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The Memory of a Killer (2005)

Koen De Bouw , Werner De Smedt , Erik Van Looy  |  R |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Koen De Bouw, Werner De Smedt, Jan Decleir, Laurien Van den Broeck, Dirk Roofthooft
  • Directors: Erik Van Looy
  • Writers: Erik Van Looy, Carl Joos, Jef Geeraerts
  • Producers: Erwin Provoost, Hilde De Laere, Mark De Geest, Sjef Scholte
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Dutch (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 21, 2006
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000CQQI9E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,979 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Memory of a Killer" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Behind-the-scenes featurette
  • A Night to Remember: The Premiere of The Memory of a Killer
  • Trailers

Editorial Reviews

His memory impaired by Alzheimer's, veteran assassin Angelo Ledda (Jan Decleir) is appalled to discover his intended target is a 12-year-old girl. Refusing to kill her, Ledda breaks his contract, only to have his boss carry out the hit instead. Incensed, Ledda vows vengeance and sets out to find the man who ordered the child's death. Systematically wiping out middlemen and go-betweens, Ledda leaves a blood trail that is followed by Chief Inspector Vincke (Koen De Bouw), a police detective who's desperate to learn what links the dead girl with the most powerful men in Belgium. And so, with the cops one step behind him and his memory fading fast, Ledda finds himself in a race against time as he tries to avenge a child whose face he can no longer recall.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
'De Zaak Alzheimer' or 'The Alzheimer Case' or the US titled 'The Memory of a Killer' is a stunningly well written, directed, acted, and photographed film from Belgium. Though termed by director Erik Van Looy as a 'police thriller', this gripping drama is so much more: this is the story of organized crime, of the men and women who fight crime, and of a man afflicted with progressive Alzheimer's Disease which alters his entire view of his life of crime. It is a police thriller with a soul and as such is one of the finest films of this genre this viewer has ever seen.

Angelo Ledda (the enormously gifted Jan Decleir) is a hit man sent to Antwerp to eliminate some important 'clients'. He is hesitant to take on the job as he understands that his mind is being slowly altered by the effects of Alzheimer's disease. But go he must and after his first successful 'kill', he is ordered to kill a young girl, an order he cannot follow, and an order, which with his failing memory and abilities acknowledged, he decides to turn on his employers and rid the world of those big crime magnates. The Flemish police, lead by two superb minds - Vincke (Koen De Bouw) and Verstuyft (Werner De Smedt) - follow the path of corpses that lay in Ledda's wake of destroying the important heads of crime in Antwerp. Ledda becomes strangely connected and committed to the two police, in reality helping them by remote stance do their job, but the movie is a cat and mouse chase between the police and Ledda and one whose ending, though somewhat predictable, manages to tear at the heart of the audience as the unwinding of Ledda's mind by Alzheimer's disease results in a metamorphosis of a killer's mentality to that of a quasi-hero.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Memory of a Killer July 25, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This intelligent, distinctive nail-biter from Belgian director Eric Van Looy puts a fresh twist on the revenge saga with its parallel storylines and a mentally ailing hired killer, superbly played by Decleir, who transforms into a kind of moral hero. As he scales the heights of power looking for the child killer, Angelo's skills and sense of justice remain intact, but with his failing memory, he often lapses into a disorienting haze. By the end, all the pieces click together like a Rubik's puzzle. Bristling with suspense and visual energy, "Killer" is a highly original thriller that will leave a lasting impression.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best movies I've seen this year. November 12, 2007
The Memory of a Killer (Erik van Looy, 2003)

How is it that, until I watched this movie, I had never heard the name Jef Geeraerts, upon whose book this movie is based? There is a crime going on here somewhere, and I mean to find it. If the book is a tenth as good as the film, the English-speaking world has been kept in the dark about one of the best crime writers going today. Yeah, I realize that every once in a while mediocre (or just plain bad) novels get made into great movies, but still, I'm playing the odds on this one. Most movies aren't as good as the books on which they're based, and The Memory of a Killer is a very good movie.

