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The Watcher (I) (2000)

5.3
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 20,107 users   Metascore: 22/100
Reviews: 176 user | 101 critic | 28 from Metacritic.com

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 »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Ibby
...
Hollis
...
Mitch
Yvonne Niami ...
Lisa
...
Diana (as Jennifer McShane)
Gina Alexander ...
Sharon
Rebekah Louise Smith ...
Ellie (as Rebakah Louise Smith)
...
Skater (as Joe Sikora)
...
Jessica
Michele DiMaso ...
Rachel (as Michelle Dimaso)
...
Jack Fray
...
Norton
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Someone wants to play. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

8 September 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Driven  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$33,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£470,787 (UK) (9 March 2001)

Gross:

ESP 244,682,968 (Spain) (29 June 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Third-billed Keanu Reeves gave his verbal agreement to director Joe Charbanic several years before production started, after reading his original script. With his involvement, the filmakers were later able to attract a bigger cast and budget than originally envisioned, and Reeves' part (originally meant as little more than a cameo) was substantially rewritten to feature him more prominently. Reportedly Keanu Reeves, who would be paid scale while his costars James Spader and Marisa Tomei would get $1,000,000 paychecks tried to drop out of the film but eventually changed his mind (apparently influenced by the legal precedent of the Kim Basinger/Boxing Helena (1993) debacle). He eventually agreed to do the picture and abstain from bad mouthing it in interviews on the condition that his involvment in the film be downplayed in all promotional material for the film, including trailers. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie, just after James is pulled from the river his clothes are almost dry. See more »

Quotes

Joel Campbell: [frustrated that victim never saw her bulletin picture on TV] Ellie Buckner. Single, 24, parents live in Florida. So far no known boy friend. She has a cat named Frank. Apparently he doesn't watch the news.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bad Movie Beatdown: Half Past Dead 2 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

6 UNDERGROUND
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

 
The Watcher portrays the somewhat symbiotic relationship between hero and villain and it explores the peculiar means of communication that develop between the two.
12 July 2001 | by (Fresno, Ca. USA) – See all my reviews

After being identified and harassed by the elusive serial killer David Allen Griffin (Keanu Reeves), the distressed FBI agent Joel Campbell (James Spader) moves to Chicago from Los Angeles in order to secure his own safety and peace of mind. However, tormented by the anguish of past failures, Campbell is unable to ameliorate his physical and mental health and his bruised existence is again challenged by Griffin's reappearance in Chicago. Amused and motivated by Campbell's compassion toward all female victims, Griffin (who spies on lonely women and then kills them) heightens the stakes of his hide-and-seek game with Campbell by sending him a photograph of the intended victim of the day, thus testing his ability to save her. However, when Griffin's final defiance involves Campbell's psychologist (Marisa Tomei), the two test each other's limits.

The Watcher follows its two main characters intimately, often detailing the mechanics of Griffin's moves through Campbell's point of view as an observer who must solve a mystery. By depicting Campbell's dependence on painkillers, for example, The Watcher successfully transmits the deteriorated mental and physical state of this protagonistic character. The Watcher is most intriguing when it attempts to portray a society that --through its indifference-- creates its own victims and delivers, so to speak, the loneliest and most vulnerable to their executioner. The Watcher uses this notion of people's unwillingness to help and builds its suspense by simultaneously emphasizing the protagonist's struggles to beat the murderer's deadline. Furthermore, The Watcher successfully defines both protagonist and antagonist as "the watcher" of the other, thus suggesting a somewhat sado-masochistic bond between the two. In spite of this success, The Watcher relies on an excess of repeated flashbacks in the form of highly stylized, often blurry, shots that depict Campbell's previous interaction with Griffin. This choice weakens The Watcher's attempts to establish realism around both characters' past connection, and loosens the otherwise tight pace of the plot.

The watcher hits on both a realistic level, and an entertaining level never before reached with a movie starring Keanu Reeves.


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