[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/381b5a2d770b573f2d7eeaf78d604aac.jpg]]

''Unknown'' is a conspiracy action-thriller film released in 2011 and starring Creator/LiamNeeson, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. The film [[TheFilmOfTheBook is based]] on the 2003 French novel ''Hors de moi'', published in English as ''Out of My Head'', by French author Didier Van Cauwelaert.\\
Neeson plays botanist Dr Martin Harris, who brings his wife along to attend a biotechnology conference in UsefulNotes/{{Berlin}}. However, he [[DeadlyRoadTrip gets into a car accident]] while riding the taxi back to the airport to pick up luggage he left behind. When he awakes in hospital, he leaves to find his wife. However, Liz denies knowing who Martin is... and another man is wearing Martin's name tag and claiming to be him is standing right next to her - and she acknowledges "Martin B" as the real deal. In a foreign land for the first time, pursued by mysterious terrorists and with nobody to trust, Harris must get all the help he can find, including from Gina (Creator/DianeKruger) the driver of the cab that plunged into the river and Jürgen ([[Film/{{Downfall}} Bruno Ganz]]), a former Stasi agent-turned private investigator.

The film not only has a TwistEnding, it has twist beginnings, twist middles and twist three-quarters - hence the large amount of marked spoilers below.

Not to be confused with the [[Film/{{Unknown2006}} 2006 James Caviezel movie]].
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!!This film provides examples of:

* AlwaysOnDuty: Nurse Gretchen seems to be personally assigned to Martin's case.
* AmnesiacDissonance: Despite his heroic new identity, Martin learns he used to be a professional [[spoiler:terrorist/mercenary-assassin]] before the accident.
* ArabOilSheikh: Prince Shada is the sponsor of the biotechnology conference, and is a rich, adventerous and idealistic guy who wants to support genetically engineering food to help feed the world's growing numbers of starving people.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: As explained [[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1401152/goofs here]], what Jürgen stated about the Stasi's methods for distinguishing a liar from a truthteller is the opposite of the Stasi's real-life interpretation: a liar has a pre-programmed version of facts which is difficult to deviate from, while an innocent person will rephrase and reformulate.
* AsleepForDays: Martin wakes up at the hospital after a four-day coma.
* AsLongAsItSoundsForeign: The Saudi prince is named 'Shada' which is not an Arabian name for men nor is it for women. The name has no meaning at all in the Arabic language. There is, however, a feminine name close to it, which is (Shatha).
* BadassBystander: [[spoiler:This movie may be full of highly-trained international assassins, but the person with the highest on-screen kill count is still Gina the cab driver-turned-waitress.]]
* BathroomBreakOut: The assassins arrive to kill Martin as he is taking a shower, and he escapes onto the roof (sorry ladies, he's wearing a bathrobe).
* [[spoiler: BecomingTheMask]]: At the end of the film, it is revealed that Martin Harris [[spoiler: doesn't really exist, and that "he" was merely a cover story manufactured by a shadowy assassination organization.]] The other man whom Martin sees taking his place after the accident is [[spoiler: actually "Martin"'s "replacement".]] Martin began to believe [[spoiler: that he was the identity of his cover story after suffering head trauma during the car crash.]]
* BetterToDieThanBeKilled: [[spoiler:Jürgen]], though the threat of betraying contacts might also have played a part.
* BigDamnHeroes: Gina does it twice, as HoistByHisOwnPetard and CarFu explain.
* TheBookCipher: Prof. Bressler's [[spoiler:passwords]] are obscured by an Ottendorf cipher.
* CarFu: Gina does this with her taxi when Martin is captured and is going to be killed by the terrorist agent and the agent's boss, [[spoiler: Martin's employer Rodney Cole]].
* CastingGag: Neeson and Quinn played best friends in ''MichaelCollins''.
* ChaseScene: The car chase is memorable.
* CoincidentalBroadcast: When in hospital, Martin turns on the TV which broadcasts a news report about the Biotech summit, which helps to jog his memory.
* ConvenientlyTimedAttackFromBehind: When Martin is about to be strangled by the hitman at Gina's place, Gina [[BigDamnHeroes comes to his aid]] and rams the syringe into the hitman's neck.
