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I Can't Look Away
mattymatt3026 March 2004
'In the Line of Fire' is one of those Hollywood films that shows up on tv quite a bit, but although I've seen it a few times, I usually end up sitting through the whole thing again. Why? - It's GOOD! Clint Eastwood is great as usual, and the character he plays is interesting and more fleshed out than usual. The character, Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan, is haunted by the fact that he was on the detail that failed to protect President Kennedy in Dallas, and now he's forced to match wits with a professional assassin that is openly declaring that he will kill the president. However, the film doesn't make him a depressed, brooding, and obsessed character. He's charming and personable, and is realistic as a guy that has experienced a lot in life and is comfortable in his own skin. He's even quite convincing when he flirts with the pretty younger agent played by Rene Russo. The killer, played by John Malkovich at his best, is cerebral, deliberate, and enjoys playing high stakes games of life and death. He even goes by the name of another presidential assassin, John Booth.

The film is consistently enjoyable, and it delivers all the goods - suspense, action, romance, and drama - all in their proper amounts. It's a fun film that is really helped by the great actors in it!
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Underrated Thriller
RChatterjee8114 October 2004
Quite simply a well-made, well-written and wonderfully acted movie. Eastwood is classic as grizzled Secret Service Agent Frank Horrigan and Rene Russo

holds her own as partner (and love interest) Lilly Raines. But the movie's

greatness rests on the shoulders of John Malkovich as "Booth". He captures

this character's rage and hatred, as well as his humanity oddly enough.

Personally I think this was his best performance and should have received an

Oscar for it (But I loved Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive as well that year). Overall a great movie to see you want to peek into an assassin's mind and be

on the edge of your seat the whole way through. Enjoy!!
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Crackling excitement!
bat-531 July 1999
In The Line of Fire gives us a great game of cat and mouse. Clint Eastwood is plagued by John Malkovich in this riveting film. Malkovich says he's going to kill the president, and he purposely calls Eastwood, and pushes his buttons. He questions Eastwood's ability to protect someone. Malkovich brings a cold, but very intelligent mindset to his character. Everything he does, he does for a reason, and he's not shy about killing. Eastwood has to overcome the suspicions of his superiors in order to catch Malkovich, but no one wants to listen to him. The result is a film that crackles with suspense that escalates to a tense scene in a ballroom at the Bonneventure Hotel. Wolfgang Peterson ratchets up the tension and we feel every turn.
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Top Thriller
mjw230514 January 2007
Frank Horrigan (Clint Eastwood) is a secret service agent plagued with guilt over the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, while he was on duty. Thirty years later and the current president is entering a re-election campaign, but he is receiving death threats; and Horrigan has been called in to assist in what should be a routine research operation. John Malkovich plays the professional assassin and master of disguise who is tracking the president, and using the past he begins to torture Horrigan in a psychological duel of cat and mouse.

Malkovich, Eastwood and Rene Russo all give wonderful performances in this top notch thriller. The direction is excellent and the entire picture is charged with tension and intrigue throughout.

A must see for thriller fans 8/10
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Peterson and Eastwood make a great team
SmileysWorld11 January 2002
Clint Eastwood scores big in this thriller from 1993.Teamed with an absolute master of edge of your seat suspense,Wolfgang Peterson, Eastwood delivers as only he can.Also,John Malkovich goes on my list of most effective screen villains in the history of cinema as the demented assassin.As for Rene Russo as Clint's love interest,I think Kirk Douglas said it best when he said,referring to his own career,"I keep getting older,and my leading ladies keep getting younger".This film is a very effective thriller with enough plot twists and surprises to keep you going.Eastwood and Peterson should team together more often. Top notch movie.
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Satisfactory Condition
rmax30482328 April 2002
This is another of Eastwood's many movies mixing intrigue, action, and a dollop of romance, along with "The Gauntlet," "Firefox," and so forth. Clint's acting range by now is pretty familiar. In this one, he's taciturn and a bit outrageous, especially with women and superiors. There are no surprises in his performance. But the film itself is something of a surprise; it's above average.

Clint is Frank, a Secret Service agent who, perhaps in a moment of doubt, failed to catch the bullet that killed JFK. He then took to drink, which drove his family away, and now plods along in the bureaucracy until he is contacted by John Malkovitch, calling himself "Booth," who strikes up a sort of skewed relationship with him based on their shared, disillusioned conviction that everything is meaningless except the impulse to escape dreariness and predictability. Now, this is rather an anfractuous set of attitudes for a performer like Clint to project, but he does rather well, less robotic than usual. And he does seem to carry around with him, like a burden of stone, the memory of that moment in Dallas.

