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A young writer who follows strangers for material meets a thief who takes him under his wing.


Christopher Nolan
4,838 ( 2,669)
5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Theobald ... The Young Man
Alex Haw Alex Haw ... Cobb
Lucy Russell ... The Blonde
John Nolan ... The Policeman
Dick Bradsell Dick Bradsell ... The Bald Guy
Gillian El-Kadi Gillian El-Kadi ... Home Owner
Jennifer Angel Jennifer Angel ... Waitress
Nicolas Carlotti Nicolas Carlotti ... Barman
Darren Ormandy ... Accountant
Guy Greenway Guy Greenway ... Heavy #1
Tassos Stevens Tassos Stevens ... Heavy #2
Tristan Martin Tristan Martin ... Man at Bar
Rebecca James ... Woman at Bar
Paul Mason Paul Mason ... Home Owner's Friend
David Bovill David Bovill ... Home Owner's Husband


An older man listens to Bill's story about being a callow writer who likes to follow strangers around London, observing them. One day, a glib and self-confident man whom Bill has been following confronts him. He's Cobb, a burglar who takes Bill under his wing and shows him how to break and enter. They burgle a woman's flat; Bill gets intrigued with her (photographs are everywhere in her flat). He follows her and chats her up at a bar owned by her ex-boyfriend, a nasty piece of work who killed someone in her living room with a hammer. Soon Bill is volunteering to do her a favor, which involves a break-in. What does the older man know that Bill doesn't? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


You're Never Alone.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

5 November 1999 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Csapda See more »

Filming Locations:

UK See more »


Box Office


$6,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,636, 4 April 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$48,482, 14 October 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Next Wave Films,Syncopy See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The surname Cobb is also used by the character Dom Cobb, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, in Christopher Nolan's 2010 film Inception (2010). See more »


During the safe robbery, Bill is clearly shown wearing gloves, most noticeably when he pulls the paper with the combination from his pocket. However, as he starts to open the safe, the gloves are gone and they never reappear. See more »


[first lines]
Bill: The following is my explanation. Well, more of an account of what happened. I'd been on my own for a while and getting kind of lonely... and bored... nothing to do all day. And that's when I started shadowing.
The Policeman: Shadowing?
Bill: Shadowing - Following. I started to follow people
The Policeman: Who?
Bill: Anyone at first. Um,
Bill: you know, that was the whole point - somebody at random, someone who didn't know who I was.
The Policeman: And then?
Bill: And then nothing.
See more »


References Trainspotting (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A remarkable and clever debut for Christopher Nolan.

A debut movie of a great filmmaker is either a stinker ("Alien 3", David Fincher) or a statement that he is there to stay. ("Reservoir Dogs", Quentin Tarantino and "Following", Christopher Nolan). "Following" is a very well made film, considering the circumstances under which it was made. The film is, in fact, a rulebook or a template of future Nolan films. Most of his future movies can be found in "Following" in the sense that most of his future movies have - broken timeline and non linear storytelling making the movie more thrilling, crime or criminal-ish adventure, manipulation of people and a surprising reveal, that's either mindblowing or in the case of "The Dark Knight Rises" (2012), studio's insistence. This movie is a crime thriller. Keeping away the circumstances and knowing nothing about other Nolan films, it's very good. Not excellent, not great, but simply very good. The pacing of the story feels rushed. There is character development but the pacing is so quick that we do not have enough time to get invested in the characters. Some things about the protagonist are simply addressed in the story by the characters in it, rather than telling it dramatically. The fight scenes and some acts of violence are a bit poorly choreographed. However, the suspense was excellent and the twists were mind blowing. Consider now, that you have watched Nolan's other movies as well. The rushed pace was inevitable for a movie which wanted to deliver a lot, but had only an hour of runtime. The issues with fight scenes and acts of violence are still the same, however, we can get a clue of how things played out off screen when a character addresses something about the protagonist. It's like the future Nolan films made it better. If you've seen any of his future movies containing a theme of manipulation, it's quite easy to figure out. The awesomeness of the suspense and the twists are retained. At last, consider that you also know how this movie got made. Man! It was lucky even to see the day! A budget of $6000 during the 90s for British film? It's probably gonna be forgettable. It might not be as good as it was supposed to be if it got a made under favorable circumstances, but surely ain't forgettable. I don't find it appropriate myself, but this movie is a masterpiece - in the sense that an almost no budget flick was made to be so good! I have seen other almost no budget films like "A Fistful of Fingers" (1995 or so) made by Edgar Wright, and it was just plain bad for me. I would never watch such films ever again, except for this one and any other such film, if I find them in the future. It was my fifth Nolan movie. I watched all three of his Batman movies, and I absolutely loved the second one, the first one was excellent and the third one was just good. Then I watched "Memento" (2000) which made me a Nolan fan. But it was this movie that made me appreciate him as a filmmaker in the way I do today. Judging it in a plain manner, I would give it an "8/10" and an "A-". But, for the reasons explained in this review, it gets a special "10/10" and an "A+".

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