We all have days when the memory slips and little specifics elude us, like where we left the car keys or put our glasses. But imagine if the big details of life, like the existence of your children or marriage, came into question.
For Telly Paretta (Julianne Moore), this dilemma is becoming nightmarishly real.
Nearly 14 months ago, she and her husband Jim (Anthony Edwards) lost their son Sam (Christopher Kovaleski) in a plane crash that killed several elementary-aged children. Still painfully grieving, she struggles everyday to cope with his death by going through his childhood mementos.
Then one day, Sam's photo albums are blank. His videotapes erased. His smiling face missing from their family portrait.
And she is told he never existed.
Her psychiatrist, Dr. Jack Munce (Gary Sinise), calls it invented memories and tells her that the son she knew and loved for nine years was only the creation of her mind. Initially, she fears she's going mad, yet she refuses to agree with the doctor's diagnosis.
Instead, she hunts down another parent who lost his daughter in the plane accident. Together, Telly and Ash Correll (Dominic West) elicit the help of New York police detective Anne Pope (Alfre Woodard) and begin searching for their missing children. But it soon becomes obvious that someone out there doesn't want them poking around.
This psychological thriller brings out the nagging little fear almost every parent has about losing his or her child. It also depicts the ravaging effect grief has on the stability of the couple's marriage and on Telly's relationships with her old friends and neighbors.
Fortunately, Telly, if anything, is a tenacious parent. Driven to find an answer, she is willing to go to any length to discover what happened to her son on the fateful day of the incident. It's this kind of doggedness most parents can relate to and that makes The Forgotten a possibility, for a good Mom and Dad date.
Even older teenagers may enjoy the movie's mind games, if they can deal with this film's intense "jump-in-your-seat" scenes and a terrifying car crash. However, parents should note this PG-13 film includes the brutal beating of a national security agent, repeated terms of Deity, the use of a strong sexual expletive and portrayals of drunkenness.
With an unexpected twist from suspense to sci-fi, this is one chilling story that won't soon be forgotten.