IMDb > Along Came a Spider (2001)
Along Came a Spider
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Along Came a Spider (2001) More at IMDbPro »

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Along Came a Spider -- A congressman's daughter under Secret Service protection is kidnapped from a private school by an insider who calls Det. Alex Cross, sucking him into the case even though he's recovering from the loss of his partner.


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Popularity: ?
Up 28% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
James Patterson (novel)
Marc Moss (screenplay)
View company contact information for Along Came a Spider on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 April 2001 (USA) See more »
The game is far from over.
A congressman's daughter under Secret Service protection is kidnapped from a private school by an insider who calls Det. Alex Cross, sucking him into the case even though he's recovering from the loss of his partner. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Does What A Thriller Should, No More, No Less See more (314 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Morgan Freeman ... Alex Cross

Monica Potter ... Jezzie Flannigan

Michael Wincott ... Gary Soneji

Dylan Baker ... Ollie McArthur

Mika Boorem ... Megan Rose

Anton Yelchin ... Dimitri Starodubov

Kim Hawthorne ... Agent Hickley

Jay O. Sanders ... Kyle Craig

Billy Burke ... Ben Devine

Michael Moriarty ... Senator Hank Rose

Penelope Ann Miller ... Elizabeth Rose

Anna Maria Horsford ... Vickie

Scott Heindl ... Floyd the Fisherman

Christopher Shyer ... Jim

Jill Teed ... Tracie
Ian Marsh ... Sam
Raoul Ganeev ... Bodyguard

Samantha Ferris ... Mrs. Hume
Ocean Hellman ... Amy Masterson

Tom McBeath ... Country Chief Cabell
Tamara Taggart ... Reporter
Suzette Meyers ... Reporter
Brian Arnold ... Reporter
Chris Robson ... Reporter

Jonathan Walker ... Reporter

Debra Donohue ... Reporter
Mila Dobrozdravich ... Hannah
Aaron Joseph ... Kennedy

Ravil Isyanov ... Lermontov
Ronin Wong ... Medical Examiner
Campbell Lane ... Mathias
Charles Andre ... Diplomatic Patrol Officer
Claire Riley ... News Anchor
Paul Carson ... News Anchor
Donna Lysell ... News Anchor
Kevin Hayes ... News Co-Anchor
Steve Makaj ... News Co-Anchor
Nathaniel DeVeaux ... Coast Guard Captain (as Nathaniel Deveaux)
Wynn Hall ... Watergate Employee (as Nguyen Hall)
Charles Andison ... McArthur Entourage
Tarie Tennessey ... McArthur Entourage

Darryl Scheelar ... McArthur Entourage

Craig March ... McArthur Entourage

Darryl Dillard ... D.C. Policeman
Carter Jahncke ... Man Who Can't Answer Phone
Jim Hild ... Potentially Evil Guy on Train
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Greg Cool ... Possible Suspect on Light Rail (uncredited)

Rick Kain ... Train Passenger (uncredited)
Charles A. Lindbergh ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Bruce Lindsay ... Extra (uncredited)

Leo Rogstad ... Metro-Goer (uncredited)
Kyley Statham ... Student (uncredited)

Directed by
Lee Tamahori 
Writing credits
James Patterson (novel)

Marc Moss (screenplay)

