition) (DVD)
Director: James Mangold
Cast: John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, John Hawkes, Alfred Molina, Clea Duvall.
Running Time: 90 minutes.
Rated R for violence, gore, and language.
One of the most bizarre thrillers to ever hit the screen, "Identity" attempts to pull off a "Sixth Sense" style finale, but fails miserably with a disjointed, confusing story that is well-made and well-acted, but ultimately fails to follow logic. It is a film that jumps into action extremely quick, with a family fixing a flat tire in the middle of the pouring rain on a deserted highway. Ex-cop turned limousine driver John Cusack accidentally hits the mother of the family while she was attempting to help her husband with the fix-up, but they cannot drive to the hospital for medical attention due to the horrific weather. They find a place to stay and tend to the woman's wounds in a ratty, old Bates-like motel.
In all, ten strangers find themselves at the mysterious motel fighting for their lives against an unknown killer that is walking the premises. They are many twists and turns, points fingered at numerous killers, and so many strange occurrences in the last ten or 15 minutes of the film that is it hard to distinguish exactly what is the truth and what is not real. Cusack and Liotta give suitable performances in the lead roles, but certainly nothing spectacular-the rest of the cast is not given much of a personality, mainly used as cookie cutter characters that the audience does not give a flip about if they are slaughtered. "Identity" is a nice attempt at trying to bring some psychosis/schizophrenia terror to the suspense genre, but director Mangold seems more focused on making scary scenes with lightning and down-pouring rain that creating a film that is halfway understandable. Some of the DVD extras are slightly useful, although the extended version is basically the same motion picture. A thriller that had promise, but it does not succeed in establishing exactly what kind of movie it wants to be, loosing its own identity in the process.
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2.0 out of 5 stars I Felt As If I Were Punk'd!, April 26 2004
This review is from: Identity (Special Edition) (DVD)
....the premise is silly and the ending sillier in this so-called psychological mystery. Without trying to give too much away, I'd have felt more better if the Liotta character was actually the mass murderer and he and Amanda Peet were left to fight to the death, so to speak--this to me, simply became one dark, gloomy and soggy night at the 'Don't Drop In' Motor Inn. Even though the creators tried to keep it from being another horror-slash film like Halloween, (maybe to revitalise that genre for an older demographic--the original audiences for the 80's slasher film), in my opinion, that's exactly how it comes off, except the victims are not horny, drunk teenagers. It also has the feel of the director shooting scenes just as the writer(s) come up with new pages of dialog. Which was okay in those days when they were doing those corny Sat Morning Matinee serials. The only redeeming value of this movie, to me, is that it has that glamourous De Mornay in it for a split second... A far more creepier, more intense and nastier show is the 80's moderate budget movie The Hitcher with Rutger Hauer and C Thomas Howell. Don't get Punk'd on this. There ain't no Kutcher involved and thusly it ain't much fun.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Tight clean thriller with good plot twists, April 24 2004
This review is from: Identity (Special Edition) (DVD)
Identity is the kind of thriller we haven't seen in a while from Hollywood, the Ten Little Indians scenario where a large group of people are being killed off by an unknown adversary and the suspense level rises until a significant plot twist turns the whole thing on its ear. That's a good movie and Identity, which the exception of some minor hiccups, lives up to it.
A good ensemble cast, including John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Rebecca DeMornay, Amanda Peet, and John C. McGinley, provide adequate amounts of star power and tension. Director James Mangold has proven he can handle this type of material and cast as the director of Copland. In this film he takes a limited location, sets his characters up well, and more or less lets things unfold as they will without forcing the issue.
The one problem is this - if you remember the commercials for the film that ran on television when it opened, they revealed a very important plot device that doesn't give away the big revelation, but comes damn close. In addition, if you are really paying attention, it's not all that hard to guess what it is. This isn't to say that it takes anything away from the film at all. It's very clever and certainly holds your interest for the duration. An argument could also be made that the ending feels tacked on, but at 90 minutes, there's no wasted scenes or extemperaneous dialogue. The DVD does come with an extended version, as well as commentary from Mangold.
An excellent popcorn thriller.
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2.0 out of 5 stars "Twist" ending ruined the movie (spoiler), April 19 2004
By 
Griffman (Tacoma, WA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Identity (Special Edition) (DVD)
Ever since The Sixth Sense there has been a bizarre desire in Hollywood to make an attempt at some sort of twist ending in every film. Sometimes the twist can work out quite well, like in the Others, but other times the twist ending is so moronic and insulting it ruins the previous good parts of the movie. Well guess what happens here? Another awful plot twist.
The movie, until the twist, is a somewhat suspenseful and creepy reinvention of the slasher genre. Even so, it still falls for all of the old clichés (there always has to be a hooker in these films for some reason) and you could time an oven by the rate at which characters are killed (one every nine minutes) This is easy to overlook as surreal coincidences and events seem to be foreshadowing that some sort of supernatural power is somehow involved in the killings.
Then the plot twist happens. Not only is everything that happens in the movie meaningless, but every character turns out to be imaginary. That's right, the big twist is that the whole movie is a battle between multiple personalities in some fat guy's head. I had no idea the subconscious of a crazy person was so rainy.
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1.0 out of 5 stars One of the stupidest films of the past decade, April 16 2004
By 
R. Dixon "rachel612" (Sydney, Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Identity (Special Edition) (DVD)
In "Adventures In The Screen Trade" Bill Goldman tells a story about the moment in "The Great Waldo Pepper" where the audience turned on the film, and began to hate it. Once a film loses an audience in a way that makes them hostile, it's impossible to get them back. And so it was with me, and "Identity".
Without giving away spoilers it's a little hard for me to describe exactly what it is about this movie that I disliked so intensely, but at its heart my problem is with the central contrivance of the script, which becomes apparent about 20 minutes into the film. The film asks the viewer to speculate on what might or might not be real. The problem with this as a plot device is: if it's not real, do I care what's going on? Superior writers manage to overcome this (for example, Charlie Kaufmann does a pretty bang-up job most of the time with completely unreal scenarios, but it doesn't matter because the purpose of the unreality is to focus the viewer on something else that's important, although he likewise came unstuck in the third act of "Adaptation" for the same reasons). The problem in "Identity" is that the script revolves around trickery that ultimately serves no purpose. If nothing is as it seems, and the characters aren't particularly likeable, and none of this is going toward any larger view, what the heck is the point? "Identity" becomes a very irritating exercise in style. Unfortunately it's not that stylish.
The cast can't be faulted - all excellent. And the direction is fine. What a pity the script is so awful. I truly loathed this film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very good movie, definately exciting, April 15 2004
By 
"joostusa" (Charleston, Ill) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Identity (Special Edition) (DVD)
Identity is one of my favorite movies of recent time. I remember it fondly when I went to see in the theaters and left there absolutely shocked, but in a good way I was so surprised at what I had just seen. Now this movie is not for everyone, if your idea of thrills come from say Friday the 13th where it's just slash and kill slash and kill then Identity is probably not for you (not that there is anything wrong with slasher flicks of course) Identity is a psychological thrillers where you have to pay attention for almost the entire movie or you are going to be clueless as to what is going on, I think a comparison can be drawn to the movie Se7en, you have to pay attention. The movie drew me in right from the start and never let go.
Story: A group of different people wind up at a run down motel in rainstorm and eventually people start dying. There doesn't appear to be any link to the strangers until they find out that they all have a common link John Cusak is really good in his role and I found a new bit of respect for Amanda Peet, she was also rather entertaining to watch. The director (James Mangol) makes sure that you never really get a chance to relax, he makes sure something is happening the entire movie, that is in my opinion what truly keeps your entertained.
The ending is definitely a weird one but if you keep on paying attention then it will make sense if you truly think about it. A lot of people were complaining about the ending but I liked it, something new and refreshing. I can truly recommend this movie and suggest that you pick it up if you get a chance.
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