* CoolCar: The Sheik's Mercedes-Benz SLS.
* CoolOldGuy: Jürgen.
* CoversAlwaysLie: The DVD cover, as well as a poster for the movie, show Creator/LiamNeeson with a gun in his hand. Never, in the whole movie, does he hold a gun.
* CyanidePill: When Professor Cole goes to see Jürgen, [[spoiler: Jürgen empties a sachet of cyanide into his tea and drinks it]] when he realizes that [[spoiler: Cole]] is not all he seems, and to keep Martin safe.
* DeadlyRoadTrip: Being in Berlin, there's no family or friends to vouch for Creator/LiamNeeson.
* DeadStarWalking: Frank Langella portrays a character who dies shortly after being introduced.
* DrivesLikeCrazy: Gina the taxi driver, but only when she really needs to.
* DullSurprise: January Jones as Liz, all the time. [[JustifiedTrope The audience is meant to doubt her allegiance to good or evil.]] [[spoiler: She's in on it.]]
* EveryCarIsAPinto: The black van, that Gina [[CarFu pushes down the parking ramp]], goes up in flames.
* EyeCam: Used for the scene where Martin wakes up at the hospital. See UnfamiliarCeiling.
* FakeMemories: Accidentally, Martin's only memories remaining after the TapOnTheHead are fake ones derived from his cover identity.
* FlashbackEffects: Probably overused, including epileptic editing, sepia-tone and dutch tilts.
* FollowTheLeader: The taxi chases, amnesia, European accomplice and [[spoiler: the "I'm an assassin" twist]] make it look like the film was cribbing a lot of notes from ''[[Film/TheBourneSeries The Bourne Identity]]''.
* ForgotTheCall: After the car accident, Martin wakes up with no memory of his mission.
* FormerRegimePersonnel: Jürgen.
* FourEyesZeroSoul: The main assassin, who is bespectacled.
* GambitRoulette: The villains' plan depends on [[spoiler:Professor Bressler bringing a laptop with some very secret and highly important files in it to a party for no good reason]], as well as [[spoiler: said extremely important files having [[NoPlansNoPrototypeNoBackup no backups]] at all]] and there being no colleagues he may have shared his knowledge with.
* GovernmentConspiracy: A good deal of hard work went into "erasing" Martin Harris after his accident.
* HeroStoleMyBike: Gina steals a taxi cab to pursue the baddies who just kidnapped Martin.
* HighlyVisiblePassword: When Liz types in the passwords, they are visible in plain text. And they are using spaces.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: An assassin tries to inject something in Gina... and she ends up doing it on him instead as he attacks Martin.
** [[spoiler:Liz]] gets killed by the TimeBomb she helped planting herself.
** Martin does this at the end, where he [[spoiler:ends up preventing a heist that he planned for months, loses millions he could have gained from selling information and ends up killing his associates simply because he suffered a head injury.]]
*** Ironically, the assassin conspiracy hoisted themselves up first. Had they not come after Liam Neeson in the hospital, when he was completely confused and starting to believe the head trauma had made him go mad, he likely would have been disoriented and under medical observation long enough for the plan to go off without a hitch. They could have also simply reinvented him as someone who might plausibly have known the fake Martin (who tragically died in the blast,) and set him up in a nice, no-memory retirement. Instead they tried to kill him, setting him on an epic quest to find out who he really was.
* IdentityAmnesia: Martin awakens from a coma after a car accident only to find that no one, not even his wife, recognizes him. He then starts to question his true identity.
* ImpairmentShot: When the other Martin shows Neeson's character the photo of him and his wife, the latter blacks out and the camera takes his view as he sinks down to the ground.
* InformationWantsToBeFree: The assassins' goal is to prevent the open-source release of [[spoiler:a new variety of corn]] on behalf of [[spoiler:agribusiness giants]].
* InsistentTerminology: The fact that Harris would always add "doctor" before his name made him seem really insecure. Might be FridgeBrilliance [[spoiler: in light of TheReveal, since Neeson's character learned everything about his persona through pure memorization, and for the reasons explained in the ArtisticLicenseHistory entry, that may have made him more comfortable repeating the phrase the way he absorbed it.]]