Produced by
David Brown .... producer
Morgan Freeman .... executive producer
Marty Hornstein .... executive producer
Joe Wizan .... producer
Original Music by
Jerry Goldsmith 
Cinematography by
Matthew F. Leonetti 
Film Editing by
Neil Travis 
Casting by
Denise Chamian 
Production Design by
Ida Random 
Art Direction by
Sandy Cochrane 
Set Decoration by
Elizabeth Wilcox 
Costume Design by
Sanja Milkovic Hays 
Makeup Department
Deena Adair .... hair stylist: Mr. Freeman
Ian C. Ballard .... hair stylist department head (as Ian Ballard)
Wyatt Belton .... hair stylist: Washington D.C.
Nicole Bivens .... assistant hair stylist (as Nicole Wise)
Rosalina Da Silva .... personal makeup artist
Stan Edmonds .... makeup department head
Michael Hancock .... makeup artist: Mr. Freeman
Tone Rorvik .... assistant makeup artist (as Tone Rorvick)
Heather Tillson .... assistant hair stylist (as Heather Tilson)
Michael Westmore .... prosthetics makeup designer
Debra Wiebe .... assistant hair stylist (as Debra Weibe)
Debi Young .... makeup artist: Washington D.C.
Stacey Butterworth .... wig maker (uncredited)
Shannon Coppin .... first assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Richard J. Gelfand .... unit production manager: Washington D.C. (as Richard Gelfand)
Casey Grant .... production manager (as B. Casey Grant)
Marty Hornstein .... unit production manager: Los Angeles
Stewart Bethune .... unit production manager: re-shoot (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Paul Barry .... second assistant director
Jim Brebner .... first assistant director
Silver Butler .... dgc trainee
Kevin Fair .... second second assistant director
Jeff Mosuk .... additional third assistant director
Darren Robson .... third assistant director
Robert Schick .... second second assistant director: Washington D.C. (as Bob Schick)
Tarnya Cook .... assistant director: reshoot (uncredited)
Johanne Glyn-Jones .... additional assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
J.P. Bagshaw .... set dresser (as JP Bagshaw)
Nancy Anna Brown .... set designer
Gordon Brunner .... set dresser (as Gordi Brunner)
Chad W. Chilibeck .... set dresser (as Chad Chilibeck)
Ron Clifford .... construction foreperson (as Ronald W. Clifford)
Gregory Dewar .... art department coordinator
Kasia Dzieciolowska .... set dresser
Dave Emmonds .... greensperson (as David Emmonds)
Bill Forster .... construction foreperson
Steve George .... property master
Haida Harper .... assistant property master
Craig Henderson .... construction coordinator
Leah Hong .... graphic designer
Eric Hunsaker .... assistant art director: Washington D.C.
Gail Irvine .... property person
Ura Jones .... property person
Patrick Kearns .... set dresser
Teresa Kelly .... scenic artist
Bryan Korenberg .... property master
Gwendolyn Margetson .... assistant art director
Oscar Mazzola .... art department coordinator: L.A. (as L. Oscar A. Mazzola)
Ignacio McBurney .... set dresser
Garry Frank Patt .... construction foreperson (as Garry Patt)
Paul S. Power .... storyboard artist (as Paul Power)
Matt Reddy .... set dresser
James Summers .... greensperson
Joyce Woods .... scenic artist
Jason Ivey .... assistant property master (uncredited)
Kristina Kilpe .... on-set dresser: Washington DC (uncredited)
Sound Department
Bob Baron .... adr mixer
Eric Batut .... production sound mixer (as Eric J. Batut)
Dean Beville .... sound effects editor
Peter Brown .... sound effects editor (as Peter Allen Brown)
Anne Couk .... assistant sound editor
Scott Curtis .... foley editor
Jason England .... dialogue editor (as Robert Jason England)
Paula Fairfield .... sound effects editor
Roger Fearing .... assistant sound editor
Tammy Fearing .... adr editor
Stephen Hunter Flick .... supervising sound editor
Dana LeBlanc Frankley .... assistant adr editor (as Dana LeBlanc)
Dana Gustafson .... foley editor (as Dana A. Gustafson)
Michael Hamm .... sound consultant: Dolby (as Mike Hamm)
Catherine Harper .... foley artist
Ethan Holzman .... assistant sound editor
Larry Hopkins .... layback sound mixer
William Jacobs .... sound effects editor
Chris Jenkins .... sound re-recording mixer
Ryan Juggler .... assistant sound editor
Martin Lopez .... sound effects editor (as Martin Jacob Lopez)
Charles Maynes .... sound effects editor
Ron Meredith .... assistant sound editor
Jon Michaels .... assistant sound editor
Sarah Monat .... foley artist
Frank A. Montaño .... sound re-recording mixer (as Frankie Montano)
Vic Radulich .... dialogue editor
Karen Schell .... sound assistant
Randy Singer .... foley mixer (as Randy K. Singer)
