Linewatch (2008) Poster


User Reviews

Review this title
17 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
I actually liked it
gelooo691 October 2008
This wasn't the best movie, but it sure was a good little action/crime flick to watch. It had enough plot turns to keep you seated and definitely didn't seem as near B grade as other projects "Gooding" has done lately.

I actually think this is one of his best since shadow boxer or boat trip. I really hope this film gets him back into doing good films as he has let me down with his past few.

So overall plot, hes a border patrol policeman that uncovers some dead bodies. And on his search to uncover the killer he brings back some past "friends" who cause more trouble then good. It actually relates pretty close to a history of violence but moves along a lot faster.

MY friends have a bad attention Span and this didn't make them walk away so my opinion is watch the movie if you want an easy going crime drama.
34 out of 43 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Attention: Patience required for viewing!!
ralphruff8 October 2008
Well, just finished watching Linewatch, and i gotta say that it wound up being fairly enjoyable. The movie starts out very slow, not much action or dialogue, which is why i turned if off twice before finally convincing myself to give it a chance. I'm glad i did because it was more interesting than it began. It's not one of Cuba's best films in the least, but it definitely wasn't his worst. Pretty good plot that developed further into the movie. Once you get past the first 15 minutes of boredom, it is definitely watchable. Most people will probably not get past the first part, as I have done on a number of movies, but it was worth it in this particular movie. This will definitely not win any awards, but it is entertaining and interesting on the surface.
19 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Grasping for a chance
jpschapira3 February 2009
It's a shame that some movies never get to the theaters. Lately, Cuba Gooding Jr. has been doing a lot of those movies, and though I haven't seen them all, I rent one from time to time: I think the man's a great actor. In Kevin Bray's "Linewatch", he gives a stand-out performance as Mike Dixon, a police officer who works for the border patrol and is suddenly haunted by the past. The actor is so subtle here, so committed to the role that we can't help desiring something better for him.

Movies like this one are not sold properly for the audience. "On the border between the US and Mexico, the law is what you make it", reads the tagline of "Linewatch". It's logical that you would expect a bad film with something like that on its cover. Sadly, sometimes the truth is different, like in this case. The border is just scenery in this movie, a nice place to shoot and develop some plot lines of David W. Wardfield's screenplay.

The script is about absolutely everything else, and though it doesn't develop its characters fully, it leaves a good taste in your mouth, and you feel you've watched something worthy of your time. The key however is in the casting, because when you have a slow film like this one with just a few action scenes, you need good actors to spend the rest of the time with. Sharon Leal is warm and caring as Dixon's wife and the girl who plays their daughter is especially good. The gangsters that come to bother Dixon and bring the past back with them all achieve good performances. Each of them is allowed to stand out from time to time, but they are at their best, natural and relaxed, when doing small talk as they guard Dixon's family.

Two of them are probably the most important in terms of the story though: Kimo (Omari Hardwick) and Little Boy (Evan Ross). I haven't told you the hold story yet, partly because I want you to go and rent this picture (the only way to see it), and partly because the movie doesn't tell it either…I'll leave that for you to discover, saying only that it's a well developed plot for the genre that even leaves room for some small surprises.

Kevin Bray does everything right and never poses for something that his movie isn't. He knows how to create true tension and achieves it in two crucial moments that don't include fast-paced action, helped by Jeff Mcllwain's exciting score (which, by the way, also works perfectly in the action sequences).

The action is not the main attraction in "Linewatch" as it would be in, for example, "Taken". However, the fact that the leader of a gang bang doesn't completely look and act like we would assume a gangster would and some phrases that could be suppressed make this look like a B-movie. But then, "Taken" was also a B-movie (in the best sense and with the best production); and a good one. Maybe "Linewatch" is even better; a bit more humane…Realer.
13 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
boring dullness
nirothegreat23 August 2008
sorry about that guys, you have done a good job acting and supporting the dull plot and the non-creative directing. the story opens with some "flesh" which kept me watching for the next 40 minutes. after that, very disappointed, i withdrew the movie, just hoping that the cast-members got their well balanced fee for their efforts. i'm sure that working in a dull/boring environment calls for more effort than when being involved in an interesting enthusiastic project, no matter which kind of work is required. this movie doesn't entitle more than 1/10 but as the actors are not to be blamed i give it a 5/10 and declare again; this one is not worth any effort from your side.
33 out of 62 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Decent plot that never realizes it's true potential.
jimlynde7 February 2009
As a resident of a border state with Mexico, I was intrigued with the potential storyline that this film could portray. Unfortunately, it started out by meeting my expectations, but flat-lined about 15 minutes in. Aside from Cuba Gooding Jr.,and the actors who played both his wife and daughter, the performances of everyone else reeked with an odor that indicated that this was a low budget independent film. Instead of chasing "coyotes," the well known and despised human smugglers who incite so much tension and hatred along our borders, this film chased a story line about a bunch of big city gansta's who had the maturity level of 8 year olds. It's worth the $3 rental just to see Cuba Gooding Jr. Don't expect too much though. You just might be disappointed.
8 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Cedric_Catsuits3 August 2011
Cuba Gooding portrays a seemingly respectable cop whose shady past catches up with him, jeopardising his family and career. The concept may not be original, but Gooding's performance and reactions to some wretched and desperate conflicts serve to enhance the voyeuristic pleasure.

