Bourne Identity

The Bourne Identity

4.5 80
Director: Doug Liman

Cast: Doug Liman, Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Clive Owen


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The best-selling suspense novel by late author Robert Ludlum comes to the screen for a second time, following a 1988 made-for-TV movie. Matt Damon stars as Jason Bourne, a barely alive amnesiac with a pair of bullet wounds in his back, pulled from the Mediterranean by Italian fishermen. Bourne's only clue to his own identity is a bank account number etched on a


The best-selling suspense novel by late author Robert Ludlum comes to the screen for a second time, following a 1988 made-for-TV movie. Matt Damon stars as Jason Bourne, a barely alive amnesiac with a pair of bullet wounds in his back, pulled from the Mediterranean by Italian fishermen. Bourne's only clue to his own identity is a bank account number etched on a capsule implanted in his body. He quickly finds the Zurich bank where money, a gun, and a few identification documents await, but after he's pursued by security goons at the American consulate, Bourne realizes he can trust no one and offers a German gypsy named Marie (Franka Potente) ten thousand dollars for a ride to Paris. Encountering more professional killers bent on his destruction, Bourne discovers that he possesses a surprising degree of skill in combat, martial arts, and linguistics -- handy talents that clearly indicate his past includes work as a spy and assassin, but for whom? With Marie's reluctant help, Bourne edges closer to the truth, something CIA officials want concealed at all costs. The Bourne Identity co-stars Chris Cooper, Clive Owen, Brian Cox, and Julia Stiles.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
At first glance, boyish Matt Damon might strike you as unsuited to play a formidable secret agent, but he does remarkably well in the role in this intricate, action-packed, and well-crafted spy thriller. Adapted from the bestselling novel by Robert Ludlum, The Bourne Identity opens with the rescue of a badly wounded amnesiac (Damon), who carries beneath his skin a tiny capsule bearing the number of a Swiss bank account. Upon recovering, the befuddled young man claims a veritable fortune -- and passports bearing several different names -- from his safety deposit box. Understandably eager to find out which one of these identities is his real one, he hires a young Gypsy woman (Run Lola Run’s Franka Potente) to drive him to Paris. From this point, the script by Tony Gilroy and William Blake Herron gets incredibly complicated; the Damon character, who uses his "Jason Bourne" identity for the time being, becomes the object of repeated assassination attempts, which he foils by employing skills he never knew he had. Fine character actors Chris Cooper and Brian Cox are chillingly convincing as CIA bigwigs who decide that "Bourne" must be eliminated and assign their top assassin (Clive Owen) to do the job quickly and, if possible, quietly. Doug Liman (Swingers) directs with headlong single-mindedness, hurling his protagonist into one death trap after another and extricating him with dizzying speed. Wintry European exteriors and drab interior settings give the film a grayish cast, but The Bourne Identity isn’t about pretty pictures; it’s about international intrigue and one man’s refusal to be a pawn in some sinister, global chess game. Improbable but engrossing, The Bourne Identity will keep you poised on the edge of your chair.
All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
A tight, gripping spy thriller that's nonetheless a pleasant surprise given a notoriously difficult production that included an incomplete script, usually an omen of impending artistic doom. Not to disparage his abilities in any way -- a pair of showdowns with rival assassins are high-octane show stoppers -- but so much of what works about director Doug Liman's make-or-break studio debut is in the absolutely superb, even brilliant, casting. Matt Damon is perfect in a role that requires him to be simultaneously smart but baffled, competent but confused, lethal but little-boy-lost. By comparison, Richard Chamberlain in the late '80s TV-movie version of the same novel plays like a stone carving. Franka Potente is the first solid, realistic female foil to hit this genre in a long, long time, leaving one to wonder what exactly the James Bond producers will do with characters like Pussy Galore and Honey Ryder now that they've been trumped by the modern, feminist approach of Bourne and the spoofing jabs of the Austin Powers series. Praise must also be heaped on the blink-and-you'll-miss-it performance of Clive Owen as a rival assassin, whose chilling performance suddenly twists into eerie poignancy in a Van Gogh-inspired death scene that occurs in a wheat field bursting with crows, an unexpectedly quiet high point of the film. The always reliably efficient Chris Cooper, who never seems to use a movement, facial expression, or vocal inflection without deliberate care, seems at first an odd choice for a villain, until it becomes clear that his character's villainy is hopelessly intertwined with his very bureaucratic flunkeyism. Envisioned by Universal as a franchise-launcher with at least two follow-ups to come, The Bourne Identity is a solid kick-start to a series that will, hopefully, remain grounded in the sort of reality that makes the film a slick, enjoyable thriller.
New York Times
Free from the encumbrances of history and of Ludlum's cloddish prose, The Bourne Identity, like its hero, triumphs through sheer unreflective professionalism. A.O. Scott
Washington Post
There isn't a dull or dumb moment in this movie. Desson Howe
Los Angeles Times
Laced with great shock moments, Bourne moves along smartly on its own steam, drawing us confidently into its orbit. Kenneth Turan

