Memento is a 2000 film about Leonard Shelby (Pearce) and his quest to avenge the brutal murder of his wife. Though Leonard is hampered with short-term memory loss, he uses notes, photos, and tattoos to record information that may lead him to a suspect.

Directed by Christopher Nolan. Written by Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan (story).
Starring: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Joe Pantoliano.
Some memories are best forgotten.

Leonard Shelby

  • [running] Okay, so what am I doing? [sees man also running] I'm chasing this guy. [man shoots] Nope. He's chasing me.
  • If you have a piece of information which... is.. vital, writing on your body instead of on a piece of paper can be the answer. It's a permanent way of keeping a note.
  • I always thought the joy of reading a book is not knowing what happens next.
  • Memory can change the shape of a room; it can change the color of a car. And memories can be distorted. They're just an interpretation, they're not a record, and they're irrelevant if you have the facts.
  • I have to believe in a world outside my own mind. I have to believe that my actions still have meaning, even if I can't remember them. I have to believe that when my eyes are closed, the world's still there. Do I believe the world's still there? Is it still out there?... Yeah. We all need mirrors to remind ourselves who we are. I'm no different... Now... where was I?
  • I was the only guy who disagreed with the cops - and I had brain damage.
  • I don't even know how long she's been gone. It's like I've woken up in bed and she's not here... because she's gone to the bathroom or something. But somehow, I know she's never gonna come back to bed. If I could just... reach over and touch... her side of the bed, I would know that it was cold, but I can't. I know I can't have her back... but I don't want to wake up in the morning, thinking she's still here. I lie here not knowing... how long I've been alone. So how... how can I heal? How am I supposed to heal if I can't... feel time?
  • Facts, not memories. That's how you investigate. I know, it's what I used to do.
  • The world doesn't just disappear when you close your eyes. Does it?
  • [Looking down at the liquor bottle in his hands] I don't feel drunk.
  • I'm not a killer. I'm just someone who wanted to make things right. Can I just let myself forget what you've told me? Can I just let myself forget what you've made me do? You think I just want another puzzle to solve? Another John G. to look for? You're John G. So you can be my John G... Do I lie to myself to be happy? In your case, Teddy... yes I will.


  • You sad, sad freak. I can say whatever the fuck I want, and you won't remember. We'll still be best friends. Or maybe even lovers.
  • Is that what your little note says? It must be hard living your life off a couple of scraps of paper. You mix your laundry list with your grocery list you'll end up eating your underwear for breakfast.

Teddy Gammell

  • So you lie to yourself to be happy. There's nothing wrong with that. We all do it.
  • Someone has to pay, Lenny. Somebody always pays.
  • It's beer o'clock, and I'm buying.
  • You know, I've had more rewarding friendships than this one. Although I do get to keep telling the same jokes.
  • You don't want the truth. You make up your own truth.


Leonard: Hi. Uh, Lincoln Street?
Waiter: Oh, you just take the main road...
Leonard: Hang on, let me write this down.
Waiter: Oh, it's easy. You just...
Leonard: Trust me, I need to write this down.

Natalie: What's the last thing that you do remember?
Leonard Shelby: My wife...
Natalie: That's sweet.
Leonard Shelby: ...dying

Burt: Oh shit. This is the wrong room. You're in 304 now. I'm sorry. I fucked up.
Leonard Shelby: This is not my room?
Burt: No, come on, let's go.
Leonard Shelby: Why is this my handwriting?
Burt: ...This was your room, but now you're in 304.
Leonard Shelby: When was I in here?
Burt: Last week. But then I rented you another room on top of it.
Leonard Shelby: Why?
Burt: Business is slow. I mean, I told my boss about the - your condition and stuff, and he said try and rent him another room.
Leonard Shelby: So how many rooms am I checked into in this shit-hole?
Burt: Just two, so far.
Leonard Shelby: Well, at least you're being honest about ripping me off.
Burt: Well, you're not gonna remember anyway.
Leonard Shelby: You don't have to be that honest, Burt.
Burt: Leonard, always get a receipt.
Leonard Shelby: Oh, yeah. I'm gonna write that down.

Natalie: Get rid of Dodd for me. Kill him. I'll pay you.
Leonard Shelby: Are you crazy? I'm not gonna kill someone for money.
Natalie: What then? Love? What would you kill for? You'd kill for your wife, wouldn't you?
Leonard Shelby: That's different!
Natalie: Not to me, I wasn't fucking married to her!

Natalie: Tell me about her again.
Leonard Shelby: Why?
Natalie: Because you like to remember her.
Leonard Shelby: She was beautiful. To me, she was perfect.
Natalie: No, don't just recite the words. Close your eyes... and remember her.
Leonard Shelby: You can just feel the details. The bits and pieces you never bothered to put into words. And you can feel these extreme moments... even if you don't want to. You put these together, and you get the feel of a person. Enough to know how much you miss them... and how much you hate the person who took them away.

Teddy: [checking Leonard's pulse] You're living.
Leonard Shelby: Only for revenge.

Leonard Shelby: I don't think they'd let someone like me carry a gun.
Teddy: I fucking hope not.

Teddy: You don't know who you are anymore.
Leonard Shelby: Of course I do. I'm Leonard Shelby. I'm from San Francisco.
Teddy: No, that's who you were. Maybe it's time you started investigating yourself.

Leonard Shelby: There are things you know for sure.
Natalie: Such as?
Leonard Shelby: I know what that's going to sound like when I knock on it. I know that's what going to feel like when I pick it up. See? Certainties. It's the kind of memory that you take for granted.

Teddy: Was he scared?
Leonard Shelby: Yeah, I think it was your sinister moustache.

Leonard Shelby: I have this condition.
Teddy: [examining Jimmy Grantz] I hope it's not as serious as this guy because he's dead.

[Leonard opens the closet door to find a beaten and bloodied Dodd]
Leonard Shelby: Who did this to you?
Dodd: [puzzled] You did!

[While burning his wife's stuff]
Leonard Shelby: Probably tried this before. Probably burned truckloads of your stuff. Can't remember to forget you.

DVD extras

  • Your life is over. You're a dead man. The only thing the doctors are hoping to do is teach you to be less of a burden to the orderlies. And they'll probably never let you go home, wherever that would be. So the question is not "to be or not to be", because you aren't. The question is whether you want to do something about it.
    • from "Memento Mori", by Jonathan Nolan, as quoted on the DVD


Guy Pearce - Leonard Shelby
Carrie-Anne Moss - Natalie
Joe Pantoliano - Teddy Gammell
Callum Keith Rennie - Dodd
Christopher Nolan - Written and Directed by

External links

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Last modified on 8 November 2008, at 01:06