“WOW! What A Twist....”
“Identity Falls Short, Mistaking Fraudulent Shock For Honest Surprise.”
Delighting in his own considerable cleverness and cineast's knowledge of movie history, Mangold shuffles the elements like a three-card-monte pro.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
The apparent premise, creaky though it may be, holds ample opportunity for suspense and second-guessing, and Mr. Mangold handles the revelations and reversals of Michael Cooney's script with nerve-racking aplomb.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
Andres Kahar - Guardian [UK]
Dean Essner - Guardian [UK]
With moments of mind-bending creepiness, the film has potential, but eventually it devolves into merely a head-scratcher.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
It's not art, but it's fun artfully done.
Desson Thomson - Washington Post
Give the film the credit it earns for playing the game well and truly.
Stephen Hunter - Washington Post
It's an exasperating exercise in B-movie hokum and screenwriter's gimmickry.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
A nihilist project in Usual Suspects mode: Nothing is as it seems, because nothing matters in the least.
Dennis Lim - Village Voice
I think it's a fascinating movie that, if you are able to make the leap it asks of you at about the three-quarter mark, will give you something to think and talk about for days.
Jack Mathews - New York Daily News
This isn't a story: It's a catalog of gruesome murders.
Eric Harrison - Houston Chronicle
Effective, well-crafted chiller.
Philip Wuntch - Dallas Morning News
A film that is thiiiis close to nailing the whole suspense/thriller/ serial-killer genre.
Ricardo Baca - Denver Post
The director, James Mangold, and the writer, Michael Cooney, play fair, sort of, and once you understand their thinking you can trace back through the movie and see that they never cheated, exactly.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
It's a relentlessly tricky and scary show, with a bit more plot and humanity than this kind of modern Grand Guignol usually gives us.
Michael Wilmington - Chicago Tribune
An effectively scary, psychological variation on Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
It starts as Agatha Christie but mutates into Stephen King.
Jeff Strickler - Minneapolis Star Tribune
It isn't a standard slasher flick, but it impersonates one for so long you want to slap it around.
Tom Long - Detroit News
It's a fun, raucous ride, with more than its share of chills and thrills.
Bill Muller - Arizona Republic
A lame-brained nut job in search of an identity of its own.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
Todd McCarthy - Variety
A genuinely cunning psychological thriller.
Megan Lehmann - New York Post
Adds an interesting shot of intelligence to a genre that hasn't seen any in many a year.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
Assorted examples of artificially flavoured humanity ... proceed to panic, bicker and run with the customary perversity that characters in situations like this do toward their gory destinies.
Geoff Pevere - Toronto Star
Opens with its mind nicely intact, suffers a major crisis about 30 minutes in, then bad turns to worse.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
A wicked scorpion with a double sting in its tail.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
What starts out as a seemingly-routine excursion into genre cliches emerges into a more complex and satisfying arena than most viewers will anticipate.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
There is a great spoof comedy here, but, unfortunately, writer Michael Cooney and director James Mangold play one of the most ludicrous screenplays in recent memory in earnest.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
Throughout, the film teeters tantalizingly on the preposterous, but James Mangold's astute direction and Michael Cooney's carefully thought-out script keep it from sliding over the edge.
Kevin Thomas - Los Angeles Times
Scary beyond belief serial killer thriller.
Nell Minow - Common Sense Media
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
A good cast is enacting this fancy rubbish; what drew them to the material besides its self-conscious cleverness is beyond me.
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
Joe Lozito - Big Picture Big Sound
The cast is game, the twists are clever, the writing is tight.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
An ingenious thriller molded from Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None". The film's incredibly entertaining even with the measurably predictable twist.
Wesley Lovell - Oscar Guy
Wesley Lovell - Cinema Sight
Geoff Andrew - Time Out
Dean Essner - Film Threat
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
Dean Essner - Bullz-Eye.com
With a top notch cast, wonderful direction, and a great play on an old premise, Identity is a must-see.
Bill Clark - FromTheBalcony
... every predictable move comes unraveled again with an uncanny discovery.
