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Complete Unknown

HD   R Closed Captioning

Joshua Marston

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About the Movie

A mysterious woman with a remarkable past revisits a former lover, complicating the settled life he has built for himself and his wife in Complete Unknown, an unsettling exploration of identity from acclaimed filmmaker Joshua Marston (Maria Full of Grace, The Forgiveness of Blood). As Tom (Michael Shannon) celebrates his birthday with a group of close friends in Brooklyn, he is startled to see a woman from his distant past at the party. Jenny — or Alice (Rachel Weisz), as she now calls herself — first denies even knowing Tom, but as the evening progresses, she reveals a shocking secret. After disappearing from Tom’s life 20 years earlier, she began to reinvent herself every few years, taking on a new name, a new career and a new life each time. After giving Tom a glimpse of what life could be like if he lets go of the safety and security he has so carefully created, Alice asks him to make a choice that will change everything.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 66
  • Fresh: 33
  • Rotten: 33
  • Average Rating: 5.7/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: "Complete Unknown" is a curious hybrid, teetering between a thriller and a romance only to land in a nebulous spot that is neither. – Andy Webster, New York Times, Aug 25, 2016

Fresh: Complete Unknown is perhaps most titillating when it quietly observes moments between its central duo, two long-lost lovers hurling nearly two decades' worth of unresolved pain at each other over the course of a single evening. – Joey Nolfi, Entertainment Weekly, Aug 25, 2016

Fresh: An intriguing entertainment that's invigorated by smart filmmaking and potent acting by the virtuosic Weisz and her fine costar, Michael Shannon. – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times, Sep 1, 2016

Rotten: Ultimately a Hitchcock-inspired thriller without too many real thrills. – Abbey Bender, Village Voice, Aug 24, 2016

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

A fake movie about fraudulence

Too bad. Good actors trying to sell forced, tin-ear dialogue and plots contrivances. Plus the story comes to nothing while pretending it is mysteriously ambiguous.

"How Does It Feel?" (Got me.)

More of an interesting idea than a thoroughly executed film: you wonder whether the filmmakers thought that they'd be making the Mystery Woman more mysterious by not letting the film get any closer--the downside of this is it feels like a lost lost opportunity and we don't much care, (I wondered whether the wife was being tolerant at her own husband's prolonged disappearance or whether she didn't much care, either.) There are some nice hints at depths--but none are pursued (the friend bottoms out as a character) --so it's more of a lost opportunity than a fully realized film. That said, it ain't dreck, and given that Dylan just won the Nobel Prize, it's a good moment to watch Weisz as a Complete Unknown.

Complete Unknown
View in iTunes
  • $12.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2016

Customer Ratings