He's tested again halfway through this movie. He is hanging from the roof of a tall building, grasping Booth's hand, and he pulls his pistol and points it at Booth, who asks him if he is really willing to shoot. If he does, of course, he saves the president from an attempted assassination by a CIA-trained murderer, but he does so at the cost of his own life. Booth twits him about the situation as they hold hands in midair.

Later Clint even has a short speech, talking to Renee Russo, about his failure to save the president in Dallas. "If I'd have reacted quickly enough, I could have taken that shot . . . and that would have been alright with me." It's underplayed, but his voice chokes slightly, his eyes water, and his lip trembles. It's one of the few scenes in any of Clint's films that might properly be called "moving." We know from his newfound resolve that given another chance he would take the bullet this time. (The irony is that he doesn't like the current president. Who could? He gives pompous speeches in Colorado about how they "carved a nation out of the wilderness." Didn't they do the same thing in Las Vegas?)

It's often said that a movie is only as good as its villain. It isn't true, nothing is that simple, but an argument could be made for its truth value in this case. The reptilian John Malkovitch with his Tartar eyes is marvelous.

Talk about disillusioned. Okay, he can ham it up a little, sniffing with disdain even as he plugs two innocent hunters between the eyes, but he's fascinating on the screen. Renee Russo has little do to. Fred Thompson, as the chief White House aid, is now back in politics, a relief for movie-goers. If Clint's acting range is limited, Thompson's is something less. In every film he's been in, he wears the same solemn and dissatisfied expression, as if constantly plagued by some form of volcanic digestive disorder.

The direction by Wolfgang Peterson is as good as it was in "Das Boot," which is pretty good. There is a great deal of the usual suspenseful cross-cutting in the final shootout. And when Clint and Russo fall into an impassioned embrace in her hotel room and scuttle backwards towards the bed like two weasels in heat, Peterson playfully shows us their feet along with a succession of objects dropping to the floor -- not only the usual garments but handcuffs, guns, beepers, palm pilots, Dick Tracy wrist watches and other impedimenta. Interrupted, Clint lies back on the bed and sighs, "Now I have to put all that stuff back on again."

Well written and worth watching.
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Right on target
Dodger-98 November 2000
Clint Eastwood could do no wrong in the early Nineties.

Hot on the heels of Unforgiven, he teamed up with The Perfect Storm director Wolfgang Petersen for one of the best thrillers of the decade - In the Line of Fire.

Imagine a cross between The Day of the Jackal and The Bodyguard and you get the idea.

Hollywood's craggiest leading man plays Frank Horrigan, a troubled bodyguard assigned to protect the US president against a psychopathic assassin.

John Malkovich delivers a stunning performance as the man on the end of the trigger and acclaimed German director Petersen directs with such skill, Eastwood even asked his advice when he came to direct A Perfect World.

Clint was 63 when he made this and brought a lifetime of experience to the role of a world weary Secret Service agent haunted by the fact he failed to save President Kennedy from the fatal bullet.

The clever use of a doctored photo by Hollywood whiz kids shows the actor/director stood at the side of JFK. A nice touch which is well worth looking out for.

To be honest, ITLOF is a cliched thriller, the sort of story which crops up most weeks as a glossy, no brain offering on Channel 5.

However, both director and stars took the well worn material and gave it a fresh spin, upping the tension several notches with each passing scene, resulting in a spectacular finale which is great value for money.

Rene Russo is so good she could play the part in her sleep. The former model adds a degree of mature charm to her role of an agent who Horrigan believes is mere `window dressing' for the department.

As with all of Wolfgang's movies, believability is everything. A rare degree of authenticity was achieved during the crowd scenes when the German film-maker integrated his fictitious President with the crowds from the Clinton and Bush election campaign.

The cost? A cool $4million.

The script had been knocking around Hollywood for a decade before it was dusted down and given a green light. It was originally to star Dustin Hoffman (who signed up for Petersen's follow up, Outbreak).

British director Michael Apted (The World is Not Enough) was due to direct the Hoffman version, but when David Puttnam took over as the head of Columbia in 1987, the movie was put on hold.

Producer Jeff Apple (a man more known in the trade for his interactive shopping shows than films) brought in Jeff Maguire to polish up the script.