Mark Collette - Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)
'Uno de los mejores thrillers realizados en los ultimos diez anos, por lo que seria un verdadero crimen perderselo.'
Jorge Avila Andrade - Moviola
Mangold needs to feel he's wowing us instead of just entertaining us; amid the confusion, the really scary moments pass you by.
Jake Euker - F5 (Wichita, KS)
The characters are mostly slices of a whodunit pie, and once the real revelation that spins the story around happens, there isn't much reason to care about them anymore.
Matt Kelemen - Las Vegas CityLife
One of the most engaging experiences you will have at the movies, it is a taut and intelligent hybrid of a thriller that has as many effective ideas as a mind has brain cells.
David Keyes - Cinemaphile.org
... Identity is a rarity: a good movie made better by a twist you won't see coming.
Greg Maki - Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
Dean Essner - Empire Magazine
a solid thriller - until it implodes. It gives you a savory first course, then rudely dumps seconds on your plate, even though you've already lost your appetite.
Brian Mckay - eFilmCritic.com
"Identity" makes for a good rainy-night rental.
Mark Robison - Reno Gazette-Journal
Mangold stretches the pathology parameters into something a bit more depraved and decidedly bloodier, with even a touch of the supernatural. Or does he?
Prairie Miller - Long Island Press
Algunas risas e insultos que se escucharon en la sala no me dejan mentir: Identidad es, llanamente, una decepcion. Te promete que tu estadia en el motel va a ser cinco estrellas, y al final ni siquiera habia motel.
Enrique Buchichio - Uruguay Total
Highly compelling, until the story's major revelation makes you feel totally cheated.
Andrew Manning - Radio Free Entertainment
Agatha Christie certamente ficaria orgulhosa deste seu 'filhote'.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
Here is a movie that's so good - so juicy in the dark secrets it keeps - that all I really want to say is to see it right now knowing as little about it as possible.
Shannon J. Harvey - Sunday Times (Australia)
Dean Essner - Sydney Morning Herald
Identity benefits from a delicious duper of an advertising campaign, taking much-warranted pleasure in the audience's gullibility
Mike Sage - Peterborough This Week
Jason Anderson - eye WEEKLY
An enjoyably silly piece of pulp fiction, but the writer's main influence is undoubtedly Donald Kaufman, if you know what I mean.
Ian Waldron-Mantgani - UK Critic
With its airtight structure, tension and impressive performances, Identity is not only the most intelligent thriller of the year so far, it's also the best.
Nick Rogers - State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL)
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Garth Franklin - Dark Horizons
. . .director James Mangold proves that not only can he deftly cross genres, but can also offer up a pleasing and well-crafted thriller.
Susan Michals - FilmStew.com
Nev Pierce - BBC
The actors are good; the writing is clever and risky, but it's Mangold's excellent sense of just what to bring out and just when that makes this movie so effective.
John R. McEwen - Film Quips Online
This is more Steven King than it is Alfred Hitchcock and the comparison points out the difference between a master story teller and a supernatural schlockmeister who pulls unseen demons out of the air to artificially contrive the scenario.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
There is nothing new to "Identity" but it works as a "10 Little Indians" clone.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Cooney's script has some intriguing ideas (characters seem to be paired in ying/yang couples, such as the good cop/bad cop of Cusack and Liotta) and puzzles to ponder (that first victim wasn't really the first), but for all its suspense its revelation
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Funny, scary and slick as the frost on a frozen corpse...
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
In the end, it all comes to mood. The story, the setting, the characters, the twists - none would work if it weren't for the feel of Identity.
Ryan Cracknell - Movie Views
The script, direction and acting are good enough that we aren't just waiting for the final payoff - we have plenty of fun getting there as well.
Brian Webster - Apollo Guide
If being outsmarted by a serial killer flick will hurt your self-esteem, don?t go see it.
Blake French - NutzWorld
Kamal 'The Diva' Larsuel - 3BlackChicks Review
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
Works as a thrilling scare machine and an ambitious but structurally flawed gimmick.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews
Identity is phenomenal. Blending Film Noir, and Hitchcockian-like chills director James Mangold nailed it.