Thomas W. Small .... supervising foley editor (as Thomas Small)
Frank Smathers .... dialogue editor (as Frank T. Smathers)
Mike Szakmeister .... supervising dialogue editor (as Michael Szakmeister)
Robert Ulrich .... supervising adr editor
Kelly Zombor .... boom operator
Wendy Czajkowsky .... adr mixer (uncredited)
Jamie Hardt .... sound intern (uncredited)
Rory O'Neill .... sound assistant: day call (uncredited)
Greg ten Bosch .... sound intern (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Michael Cassidy .... special effects foreman: Washington D.C.
William H. Orr .... special effects coordinator
Clay Scheirer .... special effects foreman (as Clayton Scheirer)
Steve Newburn .... technician: Steve Johnson's XFX (uncredited)
Matt Singer .... technician: Steve Johnson's XFX (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Erik Akutagawa .... scanning and recording: Rhythm & Hues
Lee Berger .... visual effects executive producer: Rhythm & Hues
Megan Bryant .... scanning and recording: Rhythm & Hues
Pascal Chappuis .... lighter: Rhythm & Hues
Yeen-Shi Chen .... modeller: Rhythm & Hues
Jeffrey Cilley .... scanning and recording: Rhythm & Hues (as Jeffery Cilley)
Lisa Clarity .... lighter: Rhythm & Hues
Brian Dowrick .... animation: Rhythm & Hues
Nicolas Imhof .... modeller: Rhythm & Hues
Liz Kapinski .... digital supervisor: Rhythm & Hues (as Liz Kupinski)
Josh Margolies .... effects editor: Rhythm & Hues (as Josh Margoli)
Scott O'Brien .... animation: Rhythm & Hues
Hideki Okano .... effects animation: Rhythm & Hues
Hans Rijpkema .... model/technical set-up: Rhythm & Hues
Mike Sandrik .... lighter: Rhythm & Hues
Craig Seitz .... 2D compositing: Rhythm & Hues
Bert Terreri .... visual effects producer: Rhythm & Hues
Eric Tsai .... model/technical set-up: Rhythm & Hues
Chien-Hsiung Wang .... modeller: Rhythm & Hues (as Chein-Hsiung Wang)
Bill Westenhofer .... visual effects supervisor: Rhythm & Hues
Dawn Bowery .... Inferno artist (uncredited)
Scot Byrd .... publicist: Rhythm & Hues (uncredited)
Daniel Aristoteles Collins .... systems/operations: Rhythm & Hues (uncredited)
Brandon Craig .... render supervisor (uncredited)
Phil Holland .... scanning & recording operator (uncredited)
Adam Howard .... digital compositor (uncredited)
Derek Ledbetter .... visual effects (uncredited)
Joe Mancewicz .... animation setup (uncredited)
Robert Rioux .... modeler: Rhythm & Hues (uncredited)
Adam Stern .... digital artist (uncredited)
Joe Strasser .... texture painter (uncredited)
Charles Andre .... stunts
Jophery C. Brown .... stunts (as Jophery Brown)
Peter Bucossi .... stunt coordinator: Washington D.C. (as Peter Buccosi)
Victor Chan .... stunts: Washington D.C.
John Copeman .... stunts: Washington D.C.
Marny Eng .... stunts
Frank Ferrara .... stunts: Washington D.C.
Jery Hewitt .... stunts: Washington D.C.
Chuck Jeffreys .... stunts: Washington D.C.
Janet Paparazzo .... stunts: Washington D.C.
Melissa R. Stubbs .... stunt coordinator (as Melissa Stubbs)
Jeff Ward .... stunts: Washington D.C.
Kym Washington .... stunts: Washington D.C.
Guy Bews .... stunts (uncredited)
Jophery C. Brown .... stunt double: Morgan Freeman (uncredited)
Douglas Chapman .... stunt double: Michael Wincott (uncredited)
Kelsi Chartrand .... stunts (uncredited)
Dean Choe .... stunts (uncredited)
Michael Langlois .... stunts (uncredited)
Mary-Ann Message .... stunt double (uncredited)
Rick Pearce .... stunt performer (uncredited)
Melissa R. Stubbs .... stunt double: Monica Potter (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
John Adams .... chief rigging electrician
Ken W. Anderson .... lamp operator (as Ken Anderson)
Stephen Arnott .... grip (as Steve Arnott)
Kristian Bailey .... grip
Roger Bailey .... generator operator
Justin Bergler .... 2nd ac: additional
Zoe Black .... lamp operator
Pat Blymyer .... chief lighting technician
Dillard Brinson .... first company grip
John Clothier .... Steadicam operator
John Clothier .... camera operator
Rob Coughlin .... electrician
George Dunagan .... assistant chief lighting technician: Washington D.C.
Noah Farrell .... grip
Douglas R. Field .... camera operator: "b" camera (as Doug Field)
Gil Forrester .... dolly grip operator
Bryan Fransen .... rigging grip
Tim Gordon .... electrician
David Goyer .... chief rigging electrician (as Dave Goyer)
Tom Gregg .... second company grip
Paul Guenette .... 'a' camera focus puller: additional photography
Stuart Haggerty .... lamp operator (as Stuart Hagerty)
Elizabeth House .... second assistant camera
David Insley .... camera operator: Washington D.C.