The well developed, colourful and generally unsavoury characters surrounding the drug and people trafficking industry add grit to the realism and enhance our understanding of, and sympathy for, Dixon's predicament.

Set against the harsh but stunning background of New Mexico's border country, superbly directed and acted, this is a cut above your average crime flick.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Cuba Vehicle Crisis
David Tuck25 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
There's something about Stage 6 Productions, responsible for this under powered non-thrilling thriller, that baffles me. It appears to be an formerly successful actors graveyard. Remember after Jerry MacGuire , Cuba's future looked great, then he made Snow Dogs !?! He's made more bad choices than John Travolta, and thus he arrives in a Stage 6 produced vehicle ,following the likes of Val Kilmer and Stephen Dorf, into a sad straight to DVD waste of time.

I can only guess that Stage 6 are great at getting DVD distribution deals. I can see it now, get a name; albeit one that's fallen on hard times, get the deal money up front; these films really can't cost more than $3/4 million[ FYI: none of that goes on the script].

And keep shooting footage until you get 90 minutes of a story that 'CSI' would reject. Not just CSI, but CSI Miami.

The story is so , ho hum, on screen I can't imagine what it looks like on paper.

The opening ,lightly baited, hook of the movie shows a group of Mexicans killed in a truck .This solved by a subsidiary character, off screen , who then hands the information over to Cuba while pinned under a crashed quad bike bleeding to death. Most people would ask for help first, honestly blood everywhere, he never mentions it.

The key to a good cheap move is a great idea and clever writing [ Reservoir Dogs, Juno, Sideway] not tired star and a script downloaded from the internet.
9 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Pretty average fair.
Jan Strydom14 January 2009
Cuba Gooding Jr plays Micheal Dixon, a former gangster turned well respected border patrol officer, whose life becomes complicated when people from his past decide to pay him a visit.

The box cover suggest more of an action film, but its actually more of a character story, it unfolds very well and the direction by Kevin Bray(WALKING TALL) is pretty good, but overall the film is pretty average fair, the problems I basically have with this film is the would be gang Gooding Jr's character use to hang with, they never really seemed like a gang, they were never really intimidating, they were actually more annoying and at times it also seemed like they never really had major chemistry, despite the fact that the characters apparently knew each other a long time, otherwise the acting was above par, but when I look at Cuba Gooding Jr, I can say that he is not beyond picking better material, and I would like see him in something better than what he has done lately.

Overall, its pretty average fair and Cuba Gooding Jr as well as the rest of the cast and the director, can certainly do better.
5 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Even though it's DTV, this proves that Cuba still has what it takes.
callanvass27 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Linewatch surprised me heavily by not only being a competent drama, but engaging me and thrilling me at the same time. Don't expect a whole lot of action here, it's replaced by perfectly timed drama and thrills when they are needed. Cuba is clearly more interested in this project than most of his one's as of late, and it shows in his engrossing performance. The storyline to me is actually somewhat frightening. It's not really original but the way it was acted and the way it was done was just great. I must confess to not being overly familiar with Border Patrol but I enjoyed what I saw here very much, and it's much tougher than I expected. One of the scenes that really hit home for me is a Cuba dream sequence. Seeing him dreaming of his daughter picking up a gun and firing away definitely put a jolt into my system, it was very effective. Simply put it's not perfect, but if Cuba picks more quality projects like this in the future, his career may get back on track where it deserves to be, in the upper echelon of actors.

Performances. Cuba Gooding is very effective here, and gives one of his finest performance I've seen him give in ages. He's clearly interested and trying 100%. He obviously thought a lot about the project, because his performance is terrific. Omari Hardwick is pretty good as the main villain Drake, he was effective. Sharon Leal is solid as Cuba's love interest and I enjoyed her chemistry with Cuba. Evan Ross showed why I thought so highly of him in Hilary Duff's Greta and delivers another excellent performance here. Dean Norris is a great character actor and he was excellent in his role here.