The idea of Horrigan as an agent who failed to stop JFK's untimely death gave the movie a twist that Hollywood execs found delicious.

Before long, there was a feeding frenzy over the new, improved script and eventually, Rob Reiner's Castle Rock company snapped it up for a million dollars with Clint Eastwood on board.

Petersen had wanted Harrison Ford, but eventually cast him as the President in Air Force One (which you may remember was the film of the week a couple of weeks ago).

As any Clint fan knows, he's a jazz fan - a passion shared by Horrigan in what seemed to be a tailor made role adapted for old Mr Squinty after he signed on the dotted line.

However, Frank's love of piano and jazz was already on the page - a happy accident which helped turn Horrigan into one of Clint's most likeable big screen characters.

Top drawer stuff.
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It's fannntastic!
arthurclay25 May 2005
A great performance by Clint Eastwood and particularly John Malkovich in my opinion his finest one to date. Malkovich had this one nailed right down to the floor it's incredible. Eastwood is Agent Mike Horrigan, an aged and cynical Secret Service Agent who is finishing out his career busting counterfeiters and chasing down routine assignments. But one assignment which appears to be run of the mill at first turns complicated and deadly serious. Horrigan and his new partner Al are sent to investigate a threat on the President by a "wacko". As fate would have it Horrigan has stumbled not upon a delusional nut but a professional lone wolf who has a big bone to pick with the White House. As Horrigan dives deeper into "Booth's" world he attracts the bad guy's unwanted attention and unbridled admiration for him. Horrigan was JFK's top agent and present in Dallas, Texas when he was assassinated and blames himself for what happened. Now he feels it's up to him to stop the current Head of State from joining the list of dead Presidents. But this killer has turned the tables on Horrigan and now he's the hunted one in a life or death cat and mouse game. Who will win? Who will die? It's a race against time to save the Pres from a chameleon-like enemy who can get to anyone. My favorite Secret Service movie and as good a nail biter as any.
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Spectacular Wolfgang Peterson film!
UniqueParticle9 November 2019
Incredibly filmed, well acted, and entertaining! Clint Eastwood and John Malkovich are legendary in any role in my opinion. I absolutely am content with the sound design and beautiful scenery. The way 90's movies were filmed is so different, something about them is delightful to me with hundreds of great movies from that era.
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Making It Personal
bkoganbing10 June 2009
Back when I was working person, I remember having a really obnoxious client to deal with who insisted on making everything on a personal basis. I was telling him things that my agency could do and could not do and he firmly believed I was personally out to do him out of what was rightfully his. I swear but I was thinking of this guy as I watched John Malkovich and Clint Eastwood in their battle of wits.

In The Line Of Fire casts Clint Eastwood as a veteran Secret Service Agent who was on the job in Dallas as a young man when John F. Kennedy was assassinated. He's had his doubts ever since and been given to drink and his life at one time was a real shambles. He's gotten back on the White House detail now and when a potential assassin's landlady rats on her tenant to the Secret Service, it's Eastwood and partner Dylan McDermott who draw the case.

But the assassin is no ordinary crank case. He's a professional at his job, trained by and used by the Central Intelligence Agency. John Malkovich earned a deserved Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He lost that year to Tommy Lee Jones for The Fugitive and I'm not sure, but that I thought Malkovich was better.

Oddly enough Malkovich might have been better off, but he saw Eastwood as the agent in charge breaking into his apartment while on the job and he insisted on making the whole thing personal. He calls Eastwood throughout the film and taunts him. And after a while what Malkovich says and does causes Clint to get real personal.

The presidential assassins we've had in our history have been lucky amateurs, unless you believe in some of the conspiracy theories about some of the assassinations. A guy like Malkovich, a professional with a real or imagined grudge, is the most dangerous kind of foe.

Others to note in the cast are Fred Dalton Thompson as the White House chief of staff (and would be president in real life), Rene Russo as another agent who falls for the Eastwood masculine charm, John Mahoney as the Secret Service head, Gary Cole as the White House head Secret Service guy, Gregory-Alan Williams as another agent and Jim Curley and Sally Hughes as the President and First Lady.

