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If you'd like to be surprised by the Reminiscence film, I don't recommend you to watch the trailer beyond 1:18, because it gives away parts of the plot. Also, it makes it look like this is an action movie, even though it's not.

Reminiscence, movie (2021) - Watch the trailer on YouTube
Watch the trailer in Hungarian - Watch the trailer in Italian
video © Warner Entertainment (AT&T)

Article updated: 2022.11.25

The Reminiscence (2021) is a futuristic mystery film. The movie was reviewed by Kadmon.

Product: Reminiscence, movie (2021)

Original title: Reminiscence

Series: -

Setting: future fantasy Earth

Product type: Film, Genre: futuristic mystery, Style: sci-fi, futuristic, mystery, thriller, neo-noir, cyberpunk

Release: Premiere: 2021.08.11 (BFI IMAX, London), Release: 2021.08.18

Reviewer: Kadmon, Type: Male, 40s, Preferences: Immersive, logical story, consistent setting, prefers surprises to spoilers, prefers establishing elements before referencing them

Watched: very recent (2021.10), first time

Rating: Average (2 out of 3 points), Enjoyment: Average (2 out of 3 points)

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This is my review of Reminiscence, a futuristic mystery movie from 2021. It's about a doctor trying to find his girlfriend who suddenly gone missing. The Reminiscence film has interesting twists, I recommend it to fans of the genre.

Reminiscence, movie (2021) - Film review by KadmonReminiscence, movie (2021)
image © Warner Entertainment (AT&T)

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Review (spoiler-free) - Reminiscence, movie (2021)

I didn't know anything about the movie, when I had the chance to watch it. I've seen the preview image, and read the short synopsis, it was enough to give it a try. I didn't watch the trailer, to avoid spoilers.

The Reminiscence movie is about a doctor trying to find his girlfriend who suddenly gone missing. He has to dig deeply into the past of his girlfriend.

The basis of the story is good, but I'm not entirely satisfied with the execution. The pacing of the story and the logic is consistent. There are character arcs. I didn't find major logical problems.

The cinematography is good. The setting is nice, the sets were distinct, it should have been visually interesting, but for me everything was just a blend of generic dark future sets. The action scenes were good, it was easy to see what is happening.

The characters has some background and personality, although they are not very deeply developed. I was satisfied with their portrayals, all of the actors were good choices.

The music (by Ramin Djawadi) is good, fitting for the movie.

Reminiscence is an interesting futuristic mystery film, I think fans of the genre will enjoy it.

My experience

I was mostly satisfied with Reminiscence (2021), although I've felt something is missing from it.

Rating: Average (2 out of 3 points). Reminiscence is a well-made film, but the story is not very good.

Enjoyment: Average (2 out of 3 points). Reminiscence has some interesting plot twists, nice sets, I mostly liked it.

Rewatchability: I'm not sure. I think it's mostly the surprise of the story that makes you feel interested.

Chance of watching it again: There's a chance. Now that I know the story, there's probably no need to watch it again, but I might watch it again if I'm in the mood of a neo-noir story set in a flooded setting.

Chance of watching a sequel: High. I'd sure watch it. Now that they already have the concepts and virtual assets, they could focus on a better story.

Reminiscence, movie (2021) - Film review by KadmonReminiscence, movie (2021)
image © Warner Entertainment (AT&T)

Will you enjoy this?

If you like mystery or thriller movies, you might like Reminiscence.

If you like criminal action movies (Die Hard, Dredd), you might like the film, although there are not many action scenes in the Reminiscence movie.

If you like investigation stories, you might like Reminiscence.

If you like neo-noir stories, you might be interested in this.

If you like near-future stories set in a flooded setting, you might enjoy this.

If you enjoyed the Split Second movie, you might be interested in this story.

If you like twists, you might enjoy this movie

If you prefer visuals over story, you can still enjoy the movie, as it looks good.

Watching for plot points

If you are interested in mystery stories, I think it's worth watching the Reminiscence movie for the plot points.

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Reminiscence, movie (2021) - Film review by KadmonReminiscence, movie (2021)
image © Warner Entertainment (AT&T)

Review with spoilers - Reminiscence, movie (2021)

I liked the mystery part of the Reminiscence movie, but I didn't really like the actual story.

For me, Rebecca Ferguson always looks suspicious, so I find her a good choice for the role of the impostor.

It's hard to feel sympathy towards the main characters, and that was a problem for me as I wasn't really interested in their fates.


The cover of the movie is okay, it doesn't say much, but it doesn't spoil the movie.