Emily Blunt - Blunt Review
It is well-made, has excellent actors, and the screenplay has a nice twist at the end.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Brian Orndorf - Modamag.com
Identity becomes so grossly obsessed with its self-perceived cleverness, it lacks the sensibility to imbue [its] revelation with any tragic weight.
Mark Palermo - Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
In its heart of hearts, it's not a whole lot more than a slasher picture - a pretty savvy and hugely entertaining one, but a slasher picture nonetheless.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Perhaps the Director's Cut on DVD will shuck the entire final third and add a better resolution, but let's not hold our breath.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Psycho-thriller about 10 strangers at an isolated motel is spooky, smart and strange ... and packs a satisfying twist.
James Rocchi - Netflix
If you can approach it using "movie logic," this is an interestingly trippy story. If not, the whole thing falls completely to pieces.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
Identity finds its hooks not in the artful-but-routine surface details, but in the quiet clues lurking in the corners of the frame.
Rob Vaux - Flipside Movie Emporium
[Identity] turns the old stand-bys on their ears and gives a fresh perspective on the genre.
Kevin Carr - Film Threat
The tension's palpable and the deaths are gruesomely inventive (and jarringly abrupt), but the clincher is relatively far-fetched.
Peter Debruge - Premiere Magazine
The tagline for Identity is -- 'Identity is a killer.' Oh, it's a killer. It'll kill 90 minutes of your time and a few brain cells not to mention $8.50 of your hard earned cash.
Jim Agnew - Film Threat
No way do you check out this tourist trap and leave with the remotest intention of ever checking back in.
Rick Kisonak - Film Threat
In playfully paying homage to thrillers (both good and bad) of days gone by...the filmmakers have created something familiar, yet fresh.
Leslie Katz - culturevulture.net
All the clues are there, and when you look back the entire picture comes together.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
[A] very well made horror thriller.
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
Crisply paced, well acted and smartly drawn... an entertaining and invigorating genre treat.
Brent Simon - Entertainment Today
It's practically a catalog of slasher-movie groaners.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
Amanda Peet is "Paris," a call girl who dreams the dream of all call girls: To return to Florida and run an orange grove. What qualifies her for a life in agriculture? "In my profession," Paris says, "I love getting my hands dirty and making things gro
Mark Ramsey - MovieJuice!
Danny Minton - KBTV-NBC (Beaumont, TX)
Just one word: Woah.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
...Liotta and Cusack make the film a better experience.
Tony Toscano - Talking Pictures (U.S.)
Made enough sense to be appreciated as a good old-fashioned mystery.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
When you're leaving the theatre, you'll want to turn right around, throw down another ten bucks, and go see it again. It's that good.
Larry Carroll - Countingdown.com
Susan Granger - www.susangranger.com
Un thriller efficace et relativement original.
Nicolas Lacroix - Showbizz.net
Although the first part of 'Identity' overflows with delicious suspense and creepy atmosphere, the film's plot soon becomes one of its helpless victims.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
It's a minor triumph.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
Identity is the unwelcome new face of Hollywood horror: loud, empty, unimaginative and as far from Alfred Hitchcock as a movie can be.
Shlomo Schwartzberg - Boxoffice Magazine
An entertaining contrivance of serial murder in a confined place.
Doris Toumarkine - Film Journal International
A surprisingly challenging and rewarding motion picture experience, as ruminous and unforgettable as it is thrillingly spooky and suspenseful.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
Turns out to be preposterous shlock, more like a 'Nightmare on Elm Street' sequel than a Shyamalan flick.
Kevin N. Laforest - Montreal Film Journal
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Just what you want a horror-thriller to be: energetic, lurid, tense and, above all, unpredictable.
Marshall Fine - Journal News (Westchester, NY)
The best thing about Identity cannot be put in a review. I beg you all to close your eyes and ears to all press (except no-spoilers Cinerina!) until you have seen it.
Karina Montgomery - Cinerina
I was laughing right along with the rest of the audience during the final minutes.