But when Malkovich is on he owns In The Line Of Fire. The climax with him and Eastwood is unforgettable.
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A Crackling Thriller!!
claudonio26 January 2000
"In the Line Of Fire" is an expertly crafted thriller that has a fantastic climax. The film starts building suspense a half hour into the movie and it doesn't let up until the final scene. Clint Eastwood does exceptional work as does John Malkovich as the villian, the rest of the cast turns in good performances as well. Director Wolfgang Peterson knows how to build suspense and he does it extremely well, he also directed another top notch suspense thriller "Air Force One."
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Great Thriller!
g-bodyl19 December 2011
Even at 62 years of age, Clint Eastwood still has what it takes to be in a successful action thriller such as this. Not only was he in an action movie, he did very well. I really enjoyed the film from start to finish because of Eastwood and the villain played by John Malkovich.

This is about an aging Secret Service guy who is haunted by his past. That past urges him to keep the current President safe at all costs with election nearing. Even if that means playing a cat-and-mouse game with someone who wants to kill the President.

As I said previously, Eastwood did very well. Even better is John Malkovich. I can't decide on who plays the better villain, Malkovich or Gary Oldman. But anyway, Malkovich is very creepy as the villain.

Overall, this is a top-notch thriller. There are plenty of action, thrills, and even a little romance. I rate this film 9/10.
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Excellent Film
acedj7 November 2019
This is a game of cat and mouse between a highly intelligent would be presidential assassin and an aged secret service agent who blames himself for failing President Kennedy, This is a well written, smartly acted and directed drama. There is little question about how this movie will end, but that does not detract from the enjoyable journey. Clint Eastwood and John Malkovich are excellent together.
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How Do You Follow Up A Movie Like Unforgiven
slightlymad2213 April 2017
Continuing my plan to watch every Clint Eastwood movie in order, I come to In The Line Of Fire (1993)

Plot In A Paragraph: Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan (Eastwood) couldn't save Kennedy, but he's determined not to let a clever assassin (John Malcovic) take out this president.

In my my review of The Rookie, I said there was nothing new to see, and In The Line of Fire has a story similar to many of Eastwood's Dirty Harry movies, in which a psycho killer plays games with the cop, who is ordered off the case and then continues to investigate it anyway, regardless of what his superiors say, and he is helped by a loyal partner. The movie even supplies Clint with two partners.

However, despite the routine plot, In The Line Of Fire is not a rehash or retread of something we have seen before and it's not predictable (OK some of it is) what it is, is a tight, tense, well acted, well directed thriller, and whilst most action/thrillers these days are about stunts and action. In Tue Line Of Fire has a brain, and it sits in my Top 10 Eastwood movies.

In my review of The Rookie, I also said a movie is only as good as their villains, and In the Line of Fire has a great one in John Malkovic, who was deservedly nominated for an Oscar.

The one aspect of the movie I didn't like was the love story between Cline (62) and Rene Russo (39) it was totally unbelievable and out of place.

Clint was on a roll as In The Line Of Fire became Clint's biggest grossing movie to date, grossing $102 million dollars at the domestic box office to end the year as the 7th highest grossing movie of 1993. It was Clint's first in the Top 10 grossing movies of the year in a decade. It would sadly be the last time (to date) that a movie starring Clint made the Top 10.
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Tense and exciting.
MartinHafer24 March 2013
"In the Line of Fire" is a very exciting film and works well because the film was well cast and very well written. Clint Eastwood plays an old Secret Service agent whose claim to fame was his being on the detail that protected President Kennedy in Dallas (oops). Not surprisingly, he blames himself for the assassination and although he seems like a great agent, he is imperfect and vulnerable.

Out of the blue, a strange threat arises--a would-be assassin (John Malkovich) who announces himself to Eastwood's character! In other words, he tells the Service that he's going to kill the President and taunts them! And throughout the film, the psycho keeps contacting Eastwood--as if they are old friends! What's next? See it for yourself.

While I am pretty sure a Secret Service agent would watch this film and spot a few flaws, for the average Joe, it seems pretty tight and well made. My only quibble was the notion in one scene where the agent (Eastwood) did NOT kill the killer when he had a chance because he knew he'd die in the process. My assumption is a real agent wouldn't even think about this. Perhaps I am wrong. But, it did make for good viewing--as did all the film. Plus, using an old guy like Eastwood worked because his age was figured into the plot--not some old guy pretending to be a lot younger than he really is. Well done.

