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Untraceable (2008)

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FBI agent Jennifer Marsh is tasked with hunting down a seemingly untraceable serial killer who posts live videos of his victims on the Internet. As time runs out, the cat and mouse chase becomes more personal.

Director:

Gregory Hoblit

Writers:

Robert Fyvolent (screenplay), Mark Brinker (screenplay) (as Mark R. Brinker) | 3 more credits »
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Diane Lane ... Jennifer Marsh
Billy Burke ... Detective Eric Box
Colin Hanks ... Griffin Dowd
Joseph Cross ... Owen Reilly
Mary Beth Hurt ... Stella Marsh
Peter Gray Lewis ... Richard Brooks (as Peter Lewis)
Tyrone Giordano ... Tim Wilks
Perla Haney-Jardine ... Annie Haskins
Tim DeZarn ... Herbert Miller (as Tim deZarn)
Christopher Cousins ... David Williams (as Chris Cousins)
Jesse Tyler Ferguson ... Arthur James Elmer
Trina Adams Trina Adams ... Female Cop #3
Brynn Baron ... Mrs. Miller
John Breen John Breen ... Richard Weymouth
Dan Callahan ... Trey Restom
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Storyline

A secret service agent, Jennifer Marsh, gets caught in a very personal and deadly cat-and-mouse game with a serial killer who knows that people (being what they are - both curious and drawn to the dark side of things) will log onto an "untraceable" website where he conducts violent and painful murders LIVE on the net. The more people who log on and enter the website, the quicker and more violently the victim dies. Written by McCormack

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Something Deadly is on the Internet See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 January 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Streaming Evil See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,354,069, 27 January 2008

Gross USA:

$28,687,835

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$52,659,594
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Marilyn Deutsch, Pete Ferryman, David Freitas, Jim Hyde, Kimberly Maus, and Kerry Tomlinson are actual newscasters from Portland, Oregon's KPTV Fox 12, and played themselves in the film. See more »

Goofs

When Agent Marsh is in the car listening to the radio it displays the frequency as 108.9FM. FM Radio dials only go to 107.9. See more »

Quotes

Agent Griffin Dowd: What's he into?
Agent Jennifer Marsh: High-end tech and low-end porn.
Agent Griffin Dowd: You sure he's a guy? If it's a woman, she could be my soulmate.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Friend Request (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

The Man On The Flying Trapeze
Traditional
Performed by Gary Russell
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User Reviews

 
A Nutshell Review: Untraceable
9 April 2008 | by DICK STEELSee all my reviews

So I thought I'd take a break from the Festival and get down to some regular screening of what some would deem as the usual products from the usual assembly line. Untraceable became that movie, because the poster here had Ebert giving it a positive rating, but everyone else I heard had panned it. Directed by Gregory Hoblit, who was at the helm of one of my favourite movies Frequency, I thought I'd give it a shot.

The premise was interesting enough to appeal to geeks, at least some parts of it. A serial killer with the technical know-how sets up a site, and uses the power of the internet as well as the voyeuristic nature of the online denizens to aid in the kills, meaning the more hits the site receives during an online, live execution, the faster the victim will die. Needless to say should he slap an ad on the site, it'll rake him enough dough to retire. And the police can't do anything about it because of bureaucratic red tape in terms of jurisdictions, and of course, the killer being a gifted cracker.

In the veins of torture porn movies, it does showcase some rather sick though innovative ways of brutally dispatching someone, although it doesn't resort to ramping up the gore element unnecessarily. There were some nifty visual effects and makeup, but for those weaned on the Saw franchise and its wannabes, then Untraceable doesn't provide anything new. So goes the usual cliché storyline of cops, led by Diane Lane's FBI Agent Jennifer Marsh, Colin Hanks' Agent Griffin Dowd and Portland Detective Eric Box (BIlly Burke), going after the elusive killer whose only presence is online, until it becomes personal and hits closer to home with the obvious plot development involving family and friends.

But unlike its title, there's nothing much untraceable about this hunter and prey game, and provides you with very little connection or psychological challenge in outwitting, outlasting and outplaying each other. It doesn't attempt to build up the great "unknown" about the killer in a whodunnit fashion, and only weaves through a connection of convenience. However, Untraceable does have genuinely tension building moments, and you do find yourself sitting at the edge of your seat during certain segments, but that's about it, as the rest of the time, it's just plain sailing in expected waters.

I felt that while it had some message to say about online netizens and anonymous chatter in general, it doesn't quite achieve what it had set out to do. You get to see snapshots of essentially a chatroom with its mindless discussions and terrible shorthand with typos, which probably is something you'd be accustomed to should you visit any chatroom anyway. Also, Hollywood still couldn't get away from designing some really snazzy login menus and user interfaces that end users in the real world will probably drool over, or laugh at its cumbersomeness.

What really plummeted the movie to B-grade movie territory is the ending. No worries, no spoilers here, but really, it ended with plenty of bravado and the cheese was just too thick to swallow. Seriously, watching Diane Lane did whatever she did, sent my eyeballs rolling upwards sky high. Promising premise which didn't allow for its plot to keep pace.


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