Jay Kemp .... chief rigging technician: Washington D.C.
Tony King .... lamp operator
John Le Roy .... first company rigging grip (as John Leroy)
Derek Leblanc .... rigging electrician (as Derrick LaBlanc)
Joseph Lederer .... still photographer (as Joe Lederer)
Don Linsley .... second company rigging grip: Washington D.C.
Rick Lobb .... grip
Michael Mayo .... assistant chief rigging electrician
Stan McClain .... aerial director of photography
Dave Mikutsky .... electrician: Washington D.C.
Kelly Moore .... lamp operator
Randal W. Morton .... film loader (as Randy Morton)
Bruce Murray .... lamp operator
Rod Newby .... rigging electrician
Tom Nichols .... grip: Washington D.C.
Cam North .... first assistant camera
John Sanderson .... video assist
Aki Shigematsu .... second assistant camera: "b" camera
Ted Spiegler .... chief rigging electrician: Washington D.C.
Stuart Stein .... second assistant photographer: Washington D.C. (as Stu Stein)
Bruce W. Talamon .... still photographer: Washington D.C. (as Bruce Talamon)
Keith Thomson .... camera operator: "b" camera
Jeff Trebenski .... assistant chief rigging electrician
Mark Walpole .... camera loader: Washington D.C.
Thomas E. Watson .... assistant chief lighting technician (as Tom Watson)
Carrie Wilson .... second assistant camera: "b" camera
R. Brock Woodman .... grip (as Brock Woodman)
Greg Beaton .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Greg Beaton .... camera operator: "b" camera (uncredited)
Al Campbell .... key grip: re-shoots (uncredited)
Enrique del Rio .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Jim Filippone .... pilot: camera helicopter (uncredited)
Rob Graham .... video playback operator (uncredited)
Kevin Haverty .... clapper loader: additional photography (uncredited)
Richard Klompus .... video assist: Washington D.C. (uncredited)
David Kohler .... lamp operator (uncredited)
John Le Roy .... key grip: second unit (uncredited)
John Le Roy .... key rigging grip: second unit (uncredited)
Taggart Lee .... camera operator: additional unit (uncredited)
Carol Macdonald .... second assistant camera: enhancements (uncredited)
Prem Marimuthu .... electrician (uncredited)
Stan McClain .... aerial camera operator (uncredited)
Klaus Melchior .... video playback coordinator (uncredited)
James Salberg .... dolly grip: re-shoots (uncredited)
Ian Seabrook .... focus puller: additional photography (uncredited)
Richard Walden .... camera operator: additional photography (uncredited)
Casting Department
Stuart Aikins .... casting: Canada
Andrea Brown .... extras casting
Sean Cossey .... casting associate: Canada
Barbara Harris .... voice casting
Michael Hothorn .... casting assistant
Carol Ness .... extras casting: Washington D.C.
Wendy Spooner .... extras casting
Dagmar Wittmer .... extras casting: Washington D.C.
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Isabel Bloor .... costume supervisor
Johnetta Boone .... costume supervisor: Washington D.C.
Tess Brummitt .... costumer (as Tess Brummit)
Luisa Dalmagro .... set costumer
Debbie Douglas .... costume coordinator (as Deborah Douglas)
Jessica Fasman .... costumer: Mr. Freeman
Slavica Grkavac .... assistant costume designer
Francine Lecoultre .... textile artist
Julie O'Rourke .... costumer
Garet Reilly .... costume coordinator: L.A. (as Garet Reily)
Irena Stepic .... costumer
Editorial Department
Jason Dale .... assistant editor: Canada
Nicolas De Toth .... additional editor (as Nicolas de Toth)
Adam M. Duthie .... assistant editor (as Adam Duthie)
Dana L. Marker .... negative cutter
Dennis McNeill .... color timer (as Denny McNeill)
Cedric Nairn-Smith .... apprentice editor
Michael Smith .... assistant editor: Canada
Sarah Thiessen .... assistant editor
Music Department
Robert Bayless .... assistant music editor (as Bob Bayless)
Bruce Botnick .... music mixer
Bruce Botnick .... music recordist
Tom Boyd .... oboe soloist
Sandy DeCrescent .... orchestra contractor (as Sandy De Crescent)
Norman Dlugatch .... music technical engineer (as Norm Dlugatch)
Robert Garrett .... preview music editor
Jerry Goldsmith .... conductor: orchestra
Dominic Gonzales .... music floor person
Kenneth Hall .... supervising music editor (as Ken Hall)
Mark McKenzie .... orchestrations
Marni Sanders .... copyist
Steven L. Smith .... music preparation
James Thatcher .... musician: French horn
Paul Wertheimer .... music recordist
Transportation Department
Lawrence Albright .... transportation captain
Stephen Carr .... personal driver
Robert Gaskill .... driver: Mr. Freeman