By the way, if you get a chance, watch "In the Line of Fire: The Ultimate Sacrifice"--a special feature on the DVD for the film. It talks about how the Secret Service worked with the crew to make sure the details in the film were correct. Fascinating.
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Top notch Eastwood & unforgettably venal Malkovich
george.schmidt10 April 2003
IN THE LINE OF FIRE (1993) ***1/2 Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, Rene Russo, Dylan McDermott, John Mahoney, Gary Cole, Fred Dalton Thompson. Absorbing cat-and-mouse psychological action/thriller with Secret Service agent Eastwood tormented by sociopath Malkovich who plans to assassinate The President of The United States. Swiftly directed by Wolfgang Petersen and compelling performances by the leads makes for an affectively entertaining experience.
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Excellent, suspenseful, and edge-of-your-seat action/drama/thriller!
Catherine_Grace_Zeh17 November 2005
IN THE LINE OF FIRE, in my opinion, is an excellent, suspenseful, and edge-of-your-seat action/drama/thriller! I thought that Agent Horrigan (Clint Eastwood) and Agent Raines (Rene Russo) looked good in the attire they wore at the presidential dinner. As for Leary (John Malkovich), he was a sick man who loved to toy with Frank by phone. He looked good in the tuxedo he wore near the end of the film, though. One thing that surprised me was the growing attraction between Agent Horrigan and Agent Raines. Before I wrap this up, I'd like to say that the entire cast and crew did an outstanding job, I loved the setting, and I couldn't get enough of it. Now, in conclusion, to all you Clint Eastwood fans who haven't seen this excellent, suspenseful, and edge-of-your-seat action/drama/thriller, I highly recommend it.
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Tried, tested and tired…..
illuminati-blog-in6 July 2013
Secret agent Frank Horrigan is a man of his past; his past being the assassination of John F Kennedy, of whose protection he was in-charge of. After his failure to prevent the assassination, he is only a former shell of himself. He does odd jobs, regarded by his colleagues with scorn and has nothing to look forward to in his life, until an assassin called Mitch Leary threatens to kill the President. Now Frank finds himself reliving the past with the heavy burden of his failure, the mistrust of his fellow agents, his guilt and the inevitable doomsday in which he must outsmart the energetic and cunning assassin.

If so much of what you've read so far seems oh-so-familiar and predictable, it's because it is familiar and done to death. As is to be expected of such suspense thriller films, the plot involves the aging, disgruntled, insecure hero; the alluring fellow agent heroine; the cunning assassin who comes so close to killing the president but is stopped at the nick of time; the hero's partner who's aspiring to retire but is killed eventually.... so on and hence forth.

Clint Eastwood plays the insecure hero and that demands that he play it without his usual charm, style or sarcasm which is a drag because that is what makes his acting memorable.

John Malkovich plays the cunning assassin but unfortunately, he does not have much to do rather than to taunt the hero in all the usual tried and tested methods.

Rene Russo plays the alluring fellow agent heroine whose role involves mischievous temptation and then unwavering support.

Without this star crew, one can imagine what sort of a reception this movie might have made and it is only because of these actors that one can sit through the painfully familiar and predictable story. The entire story hangs on the shoulder of Clint Eastwood, but what can he do with a role which demands that he can never do anything he is famous for. He can not have any sarcastic one liners or be a badass or even sport his usual sardonic look.

