Ironically titled, this is a tricky film noir with several fresh twists. It has a gimmicky-sounding premise—a gunman who uses Polaroid photographs to cope with his short-term memory loss—and a complex narrative structure that moves backward in time from a killing that occurs at the start of the film. These unusual arrangements are crucial to the film’s story interest, as well as to its offbeat charm. They are justified by the character’s mental predicament and then vindicated by the mystery-in-reverse that emerges surrounding the gunman’s motives and identity. Guy Pearce, who was one of the standouts in L.A. Confidential, brings a smooth, watchful coherence to the tale’s oddball combination of action, suspense and psychodrama. In its weird, slyly twisted way, Memento prowls the territory between L.A. Confidential and such Hitchcockian psycho-shockers as Stage Fright and The Wrong Man.