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"Line of Fire"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Line of Fire" More at IMDbPro »

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

One of the best "law enforcement" shows out there.

Author: sophieengberg from Denmark
25 May 2006

"Line of Fire" is a real quality TV show about the FBI department in Richmont. The characters are very realistic and the cast is spot-on! The viewers get a look into the "everyday" life of normal federal agents, but also a very good sense of the life for an FBI agent who is deep undercover. It is a show that not only depicts the work lives of the agents, but also their private lives and how difficult it can be to keep those two things separate. I would like to give an example of another show in order to compare the two, but I cannot think of another show that comes even remotely close to this on! There are a lot of TV shows about different law enforcement agencies, however this one is one of the best and most gripping. It had me glued to the TV. The only thing keeping me from giving it 10 out of 10 is that there is only one season, which is a huge let-down when you get "addicted" to a show. However, I cannot blame the network for canceling the show if the audience were not big enough. I just have to wonder what else the viewers could want in a show...

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Has the balls to try something different.

Author: Paul Anthony Cassidy ( from United Kingdom
16 January 2004

This show is as good as anything on American TV at the moment. But alas it seems to be getting shot down for reasons that people don't worry about in shows like 'The Sopranos'. Yeah Cohen is out of control. But wait a minute don't we read about high ranking Law Enforcement officials screwing up all the time? Sampson has a family and is trying to balance FBI life with being a parent in an increasingly loveless marriage. But wait a minute. Isn't Tony Soprano trying to manage his family life and fragile marriage with his violent crime life? It is more likely to me that a leading FBI agent could have a sex and alcohol problem than it is that a Mob boss openly goes to see a shrink twice a week and has been doing so for years. And Malloy's muscle. Hell they are actually quietly sinister. Not like the Sopranos where everyone of Tony's crew are bad-a-bing stand up comedians from Bensonhurst.

And Paymer as Malloy is frickin' marvelous. Lets face it if you had never seen him in anything before you would be impressed. But like i predicted 'Car Pool' will always be held against him. I'm sorry but if a 5ft tall Joe Pesci can be a tough guy then so can Paymer. I think its called acting. Anyway so what if Malloy isn't hard. He's evil and real smart and to be a crime boss thats all you need.

I'm happy to see a new take on organized crime that offers a more modest look on the life than the wisecracking 'Sopranos'. Hopefully this show will be given the time and scope to reach the potential it undoubtedly has.

Will it reach the heights of the Sopranos? No chance. Infact its probably reaping the backlash of that show's popularity and dominance. But would Donovan Stubbins kick the $hit out of Tony Sope and his crew. NO doubt.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

cutting edge

Author: Jack Fleischli from Los Angeles
10 December 2003

Having now seen the first two episodes of Line of Fire, I'm convinced that this series will be a top drama this season. It pulls no punches and taps directly into the real life complex interplay between mob and FBI. The characters are well developed and the acting is as good as it gets. Brian Goodman, for one, has jumped into this role with a passion and his instinctive moves are just enough for his bad guy character. Kristin Snyder is compelling and compassionate as the First Lady of the mob. For me, the two best shows currently airing are 24 and Line of Fire.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Quite an interesting pilot

Author: mhoney-1 from Pittsboro, North Carolina
3 December 2003

I don't know what to really say about this show. I loved the adds for it, and I'm a sucker for gangster movies and the like. I never would have pictured David Paymer as a mob boss, but he does a fine job. I felt like--and this is just after watching one episode--the mob syndicate aspect of the show has yet to fully develop its characters into three-dimensional people, unlike the FBI, who seem much more real so far. I really hope this doesn't become a kind of cops-and-robbers thing, following two opposite sides, yet always making you want the "good guys" to win, and bring down the "bad guys."

I would have never figured Richmond, Virginia for the setting of a long, drawn-out mob sting operation, but I like the idea for a change. Rather than the cold streets of New York or Chicago, or flashy environs of, say, Miami, they put a bunch of syndicate crooks in one-time capital of the Confederate States.

So far, while in pursuit of a low-level mob affiliate, an FBI agent exchanges shots with the crook and both are killed, right in front of the agent's partner. A young widow has just graduated Quantico, all in an effort to eventually make it to anti-terrorism and avenge the death of her husband in the Pentagon of 9-11. She's about to fill the shoes left behind by the afore-mentioned dead agent. Two agents inform a petty crack dealer his life may be in danger because of a tape taken from four days prior, when Malloy (Paymer) interrogated a man, beating him savagely with a lead pipe, learned he worked for the crack dealer, "Crazy Jazz," dealing drugs to Malloy's nephew, Jimmy. (The scene is probably the reason there's a "Viewer Discretion Advised" on this show.) Later on, newly recruited ex-con Roy, in a mad dash, shoots Crazy Jazz, threatens his buddy, and kills an innocent bystander, much to the chagrin of Malloy, and his lieutenant, Donovan Stubbin, who stood by as his friend went nuts. But apparently Roy is actually undercover, and it was all just a way of getting the dealer into Witness Protection.

The show definitely has potential, but only time (and ratings) can tell.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A dry, familiar crime drama but well acted; Paymer rocks

Author: liquidcelluloid-1 from
2 June 2004

Network: ABC; Genre: Crime Drama; Content Rating: TV-MA (for strong language and violence); Classification: Contemporary (star range: 1 - 4)

Season Reviewed: Complete Series (1 season)

Rob Lurie's 'Line of Fire' follows a war that erupts between the Mob and the FBI. The show has an interesting set-up to this: a foot chase between an agent and a mobster ends when a member of each side gets off a shot at the same time, effectively killing each other. Lurie is the hack movie director of corny fluff such as 'The Last Castle' so at first I was pleasantly surprised with this offering.

The groundwork is set for this to be a great show. The formula is familiar but the characters are solid and well developed. That acting is outstanding. David Paymer, a longtime favorite of mine, is terrific as mob boss Jonah Malloy. Paymer is given a catch phrase that perfectly fits the character: "That's that with that". Thanks to the show's short life it will surely become a favorite among cult TV quotes.

Everyone else plays 2nd fiddle to Paymer, but the strongest of which is Leslie Hope. Hope got a lot of flack for her damsel-in-distress role in the first season of '24' but now she proves without question what a great and powerful actor she really is. Had the show focused more closely on her and Paymer that might have been the fuel it needed to strike a fire. Leslie Bibb (an intriguing post-9/11 character) and Julie Ann Emery (in a nice little domestic role reversal) also stand out. There's also the closeted homosexual agent in the mix, now requisite in this type of show to give it the appearance of "edge".

'Fire' looks good and has a classy, if slightly off kilter, intro. Finally, I though, a good, adult crime series. One where the emphasis is on characters and their struggles and not a jittery camera. But, as much as I want to love it, 'Fire' never seems to get off the ground. I waited until the very end for the writers to dig in and feast on all this show's juicy potential. Suck the lemon dry. What's the point in having such great characters and great performances if you aren't going to do anything with them? Each episode is like a microcosm of the series. It will start out with a gripping premise and then wander off, get lost in itself and end up going nowhere. It's rejection of the "gritty cop drama" school of cinematography is refreshing, I like the languishing '70s look, but it's often too slow and unfocused to stay interesting. It started out great, it had everyone in the palm of its hand with deliciously evil characters, noble questionable heroes and premium cable language and violence (Did you ever want to hear "s***" on network TV?) and then lost its grip. A more creative technical staff could have tightened up the mountain of technical problems that made this show so dry and monotonous.

The final episodes (aired by ABC as a 2-hour event movie in a shocking display of respect toward the show) where actually quite good. Great concept, well acted, but like all of them, it meandered in the long middle act into ground so familiar I lost interest. Fortunately, my patience was rewarded and it ended with a bang. Literally. A round of applause is deserved for pumping fresh and impressive life into the time-tested car crash set-piece.

Oh well, we'll always have the catch phrase. Thankfully, it wasn't shoved down our throat. NBC could learn a thing or two. In 5 years people will be saying it and it will be an obscure reference to a 1 season series called 'Line of Fire'. That's that with that.

* * ½

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

I love this show

Author: gezquester from United Kingdom
4 March 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a great show; I have always been interested in law enforcement. When I was a child, I wanted to be a cop. I used to play at cops and robbers all the time! I still dream about being a cop, or an agent of some kind.

FBI agents are fighting to stop the criminal ways of Mr Malloy and his people in Richmond, Virginia (I think that is where it's set).

I enjoyed every episode, the acting is good, the script is well written and the action is realistic.

