The Forgotten asks a very important question: What if there were aliens who had no concept of science, yet had the technology to do what they please?
Julianne Moore plays Telly Paretta, a woman mourning the loss of her son who died in a plane crash. Gary Sinise plays her therapist, and he can't shake his villain voice.
Then suddenly everyone starts forgetting she had a kid. Then she can't find any pictures of him. Then Sinise tells her he's been gradually working toward telling her that it was all in her head.
Did I mention my hero Dominic West is in this movie? He plays Ash, a guy Paretta met at their children's funeral, which he also does not remember. He plays the character as a drunk, because hey, if you have a strength. . .
He doesn't remember his daughter or Paretta's son, so he calls the cops to take her away. The cops pass Paretta off to a pair of feds, one of whom is another alum of The Wire: Robert Wisdom.
Ash suddenly remembers everything, races down to the street and busts Paretta out the car and the pair bolt. They wander around for awhile, while the Feds attempt to help the aliens do whatever it is they want to do and it turns out that yes, extraterrestrials took their kids. Roughly half the cast as well, just gets yanked up into the sky whenever the get too close to the conspiracy. No exaggeration on my part either. People start talking about the conspiracy and then they are yanked into the sky via an invisible bungee cord.
No one remembers any of this... except Moore.
Moore is an outstanding actor, and plays this whole drama out with such gravitas that the stupid twists are like a spork in the eye.
Of course, it turns out the aliens have been experimenting with humans to see if they can wipe people's memories and understand human bonding. The movie also falls into the the classic "Puny Human Fallacy" of the Sci-Fi Bad-B movies-with A-list Actors and effects. As a matter of fact, the further down the Fallacy trap during said scramble as rabbit we follow him down the hole...into a cave...with alien super-tech. Which leads us to the next logic flaw.
If these aliens have all this technology, what good does psychologically torturing humans actually do them? Sounds like those Nazi experiments. Space Nazis! The alien scientist, played by wonderful supporting actor Linus Roache, says the entire thing is an experiment, and if Paretta doesn't forget her son, the experiment fails.
Brief aside about science and experiments: an experiment does not fail if you don't get the result you were looking for. It's an experiment. The result always teaches you something! Unless it's political science.
This is movie is so overwrought and self-consciously serious that it begs to be mocked. It's like that one kid in middle-school that read Nietzsche and thought they'd figured it all out. In addition, it's trying so hard to fit the conventions of multiple genres (Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller), it doesn't manage to work on any level. I'm not really sure what other movie takes itself so painfully serious that could go with it, outside of Mother Night with Nick Nolte as a Nazi.