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Universal Studios
Region Code:

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Matt Damon Jason Bourne
Franka Potente Marie Kreutz
Clive Owen The Professor
Chris Cooper Ted Conklin
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje Nykwana Wombosi
Brian Cox Ward Abbott
Tim Dutton Eamon
Walton Goggins Research Tech
Orso Maria Guerrini Giancarlo
Josh Hamilton Research Tech
Gabriel Mann Zorn
Judy Parfitt Actor
Julia Stiles Nicolette

Technical Credits
Doug Liman Director,Producer
Robert Ludlum Source Author
Bettina von den Steinen Art Director
Laurent Piron Art Director
Patrick Crowley Asst. Director,Producer
Kate Dowd Casting
Joseph Middleton Casting
Alexander Witt Cinematographer
Oliver Wood Cinematographer
Andrew R. Tennenbaum Co-producer
Pierre-Yves Gayraud Costumes/Costume Designer
Saar Klein Editor
Robert Ludlum Executive Producer
Frank Marshall Executive Producer
Julianne Jordan Musical Direction/Supervision
Richard N. Gladstein Producer
Dan Weil Production Designer
John Powell Score Composer
Tony Gilroy Screenwriter
William Blake Herron Screenwriter
Alexandrine Mauvezin Set Decoration/Design
Bernard Bats Sound/Sound Designer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. "Dead" Man
2. It's Not Coming Back
3. To Switzerland
4. The Wombosi Problem
5. My Name Is Jason Bourne
6. The American Embassy
7. Find Jason Bourne
8. Marie Helena Kreutz
9. Home
10. Assassin
11. The Right Thing
12. Paris Pursuit
13. Mr. Kane's Hotel Bill
14. The Wombosi Connection
15. Eamon
16. The Killer Outside
17. Bourne's Game
18. A Malfunctioning Weapon
19. Forced Retirement
20. End Titles