Kim Harmer .... picture car coordinator (as Kim B. Harmer)
Ken Marsden .... transportation co-captain
Wayne Nelson .... transportation coordinator: Washington D.C.
Rob Vreugde .... transportation coordinator
Gilbert Young .... transportation captain: Washington D.C.
John R. Dove .... fuel truck driver (uncredited)
Blake Zickefoose .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Allison Adams .... production assistant: Washington D.C.
Michael Alvarado .... production assistant: Los Angeles
Rey Astronomo .... computer/video playback operator
Inge Bailey .... assistant: Mr. Hornstein
Doreen Beaulac .... first assistant auditor: Canada
Matthew J. Birch .... production coordinator: Washington D.C.
Ron Blecker .... technical advisor
Josef Brandmaier .... sale and leaseback finance
Paul Burger .... production assistant (as Paul Berger)
Seana Carroll .... production assistant: Washington D.C.
Jason Collier .... trainee location manager
Samantha Crew .... stand in and double for monica potter
Dan Crosby .... marine coordinator
Jason Crosby .... marine coordinator
Brett Davies .... production assistant
Jessica Dewey .... assistant: Ms. Potter
Katherine Dorrer .... assistant production coordinator: Washington D.C.
Kevin Dugard .... medic: Washington D.C.
Brian Feeney .... production assistant: Washington D.C.
Jim Filippone .... aerial coordinator
Carol Flaisher .... location manager: Washington D.C.
Jay Floyd .... clearance administrator
Gina Galvan .... title producer
Scott Glazer .... medic: Washington D.C.
Crystal Hawkins .... production auditor (as Crystal A. Hawkins)
Paul Hunt .... medic
Jeff Johnson .... medic: Washington D.C.
Jina Johnson .... production assistant
Carol Keith .... production coordinator: L.A.
Cheri Larsen .... production assistant
Terry Mackay .... assistant location manager (as Terry MacKay)
Mary Jo Macvey .... tutor (as Mary Jo MacVey)
Helen Medrano .... first assistant accountant (as Helena M. Ruiz)
Nolan B. Medrano .... assistant auditor (as Nolan Medrano)
Yvonne Melville .... production coordinator
Lee Anne Muldoon .... unit publicist
Troy Nimmer .... production assistant: L.A.
Rino Pace .... location manager
Karen Pelrine .... assistant production coordinator
Quentin Pierre .... assistant: Mr. Freeman
Dru Ransom .... assistant: Mr. Wizan
Jonathan Reich .... assistant location manager: Washington D.C.
Helena Rogozinski .... production assistant: Washington D.C.
Diane Rosenberg .... production secretary: Washington D.C.
Gil Seltzer .... production assistant: Washington D.C.
Lynne Spencer .... production coordinator
Jason Tamez .... production secretary
Gerry Therrien .... animal coordinator
Sasha Turjak .... assistant: Mr. Tamahori
Kelli Turner .... medical advisor
Christine Wilson .... script supervisor
Doris Wood .... executive assistant: Mr. Brown
Angela Athayde .... additional production assistant (uncredited)
Kyle Cooper .... co-designer: main title (uncredited)
Danny Ho .... computer playback operator (uncredited)
Alan Jacques .... projectionist (uncredited)
David Kurvers .... computer playback operator (uncredited)
Stephanie Lovell .... set production assistant: Washington D.C. (uncredited)
John Marston .... location projectionist: Washington D.C. (uncredited)
Chooch Paglaro .... computer playback operator (uncredited)
Michael Riley .... co-designer: main title (uncredited)
Michael Riley .... title designer (uncredited)
Ruben Flores Rios II .... production assistant: Washington D.C. (uncredited)
Christopher Scott .... set production assistant: Washington D.C. (uncredited)
Xanthus Valan .... production assistant: Washington D.C. (uncredited)
Daniel Villagomez .... credits administrator (uncredited)
Shayne A. Wilson .... accounting clerk (uncredited)
Robert Zorella .... additional set production assistant (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for violence and language
104 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Argentina:13 | Australia:MA | Australia:M (TV rating) | Canada:14A (Canadian Home Video rating) | Canada:AA (Ontario) | Finland:K-15 | France:U | Germany:16 (bw) | Hong Kong:IIB | Hungary:16 | Iceland:16 | Ireland:15 | Italy:T | Malaysia:U (cut version) | Malaysia:18SG (uncut version) | Netherlands:16 | Netherlands:12 (TV version) (slightly cut) | New Zealand:R13 | Norway:15 | Peru:14 | Philippines:PG-13 | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:NC-16 | Singapore:PG (cut) | South Korea:15 | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | Switzerland:12 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:12 (canton of Vaud) | UK:15 | USA:R (NO. 37942)

