Point blank in the head a man shoots another. In flashbacks, each one earlier in time than what we've just seen, the two men's past unfolds. Leonard, as a result of a blow to the head during an assault on his wife, has no short-term memory.
He's looking for his wife's killer, compensating for his disability by taking Polaroids, annotating them, and tattooing important facts on his body. We meet the loquacious Teddy and the seductive Natalie (a barmaid who promises to help), and we glimpse Leonard's wife through memories from before the assault.
Leonard also talks about Sammy Jankis, a man he knew with a similar condition. Has Leonard found the killer? What's going on?
- " Think of all the ways that a linear film structure stabilizes us – the cause and effect chain of events. But Memento is about a character completely destabilized, so Nolan destabilizes us accordingly in a way maybe no other movie has. " – Adam Kempenaar
- " I can't remember when a movie has seemed so clever, strangely affecting and slyly funny at the very same time. " – Joe Morgenstern
- " A nifty puzzle worth assembling. The film that put Nolan on the map. A psychological film noir breakthrough " – Fico Cangiano