It’s tempting to write off The Forgotten sight unseen as just another entry in the perplexingly durable kid-in-jeopardy genre. But as recent headlines underscore the prospect of parents losing their children to inexplicable events, the notion becomes chillingly urgent. Too bad the best Hollywood can do is smother it under car chases, special-effects jolts, and a socially irrelevant sci-fi story line lifted whole from The X-Files.
Antsy, bored-looking Julianne Moore plays a grieving NYC mom whose son perished a year earlier in a mysterious plane crash. The more people around her insist that the lad never existed, the more firmly she believes that the truth is out there. She sets off to find it with an alcoholic ex-hockey player (Dominic West) whose daughter was on the plane, and soon people are whispering meaningfully about alien abductions and government cover-ups. The resolution is as surprise-free as it is improbably sunny, and the only lingering image is that of errant characters being sucked violently into the sky. Here’s hoping the same fate awaits the next hack to pitch a movie so banally indifferent to human loss.