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The Bourne Identity 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 79 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Doug Liman's 2002 release of ''The Bourne Identity'' dosen't stay as faithful to the book at the 1988 TV-movie on, but this one is still an action-packed thrill ride, in some sense. It had the best car chase of the summer, trading in flashy sportscars for Renauts and cheap clunkers. We learn to actually sympathize with the charecter, instead of just watching him as he fights. It dosen't remain that faithful to the original novel, but it is able to stand on its own. Damon's portrayel of Bourne is top-notch and Liman's direction is wonderful, with beautiful Paris sets. You should see this movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One great movie with a great cast, great settings and a story line that's easier to follow than the book. If you did not get to see it at the theatre,too bad; it was one of those movies where no one leaves and everyone stays quiet, because it is that good!
Guest More than 1 year ago
''The Bourne Identity'' is by far the best action movie of 2002! It starts fast and never slows down, from beginning to end. Matt Damon (of ''Good Will Hunting''/''Saving Private Ryan'' fame) delivers a dynamite performance as Jason Bourne; a CIA operative whos failed assassination attempt of a world leader causes him to be put for extermination by his own company. Coming from near-death, without any remembrance of the past, Bourne embarks to find and retrace why he is in the situation, he is, while battling those that seek to end his life. All this with the skills and techniques that are provided to him by being a CIA Op. Franka Potente (lead of ''Run Lola Run,'' the best German film of the 90s: if you haven't seen it, check it out ASAP) is amazing as Bourne's penniless sidekick. She is smart, sexy, and a perfect compliment to Damon. They are an excellent pair together! This movie is amazing for its great dialogue, witty and charismatic cast, and non-stop action sequences. Chris Cooper is quite good as Bourne's former boss, who wants him dead ASAP. And, an upcoming star in Julia Stiles makes a brief appearance as a CIA employee. On top of the cast, the film is gifted with excellent cinematography. Set primarily in Paris, it has the ability to take that city that many Americans know well and transform it into an exotic masterpiece, ala Budapest or Prague. The camera angles of the scenes are fantastic, giving the audience plenty of excitement, as Bourne climbs down walls and beats his way through security officers. All in all, this is a movie that everyone will like. It is the action highlight of 2002, with maybe the best chase scene in the history of film (and that includes the 1971 classic: ''The French Connection'') And, what makes this movie so much better than let's say ''XXX,'' is that Damon is believable as the smart, witty Bourne and his action sequences are riddled in athletic ability, then an overdoing of special effects. This film is quite believable, which adds to its aura. Definitely check this movie out, by all means. Built on a strong novel, it's a smart film, with a great cast, beautiful cinematography, and nonstop action. The action of film of 2002: ''The Bourne Identity.''
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great movie, but please READ THE BOOK FIRST. MUCH more suspense, intrique, and just more entertaining. If you see the movie before the book, you're just going to ruin this brilliant book for yours
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was fantastic! It had an intricate plot, with a little romance, and a lot of action!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an awsome movie!! the book is as good as the movie, so you should read the book before hand. they are different enough so that you are thrilled to the bone. If you like these bookes or movies, you should read tom clancy or 007 movies. I LOVE THIS MOVIE
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this movie in N.Y. and i thought this can't be that good then i actually saw it, it kept me on the edge of my seat through out the whole movie. it's my fav movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
great movie. im going to buy it the day it comes out. the idea of a superhero who can't has a condition where he can't remember anything before a couple of weeks before is really cool.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Larry D. Bohall, author of Martyr's Cry (ISBN 1591295327): My first exposure to The Bourne Identity was the Jaclyn Smith miniseries from the 80's. I then read the book (which was very good, but had a very high body count). I love the idea behind it--an amnesia victim who has millions of dollars and an incredible ability to fight his way out of any situation. Is he a high paid assassin? A spy under deep cover? Something else? It was a complicated plot, which translated well to the miniseries, and is basically abandoned in this extended chase scene. Why is all of this happening? Who is trying to kill Jason Bourne? Who IS Jason Bourne? Who cares? Not the director, screen writer or actor. We never really find out anything...we just get lots of bullets flying and cars crashing. At least, in the mini-series and the book, there was a reason for the heroine. She helped Bourne find out who he was and what was going on, and provided the love (real love) that helped ''heal'' him. In this version, she's there to give him a car. I was quite disappointed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was an exciting thriller and the acting was great....I honestly thought I wouldn't like this because I usually don't like action movies, needless to say within 5 minutes I was on the edge of my seat!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is one of the best mystery movies I've every seen. It was definetly the best movie I saw last summer and the best rental! You gotta watch it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I never thought that the popular Matt Damon would make an awesome secret agent/assassin. He proved me wrong and now ''The Bourne Identity'' has taken the place of my old favorite movie. I can't wait to see the upcoming sequels. I do recommend reading the book either before or after. I am buying this movie ASAP!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wait a minute, what movie did these other bozos watch. It could not have been Bourne Idenity. This is one of the most boring action films I have seen. If any one was on the edge of their seat, it was due to a hemorroid flare up, not the action. Ronin is a far, far better flick. While this movie is worth borrowing, I would not own it. Watch it once and no need to come back. The romance sucks, the action is second class. Save your DVD $$$ for something else unless you need a snooze.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great movie, very interesting and u just end up needing to know what happens! WATCH IT!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Matt Damon does it again with a great performance as the ultimate killing machine for the US government but loses his memory because of his last mission. I love the twists through out the story and how he discovers who he is and tries to go up against the big boss or his owners to get away. Matt Damon plays it so well just like he played in Good Will Hunting as him really making his character really believeable. The story was something else. Beautiful over all the movie and the way it was directed. Matt Damons talents really show here and his diversity of acting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a movie you will want to watch again. You will not be disappointed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this movie was great. Matt Damon is hot in this flim. Really good
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I heard that The Bourne Identity was coming out, my teacher was making such a fuss about it, so I decided to see what's so delightful about it all and read the book. When I read the book, I was blown away by the plot, the characters, the events, everything. I was especially intrigued by the man named Carlos who's chasing after the guy the whole time. So, when I watched the movie, I was expecting the same moments, the characters, everything all put on-screen. Instead, what I got was a movie that hardly resembled the book at all. I would've found it all very confusing had I not read the book. The deep mysterious history behind Bourne is replaced by a simple explanation to why he became an agent and blah blah blah. I would have loved to see flashback scenes of him and his Vietnamese wife and his son, togetheri n Vietnam, I found that part of the book very touching, but no. And where is my Carlos?! I was looking forward to seeing him on screen so much. All in all, this movie was very disappointing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As someone who has not read the book, I found the movie to be absolutely great. It's lots of fun, and very well-acted, especially Matt Damon (who is one of my favorites). I reccomend it to anyone looking for some real good entertainment, with a great storyline.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After seeing this movie was glad I had. The only thing I didn't like about it was that it lacked technical work, maybe from the CIA's point of view. Most people don't know it, but these books are fantastic!! Wayyyy better than the silver screen did. There's a series of three books about Jason Bourne. If you'd like to read them, or more in this fashion, try looking under Robert Ludlum. He's usually listed in the bottom half of the green section at Barnes & Noble. There's a new one out just now as a matter of fact. And you'll read them, from front to back. Enjoy!!