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I Witness (2003)

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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 1,049 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 6 critic

After 27 bodies are discovered in a collapsed tunnel in Tijuana, a man tries to unravel the mystery before becoming the next victim.


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Credited cast:
James Rhodes
Emily Thompson (as Portia De Rossi)
Claudio Castillo
Roy Logan (as Wade Andrew Williams)
Mark Carlton ...
Captain Madrid
Umberto Zato (as Adriano Gonzalez)
Pablo Cunqueiro ...
Father Perez
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ricardo Alvarez ...
Norman Grant ...
Fields (as Norman J. Grant)
Enrique Huertas ...
Lady Anne


Jim Rhodes is a human rights worker in Tijuana for a few days to make sure that union elections are fair at a maquiladora owned by a U.S. corporation. In quick succession, the police assault the strikers, the bodies of 27 peasants turn up in an abandoned tunnel that has caved in, and two U.S. teen bikers are missing. As Rhodes pokes around and speculates on connections among these events, he's beaten up, warned off by a drug dealer's attorney, and given varying degrees of help by the U.S. State Department rep, the U.S. Trade rep, and an honest local cop. It's always about money, but whose is at stake and how cheap is Rhodes's life? Written by <>

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Release Date:

13 April 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Witness  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Rhodes and Emily Thompson are drinking "doubles" in the bar; as they converse, their glasses go from newly filled to almost empty to newly filled again within moments. See more »


[Castillo, who's a detective, and Rhodes, who's an American, are being shot at while investigating some shacks in Mexico]
James Rhodes: People hunt out here a lot?
Claudio Castillo: Just for gringos and dumb cops.
See more »

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User Reviews

The Wonderful Surprise of the Year: An Excellent and Very Realistic Thriller, Having the Style of Costa-Gravas Movies
31 January 2004 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In Tijuana, Mexico, near to the border with USA, James Rhodes (the excellent Jeff Daniels) is a member of the Human Rights organization, working as an observer of the election of the workers of an American company, represented by the member of U.S. Government Emily Thompson (Portia de Rossi). The local workers are supposed to decide whether they want the union in the company or not. Meanwhile, twenty-seven bodies of humble people are found buried in an abandoned tunnel, drilled in the past by the lord of the drugs Voltan. In the same day, two young American are killed while driving their motorcycles off-road, in a track in a desert area. These events apparently not related are investigated by Claudio Castillo (Clifton Collins Jr.), a honest detective from Mexican homicide department, pressed by James and his superiors. Voltan is blamed for all the deaths, and resolves to help indirectly James in his investigation. Douglas Draper (James Spader) is a cynical liaison of the American police force, working together with the corrupt Captain Madrid (Jordi Caballero). The conclusion of this realistic story is full of revelations of dirty secrets. This movie was the wonderful surprise of the year: it is an excellent thriller. There is no clichés, no special effects and the characters are very human and well developed. The screenplay is very tight, without flaws; the direction is outstanding; and the magnificent cast has a marvelous performance. The plot recalls a Costa-Gravas movie, showing corruption both in Americans and Mexicans. The resolution of the situation is not corny or commercial, and does not spare or redeem any character, what is not common in American movies. Congratulation to all the persons that contributed for such an excellent entertainment. I just do not understand why this movie has had no promotion from the specialized critics and means of communication. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): `Testemunha Ocular' (`Eye Witness')

31 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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