Academy Award® Winner Cuba Gooding, Jr. is a Border Patrol Officer in the New Mexico desert with a secret past that is about to catch up with him. When his old gang leader tracks him down and forces him to smuggle drugs across the border, he must choose between the life he swore to leave behind and saving his family at any cost. Omari Hardwick, (The Guardian, Gridiron Gang), Sharon Leal (This Christmas, Dreamgirls), and Evan Ross (ATL, Pride), co-star in this hard-hitting thriller that pushes the action over the line.
A decent potboiler with an original story idea, Linewatch
stars Cuba Gooding Jr. as U.S. Border Patrol Agent Michael Dixon. Patrolling part of the border between Mexico and America, Michael is good at his job, compassionate toward illegal aliens and tough on those who exploit them. While pursuing a "coyote" (someone who smuggles aliens over the border) who left a truckload of Mexicans to die, Michael inadvertently breaks up a meeting between drug-smuggling criminals. The aborted gathering, it turns out, involved members of a vicious, L.A. gang that once included Michael as a member and prospective leader, unbeknownst to his wife (Sharon Leal). The gang's current leader, Drake (Omari Hardwick), demands that Michael help him work out a way to get the drugs or watch his family suffer the consequences. Largely rumbling along as a low-key suspense thriller, Linewatch
has a number of quirky elements. The most interesting is a familial bond between Drake and his gang expressed through constant, inconsequential banter that could easily be part of a Quentin Tarantino movie. There is also the surreal battleground of the story's border problems, manifested in a weird scene in which Drake's boys get into a simultaneous shootout with Minutemen-like vigilantes and adolescent Mexican boys in soldier regalia. Kevin Bray, an experienced television director, proves competent guiding the material and actors to the screen. But it's hard not to wonder what someone like Sam Peckinpah might have done with Linewatch
. --Tom Keogh