The trailer

The trailer is somewhat misleading, as it makes it look like it's an action movie, even though the moments cut into the trailer come from the same scenes. Also, from the middle of the trailer, it starts to give away parts of the plot.

If you prefer spoilers, it's a great trailer for the Reminiscence film. If you prefer to avoid spoilers, it might make the movie less enjoyable for you.

Promise of the first scene

A doctor let's a military veteran have a good time with his remembering machine for free, as the veteran could only give drugs in exchange. I assume that the doctor is a good guy. The veteran may get into trouble, and the doctor has to save him. I also think that the doctor will be forced to do something that he considers unethical.

Execution: It was another client who got into trouble, in need of some helping by the doctor. And yes, in the end the doctor did unethical things. So, I was satisfied with the execution of the promise.

Plot summary / Synopsis

In the future, there's a doctor (Hugh Jackman as Nick Bannister) who runs a place with his assistant (Thandiwe Newton as Emily "Watts" Sanders), where people can relive their memories.

An old friend of him arrives, who gets a treatment for free. Then a girl comes, who wants to relive her memories with her lover.

Then as a last client, a woman (Rebecca Ferguson as Mae) arrives, who wants help in remembering where she put her keys. The doctor helps her, and they find the keys in her memory. The doctor watcher her memory of singing even after they've finished the search. The woman leaves her earrings at the memory clinic. During the memory retrieval it's also implied that she is single, by showing us her vibrator.

The next day, the doctor is called to a judge's office, to help with providing help in memory retrieval, but the client, the rich man doesn't allow this.

The doctor visits the woman at her job at a bar to give her earrings back. The woman asks him to walk her home. When they arrive, the woman practically rapes him. He stays with her for a while, when something strange starts happening.

The doctor is awakened by his assistant from the memory machine. It's been months since the woman suddenly disappeared without a trace, after they have spent a couple of months together. The doctor spends his time reminiscing about their first meeting. He also spends his time trying to find her.

In a police investigation, he awakens the memories of a suspect where he sees the woman. Five years ago, she got close with a crime-lord (Daniel Wu as Saint Joe), and she got addicted to a drug. They also see a dirty cop (Cliff Curtis as Cyrus Boothe) working for the criminal gang.

The doctor visits the crime-lord, who tells him that the girl left her a long time ago, and he hadn't seen her since. He also says that the woman steals from everybody. She stole drugs and money from him, and asks the doctor what did she stole from him. When the doctor can't answer, the crime-lord is about execute him when his assistant arrives, and shoots everybody to save the doctor.

The doctor starts to think about what could have been the thing that she wanted to steal from him. It turns out she stole the memory backups of a girl. The doctor tries to find that girl, but he is told that she was killed, and her son was kidnapped, probably by the woman he is looking for. Some further research shows them that the rich man had an affair with the murdered girl, and the son is probably the rich man's. Further complication is that the rich man died, and now they are about to settle his inheritance.

The dirty cop attacks the doctor, and tells him to forget the girl.

The doctor visits the widow of the rich man and reveals all of this to her, but she wants him executed. The doctor escapes to search for the dirty cop. They have a fight, but the doctor is able to drug him. He puts the dirty cop in the memory machine and it turns out that the dirty cop forced the woman to get into a relationship with the doctor in order to get the memories of the murdered girl. When they murdered the girl, the woman saved the kid, and doesn't want to reveal his whereabouts to the dirty cop. She, however, tells cryptic things that only mean something for the doctor - she hopes that the doctor will retrieve the memories of the dirty cop. Then she commits suicide. The doctor awakens the most painful memory of the dirty cop, and makes him permanently relive that.

The doctor visits the widow of the rich man and her son, and tells them that the kid they wanted dead is in police custody now, based on the clues the woman gave to him via the dirty cop, then he leaves them.

The doctor visits his assistant and tells her to leave him alone, spend her time with her daughter.

As the doctor helped the police to catch the killer, instead of spending time in jail, he gets in the memory machine, and spends his time permanently reminiscing about the woman. We see that years have passed, and the assistant is old now, and takes care of the doctor with her grandchild.

The setting

The setting is the future of Earth. Probably a fantasy world.

The sea level is higher than the contemporary one, the seaside city streets are under the water. There are dams to hold the water away.

In Miami, it's so hot at the daytime, that people handle their things at night.

In this fantasy world, people have memories in three dimension, as they can even remember things that are beyond their field of vision. Also, they can remember how their own backs looks like, as they see even themselves from the outside in perfect 3D.

