James Spader stars as Joel Campbell, a former detective traumatized by the death of his lover at the hands of a serial killer he'd been hunting--a psychopath who has taken their combative relationship a little too personally, and has now tracked the retired Campbell down in Chicago. The killer, who methodically studies his victims before killing them, starts sending Campbell photographs of prospective victims and gives him a day to find them before they're killed. Campbell rises to the challenge, returns to his role as detective, and launches a comprehensive manhunt for the killer and the women in the photographs. The Watcher is surprisingly watchable--though it does suffer from an excessive use of arty cinematography. But while the psychological interpretation of the killer's behavior is a little too schematic to be convincing, the portrayal of Campbell is quite strong, particularly due to Spader's performance. A much-underrated actor, Spader is lean and efficient in his portrayal, rarely given to flashy histrionics, but compelling and emotionally complex. Unfortunately, the killer is played by Keanu Reeves; and though Reeves isn't as terrible an actor as some critics may say, he's out of his depth here. Still, Spader carries most of the movie, and the sequences in which the police are trying to track down the victims are nicely suspenseful--in fact, the movie is overall more interested in suspense than gore, making it a pleasant change from most contemporary thrillers. Also starring Marisa Tomei as Campbell's psychiatrist and budding romantic interest. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I thought this was an entertaining movie overall, with a few of those parts that make you wanna just scream at the characters not to do something. Read morePublished on April 23 2004
I thought that the names Keanu Reeves and James Spader sounded quite promising for this movie, but in fact it is just an average action movie with a storyline you saw many times... Read morePublished on Jan. 22 2004 by Sinitta
You know when a movie boasts "and Keanu Reeves" you're in pretty big trouble.
Sometimes I go with the general flow when I put down actors. Read more
Reeves makes this one work with his serial killer mood but Spader lets this one fall as the cop in search for him. Read morePublished on Dec 1 2003 by Michael Bolts
FBI-Agent Campbell (James Spader) is obviously missed by a serial-killer (Keanu Reeves), who follows him from L.A. Read morePublished on Oct. 3 2003 by Christoph Walter
I do wish I could say something positive about this film as I'm a fan of both James Spader and Marisa Tomei, but they're both wasted on this, honestly.Published on April 30 2003 by Amazon Customer
This is your average thriller movie, and is worth watching once. I would not recommend purchasing it. Keanu Reeves is definitely the downfall of this movie. Read morePublished on March 25 2003 by Jackson Brown
This movie was decent overall. It was capably acted, especially by Spader, whose ability to really breathe life into his characters shines through as usual. Read morePublished on March 2 2003 by Bri Bold
If you like scary movies this is a must have to add to your collection to make it complete!Published on Feb. 18 2003