Bottom line. I enjoyed Linewatch very much actually, and clapped when it was over because it's a relief to know Cuba hasn't given up. Don't let this one slip you by, it may surprise you like it did me.

3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Somewhat familiar storyline given mostly lacklustre treatment
Wizard-821 October 2009
For some reason recently, I have become interested in Cuba Gooding Jr.'s present career, seeing how he has become box office poison and is now mostly stuck in doing straight-to-video movies. I was wondering if he had learned his lesson after doing those awful theatrical movies and was now picking better scripts (like Jean Claude Van Damme). After seeing several of his recent movies - including this one - I've concluded that either he hasn't learned his lesson or simply doesn't care.

In fairness, there are a few good things about LINEWATCH. Though this had a low budget ($5 million), it at least looks decent. The cinematography is above average, and the production team chose existing locations that they didn't have to change yet look believable. Also, Gooding fits in this role better than a lot of his other movie roles (theatrical or otherwise.)

But the rest of the movie is pretty much a bust, thanks to its screenplay and its direction. The screenplay clearly needed some more rewrites - its flaws start at the beginning, with the movie seemingly starting at chapter two instead of the beginning. Things do clear up eventually, but then the movie slows down almost to a halt - it takes more than 30 minutes into the movie before the conflict starts for the protagonist. The movie then continues its very slow crawl right up to the climatic scene - there's only about enough story in this movie for a short film, not a feature-length movie.

Curiously, though, despite this slow pace, there are several instances where it seems that footage is missing, and it resulted that I was confused several times for several seconds each time as to what exactly happened. Though even if this seemingly missing footage was restored, it might not have helped the movie - it would have made the movie longer and possibly even more of an ordeal to sit through.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
This Film Slipped Under the Line Watch...
gradyharp22 November 2010
One wonders when Cuba Gooding, Jr is going to find roles that are equal to his talent. LINEWATCH is a sleepwalk/phone-in role written for him by David W. Waterfield and directed by Kevin Bray in a story that attempts to take on a few too many problem situations in one session - illegal immigration, the human manipulation and abuse by the Coyotes and those involved in the crime industry of illegal transportation, Los Angeles ghetto crime life, across the border drug trafficking, family values in gangsters who turn to an honest life, etc. Not that these problems don't deserve our being reminded of serious situations constantly present, but the story has been told many times in better ways.

Michael Dixon (Cuba Gooding Jr.) is an ex-gang member living close to the Mexican border with his beautiful wife Angela (Sharon Leal) and daughter as he serves as a US Border Patrol Agent. His heart is in the right place and when he discovers a van full of expired immigrants the pain of his job surfaces. Simultaneously he discovers a band of drug smugglers who work to find a way to transport drugs across the border in to the US - a gang comprised of Michael's old gang. His 'friend', near psychotic Drake (Omari Hardwick - very impressive in this role), makes threats to Michael cajoling him into working with Mike's ex-gang to route the drug smuggling trucks across the border using Mike's affiliation with the US Border Patrol information. The stress that Michael feels under the threat of the gang's violence to his family leads him to act in a manner that brings the story to an end.

Gooding remains a fine screen presence: had he been given a better script and story it would be a pleasure to see him again. The supporting cast is fine, the cinematography by Paul M. Sommers is dirty and gritty as it should be and the musical score by Jeff McIlwain all but smothers the dialogue. The reason this film didn't make it in theaters is very obvious.

Grady Harp
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Cuba takes on gangsters, racists, and smugglers
Matt Kracht18 March 2013
The plot: A cop with a dark past comes face-to-face with the past he's been running away from.

Cuba Gooding, Jr stars as a border patrol officer in New Mexico. He's trying to track down the ruthless "coyote" who left illegal immigrants for dead. In the mean time, he's clashing with racist vigilantes and his superiors, while trying to salvage his family life. This get even more complicated when some L.A. gang members show up, recognize him, and threaten to kill his family, unless he acts as their inside man.

I liked the first part of this movie better, before the gangsters showed up. Once the gangster plot took over, I became considerably less enthused, though I stuck around to see how it would end. The gangsters have a few good scenes, but they never really get the characterization that good villains require. In one memorable scene, they engage in some particularly brutal hazing, which does a good job of making you hate them... but it doesn't really tell you who they are.