Reminiscence, movie (2021) - Film review by KadmonReminiscence, movie (2021)
image © Warner Entertainment (AT&T)

The memory machine

There was a war. During the war, they researched the technology to bring memories back, so they can use it for interrogation. Now, after the war, it's used for recreation purposes.

The clients get a drug to be more compliant and relaxed. Then they have to get naked (or in swimsuit). A device is put on their heads, and they get into a pool of water. This allows them to reach a meditative state, so they could access their memories.

Then the doctor directs the client to the right memories with his voice. The memory is projected as a 3D image, so the doctor (or anyone interested) can watch it. When they reach the memory, they watch the whole thing.

During this time, there's an assistant who monitor the vitals of the client, to make sure everything is right.

If the client is told something that's not true, their meditative state can destabilise.

They never go over 30 Volts, it can damage the memories. Or it can make them permanently relive them.

The memories (at least the projected parts) are saved and stored in the clinic.

The message of the story

In the end it was told "you need sadness to really value happiness". I'd also say "don't get unhealthy addictions", and "don't get involved with criminals".

The structure of the story

The scenes of the Reminiscence film are mostly played in sequence, following the same storyline. Due to the memory machine, there are plenty of flashbacks to previous events.

The doctor is the single viewpoint character.

It has the usual arc of the dramatic structure - beginning, action, resolution.

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Things I liked

  • I liked the look of the setting. It is reminiscent of Split Second, another movie I liked.
  • The shoot-out in the bar looks good.
  • I liked the way they've set up the con to lure the doctor into a trap. The song, the nudity, the vibrator were all good choices.

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How does it compare to the other works of the creators?

From the writer's (Lisa Joy) works, I've probably seen some Westworld episodes. This was probably similar to those.

This is the first feature film of the director (Lisa Joy). As a first, this is okay.

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Reminiscence, movie (2021) - Film review by KadmonReminiscence, movie (2021)
image © Warner Entertainment (AT&T)

Analysis of the story - Reminiscence, movie (2021)

I mostly liked the story, I didn't find problems that would have prevented me from enjoying Reminiscence.

Problematic elements

Bringing back memories: The movie shows us the memories as if they were filmed by an outside person. The memories, however, are "filmed" from the inside, so the acting person cannot see themselves. However, in the movie, they explain that people often see themselves from the outside, so I assume it's part of the setting, but it could have been established earlier. Also, I'm pretty sure that when a person sees himself outside of his body, it's imagination and not memory. And memories are two-dimensional, as they are seen through the eyes, that get 2D input. What they project in 3D has to be the imagination, as you cannot remember something that's behind your vision.

Watching the intimate memories: I get it that it's useful to watch the memory projection until they find the specific memory they were looking for, but for recreational reminiscing, I find it unethical to watch the memories of the clients. Yes, this provides one of the plot points, but I find this practice questionable. It would be good if they would establish why does the doctor have to watch it, probably to see if some nightmare starts to creep in.

Deal with the police: At the end it wasn't entirely clear for me that he cut a deal with the police. It should be probably spelled out a little more to make it easier to understand.

Unanswered questions

What happened to the rich man's widow and son? And with the illegitimate son?

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Possibilities of improvement


How it could have been better?


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Reminiscence, movie (2021) - Film review by KadmonReminiscence, movie (2021)
image © Warner Entertainment (AT&T)

Uses for the film - Reminiscence, movie (2021)


  • There's technology to bring back memories.
  • Criminals try to clean up leads, that could be used against them as evidence.


  • The outdoor scenes are good to show a futuristic city partly under the water.
  • The scenes where people get in and out of the pool can be used to show any kind of device, from dream machines to hybernation pods.
  • The shootout in the bar is good to depict a modern / near-future shootout in a bar.

Scenario ideas - Role-playing game scenario ideas


Scenario ideas - Wargame scenario ideas

Assault the base: The attacking team has to create a diversion. The defenders are twice as many as the attackers, but they are caught unaware. The defenders are randomly deployed in the playing area. The attackers can enter from any edge, or even from multiple edges. The attackers win if they have a unit in the playing area in round N (it depends on your game system), and then they can move more than half of the team out of the playing area. The defenders win if they kill more than half of the attackers.

Alternative: Another playing area is set up, or the available playing area is halved. On one side, play the diversion game. On the other side, play this scenario. If you play these simultaneously with 4 players, when a round ends on one side, wait for the other side to also end. Otherwise, start with one round of the diversion, then one round for the real thing. The rest of the attacking team enters a place to finish an objective. There's only a skeleton crew of defenders, who are overwhelmed by the attackers. Even though the defenders call for reinforcement, they are busy elsewhere. After the battle ends on the diversion side, they can roll in the beginning of each round. On a roll of 1, a unit if defenders arrive, from the diversion scenario. The attackers win if they complete their objective, then move more than half of the team from the playing area. The defenders win if they deny the objective of the attackers, or kill more than half of them.

