What if every choice we ever make was already made for us? What if there really were no coincidences in life and our destinies were already predetermined? Ten strangers with secrets are brought together in a savage rainsto... more »rm: A limo driver (John Cusack), an '80s TV star (Rebecca DeMornay), a cop (Ray Liotta) who is transporting a killer (Jake Busey), a call girl (Amanda Peet), a pair of newlyweds(Clea DuVall and William Lee Scott) and a family in crisis (John C. McGinley, Leila Kenzle, Bret Loehr), all take shelter at a desolate motel run by a nervous night manager (John Hawkes). Relief in finding shelter is quickly replaced with fear as the ten travelers begin to die, one by one. They soon realize that, if they are to survive, they'll have to uncover the secret that has brought them alltogether..« less
When I was going up the stairs, I met a man who wasn't there
Michael Crane | Orland Park, IL USA | 07/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sick and tired of those ordinary thrillers that are all fluff and very little substance? 'Identity' may be the answer that you're looking for, as it is a clever and dark thriller with a solid story, a terrific cast and a great look and feel to it all. The film revolves around ten strangers who end up at a little motel due to a horrible storm. All of them have been brought there by chance... or, is it a little more complicated than that? They think they're out of the woods until people start getting butchered left and right, in a countdown fashion. What appears to be nothing more than a murderer on the loose having his or her fun ends up being something a lot more sinister and threatening. Have these ten individuals been picked at random, or have their fates been sealed from the very beginning?
When I started watching this, I thought to myself, 'Oh boy, I bet you I know exactly how this is going to end.' I was wrong. The film takes a lot of clever and unexpected twists that really goes to show you how great a thriller can really be if the right brains are behind it all. It has some great suspense and frightening moments, an intriguing plot that likes to play around with your mind, and it delivers a very confident presentation. You'll recognize a good majority of the cast, as some of them include John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet and Rebecca DeMornay. All are great, especially Cusack who proves that he can be a successful lead role in a top-notch thriller.
The DVD has some cool goodies to offer. You can watch it in widescreen or fullscreen, depending on which is your preference. You also have the choice to watch the theatrical cut, or the extended version (not to be mistaken for a 'director's cut'). I must be honest and admit that the extended version is really not worth it. The added scene does nothing to enhance the movie and the so-called 'alternate ending' isn't alternate at all, as it is merely extended by only a few seconds. It was interesting to watch, but again it really doesn't do anything special for the film. Stick with the theatrical version, then watch the extended version if you're still curious. Trust me, the theatrical version is the way to go. Other bonuses included on the DVD are deleted scenes, commentary, storyboard comparisons, theatrical trailer, filmographies and a behind the scenes featurette. The film looks and sounds great.
'Identity' is definitely something that should be checked out by those who are tired by the usual flops that dare to call themselves 'thrillers.' This is a successful and smart thriller that offers chills along with an impressive script and cast. Just be sure to give it a chance. You may think you have it all figured out when it starts, but trust me when I tell you that this movie will play around with your brain until the ending credits. A more than well-done thriller that doesn't disappoint and is worth re-watching again and again. -Michael Crane"
Great thriller set in the famous dark and stormy night
A. Ryan | Westminster, CA USA | 09/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is so reminding me of Brian DePalma (I remember commenting the first ten minutes into Identity). There is no doubt that director James Mangold is drawing heavily on a DePalma influence, or perhaps tapping into a Hitchcock vein. Whatever the case, this thriller is just the fix I've been after without even realizing it.I admit to being partial to the cast. John Cusack (Ed the limo driver with a past) is an actor I will go out of my way to see any time; needless to say, he is brilliant here too. Amanda Peet, playing a hooker trying to turn her life around, brings her trademark tough smarts to the role and does a great job as always. Ray Liotta plays his usual sinister-guy-posing-as-normal character, but here it fits nicely. Rebecca DeMornay's washed-up TV star part is brief enough to nearly qualify as a cameo, but memorable. The rest of the crew complement this roundup as the assorted bunch that arrive together at the isolated motel on that fateful stormy night that a murderous evil runs amok somewhere outside - or is it inside?Never fear, this is no mere slasher flick. This *is* a deliciously creepy Whodunit with an added slice of suspense. It is also a real psychological thriller in the old school sense. In true Hitchcockian tradition there is an underlying plot that manages to bring together the seemingly random people and events that clash so chaotically. The little clues that are dropped here and there are just intriguing enough to give us a taste for the twist that we just know is coming (why is there blood on the back of Ray's shirt just before he covers it up with his jacket? What's up with the Indian tombs outside?) Naturally, there is also a false lead or two. By the time the real killer is revealed we can click those puzzles pieces together with great satisfaction and wonder at how we didn't see the big picture all along.If I had to compare Identity to another recent film, I would say Memento is the closest in style and quality. In any event, I'd recommend Identity to anybody who enjoys this classic thriller subgenre.-Andrea, aka Merribelle"
9 ROOMS, 10 VACANCIES....
Mark Norvell | HOUSTON | 10/22/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Identity" is one of those psychological thrillers where you really have to pay attention or you get lost. It's an engrossing mix of creepy murder thriller and character study that draws you in quickly and doesn't let up. A group of disparate strangers winds up at an eerie run down motel in a brutal rainstorm and find themselves being picked off one by one by a mysterious killer. Meanwhile, a schizophrenic mass murderer is scheduled for execution but his psychiatrist is arguing for an insanity reprieve. The stranded strangers discover that they have odd things in common. And then there are the motel room keys left as macabre clues. A truly great cast includes John Cusack as a limo driver, Ray Liotta as a cop, Amanda Peet as a call girl, Clea Duvall as an unhappy newlywed, John Hawkes as the loopy motel "manager" and Alfred Molina as the psychiatrist with Taylor Pruitt Vance as the schizophrenic and Rebecca DeMornay in an all too brief role as a hotheaded TV star being driven by Cusack. Other actors in the cast are good too. Director James Mangold keeps things moving with no room for draggy spots and each character has secrets---their own "baggage" so to speak. How the two plots come together is truly bizarre and beautifully handled. I found the ending to be a let down, but actually it made sense in a frustrating way. So I recommend "Identity" for those who enjoy a genuinely spooky story and murder mystery with a twist. Watching the cast alone is worth watching the movie for. Good extras on the DVD, too."
Great cast, Great script, Great movie
Nate | Brisbane, QLD AUSTRALIA | 10/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A solid script backed up by a great cast, John Cusack, Ray Liotta, John c. McGinley, Alfred Molina, Amanda Peet and more, are all outstanding. Brilliantly directed by James Mangold who also directed Copland, Girl Intrerupted and Walk The Line, this is one of the best thrillers I have ever seen. To say too much about the script would possibly give it away, but in the style of the Agatha Christie's novels 'Ten Little Indians' and 'Murder on the orient express', where people start dying in suspicious circumstances and later they find out they are all connected in some way. In this movie we have ten complete strangers stranded at a desert motel for the night. Sure enough people start getting killed, there is a lot of finger pointing and plenty of twists along the way to keep the audience engaged. The music score is excellent and perfectly captures the mood of the whole movie. Special features include bonus trailers, an on the set documentary and 2 very informative and interesting commentaries. One by the director and one by the writer, the latter being the better of the two. The disc features both cinema and DVD versions, although the DVD version only includes 2 extra scenes that last no longer than 30 seconds each. The only fault I have of the movie is that it seems too much time was spent in the first half of the movie bringing the characters together and laying a foundation forcing the ending to seem rushed through to conclude the movie within the 90 minutes, instead of the film being possibly edited longer. All up though, one of the best thrillers you will ever see. I have seen it many times and it is still good even when you know the ending."
Why are Spoilers allowed to write reviews?
Nate | 05/05/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm glad I already saw this movie before I read one of the reviews here. So just because someone didn't like it, they feel they have to spoil the movie and give it away to ruin it for everyone else. Deplorable! I'm disappointed Amazon would allow a spoiler like that to filter through. Whoever wrote that review should be suspended for life for ever going to a theater again.As far as the movie goes, I'm glad I saw it. I thought it was very well done, and I recommend it."