Did You Know?

This film was made after Kiss the Girls (1997). But in the books, "Along Came a Spider" was set before "Kiss the Girls".See more »
Factual errors: The U.S. Secret Service does not protect Senators and their families. The Secret Service only protects the Presidents, former Presidents, presidential candidates, and visiting heads of state.See more »
[first lines]
Tracie:Tonight was your first night at the club, wasn't it?
Jim:No. I've been there a few times before.
Tracie:Really? Well, how come I haven't seen you?
Jim:I noticed you the first night I walked in. You always stand out.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Home Bound (2014)See more »


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44 out of 57 people found the following review useful.
Does What A Thriller Should, No More, No Less, 29 May 2001
Author: uglykidmatt ( from Orange, CA

"Along Came A Spider" works. It may suffer from one plot twist too many, it may borrow liberally from other pictures, it may have narrative holes you could run a horse race through, but in spite of all that, it WORKS. And as everyone knows, that is about the highest compliment a film like this can be paid.

Directed by Lee Tamahori, "Along Came a Spider" hits the ground running with a bravura sequence in which a federal sting goes horribly wrong and a good agent dies. Det. Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman), the leader of the sting, goes into brooding isolation, but a year later, the daughter of a U.S. congressman (Michael Moriarty) is kidnapped from her prestigious Washington boarding school by a brilliant madman, and Cross, a mental wizard with the ability to see into the mind of the maddest psychopath, is the only one who can track the criminal's M.O. and save the girl.

Standard thriller territory, and it's given more or less standard treatment, albeit with a fair share of stylistic spark and energy. Tamahori does a good job choreographing his action set pieces, particularly that shattering opening and a nifty cat-and-mouse chase that closes out the picture. Cinematographer Matthew F. Leonetti gives the film a dark, brooding visual richness, and Jerry Goldsmith contributes another thunderously effective thriller score.

The acting is also generally strong across the board. Morgan Freeman.. what can one say? I honestly cannot think of another modern actor who has done such consistently high-quality work. Granted, Cross does not seem like a role that would overly tax a top-notch thespian like Freeman, but he doesn't sell it short either, giving the character his full, commanding force. He is the tough, solid center that really elevates "Along Came A Spider" above pulp territory. Michael Wincott plays the psycho (as naturally he would; what else is Michael Wincott going to play in a film?), and gives it his gravelly-voiced best, making us hate this guy just as much as we should. Monica Potter is fine as the young security officer helping Cross track the fiend, but I was constantly distracted by the fact that her voice sounds EXACTLY LIKE JULIA ROBERTS! I swear, it sounded like she'd been dubbed. Am I the only one who noticed this? Probably, so I'll drop it.

If there's any real complaint to be had with "Along Came A Spider" (aside from my weird personal difficulties with Monica Potter's voice), it is an age-old one for a thriller: script problems. Screenwriter Marc Moss keeps things moving nicely, and there are some clever moments throughout, but the film also raises unanswered questions. What was the purpose of the weird Lindbergh website the kidnapper sets up? When will they learn that internet-related plot devices just don't work in films? What was the point of the Russian kid who seems to play such a big role in the middle portion of the picture? Why did Moss feel the need to crib his most exciting sequence, a footchase with the maniac leading Cross through Washington via cell phone, from "Dirty Harry"? Granted, I haven't read the novel by James Patterson upon which this film was based, so I may not be casting blame in the right place. But Patterson didn't write this script, so maybe I am.

As I mentioned before, however, all of this largely doesn't matter. In the moment, while it's unfurling in front of you, the film's fast pace, engaging performances, and visual polish keep you intrigued, and allow you to overlook the plot's more outrageous contrivances and awkward reversals. "Along Came A Spider" is not a perfect thriller, but WORKS.

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