Submerged area: The playing area is a structure (building, ship, spaceship) half submerged into the sea. One the ground level of the playing area, the models are wading in water. There can be elevated areas that are dry. However, there can be holes, and if someone steps into them, they fall into deep water. Explosions can weaken parts of the structure, and create new holes. If a new hole is created due to an explosion, every model in the area falls into the water. If they don't wear heavy items, they can swim, otherwise they'll sink to the bottom.

Flooded area: The playing area is a city with narrow streets, but the streets are flooded with water. There are a couple of bridges if you want to cross the streets. The depth of the water depends on the tide, so roll a d6: 1-2: Shallow water, human-sized models can wade through the water, but it's dangerous ground if they want to run. Transports are unaffected. 3-4: Higher water. Human-sized models can't run. Mounts and cars can only go slowly. It's dangerous ground for bikes. 5-6: High tide. Human-sized models and mounts can only swim in it. Only boats or amphibian transports can move in the water.

Miniatures - 1/50-1/60 (28-32mm scale)

The doctor: Human-sized modern human male civilian in coat.

The woman: Human-sized modern human female civilian in dress.

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Similar stories - Reminiscence, movie (2021)


Don't Go (2018): In a contemporary setting, a person (father) tries to summon a lost person (child) with a ritual (dreams).

Mute (2018): In a near-future setting, two doctors have a private clinic. The events are usually outside of their understanding.

Split Second (1992): The near-future setting looks similar with the submerged streets.

Strange Days (1995): In a near-future setting, criminals trying to find a saved memory that could be used as evidence against them.

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Frequently asked questions - Reminiscence, movie (2021)

Is the Reminiscence film based on a book or comics?

No, Reminiscence is not based on either books or comics.

Is there a post credit scene in Reminiscence? Does Reminiscence have end credit scenes?

No, there's no post credit scene in Reminiscence.

Where can I see Reminiscence? Where can I watch Reminiscence online? Is Reminiscence available on Netflix? Is Reminiscence on Amazon?

As of 2021.10.28, Reminiscence is only available in the cinemas. It was available on HBO Max for a while (08.20-09.19), but it was taken off.

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Resources - Reminiscence, movie (2021)


Reminiscence: Official website.


IMDB: Reminiscence (2021): Database article.

WikiPedia: Reminiscence (2021 film): Database article.

Letterboxd: Reminiscence 2021: Database article.

Rotten Tomatoes: Reminiscence 2021: Database article.


Tudor Leonte (for SuperHeroHype): Hugh Jackman Unveils the Origin of Reminiscence’s Titular Machine: Setting information article.

Bill Desowitz (for IndieWire): ‘Reminiscence’: Creating a Visual Mindscape for Lisa Joy’s ‘Analog Noir’ Worthy of Hitchcock: Article about the technology to create the look of holo-projection.

Reviews with no spoilers - Reminiscence film (2021)

Marianna Neal (for Impression Blend): Candyman, The Night House, Annette, Reminiscence | Movie Reviews: Review video of the Reminiscence movie, with no spoilers.

Matthias Pfeiffer (for Kino-Zeit / Movie Time): Reminiscence - The Memory Never Dies (2021)(in German): Review article of the Reminiscence movie, with no spoilers.§

English version by Google Translate

Kevin (for Kevin's Film Reviews): Reminiscence (2021) Movie Review: Narration heavy and just… fine: Review article of the Reminiscence movie, with no spoilers.§/Ł?

Alison Willmore (for Vulture): Hugh Jackman’s Sci-fi Noir Reminiscence Is Weirdly Boring: Review article of the Reminiscence movie, with minor spoilers.ß

Reviews with spoilers - Reminiscence film (2021)

Gabblack (for CineGore): Reminiscence (2021) (in Hungarian): Review article of the Reminiscence movie, with spoilers, in Hungarian.

English version by Google Translate

Analysis - Reminiscence movie (2021)

John Orquiola (for Screen Rant): How Reminiscence's Time Travel Works: Technology Explained: Analysis article about the memory technology and its connection to the plot of Reminiscence.

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Buying the product - Reminiscence, movie (2021)

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Have you seen the Reminiscence film? How do you like the movie? Would you recommend it to others? Do you know reviews or resources you'd like to add? What further thoughts do you have about it? Tell your opinion in the comments!


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