The director of the movie is Wolfgang Petersen who directed such nerve wrecking thrillers like Air force one, The Perfect storm and Poseidon. A good director who paled after his best works Das Boot and Never ending story. In the line of fire is a movie that you can see if you are bored and not in the mood for anything serious at all but is best left untouched otherwise.
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Eastwood with a cold
sjanders-8643018 March 2021
The writing by Jeff Maguire won some awards. John Malkovich also was nominated. His wispy voice is interesting. Putting Eastwood as Secret Service against Malkovich the assassin is interesting. It's a 1993 film that is worth watching for Eastwood and Malkovich. No matter what these two make everything comes alive. Wolf Petersen directed. Malkovich is a wet boy now. When Malkovich kills, his expression is priceless classic Malkovich and to see that is worth the watch.
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Even Clint Eastwood Makes A Bomb Now And Then
pacinofan5821 May 2007
There is so much wrong with this movie, I hardly know where to begin! We are supposed to believe that an agent too old for his job, and easily winded, would be employed by the secret service in the first place. After that.....the "super cop" stereotypes come fast and furious. Of course Eastwoods character once guarded JFK....and of course, we are told how he was JFK's "favorite agent", and we are told how he...of course, took the blame when JFK was found with a girl in the white house. Everyone is here....the psycho ex CIA assassin over acted by John Malkovitch......the "asshole" Chief Of Staff who seems to be more concerned with poll numbers than a threat to the presidents life, the lead agent who we are supposed to believe thinks that Eastwoods character is "over reacting" to a threat to the presidents life...AFTER he and every other agent have already listened to the psycho's threat on a tapped phone call. And if we hadn't already figured out the ending 5 minutes into the movie, Eastwoods character ends up saving the Presidents life! By that time, you won't care anyway, because you will be too busy shouting "bullshit" at the screen as one unrealistic scene after the other flashes by. Take a'll thank me for it.
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Thrillers don't get much better than this, don't miss it
terminator3312 May 2000
"In the Line of Fire" is one of the best thrillers I have seen, it builds and builds to a great climax. This film really draws you in your heart is beating and you are out of breath from the action. The cast turns in strong peformances, particularly Clint Eastwood and John Malkovich. This film is expertly directed by suspense master Wolfgang Petersen. Thrillers don't get much better thn this, don't miss it.
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Attractive though overlong Clint Eastwood movie with a thrilling and exciting cat-and-mouse game
ma-cortes10 August 2020
Veteran , aging Secret Service Agent Frank Horrigan (Clint Eastwood) is a dinosaur from the Kennedy era , he is a man haunted by his failure to save President J. F. K. while serving protection detail in Dallas , Texas . Jogging alongside the president's car , he now has problems keeping up .Thirty years later, a menacing bad boy , the psycho calling himself "Booth" (John Malkovich) threatens Frank's honor and life of the current President (Jim Curley) , forcing Horrigan to come back to protection detail to take on the ghosts from his past . While Frank joins forces young agent Al D'Andrea (Dylan McDermott) and agent Raines (Rene Russo) who begins a charmingly tentative romance with Horrigan .

Moving film with a strong battle of wills , including thrills , noisy action , nail-biting as well as fast-paced pursuits , lots of dry humor and a love story . Concerning a cat-and-mouse game betwen two peculiar characters and despite a suspensefully edited final , the movie results to be a tad long . Clint Eastwod's back , now as Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan who couldn't save Kennedy, but he's determined not to let a clever assassin take out this president , here Clint sensibly performing on his advancing years to add a few frayed edges to the role . The Secret Service cooperated in making this film and most scenes are believable and adequate with a few hollywood exceptions , as it clearly pays tribute to the secret agents who protect US Presidents . Highlight of the movie is the efficiently rather than excitingly shot chase scene on the rooftop . Main cast are top-notch , Clint Eastwood plays in his usual style , he meets his match in a spooky caller assassin magnificently played by John Malkovich who nearly overshadowed Clint , while Rene Russo performs an intelligent agent as well as his love interest . Pretty good support cast such as : Dylan McDermott , Gary Cole , Fred Dalton Thompson , John Heard , John Mahoney , Clyde Kusatsu , Tobin Bell , Gregory Alan Williams , among others .

It contains terrific and stirring musical score by the great Ennio Morricone . Colorful and appropriate cinematography by John Bailey . The motion picture waas well directed by Wolfgang Petersen, from casting to scripting the movie was notable and our director made a good job . Wolfgang first big hit was ¨Das Boot¨ , following ¨The NeverEnding Story¨, and going on Hollywood productions as ¨Shattered¨ , ¨Enemy mine¨ . And a series of disaster genre movies as ¨Outbreak¨(1995) about the outbreak of a killer virus. This film had shades of an Irwin Allen disaster movie, The Swarm (1978), about the outbreak of killer bees. Both films had the military and scientists clash, also both had choppers all over the place. Then came ¨Air Force One¨ (1997), about terrorists taking over the presidents plane. This film had shades of a 1970s Airport disaster film . ¨The Perfect Storm¨ (2000) came next, and while the script about a boat at sea in a storm was okay, the constant fake looking computer generated sea water damaged the film. And then came ¨Poseidon¨ (2006) that was Petersen's worst action/disaster movie by a long way, dealing with a passenger ship turning over at sea. Outbreak just hinted at being an Irwin Allen remake , but with Poseidon Petersen failed at boxoffice , it was now official this was a remake of Allen's The Poseidon Adventure . Rating : 7/10 . Better than average . Well worth watching . The flick will appeal to Clint Eastwood fans .
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A decent psychological thriller with some minor plotting problems
jimbo-53-18651120 December 2015
Secret Service Agent Frank Horrigan (Clint Eastwood) is still plagued with anxieties 30 years after the death of President Kennedy. Horrigan felt that he could have done more to try to prevent Kennedy from being assassinated and continues to blame himself for this tragic occurrence. 30 years later, Horrigan finds himself being taunted by a man who tells him that he is going to kill the president. In order to prevent another assassination, Horrigan sets to work in trying to discover the identity of the would be assassin whilst doing his utmost to protect the President.