The movie plays out somewhat predictably, but the competent stunts and fight choreography make the action sequences pretty watchable. The acting wasn't really a problem for me, but I doubt anyone here is going to win any awards. I generally enjoyed Linewatch, but it's difficult to recommend the movie to anyone but other die-hard Cuba Gooding, Jr fans. His career has been in freefall ever since the mid-2000s, but I actually liked most of his recent movies. They're not great movies, but they're better than what Steven Seagal has been shoveling out.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
outdoorfreak16 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I have just bought this flick this evening for a movie to watch as i am bored and the first impressions of the movie are very good, if you want action from the outset this is the one for you. The characters start off to be a bit boring but when the guy finds that there are 9 dead illegal immigrants coming into the US Gooding has the dangerous job of hunting down the gangsters that are smuggling them into the US. The film, if your watching on a Hi-Def is superb, not forgetting the audio, my laptop punches both of them that creates a really good feel to the film and hooks you right into it. There is an element of surprise added to the film, the producers have tried really hard to make a top flick this year and slightly just missed something out, maybe that it needs some one like George Clooney or Mark Harmon to be added to the cast as Gooding doesn't go that far into the character. Maybe that is just my opinion as I really do like George Clooney films. But overall ignoring the downside, look at the bright-side the flick is just supposed to be an action/crime drama nothing else it make the viewer think a bit more about what the plot is about.
4 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
well-crafted, well-acted and produced pleasure to watch
cleuchtag22 October 2008
This well-crafted movie was a quality, well-acted and produced pleasure to watch. The fantastic photography was an extra treat. I expected a "B" move or a political propaganda piece. Instead I found the dialog realistic, sophisticated, and hard-hitting. The acting acting was superb. This is a dark and serious movie, for MATURE movie viewers only. If you want a cutsie, wise-cracking, unrealistic funny movie, this is NOT it.

I gave this movie 9 stars because it blends my 2 favorite themes: redemptive and vigilante. This movie is NOT for kids, but unlike most movies, it promotes solid "family" values.
4 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Experience both sides of the law.
Michael O'Keefe20 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The star quality of Cuba Gooding, Jr. is not really enough to carry this crime drama to the finish line. Director Kevin Bay tries his best I'm sure, because there is some redeemable action in LINEWATCH. The former Academy Award winner plays Mike Dixon, a Border Patrol Officer in New Mexico who seriously needs a promotion or transfer. The well loved family man suddenly has his world threatened by secrets from his past...he was once a member of a savage Los Angeles gang that has tracked him down to force him into a drug smuggling trip across the border. The law is what you make it. Who draws the line? Who dares to step over it? Cast also features: Sharon Leal, Omari Hardwick, Dean Morris and Evan Ross.
2 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A boring action movie that does no favours for Cuba Gooding Jr.
The Grand Master17 March 2015
Linewatch had to be one of the most boring action movies I have seen. It certainly didn't look like it was going to be the greatest movie, but it had the potential to be a decent action movie.

Cuba Gooding Jr. is Agent Michael Dixon of the US Border Patrol working on the US/Mexican border. Michael Dixon had a mysterious past he always wanted to leave behind which is under threat of being exposed by High Noon Gang member Cook (Malieek Straughter) following a shootout which leaves a fellow US Border Patrol agent dead. The High Noon Gang leader Kimo (Omari Hardwick) blackmails Dixon to help smuggle in a drug shipment following threats made to Dixon's family. Dixon must also stay ahead of fellow US Border patrol colleagues, including Warren Kane (Dean Norris).

It's hard to believe Cuba Gooding Jr. was a quality actor once upon a time. Cuba Gooding Jr. also won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the arrogant yet charismatic football player Rod Tidwell in the Tom Cruise feel good movie Jerry Maguire (1996). Cuba Gooding Jr.'s career has been stuck in the doldrums for several years now and this movie has done his career no favours.

It would be great to see Cuba Gooding Jr. make a comeback someday and drag his career out of the wilderness. If he stopped appearing in poor quality movies like this, then we may see him back in the limelight again.

0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Waiting for Cuba
Yohann DOMENECH-PEREZ28 December 2009
There's nothing sadder than watching an actor's career collapse especially when this person has given us the pleasure and the excitement that Cuba Gooding Jr brought to his role in Jerry Maguire. Actually, he was the only reason to see that whole contraption of a movie, the only actor that kept it (half) alive. But since then, he (and the audience, too) came from disappointment to disappointment, without ever taking a part or a movie worthy of his talent. And worst of all, when he starred in Radio and seemed to take the road of Tom Hanks toward virtuousness, honestly it was time to run out of the theater.

But this new movie, Linewatch, could have been an interesting turn for him because it promised to be a muckraking drama in the wake of Tony Richardson's The Border. But none of the themes that are set in the first fifteen minutes of the movie are developed; we are waiting for the story to get new dimensions but this is helpless because the director, Kevin Bray, refuses to deliver if not great movie-making - at least the zinger we need to keep us awake. And we are waiting for Cuba to do something but even he must have realized that this was leading nowhere so by the end (which is ridiculous) he seems to have given up on this one like the audience.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews