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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a fantastic film!
I always like films where a typecast actor breaks free of their stereotyped roles!!
Well, this is one of the best!!!
Keanu Reeves is brilliant as the psychotic woman killer, who watches his intended victims, getting to know their routine so he knows when they are most vunrable. Then he photo's the woman and sends it to the police telling them they have 24 hours...
Published on 29 Jan 2003 by H. Trivass

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Watching The Watcher
I came to The Watcher with relatively low expectations having never heard of the film before. The cheap price and other reviews tempted me and I'm grateful they did for, while The Watcher is a film with a number of flaws, it does have two significant redeeming qualities; James Spader's central performance and the unpretentious aspirations of the plot.

Spader...
Published on 18 July 2008 by CMT346


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a fantastic film!, 29 Jan 2003
This review is from: The Watcher [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
I always like films where a typecast actor breaks free of their stereotyped roles!!
Well, this is one of the best!!!
Keanu Reeves is brilliant as the psychotic woman killer, who watches his intended victims, getting to know their routine so he knows when they are most vunrable. Then he photo's the woman and sends it to the police telling them they have 24 hours to find the woman before he kills her with piano wire!! (nice!!) The cop in charge of the case (James Spader) has been trying to catch this killer for a long time (he killed his g/friend in the past) so there is a lot of personal anger and revenge boiling inside him!
The cool thing about this film is that the "bad guy" is a major character who you get to meet fairly early on and see him quite a lot (unlike seven where the "bad guy" isn't seen at all until right near the end of the film. The murders in this film are obvious without being graphic (hence the reason it is only a 15 rated film) but it plays more on the suspense and build-up to each murder to get its fear factor!
This is an intelligent film, although the ending is fairly predictable (e.g. the bad guy loses) but the way it ends was very exciting!!!
Another good thing about this film is the relationship between the character played Keanu and James. It is intense and believable and you really start to wonder who really has the upper hand and who really is in charge! they have some electrifing scenes together!
Overall this is a brilliant film, superbly acted (great casting!) and masterfully directed to keep your attention!
A real "sit up and take notice" type of film!
A must see!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watching...the chemistry, 31 May 2006
By 
This review is from: The Watcher [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
"The Watcher" is a highly stylised, slickly directed film, which, at an hour and a half seems rather short. However, what you get in that ninety minutes more than justifies the cost of the DVD. Spader and Reeves both give electrifying performances, and it is their onscreen chemistry that carries the movie.

Spader's migraine suffering, burned out, vulnerable ex FBI man Joel Campbell plays wonderfully; he gives the part a depth that would be all too easy to miss had another actor been cast. He is the basket case to Reeves' in-control killer.

Reeves, as serial killer David Allen Griffin shows he can act in this film - it's a radical departure from the Neo/Ted Logan characters, and I haven't seen him in anything this good since "Permanent Record". He is the ice cold killer with an amiable side, and it works.