Angelo Ledda (the great Jan Decleir) is a French contract killer who is sent to Belgium to take out a minor official after retrieving a certain metal box from him. Once he has completed that assignment, his contact, Seynaeve (Gene Bervoets) orders him out on a related contract: the murder of a child prostitute, Bieke Cuypers (Laurien Van den Broeck). When Ledda discovers Cuypers' age, he refuses to take the contract, saying no one in his profession will kill a child. That night, on the news, he hears she's been shot, and sets out to find out who was behind the murder and why. Meanwhile, Eric Vincke (Koen de Bouw), a Detective Chief Inspector who was assigned to the Cuypers case, is also trying to figure out who killed Bieke Cuypers. When their paths cross, the game of cat and mouse begins-- will Ledda get to each person higher on the food chain before Vincke? And does Vincke really want to stop him? Complicating matters is the fact that Ledda is slowly sliding into Alzheimer's-related dementia.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Set in Belgium, this unusual thriller has as its protagonist an anti-hero--a 57-year old hitman who's beginning to experience symptoms of Alzheimer's. His brother, older and residing in a nursing home, has an advanced form of the same disease. But the hitman, Angelo Ledda, has enough of his wits about him to know what's going on; he does have some slips in memory from time to time, though, and these throw him off, to some extent at least, in the context of remembering what he's just done or where he just was--or who he might have just executed.

The acting is superior; this in combination with a smart storyline with sharp dialogue makes for an engrossing two hours. As is true of many modern noir tales, this one involves corruption in high places, as a result of which murders ensue--some committed by Ledda, some not.

The pacing here is pretty much flawless. The back and forth between the cops, the hitman, and the evil higher-up guys is spot on. This is a great companion piece to the recent French policier "36 Quai des Orfevres" directed by Olivier Marechal which, unfortunately, is not available on DVD here in the US, but is available in a non-region 1 European DVD release.

Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 Stars. Can't Say I Loved It But I Lliked It A Whole Lot.
I would highly recommend seeing this movie. Definitely an interesting take on the life of a paid assassin (hit man) and he's all business (brutal). Read more
Published 5 months ago by Holly
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
This is a terrific movie about a hit man with standards who is getting dementia and the police who are after him - I read the rights were purchased by some US studio and I hope it... Read more
Published 5 months ago by DennisMcG
4.0 out of 5 stars Memory of a Killer
I thought it would be in English.Are there any versions in English that someone is selling? I would love to buy it!
Published 21 months ago by Bruce K. Gaston
5.0 out of 5 stars Hell of a movie of hell of a book!
For the people that liked the movie i recommend reading this book and the other books of Jef Geeraerts. He's one of the best crime writers!
Published on April 11, 2012 by M. Tahon
5.0 out of 5 stars A Highly Moral Murderer
This is an excellent movie and its too bad its not available to rent. The issue of Alzheimer's slowly closing in on him is done with a such deft directorial hand it leaves the view... Read more
Published on February 5, 2011 by Dean Corso
4.0 out of 5 stars More than just plot
I've been on a streak as of late. After having seen "The Question in Their Eyes" and "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" I figured there couldn't be too many crime thrillers left out... Read more
Published on October 26, 2010 by Eric Sanberg
5.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Movie
Others have discussed the plot so my comments will be short. I saw a preview of the movie and eventually purchased it. Read more
Published on May 17, 2010 by R. Howard Courtney
5.0 out of 5 stars A Memorable Movie
The Memory of a Killer is a movie in Dutch, (some French too) subtitled in English.

I really like this movie, it is very touching. Jan Decleir is such a great actor!
Published on April 21, 2010 by Anja Pleshet
4.0 out of 5 stars Swan Dive
Angelo Ledda (as in Yeats and mythology's swan Leda, he notes) as portrayed by Jan Decleir is a man on the edge. Read more
Published on April 12, 2008 by MICHAEL ACUNA
4.0 out of 5 stars The Memory of a Killer
Interesting but the subject is a bit revolting. Dealing with Alzheimers was a new twist and the story was well presented. Read more
Published on March 26, 2008 by John W. Van Hoy III
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