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Along Came a Spider
Along Came a Spider
Actors: Morgan Freeman, Penelope Ann Miller, Michael Moriarty, Jay O. Sanders, Michael Wincott
Genres: Mystery & Suspense
R     2001     1hr 44min

Detective Alex Cross and secret service agent Jezzie Flannigan search for a congressman's kidnapped daughter. — No Track Information Available — Media Type: DVD — Artist: FREEMAN/POTTER/WINCOTT/BAKER/B — Title: ALONG CAME A SP...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Morgan Freeman, Penelope Ann Miller, Michael Moriarty, Jay O. Sanders, Michael Wincott
Creators: Matthew Leonetti, Jerry Goldsmith
Genres: Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Paramount
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/25/2001
Original Release Date: 01/01/2001
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2001
Release Year: 2001
Run Time: 1hr 44min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 12
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
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Member Movie Reviews

Nancy W. from CHARLOTTE, NC
Reviewed on 12/25/2010...
Fantastic Movie. Edge of your seat drama. Excellent entertainment.
3 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Marleen M. from WHEELING, WV
Reviewed on 6/23/2009...
this is a great movie, full of suspense.
4 of 8 member(s) found this review helpful.
Barbara A. from SUN CITY, CA
Reviewed on 9/22/2008...
This is the BEST Morgan Freeman thriller I have ever seen - in fact I've watched it 3 times n it continues to provide wonderful watching. This is not one of those thrillers, where u can take a phone call, do bills - nope yr eyes have to be on the screen every minute. I was so delighted - how I wish there was another one like this waiting for me to watch! Pure thrill n delight!
3 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Dana J. (daedelys) from VISTA, CA
Reviewed on 6/21/2008...
Warning! Spoiler Alert in my review!

I had to rewatch this one because I recently had read the series and hadn't seen the movie in years. I was surprised that the writers killed off Soneji in the movie since he makes his appearance in several books after "Along Came a Spider". I understand some of the other things changed to make the story more "politically correct", but they really didn't leave room for a continuation of the series (after "Kiss the Girls" by killing off a key villain so early.
2 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

4 1/2 Stars actually - This DVD is a bargain!
Mark J. Fowler | Okinawa, Japan | 10/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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. In many thrillers adults often behave as if they've been lobotomized, with victims giving killers ample opportunity to have their way and with killers who give the hero a boring explanation of their motives as they also give the hero plenty of time to get the drop on them. Megan Rose is no such character. She is smart, resourceful, and after being kidnapped she plainly has no plans other than escaping. A handful of times she thwarts the villains in ways that would not be thought of by any of the adults you see on "Jerry Springer".

Monica Potter stands up adequately next to Morgan Freeman's powerful performance as Jezzie, the Secret Service Agent who was supposed to be guarding Megan when she is kidnapped suddenly by one of her teachers at her upscale prep school. It seemed a little odd to me that Alex Cross would be initially reluctant to form an alliance with a Secret Service Agent when in "Kiss The Girls" he doesn't have any problem with becoming investigative partners with an amateur - a medical intern.

There are several sequences which I found clever and suspenseful, such as the one in which a ransom of a thermos full of diamonds is transferred to the kidnapper - I always wonder how kidnappers think they're going to get away with it when they're trying to ransom - for you to get your loot you HAVE to go to where the loot is, right? And if the ransom is several million, won't the cops be waiting for you? The way THIS kidnapper overcomes this dillemma is ingenious.... and I read on the IMDB that this sequence was based on a similar sequence from "High and Low" by Kurosawa.

At one point Alex Cross finds himself in the kidnapper's house, looking at two years of work that went into developing the kidnapping plan and he plainly has some admiration.

"Imagine the patience...the dedication..." he murmurs.
Jezzie responds "You sound like an admirer."
"Well, he's like a spider. I happen to like spiders."

I happen to like movies with clever villains, clever resourceful victims, sequences that pay homage to Kurosawa, and smart characters and actors like Morgan Freeman.

