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The Watcher (2000)

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David Allen Griffin is a cool killer- time and time again, he chooses a female victim, studies her for weeks till he knows her routine to the smallest detail, makes meticulous preparations ... See full summary »



(story), (story) | 2 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Yvonne Niami ...
Diana (as Jennifer McShane)
Gina Alexander ...
Ellie (as Rebakah Louise Smith)
Skater (as Joe Sikora)
Michele DiMaso ...
Rachel (as Michelle Dimaso)
Jack Fray


David Allen Griffin is a cool killer- time and time again, he chooses a female victim, studies her for weeks till he knows her routine to the smallest detail, makes meticulous preparations using his forensic knowledge to gain entry when she's quite alone, subdues her and administers a long, torturous death. Joel Campbell got so frustrated by his failure to capture Griffin in LA that he quit the FBI, moved to Chicago and remains in psychiatric therapy, unable to function normally. Then he realizes, when opening his mail very late, that a new murder victim is Griffin's, and the killer send him pictures of her. Campbell reports this to the police, but is unwilling to join them in the search, suggesting Griffin is too slick and clever; yet he won't get out of it that easily... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Someone wants to play. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

8 September 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Driven  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,062,295 (USA) (8 September 2000)


$28,927,720 (USA) (27 October 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


James Spader actuality dislikes Vietnamese food. See more »


In the graveyard scene, the bottle of beer Griffin sets on the ground changes position (One moment the paper label on the bottle is showing, the next moment it isn't). See more »


Joel Campbell: His last alias was David Allen Griffin. I worked the case for three and a half years in Los Angeles. We attributed at least 11 homicides to him.
Lt. Hollis: What's he doing in Chicago.
Joel Campbell: I assume he's still strangling young women with piano wire.
See more »


References The Matrix (1999) See more »


Written by Liam Howe (as Liam Coverdale-Howe), Chris Corner, Ian Pickering,
John Barry
Performed by Sneaker Pimps
Courtesy of Clean Up Records Ltd./Virgin Records America
See more »

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User Reviews

Believably tragic characters without over-the-top performances.
8 September 2000 | by (Southern California) – See all my reviews

I didn't expect to like this movie as much as I did. The plot was written in a way to make the characters very believable and real. Spader plays a tragic hero that needs the bad guy (under-played to perfection by Reeves) to come back into his life in order to find closure with his past and come to terms with the present. Neither Spader nor Reeves played to stereotypes common to this genre, and as a result, their performances were gritty and powerful without coming across as over-the-top. Stereotyped performances are a common weakness in many other similar movies, which are also good movies, but they rely on star performances from their marquee actors. This becomes a troublesome thing when the acting tends to define the movie and hides weaknesses and implausibility within the script. Recent examples of this are seen in The Bone Collector, Copycat, and Kiss The Girls. I liked each of these movies for different reasons, but The Watcher was more real to me because the actors weren't playing a type. Spader showed a reluctant vulnerability and a controlled intensity that was very true-to-life in my experience. And Reeves was so spooky as the serial killer because he tried to show a small sliver of his Evil each time without ever overdoing it. Another great surprise was Tomei, who came out of semi-retirement to also give us a dead-on performance as Spader's psychiatrist. She, too, acted emotionally in a way that filled the role without ever becoming a movie stereotype. Visually, her hair, make-up, and clothes helped downplay her character and allowed her to become just another real person who arbitrarily became involved in things. I think this was a great choice for her.

19 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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