To be honest, the murders in this film are secondary to the intriguing relationship between killer and cop, and that's what really drives this film. Spader's brilliantly enigmatic "Yeah, I notice you," halfway through the film, in response to Reeves' leading question speak volumes about where your attention should lie. This is essentially a film about the relationship between these two characters, and it is well worth watching for the sheer screen presence of the two Hollywood heavyweights. Excellent stuff.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent wee thriller!!, 25 Dec 2003
This review is from: The Watcher [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
This has got to be the best thriller in quite some time and a great excuse to order a pizza and kick back and forget about the world for a couple of hours. Keanu Reeves is at once chilling and devilishly charming (the scene where he persuades his next victim, the young homeless girl to dance with him is a case in point... that smile is amazing). Mr Reeves has his critics but I honestly think that this movie should make them re think their views. His performance is very difficult to shake off and stays with you long, long after the movie has finished. James Spader is also excellent as the cop faced with catching a serial killer who has made the case very personal. In short then, excellent wee film and excellent cast who all play off each other so well you forget you're watching a movie. As I said, grab a pizza, switch the lights off and settle back to enjoy what has to be one of the best thrillers in recent years.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The watcher is Watching, 11 Feb 2009
By 
Ms. L. M. Byrne "Justin Mannig" (London,England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I find my self returning once again to Amazon, this time to obtain this Thriller on dvd, after being plagued time & time again by flashbacks, As I have seen this on Television Twice now, to Which is not too often. This prompt's me to add, Is That A mean's of proof, That this is one of those great film's like many other's, that Tv Chiefs & boses do not want us to grow tired of,& hide in the archives, as not to air so often. The film is Served with a cruel sadistic performance that i feel only K Rs could have brought to us within this story. I fell that it would not have been served any justice there after, by any other actor of such talent, once you have seen K R in his role. K Rs plays an unasumming not so obvious killer preying on young attractive female's, who are taken in by his swarve charm & confident conversation's. there is no attempt to build up the suspense in the movie to him being the killer, however His Charactor is typical of J & H, & brings with it a dark twisted & calculated personality. A retired federal agent is brought into the loop, to assist the local Law enforcement. As there could be a pattern/link to previous cases. Here it becomes a race against time, as K Rs, Taunts the investigators, by being a step or 2 ahead of them along the way, as they start to piece evidence, that gives them vital clues, with identities, that may allow them to counter act the deaf of the next intended target. the ending hots up & is explosive, with K Rs going out with a bang.Could leave you thinking, could he be dead, or alive to return & kill again, you will have to watch it to find out. you wll never know otherwise, it is possible. P.S Dont get me wrong, i Very much liked K Rs in speed,& lite heartedly in the Bill & ted Film's, But i am not a diehard Fan,so i Am very much impartial in giving this review for the next viewers benefit. I hope you find it useful,& enjoy the film,& K R'S performance As much as i Did. Justin Manning
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3.0 out of 5 stars Watching The Watcher, 18 July 2008
By 
CMT346 (London, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Watcher [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
I came to The Watcher with relatively low expectations having never heard of the film before. The cheap price and other reviews tempted me and I'm grateful they did for, while The Watcher is a film with a number of flaws, it does have two significant redeeming qualities; James Spader's central performance and the unpretentious aspirations of the plot.

Spader plays Joel Campbell, a detective who has become central to a serial killer's theatre of cruelty and is paying the emotional and physical price for this unwanted attention. Instead of the cliched narrative of a maverick cop who insists on taking the case despite his flaws Campbell is aware of the liability he has become and hides away like a wounded dog. He has not totally given up hope, however, and reaches out for healing with a psychiatrist played by Marisa Tomei. Unfortunately it is the killer who finally drags an unwilling Campbell out of his twilight world and the suspense escalates around the identity, not of the killer, but of his victims and whether the fragile Campbell can excise the literal and psychological demons from his life.

There are problems with this film, notable the supporting cast have underwritten roles which cannot be resurrected from the forgetable. Marisa Tomei, while likeable, is a fleeting presence and Keanu Reeves does not convince as a serial killer. Only the script's construction of his character's ruthlessness allows the audience to suspend belief to the extent of 'buying' him as a worthy adversary to Campbell. They finally come together in a needlessly rushed climax which falls back on the worst conventions of movie law via a number of lazy plot flaws and continuity errors. It is a testament to Spader's efforts that the audience is sufficiently invested in Campbell to forgive these distractions and crave a satisfactory conclusion to the character's story. This is the key dicotomy of The Watcher - its worth seeing for Spader's outstanding and compelling performance which is delivered, however, within the context of a production that is not really worthy of his contribution. Recommended, therefore, but with reservations, this is a movie that deserves to be better known.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable, 27 May 2007
By 
Saturnicus "Saturnicus" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Watcher [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
I really liked this film. It came in for a great deal of bad press, not least because Keanu Reeves is frequently the object of criticism, however I happen to think it is unjustified. He is excellent as the handsome self-confident psycopath, photographing his victims whilst stalking them and then cheerfully sending said snaps to mentally ill but recovering cop, James Spader. Spader is set a time limit to find the next victim before KR gives her the "good news".

It was a very watchable film indeed.