Christopher Null - Filmcritic.com
Deserves credit for at least trying something fresh in the psychological-thriller realm, and for the mood of goofball creepiness it creates.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
What keeps Identity fun and intriguing to the final dying moments are the performances.
Louis B. Hobson - Jam! Movies
Will appeal to both horror aficionados and those looking for a good mystery.
Dean Essner - E! Online
Identity sacrifices a fine cast and an atmospheric setting to spring a surprise that derails the momentum. Worse, the frustrating twist isn't unleashed at the conclusion; it happens near the middle.
Jon Niccum - Lawrence Journal-World
You may predict some of the twists; heck, you may even predict all of 'em. (I didn't.) But even if that's the case, Identity is so much fun to watch that you simply won't care.
Scott Weinberg - eFilmCritic.com
Dean Essner - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
I have yet to see writer Michael Cooney's prior claims to fame, his Jack Frost flicks, but I'm assuming that they're better than this one.
John Venable - Supercala.com
Both the concept and characters are poorly developed.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Just when you think Identity is just another typical thriller, its original twist hits you on the head, leaving you spinning.
Kit Bowen - Hollywood.com
Dean Essner - Baltimore Sun
An over-directed slasher picture full of arty tricks and slumming stars.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
What's terrific about Mangold is that he doesn't slavishly clone other, earlier films but actually tries to bring something fresh to the familiar.
Joe Baltake - Sacramento Bee
It is funny and scary and completely out of left field.
Eric Lurio - Greenwich Village Gazette
An outright blast, so fun it's -- pardon -- scary.
Robert Wilonsky - Dallas Observer
There's a difference between an ending that makes the viewer want to re-evaluate what they've just seen and an ending that completely obliterates the previous 75-minutes.
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Filmed on a set that looks as if it has been lovingly and skillfully resurrected from the Bates Motel lot, Identity deftly weaves a familiar yarn around an homage to a screen classic.
Rachel Deahl - Fast Forward Weekly (Calgary)
A Ten Little Thespians murder-rama that gets a bit of a lift from thespians who aren't so little, in terms of ability.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
It can make for an exasperating ride, since the filmmakers fudge the line between earnest manipulation and flip self-mockery.
Jan Stuart - Newsday
Cuz you can't bear to think that Cusack would betray us, you keep trying to convince yourself that the flick is trying to be more than what it seems.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
If you find yourself wishing somebody would just hurry up and kill the rest of guests and get it over with, you're probably not alone.
Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone - TheMovieChicks.com
It takes rare wit, guts and humor to try this kind of thing in an A-list film. Identity proves it has enough individuality to succeed.
Jackie Loohauis - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
It will either leave you giddy at the audacity or moaning at the stupidity.
Todd Anthony - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
The dense rain that falls throughout Identity is no natural rain -- it's runoff from the Hollywood bilge tank of bad ideas.
David Elliott - San Diego Union-Tribune
It crams so much overblown activity in every corner of every scene that it has no space to build any genuine suspense.
William Arnold - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Appropriately and effectively creepy, the film had me going for a long time, trying to figure out what the explanation and/or surprise was going to be.
Jim Judy - Screen It!
The plot needs to be airtight, and Identity is filled with logistical holes.
Katrina Onstad - National Post
Manufactured shock replaces gnawing fear and only meager attempts are made to liberate us from high-concept hell.
Robert Denerstein - Denver Rocky Mountain News
An average thriller that's not nearly as smart as it thinks it is.
Glenn Whipp - Los Angeles Daily News
The more astute moviegoers may pick up where the film is heading more quickly than others, but Identity's payoff does not disappoint.
Bob Bloom - Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
Michael Cooney's script keeps you going with two jaw-dropping plot twists -- one cool and thought-provoking, the other manipulative and nasty.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
You walk out of the theater feeling you've been duped but that they did it fair and square.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Oh, so it isn't the same flick I've seen a dozen times before!