I've mentioned in my summary that there were some minor plotting problems with this film so I will address these issues first; it's established early in the film that Horrigan blames himself for Kennedy's death and sees this assassination attempt as a means to prove to himself, and to everyone else, that he can adequately protect the President. OK, that's fine, but I wasn't completely taken with the way that the story was set-up (it came across to me as Horrigan being on some kind of self-pitying guilt trip). This is only a minor problem because despite this Horrigan is still focused on the job at hand and therefore it's still very easy to develop a rooting interest in his character - I only wish the story would have been set-up in a different way. I also felt that Leary's (John Malkovich) motivations were a little thin and not entirely believable. The pacing of the film is also a little uneven. Now for the good bits....

Where the film is at its strongest is in the various scenes between Horrigan and Leary. In these scenes, a slow-burning psychological battle of wits begins to develop between the two men (Leary clearly has the upper hand at the start, but Horrigan's dogged determination soon sees him begin to close the gap). Director Wolfgang Peterson makes many of these scenes cold and menacing by not showing all of Leary's face at the start - yes it's not original, but it's simple, effective and helps to create tension. The screenplay is also relatively clever and had enough intelligence and depth to make sure that my interest never truly waned.

The performances across the board are variable, but once again it's John Malkovich that steals the show from everyone here. Malkovich is one of my favourite actors and his sociopathic performance here was wonderful to watch. Eastwood is also good here and I liked the way that the writers made his character feel believable - he was in his early 60's when this was made and therefore his character is human here rather than super human (he has heart problems and fitness issues) which makes sense given his age and his lengthy career in a somewhat stressful job.

In The Line Of Fire is a very good film that is exciting, suspenseful and intense. There are also very few dull spots which isn't bad considering its running time. It's a race against time film/psychological thriller and the two elements mix well together creating a very impressive film.
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Eastwood perfect for the role
SnoopyStyle11 October 2014
Frank Horrigan (Clint Eastwood) is a no non-sense secret service agent who is stilled haunted by his failure at the Kennedy assassination. He has a young eager partner Al D'Andrea (Dylan McDermott). They investigate Joseph McCrawley as a possible threat to the president. Then Frank gets a call from McCrawley (John Malkovich) who is fixated on him. Agent Bill Watts (Gary Cole) in charge of the presidential detail doesn't want to hear it but agent Lilly Raines (Rene Russo) is interested. Frank gets back on the presidential detail with the help of mentor Sam Campagna (John Mahoney).

Despite its two hours running time, director Wolfgang Petersen weaves a tightly wound thriller. Clint Eastwood is the perfect choice for the world wearied expert agent. John Malkovich has a creepy menace to him. Also I love the wooden gun. It's not a complicated story but Eastwood keeps our attention throughout.
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Unimportant popcorn thriller...execrably staged
moonspinner5517 December 2010
Slightly over-the-hill Secret Service Agent for the U.S. President is contacted over the phone by a would-be assassin who baits the team-veteran with knowledge of his spotty success record; it all leads to a showdown in Los Angeles where the President is campaigning for re-election. Cat-and-mouse thriller stars Clint Eastwood as the raspy-voiced, piano-playing hero who doesn't seem to have anyone backing him up. This film, in fact, makes the Secret Service unit look especially inept. When a fellow agent tells Eastwood, "You have to give the rest of us some credit", it's rather a laughable request since there is never an agent around (besides Eastwood and his partner) when one is needed. As the disguise-laden psychotic, John Malkovich trots all over the country without hesitation, and is always in the right spot (undetected) at the right time. Talking in an intentionally wet, mushy voice (like a rejected homosexual), Malkovich doesn't give us a new spin on the proverbial villain/nutcase role, and the feeble attempts to flesh out his character with background information just makes things worse. Eastwood is more affable than usual, but the unimaginative screenplay from Jeff Maguire features a rote finale and some especially ludicrous lines of dialogue. ** from ****
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