Don't miss it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars terrifying, 10 July 2008
This review is from: The Watcher [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
what a scary film.I've never heard of this film and I can't think why when it's so good! Normally films of this genre are all the same with the same type of characters and the same general storylines but this had something about it which i thought was really good and it really grabbed me. The action was fast packed and the main character was really haunting and scary. Definately a film to watch if you want a scare, but don't watch it alone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Switcher-Offer, 7 Feb 2012
By 
Radiant Rose (from a rose-red 1960 Cadillac: solar-powered) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Watcher [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
I'm not saying that you should switch channels if this comes on TV. I am just saying that I didn't like it. I know there are some people who completely disagree. My feeling is that the problems were caused by the script, so I blame the director for not picking a better script. Most of the acting is good, although I am not sure about Keanu.

I like the basic idea of a central character who overcomes serious health problems. And when the scene when Joel (James Spader) is suffering from a migraine is harrowing and convincing. And the make-up artists are to be congratulated on making Joel look so pale and haggard. He seems at least a decade older than Keanu's character, although the real age gap between the actors is less than half that.

But then the serial killer Joel is chasing comes back into his life, and it is as he had never been ill. Compare this to the TV series "Monk", where the central character solves crimes although his mental health problems never go away.

I am unconvinced by the argument that Joel needed to pursue the serial killer who killed the love of his life in order to give his life meaning. This seems to be a shallow attempt to make the story seem more deep. If anything, he needed the love of his life.

I am not a fan of films where women do not fight back or who (like Marisa Tomei's character) need to be rescued by a man. The nearest any of the women get to fighting back is the woman who hits her attacker with a large radio-cassette player. It must be the only music player in the world made from papier mâché. It fails to stop him for a single moment. I've been hit in the face with a human hand, and there was a lump above my eye. Keanu's character doesn't even bruise.

Even the background music is annoying, some kind of pastiche of a TV theme. This seems out of place in a film about a killer preying on women.

The product placement is really obvious. I am told that there is product placement in many films. And yet this is the only one in which I have ever really noticed it. What does that tell you?

But the very worst thing is the complete lack of plot twists. We know from the start who we think the serial killer is ... and we are right. We don't know why he became a murderer and we never get a clue as to what is going on in his mind.

There is one gigantic explosion at one point, and that seemed like a massive waste of petrol. The whole film seemed like a waste of time and talent.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars KR's Watching You, 18 July 2006
By 
Jim Piper (Blandford Forum, Dorset United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Watcher [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Keanu Reeves [10] James Spader [9] Music [9] Marisa Tomei [8]

KR steals the show an excellent baddie. Spader has a knack of giving a gloss finnish to a weak storyline. Joe Charbonic's let us know who the killer is very early approach was a novel idea but having no trade mark horror signature on the bodies made the killer seem to be almost friendly.

At the end you will probably find that you enjoyed The Watcher but it's not going to make many all time favourites lists.

Nitpicks: We were introduced to our serial monster with a 'How He Works' briefing. We were told he studies his victims for months before taking action. So it was bemusing when suddenly he started picking future victims every other day. And then: Caught on the hop, surrounded with no way out by at least 25 carloads of police and dozens of police marksmen KR hops away across the rooftops like Bert the chimney sweep in Mary Poppins. Although silhouetted nobody saw a thing.

That said i'm glad i did watch it & a Keanu Reeves film that everyone can understand really gives you chance to apreciate his acting talents. JimP
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Never a dull moment, 18 Dec 2002
By 
This review is from: The Watcher [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
I don't usually like serial killer films (except Silence of the Lambs). This film is one of those that I can watch many times. One pleasant surprise is that the murders, when they happen, are not in your face. That is no doubt why this film got a 15 and not an 18 certificate. The film is well cast and Keanu Reeves makes an excellent killer and superb opponent to James Spader. The end is precitable in that the killer is finally beaten but the manner of his exit was hardly a forgone conclusion.
In my opinion this film is better than Seven as the killer is far more present in the film and this film conveys the sense of fear and suspense without relying on shocks.
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The Watcher [DVD] [2001]
The Watcher [DVD] [2001] by Joe Charbanic (DVD - 2002)
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