** Played straight to the extent that a blow to the head effects memory and [[spoiler: another one restores it in somewhat contrived fashion.]]
* IsThisAJoke: Martin says it quite early.
* ItWasAGift: Martin always carries a book from his father with him. Also his watch which is a gift from Liz. [[spoiler:Turns out both items are planted as part of Martin's cover identity]].
* JustEatGilligan: [[spoiler:Abduct Harris and hold him in a room until the assassination attempt is finished. Or even make peaceful contact with him, explain what happened and attempt to integrate him back into the terrorist cell]].
* KarmaHoudini: Martin exposes himself to be responsible for planting the bomb 3 months earlier but walks away scot-free.
* KickTheDog: The first kill that we see onscreen is performed by the assassin when he goes to the hospital. [[spoiler: He brutally [[NeckSnap breaks the neck]] of the nurse who had earlier given Martin the number of Jürgen, saying that he could help him]].
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: The amnesia conveniently suppresses all memories of Martin's real life from the past 50-60 years, and retains a meager 0.1% that correspond with a fake persona her recently adapted. Also, Martin keeps his superb driving skills, but not his combat skills ... until the end.
* MagicalNegro: Biko, who helps Martin to find Gina. And he did not [[BlackDudeDiesFirst die first]].
* MissedHimByThatMuch: In several scenes at the art exhibition, Martin manages to pass by the mobster unnoticed by an inch.
* MobstacleCourse: In the on-foot chase scene through the hospital, the assassin is constantly blocked by people in his path, which prevents him from catching on to Martin.
* MonumentalDamage: [[spoiler:As mentioned above, the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotel_Adlon Adlon Hotel]] via the bomb hidden in one of its suites.]]
* MrFanservice: Liam Neeson obviously. The man still has the looks, the charm, and when he starts being tough and manly, the ladies go {{Squee}}!!!
* MurderInc: [[spoiler:Section 15, Martin's employer, is one of these and will kill just about anyone for the right price.]]
* MyCard: The doctor handing his card to Martin.
* MyLifeFlashedBeforeMyEyes: Happens to Martin during defibrillation.
* NeckSnap: The assassin does this to his first onscreen kill, [[spoiler: Martin's nurse at the hospital]].
* OhCrap:
** Martin practically wears this expression permanently throughout the whole film.
** Also, Herr Strauss, after seeing that [[spoiler:Martin was indeed at the hotel three month ago]].
** Don't forget [[spoiler:Liz's face when the bomb's timer runs out]].
* OnceMoreWithClarity: Martin often has flashbacks of having a picture taken with his wife while on their honeymoon, after she gave him the watch. [[spoiler: Later, it is revealed that this was a posed studio shoot and that Martin and his "wife" are merely terrorist agents.]]
* ThePasswordIsAlwaysSwordfish: Never derive passwords from details of your personal lives. Professor Bressler uses latin names of plants connected to his twin daughters' names as passwords for his highly sensitive data.
* PreAssKickingOneLiner: [[spoiler:"I didn't forget everything! I remember how to kill you, asshole!"]]
* ProperlyParanoid: Prof. Bressler is taking his laptop to one of the conference receptions. When he has to leave it at the wardrobe, he is feeling quite uneasy about this, bearing to let it hang there unattended only for a few minutes. What he doesn't suspect though is [[spoiler:that the important data on it gets stolen via advanced spy technology rather than outright physical theft.]]
* PursuedProtagonist: The film is almost a GenreThrowback to the action-thrillers of the 80s-90s that featured Creator/HarrisonFord running away from his pursuers, such as ''Film/TheFugitive''.
* RaceAgainstTheClock: The bundle of plastic explosives planted in the hotel suite to kill [[spoiler: Professor Bressler]] has a digital readout attached, even though it is planted inside the wall where it can't be seen. [[spoiler: Liz]] tries to disarm the bomb, and [[spoiler: it looks like she might do it, but is a couple of seconds late as it explodes and kills her, atomizing her and taking out a large chunk of the]] Adlon Hotel.
* RevealingCoverup: [[spoiler:The plan of the bad guys would have gone a lot smoother if they hadn't been so intent on killing Harris. At one point, Harris is even ready to give up, convinced he must be crazy... then the assassins try to kill him and confirm all his suspicions]].
