Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 16%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 52%
IMDb Rating 6.2 10 43484


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October 17, 2014 at 01:14 AM



Colin Hanks as Griffin Dowd
Diane Lane as Jennifer Marsh
Billy Burke as Detective Eric Box
Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Arthur James Elmer
803.12 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 41 min
P/S 2 / 23

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by tomsview 6 / 10

Serial killer algorithm

I am always amazed at how inventive serial killers are in movies. In reality serial killers use fairly unimaginative methods in their crimes, and get away with them mostly through sheer luck. Even when they taunt the police with a note, they more often than not reveal a challenged level of literacy.

But in movies, the planning and engineering skills of the average serial killer are on a par with putting a man on the moon. "Untraceable" is a case in point.

Jennifer Marsh (Diane Lane), an FBI agent involved in detecting cybercrime discovers a serial killer using an Internet site to set up his victims. The film has an unpleasant premise in that the murders only happen if viewers log on, which they do despite pleas not to from the authorities. The film posits a very jaundiced view of society, becoming somewhat preachy on the subject.

Much of what happens though is straight out of the Serial Killer Movie Manual, especially the head FBI guy taking a while to get on board with Jennifer's warnings.

A single-mother back-story and a quirky offsider with victim written all over him help fill out the space between the credits. One break from the formula is that the murders all involve guys and aren't sexual in nature, a point of difference with 99 per cent of serial killer movies.

Usually the most watchable part of this kind of thing is the detection element, and in this case the tracking sequences are the highlights of the movie.

The ending is definitely drawn from the manual as the cops close in on the killer - you hardly need to watch the screen to know how it ends.

As long as you don't expect a "Se7en", or a "Silence of the Lambs", "Untraceable" is not the worst serial killer thriller, however, it does take itself just a little too seriously - no wonder the critics thought its 'message' was hypocritical.

Reviewed by tiskec 8 / 10


Let me start off by saying that this movie is extremely underrated. I think the cast and crew did a tremendous job with the setting of an FBI cyber-division office. In fact, I do believe they actually toured one (I remember in the DVD special features) and set up the office setting as close as they could get. Props to the crew for doing their homework. That probably added to the probability factor of the movie as well. It was very well done and believable.

Without getting too far into the movie (or spoiling it), I must say that the acting could pass as actual FBI cyber-division agents. I'm not just saying this because I'm into computer science either. The cast did and excellent job, without rushing the scenes, or pushing things way over-the-top. I liked how the head of the FBI in Portland, advised against pursuing the website with some psycho killing a cat live on a website at first. This is probably what the actual FBI would deter as well. At first the cyber-stalker, and serial killer, was no threat. So, the script did a good job in implementing believable scenarios, and not rushing into things, which would make the film illogical.

This movie was very well done. I truly made a connection with the characters, and the story was highly believable. The acting was superb, the script was great, and the dialog was outstanding. I would recommend this movie to anyone who likes crime, drama, or thrillers. I own the blu-ray.

Reviewed by James 8 / 10

Gripping thriller of conceivably dubious morality, but effective overall

Here is a quite scary and persuasive thriller from Gregory Hoblit which kicks off with a simply breathtaking scene or two, as an ordinary woman - Jennifer Marsh, as played by Diane Lane, leaves an ordinary house in an ordinary part of Portland, drives off in an ordinary car to an extraordinary place in which she joins a close-knit team doing an extraordinary job. In brief, she works at an FBI centre at which trained agents use computer and Internet skills to detect online crime (and various kinds of suspect behaviour), calling up immense amounts of data of all kinds in the slickest possible way, before ordering in the SWAT teams once a physical location has been identified - this physical location then having its doors battered down in the most reassuringly low-tech and old-fashioned of ways!

This is a fine, fine, well thought-out and executed start sequence that peaks at such a level of speed, incisiveness, mastery of high-tech and (to me) meaningless computer-nerd jargon that I checked the cars in the next scene just to make sure I wasn't inadvertently watching some sci fi offering set at least a few years in the future!

I was not, so this is technology deployed to catch "bad guys" that is in place now - or better yet in 2007/8 - when the film was made. Impressive indeed.

Having started so very well, this ostensibly-modest film which apparently failed to recoup its budget in cinemas moves on to its main goal and main social comment - also online-related; and this is where we are presented with somewhat self-parasitising and certainly "iterative" aspects inherent in the idea of the film.

Basically it goes like this: in order to portray the activities of a madman whose moral-high-ground protesting against the ghoulishness of those surfing the Web sees him making his point by hurting animals and people in devious ways whereby severity of hurt and level of harm depend on viewing figures, the makers of "Untraceable" have themselves to invent three or four ways of killing a victim so mean, sadistic, inhumane and torturing that they may on their own account (conceivably) encourage imitation by some psycho out in the real world, and may very possibly attract that same certain kind of screengoer as is featured in the film, i.e. the kind of person who can't wait to see how far and low the film itself will go!

If you see what I mean...

In fact, the film does not go that far or that low - it's no gorefest, unlike certain recent offerings which specialise in presenting masterminds of hideously bloody, humiliating and sadistic torture hurting people who come to their houses in extremely foul ways. Nevertheless, there are some pretty awful things (above all deviant ideas) shown, and one could question whether the work in some way panders to the very thirst for on-screen unpleasantness that it is condemning, and that the anti-hero villain (as played by Joseph Cross) is also condemning, paradoxically by engaging in dreadful acts of torture, in his sick way apparently seeking to demonstrate to America how low its Internet users have sunk!

In the face of all that, we have the right to ask whether "Untraceable" is of itself thoughtful or prurient, disdainful of screen evil or pandering to it. Ultimately, I plump for the positive reading of this film, primarily because I come away from it (now for the second time) feeling that I have seen a good and worthwhile piece of cinema. It's gritty and grey (it rains a lot in Portland in late autumn), surprisingly well-acted by actors largely unknown, at least to me (albeit also with what was presumably then a bit-part for Jesse Tyler Ferguson now looking like an effective cameo!) And it delivers its punch pretty squarely and seems convincing enough, most especially (though not solely) in that extremely classy first 10 minutes.

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