Plus you can buy it for less than a rental at Blockbuster....
This spider's web is too sticky.
D. Litton | Wilmington, NC | 09/26/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)

"If you happen to be a fan of "Kiss the Girls," the 1997 surprise hit thriller, then you may be a bit disappointed in its prequel, "Along Came a Spider," which pits Dr. Alex Cross against yet another kidnapper who has an agenda to be dealt with. As Dr. Cross, Morgan Freeman makes the film watchable at best, but the ominous presence of loopholes, twisted logic, and the overall way in which the movie toys with the audience, results in slight disappointment. The movie opens with a chase sequence that serves little purpose other than to set up a time of emotional turmoil in Cross's life, after the death of his partner as a result of this pursuit. His personal war against himself is put on hold when he discovers that a young girl, the daughter of a Senator, has been kidnapped, and the kidnapper wants Cross on the case. Teaming up with Secret Service Agent Jezzie Flannigan (Monica Potter), who was the child's guardian at the private school she attended, the two of them begin sorting through the clues and details involving the kidnapping, trying to get a lock down on the whereabouts of the teacher they believe responsible. To say that the movie makes a mistake by revealing the kidnapper's identity is a misfire, but the fact that we know who he is doesn't enhance the plot, either. The movie is a sea of loopholes, from the solving of clues to the realization that the kidnapper may not be working alone. Consider a scene in which Cross goes through computer video in order to find a clue to the villain's whereabouts. He goes from searching through a classroom to a live computer camera that is based in the kidnapper's apartment, without any logical explanation for this transition other than a mere piece of dialogue from an extra to explain that what he is looking at is no longer recorded video. In another scene, Cross has a conversation with the kidnapper about a ransom exchange that took place in an earlier sequence on a subway train. The amount of the money was a mere ten million dollars, but Cross congratulates him for his retrieval of twelve million. This is one of the movie's more admirable twists, letting us in on the fact that since our villain seems to know nothing of this ransom, then there must be someone else involved. There are plot points that work, and those that don't, and in the end, the movie has toyed with us a little too much. "Kiss the Girls" toyed with our expectations, too, but allowed us time to build our own conclusion before throwing it back at us, all the while keeping our interest peaked. "Spider" toys with us in ways that leave little time to draw any sort of conclusion about what is going on, leading up to a particularly effective surprise twist ending that doesn't cheat according to the rules the plot has set up, though is somewhat hindered by the heightened disinterest in the lead-up.It's good to see Morgan Freeman back in such fine form; as Dr. Alex Cross, this is the Freeman we all know and love. His ability to instill calm in the most tense of situations is remarkable, and his solving of the crimes is shown in an intelligent, capable light. I will refrain from commenting on the acting of Monica Potter, so as not to reveal what happens, but I gather that the audience will make their own decision about her acting in the beginning and the end once the ending arrives. Michael Wincott is an ideal villain, and however little of him we get to see, his performance is remarkably chilling. In the end, "Along Came a Spider" is worth it for Morgan Freeman's acting, and some key plot points, but the overall effect the movie has is disappointing. The plot twists of the movie feel more like obstacles than advancements, while the central mystery never reaches a fully interesting fever pitch until the end. There are things that work and things that don't in this film; unfortunately, they never reach a healthy medium."
Only if you like thrill-less thrillers
Matthew Horner | USA | 03/13/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)

"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.It's too bad all the good parts of the movie don't make up for the confused plot. It is Sonji who calls Cross after the kidnapping and taunts him into coming out of retirement, but why he does this is never adequately explained. Sonji kidnaps Megan to get to his real target, Megan's best friend at school who is the son of the President of Russia. Why in the world is this kid in an American school? Why didn't Sonji just kidnap him in the first place? These are the kinds of questions many viewers will ask while watching the movie. A thriller generally works through suspension of disbelief. If you don't ask yourself questions until the movie is over, the movie succeeds in its mission. When the questions start during its first half hour, it hasn't done its job properly."