* RightThroughTheWall: At Gina's place, we hear noisy sex from the next room which leads to an awkward moment between Martin and Gina.
* RippedFromThePhoneBook: Harris does this at one point.
* SacrificialLamb: Nurse Gretchen.
* SacrificialLion: Jürgen.
* ShoePhone: The USB stick attached to Liz' wristband.
* ShowerOfLove: Under MRI, Martin has foggy flashbacks of making love to his wife in the shower. We only see their heads and shoulders, and besides showing off January Jones' perfect body and nice O-face, this is one of many flashbacks that may clue the viewer in to the truth of the matter - while designed to mislead instead. Clever.
* SignificantSketchbook: Gina has one.
* SlashedThroat: [[spoiler:The other Martin]] gets killed this way.
* SlowMotionFall: Of Martin in the taxi cab going off the bridge and into the water.
* SmugSnake: [[spoiler: Martin B and arguably also Liz who doesn't do much sneering but is ''definitely'' overconfident.]]
* SortingAlgorithmOfDeadness: The henchman snaps the neck of the [[spoiler:nurse]], but doesn't bother to [[WhyDontYaJustShootHim finish off]] his intended target. Of course, the lethal injection plan fails and the hero gets away.
* SpeakInUnison: The two Martin Harrises find themselves in a SpotTheImposter situation, start to reiterate private information about Martin Harris, and end up doing so in unison. [[spoiler:In the end it makes perfect sense: ''Both'' of them are fakes and have rehearsed all the personal facts about Martin Harris in exactly the same way.]]
* SpotTheImposter: Professor Bressler finds himself in this situation when facing Neeson's character and his doppelganger together at the lab. He chooses to believe the other Martin who is able to produce a drivers license.
* StrappedToAnOperatingTable: The assassin ties Martin to a stretcher at the hospital in order to kill him with an injection.
* TimeBomb: With a 5 minutes countdown.
* TomatoInTheMirror: After awaking from his coma, people around [[spoiler:Martin]] don't remember him anymore and he starts questioning his sanity.
* TooDumbToLive: [[spoiler: Liz. Having her face linked to the explosion and destroying her cover might have been bad for her but presumably not as bad as being blown up.]]
* TrainEscape: Martin notices that he is being followed but manages to escape his pursuer by boarding a car at the subway right before the doors close up.
* TrappedInASinkingCar: Due to a freak accident in Berlin traffic, Martin's taxi goes off a bridge and into the river Spree. He [[TapOnTheHead hits his head on the window]] and goes unconscious as the car sinks deeper and deeper into the water. Gladly, his taxi driver is a BadAssBystander and manages to free herself and then pull Martin out through the cab's rear window.
* UnfamiliarCeiling: Martin wakes up at the hospital after been AsleepForDays. The ambient sounds are muffled at first and the camera [[EyeCam mimics his eyes slowly opening]] and adjusting to the brightness of the room.
* VillainBall: [[spoiler:The bad guys replaced their missing comrade a day or two after he disappeared, made no attempt to help him, and began killing everyone around him. They probably would have succeeded if they had made some effort to find him after he disappeared, or even stuck with their plan, backup included, and simply ignored Martin]].
* TheVoiceless: Jones, the hitman that gets CarFu'd by Gina, doesn't have a speaking part.
* WhamEpisode: Several twist moments, the first of which being Liz denying ever knowing Martin, and things continue to go "wham!" from there.
* WorthyOpponent: [[spoiler: Jürgen for Cole]].
* WhyDontYaJustShootHim: Presumably due to ComplexityAddiction. Instead of killing Martin instantly at the hospital, the assassin takes his time with him and starts to inject a slow-dripping poison, which buys Martin enough time to escape.
* XMeetsY: ''NowhereMan'' meets ''[[spoiler:[[Film/TheBourneSeries The Bourne Identity]]]]'' meets ''[[spoiler:Film/TotalRecall1990]]''. Or ''Film/{{Flightplan}}'' tries to meet ''Bourne'' with [[IncrediblyLamePun a sprinkle of]] ''{{Salt}}'', but they miss each other by seconds.
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