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
It's gory, it's bleak, it's shamelessly tricky -- and it's also a good deal more fun than it had any right to be.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
An interesting mix of ghoulish gore stuff, smart writing and tongue-in-cheek thriller-isms.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
More than an entertaining thriller. It's a highly original one.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
The puzzle pieces are all there. But when you put them all together, the result is a bit of a gyp -- neat but utterly forgettable.
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
John Powers - L.A. Weekly
A tricky little beast that fits in peculiarly well with the recent trend of deconstructive horror films.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
Identity may be a one-trick pony, but it's quite a trick.
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Takes the 'nothing is what it seems...' conceit to clever new extremes.
Glenn Lovell - San Jose Mercury News
The writer gets as tangled in his own explanations as a puppy in a 30-foot leash.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
This is a thriller with real thrills -- both the kind that make you jump and the kind that make you think.
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
keeps viewers guessing, provides several solid jolts, builds to a perfectly acceptable ending -- then can't resist adding on a few more twists that finally push the picture dangerously close to the border of unintentional comedy.
James Sanford - Kalamazoo Gazette
The darkness is speckled with the lightening humor of characters who are funny without crossing into smarminess.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
Amanda Peet throws some fine, even sublime, attitude: there's really nothing this girl doesn't do well, even the good-hearted hooker.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
Like a creaky roller coaster, you feel it could fall apart at any time.
Erich Scholz - Citysearch
From setup to finish, this clever little thriller pulls you in, plants you firmly on the edge of your set, and strands you there gripping the armrests.
Kevin A. Ranson - MovieCrypt.com
I much prefer its cheerful absurdity over the boring polish of the countless, endless conventional Hollywood actioners.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
For the first two thirds, Identity is effective, with director James Mangold delivering the appropriate jolts at the right times.
Tor Thorsen - Reel.com
The script within "Adaptation" was a joke and it's sad that everyone involved wasn't in on it and dragged the audience to the top of the greatest imaginable rollercoaster only to breakdown before sending us down the hill.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
Identity doesn't outfox the audience; it just makes us feel like suckers.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
A unique murder-mystery completely ruined by a trailer that gives the whole thing away.
Jon Popick - Planet Sick-Boy
...a well-groomed horror picture that offers a few good scares before devolving into psychological lunacy.
Josh Larsen - Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)
A pretty wild ride if you're willing to leave your brain at the popcorn counter and let Mr. Mangold jolt your spine with every thriller-chiller trick in Hollywood's hefty book.
David Sterritt - Christian Science Monitor
One potential victim verbally acknowledges the obvious similarity of their predicament to Ten Little Indians; it's the first of several self-conscious blunders this movie makes as it seeks to escape its B-picture constraints.
Steve Schneider - Orlando Weekly
80 minutes of cliches, overacting and hackneyed coincidences.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
Even if you were to miss the dead-giveaway title sequence, Identity serves up sloppy hints in scene after scene...(that) are about as subtle as the motel's neon sign.
Rob Blackwelder - SPLICEDWire
An efficient and effective thriller ... set during a dark and stormy night.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
This gimmicky whodunit never convinces us that it would be worth slogging through again.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
Set on a dark and stormy night at a rundown motel situated on an Indian graveyard, screenwriter Michael Cooney toys with horror conventions but doesn't succumb to the cliches.
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
... no "Identity" crisis here. It's just a top-notch thriller fresh enough to become a mini-classic.
John Urbancich - Sun Newspapers of Cleveland
An unpredictable spine-tingler that has good times written all over its nasty little agenda.
Jeanne Aufmuth - Palo Alto Weekly
Identity is Friday the 13th through the eyes of Agatha Christie. This one keeps you guessing. How close to the edge of your seat can you get without falling off?
Alex Sandell - Juicy Cerebellum
Donald Kaufman did not die in vain. How silly is that? A heart cell hating a lung cell.
Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly
A gripping psychological thriller cum horror story that is complex and unpredictable.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
Absurdly intricate and intricately absurd...like a slickly-produced puzzle whose pieces fit together just fine, but when completed depicts a scene not worth looking at.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
One of the first fun-time thrillers of the year.
JoBlo - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall