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Along Came A Spider

2001

R CC

A congressman's daughter under Secret Service protection is kidnapped from a private school by an insider who calls Det. Alex Cross, sucking him into the case even though he's recovering from the loss of his partner.

Starring:
Morgan Freeman, Monica Potter
Runtime:
1 hour, 43 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller
Director Lee Tamahori
Starring Morgan Freeman, Monica Potter
Supporting actors Michael Wincott, Dylan Baker, Mika Boorem, Anton Yelchin, Kim Hawthorne, Jay O. Sanders, Billy Burke, Michael Moriarty, Penelope Ann Miller, Anna Maria Horsford, Scott Heindl, Christopher Shyer, Jill Teed, Ian Marsh, Raoul Ganeev, Samantha Ferris, Ocean Hellman, Tom McBeath
Studio Paramount
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark J. Fowler VINE VOICE on October 18, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
At the time that I am writing this review I see 140 of these DVDs listed used starting at $2.98. I would consider it a bargain for 3 times that!

To the movie:
I have not read the Alex Cross novels, so I am not able to comment on the movies based on them being faithful or not to the book. I HAVE seen both "Along Came A Spider" and "Kiss the Girls" and I enjoyed "Spider" much more, even though KTG was a good stab at the thriller genre.

Morgan Freeman inhabits Alex Cross more completely, and I suspect that my appreciation of his performance was a combination of his wonderfully intelligent acting and Lee Tamahori's direction. This version of Cross is intelligent, compassionate, brave, and scarcely takes a wrong step. He'd be a good teacher and a good person to go get a beer with. And if some psychotic killer were on your trail - he's the guy you'd want tracking the killer.

*WARNING! Silence of the Lambs Spoiler in this paragraph!*
The writers of thrillers have begun doing cartwheels trying to out "surprise" all that came before. I can't pinpoint when this began.... but do you remember the surprise in "Silence of the Lambs" when Hannibal Lector suddenly appears from beneath the sheets in the ambulance? The story here throws in several twists, and although in the lesser thriller you can often sense the "twists" a country mile before it occurs, I found myself genuinely surprised several times.

It is worth mentioning both the character and performance given by young Mika Boorem as Megan Rose, the kidnapped daughter of a U.S. Senator.
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Format: DVD
I have to admit that I never quite understand why a director would decide to make a movie of a perfectly good suspense/mystery story (a best seller no less) and proceed to make wholesale modifications to the plot. It almost guarantees that a good piece of the audience will dislike the film simply because it diverges from the book and never even notice that it is a good film all on its own.

And it is a good film. Morgan Freeman does a superb job of portraying Detective Alex Cross as he tries to peel away the layers of a kidnapping that gets away from everyone - kidnapper and police alike. Gary Soneji(Michael Wincott), a teacher at a posh school for the children of the powerful, decides to improve his social standing by kidnapping Megan Rose (Mika Boorem), a senator's daughter. He has everything worked out in detail, including getting Cross out of of semi-retirement, in order to demonstrate Soneji's brilliance.

Joined by Jezzie Flannigan (Monica Potter). who was the secret service agent on duty when Soneji makes his move, Cross begins to sift through the details to try to understand Soneji enough to win Megan's Freedom. With each fact comes more confusion and the plot will zigzag all over the event horizon before the final confrontation. In many ways, this is a compelling combination of police procedural and suspense/psychotic film as the film switches back and forth between Cross and Soneji. A lot of people get shot, but the film doesn't dwell on the gory parts.

Mika Boorem does a fantastic job as the kidnapped girl, by the way. She manages to find an unusual balance between fearful weakness and a surprising inner strength. The film is well directed in a nicely understated way.
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Format: DVD
Along Came a Spider is Morgan Freeman's second appearance as forensic psychologist Alex Cross. The first was in 1997's Kiss the Girls. This is not a sequel. Cross is a character in a series of books by James Patterson. Like the books they are based on, the movies are thrillers. All thrillers are not created equally, and Along Came a Spider is inferior to its predecessor. Freeman is as good as ever. The movie is full of surprises, and there are indeed some intense moments. The problem is the script. Whenever the movie tries to explain a previous scene, that scene is more full of plot holes than the one it is trying to explain. Still, the movie can prove enjoyable as long as you park your thinking cap next to the popcorn.
The movie starts with a wild police pursuit in which Cross' partner is killed. Devastated, Cross goes into seclusion, uncertain whether or not he will be able to work again. Meanwhile, in a posh private school in the District of Columbia, student Megan Rose [Mika Boorem] is kidnapped by a teacher, Gary Sonji [Michael Wincott]. Megan is the daughter of a United States senator. This means that Jezzie Flannigan [Monica Potter], the Secret Service agent assigned to protect the girl, is in a lot of trouble. Cross, drawn against his will into the case, takes her under his wing, and the two set out to find Megan. The road they follow is full of dangerous twists and turns.
Besides Freeman and those suspenseful scenes, there are some good elements. I liked Megan, because she is a kid with guts. She is as much heroine as victim, using her wits as often as possible. Wincott makes a convincing villain, effectively utilizing his sinister good looks. The photography is atmospheric and gives the movie a properly creepy look.
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