Leslie Hope was good as the firm boss who seemed to be on top of everything but was having emotional problems and complications with her child.

Leslie Bibb was convincing as the rookie agent who really came into her own towards the end of the show.

Anson Mount played his character well. An Agent who spent 2 years undercover in jail so he could infiltrate Mr Malloy's gang and is dealing with some problems as a result of it.

Julie Ann Emery played an FBI agent who was also a mother of two and had marriage problems.

Jeffery D. Sams played another fresh outta training agent who was 100% confident in himself and seemed to pick things up straight away.

David Paymer plays his character brilliantly. He comes across nicely as a criminal with principals! LOL.

The show had some surprising concepts and ideas. I was not expecting the raping of Mrs Malloy, the dead baby in a dumpster, the ex-con trying to kill Agent Sampson's (Julie Ann Emery) children. The woman who found out her husband didn't die but ran away, and then turned up again and she shot him and how this affected Bibb's character because she lost her husband during a 9/11 attack. The most surprising thing was that this Agent (Anson Mount) had been undercover in JAIL for 2 years just to get close to Mr Malloy (David Paymer), about commitment to your work!!

I can imagine though on the set someone calling 'Leslie' and both Bibb and Hope replying at the same time, that must of gotten confusing.

This is a great show and I am just upset that it only had one season.

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Finally Police in Richmond

Author: 624 from TN
10 December 2003

This could develop into an interesting program. The use of Richmond as a backdrop is refreshing. The city offers locations more interesting than the housing projects of Baltimore. So far, the location scenes and the references to Richmond have been accurate. I hope this continues.

Believability suffers when you see an FBI killed while standing straight up in front of a bad guy with a gun instead of going for cover. And later when, a bunch of bad guys jump out of car with guns on what should be a busy dock, but there is no one to notice.

Leslie Hope as the SAC, could become one of the best female police characters currently on TV if given the chance. The female trainee agent is made to hate. I hope she becomes a more believeable character.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Not bad but familiar

Author: Miles-10 from United States
9 December 2003

It is like HBO's "The Wire," or past TV series about the intrigues of cops and robbers like "EZ Streets" (1996), "Wiseguy" (1987) or, to a lesser extent, "Big Apple" (2001). The trouble is that so far it looks better than "Big Apple" but not quite as good as "The Wire" (though it is probably easier to follow) and not as good and lyrical as "EZ Streets." The point is that, except for "Wiseguy" and the one on HBO, the most recent of these similar series have been canceled after very short runs. I would like to see more of this show before deciding, but the pilot seems fairly good. I just don't see why, if viewers didn't watch a show like "EZ Streets," they would watch this one. I agree that David Paymar is an unexpected choice to play a villain. I don't think he's played one before. He is a good actor, though, and seems to pull it off so far.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

What happened?

Author: quincy-white
14 January 2005

When this show came on it blew my mind. It was dark, gritty, and at first better even than 24. David Paymer was a classic cold-blooded villain and Leslie Hope was great against type of her 24 character, nail-tough.

In one episode, everything changed. It was when the FBI was pursuing a criminal pregnant woman, who ultimately abandoned her newborn in a dumpster. The baby was found alive and well and the episode had a warm, happy ending. No, I am no sadist who enjoys the sight of dead babies, but the whole point of a series like this is to show us what we do not want to see, along the lines of Saving Private Ryan.

With each successive episode it lost its edge, the fate of so many good shows. In less than a season, really half a season, it went on the journey NYPD Blue took over the course of a decade, throwing in curse words and partial nudity to appear gritty, but really becoming all too soft. I loved the show, then I was glad to see it canceled.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:


Author: Becca (SuperBeca) from Richmond, Virginia
16 December 2003

Now, the advertisements for this show made me laugh. I am a college student in Richmond, Virginia. Although once the murder capital of the United States, and right now, we are currently the STD and AIDS capital, (something to really be proud of). Richmond has never experienced an underground mob, nor do we have many FBI agents wandering around. Richmond's life revolves around the three large state universities in the heart of the city. Nothing as interesting as Line Of Fire ever happens here. However, I do find myself watching each week in order to catch glimpses of places I recognize. Odd how the background of thier publicity photo is the same thing I see out of my window each day. This is my second year in Richmond and I've seen many large movies being filmed here. Never has a show stayed to be filmed in Richmond. I look forward to starsearching. ;)

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