The Forgotten


Reeling from the loss of her 8-year-old son, a woman seeks help from a therapist — who claims the boy was merely a figment of her imagination.

Year: 2004
Certificate: 12
Director: Joseph Ruben
Starring: Anthony Edwards, Gary Sinise, Alfre Woodard, Linus Roache, Julianne Moore, Dominic West, Lee Tergesen, Robert Wisdom, Ken Abraham, Jessica Hecht, Christopher Kovaleski

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I’ll be honest with you when I read the short synopsis for ‘The Forgotten’ I really wasn’t sure what to expect but I definitely didn’t expect the film I got. However, these three lines from the middle of ‘The Forgotten’ perfectly sum up the premise of this brilliant, but psychological film.

“How old’s Cassidy?”
“She’s 7 why?”
“What if I told you your daughter never existed? That you made her up?”

Julianne Moore perfectly portrays grieving mother Telly Paretta, whose 9 year old son Sam was one of six children travelling on a plane that went missing. The plane and bodies were never discovered but is everything what it seems? When Telly visits her therapist Dr Jack Munce (Gary Sinise) 14 months later, both he and her husband Jim Paretta (Anthony Edwards) tell her that she never had a son and that her memories of Sam are a result of post-traumatic stress disorder caused by a miscarriage 9 years earlier.

At this point in the film I really didn’t know whether Sam had ever existed or not due to the various other things that Telly started doing at the same time – like forgetting where she had parked her car and asking Dr Munce where her coffee had gone after saying she didn’t want one.

Once home Telly finds a blank video that she says once had footage of her son and a blank photo album which she claims had photos in of Sam; she then starts accusing Jim of trying to forget their son and erasing his memory from their life. Jim again denies everything and says that she can no longer see the images because they were never there but it is a good sign as it means that she is starting to get better.

When Telly believes she has found the father of one of the other children who were on the plane with Sam then things start to change for her. Suddenly you start doubting what you think you believe about Telly – perhaps she isn’t getting better; perhaps she didn’t have anything to get better from?

Throughout the first half of the film you are left feeling sorry for Telly and her situation, you really feel for what her and her husband must be going through with all the therapy and confused memories. It’s quite emotional and at times this makes it a hard watch – the actors all play their parts well and they are very believable.


As time goes on and more facts come to light, the film takes a few interesting twists and turns switching easily between psychological thriller and government conspiracy. Will Telly find out the truth of her son’s disappearance or will he remain ‘The Forgotten’?

Overall, ‘The Forgotten’ is an enjoyable and thrilling watch although there are a lot of questions that remain unanswered and this is really the only downside. You’ll finish the film and be wondering for a while just how various things actually happened. This doesn’t make it a bad film, far from it, but I think it could have tied things up a bit better.


Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!

About Tammy

A parent blogger and mom to 3 adorable children, who likes watching documentaries and dramas.

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