5.3/10
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The Watcher (2000)

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David is a serial killer of young women. Joel was in charge of catching him in LA. He moved to Chicago a broken man. So did David and sends him photos of his next victims 24 hours before the murders.

Director:

Joe Charbanic

Writers:

Darcy Meyers (story), David Elliot (story) | 2 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Spader ... Campbell
Marisa Tomei ... Polly
Keanu Reeves ... Griffin
Ernie Hudson ... Ibby
Chris Ellis ... Hollis
Robert Cicchini ... Mitch
Yvonne Niami ... Lisa
Jenny McShane ... Diana (as Jennifer McShane)
Gina Alexander Gina Alexander ... Sharon
Rebekah Nanfria Rebekah Nanfria ... Ellie (as Rebakah Louise Smith)
Joseph Sikora ... Skater (as Joe Sikora)
Jillian Peterson ... Jessica
Michele DiMaso Michele DiMaso ... Rachel (as Michelle Dimaso)
Andrew Rothenberg ... Jack Fray
David Pasquesi ... 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 Los Angeles, 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 sent 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Vietnamese

Release Date:

8 September 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Driven See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,062,295, 10 September 2000, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$28,927,720, 29 October 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Spader and Keanu Reeves previously starred with Lori Loughlin in The New Kids (1985) and The Night Before (1988) respectively. Ironically, in those films, James Spader played a villain and Keanu Reeves played a good guy. See more »

Goofs

Knocking a gas pump off its foundation will not result in gasoline spraying up out of the ground. See more »

Quotes

Joel Campbell: His last alias was David Allen Griffin. I worked the case for three and a half years in Los Angeles. We attributed at least 11 homicides to him.
Lt. Hollis: What's he doing in Chicago.
Joel Campbell: I assume he's still strangling young women with piano wire.
See more »

Connections

References The Matrix (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

CAN'T SAY THAT
Written and Performed by Sharkfin
Vocal by Holly Light
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User Reviews

Fairly clichéd but still quite enjoyable
18 January 2004 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Having failed to catch a serial killer who finally murdered a woman he had been sleeping with, Joel Campbell moves cities and lives his life on benefits suffering from migraines, heavily medicated most of the time. This painful but quiet life is shattered when the killer follows him to the city and begins a game of cat and mouse with him - sending him a picture of a woman 24 hours before he kills her. Joel rejoins the police in an effort to save his potential victims as well as catching him.

I, like many others, wasn't too bothered by this film when it was released - it looked like it would be yet another serial killer movie, and it was! The plot requires the usual gimmick and here it is the old chestnut of the cop and bad guy needing each other and the killer having a sort of respect and need for his pursuer. None of the film will surprise you but it still moves forward reasonably quickly without being dull and it is reasonably enjoyable. The action scenes are not great and the film never really has a real air of menace or tension, but it is still slick enough to watch - even if it is almost impossible to be emotionally involved.

The director managed to get his timing right to get Reeves in the midst of a reasonable cast; he shot a few videos for Reeves' band years prior in exchange for Reeves doing this film which, despite hitting it big with The Matrix, was a promise he honoured. However as a director his music video roots are heavily showing here with far too many flashy visual tricks that stick out from the body of the film and actually take away more than they bring. However, getting Reeves was worth him having the chair for his star does surprisingly well to step out of his Neo role and into a mean, playful role. No, he's not doing anything different with it from anyone else who plays this type of serial killer role but he is still charismatic enough to make a difference. Spader is also pretty good and has more to work with than Reeves, but Tomsei is almost totally wasted with very little to do to justify such a well known actress. To be honest none of them have much to work with above the norm, but they still add to the film by their names.

Overall I did quite enjoy the film but I will be the first to admit that it was nothing new and really didn't do anything different or unusual with the basic premise and material. The director tries to liven it up a bit with the odd visual trick, but it only serves to make the film look a little desperate to be different. The end result is an average thriller that has a better than average cast (for this type of thing) and will pass the time without annoying you if you know what to expect.


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