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The Line
The Line
Actors: Andy Garcia, Ray Liotta, Esai Morales, Armand Assante
Director: James Cotten
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2009     1hr 35min

The story centers around veteran assassin Mark Shields (Ray Liotta) as he tracks down, Pelon (Esai Morales), the elusive head of the Salazar Crime Cartel. Through twists of fate, Shields ends up with a local woman, Olivi...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Andy Garcia, Ray Liotta, Esai Morales, Armand Assante
Director: James Cotten
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Maya Entertainment Grp
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 11/10/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2009
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 35min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 6
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
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Member Movie Reviews

NATHAN G. (guhmineheart) from BIRMINGHAM, AL
Reviewed on 1/4/2011...
ray liotta and andy garcia give reasonably solid performances - because they're great.

it's not a tremendously compelling film, but there's some redemption, and the world is 'put right' again - to the extent that anything in that region and under those circumstances gets 'put right.'

Movie Reviews

Over dramatic, a poor Blu, but still slightly worth the time
Steve Kuehl | Ben Lomond, CA | 11/08/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Not a reference Blu in any category, but some of the popular local favorites are in this with some meaty roles including Liotta and Trejo. Without a doubt a prolific cast overall, with Andy Garcia, Armand Assante, Bruce Davison, Valerie Cruz and others.

The story tries to follow various lines of people whose lives intersect (directly and indirectly) this cartel operating out of Tijuana. We have hired hit men, an ailing godfather, CIA/DEA guys running their ops against the bad guys, internal cartel strife and Afghanistan farmers trying to sell their product into the US. Sounds like a lot and it is, almost too much in the 95 minutes they gave this. Ray Liotta was great but he only gets some of the screen time. Trejo gets more speaking time than normal in his films so I enjoyed that (he gets to do his usual of shooting guns, torture and looking awesomely bad). The subplots abound, and each one gets bookended with the same aerial shots of the city - both day and night - that looked horrible in Blu (almost felt like they were trying to copy Mann).

The picture quality looks decent at times, horrible at others. There were intermittent scratches, discolorations, and bleeding of light, but the fact that the cityscapes were filmed in lodef with no upgrade makes for an irritating mess at times - especially with how much they are peppered throughout. The sound is average and the supplement is 16:40 minute making of. It articulates some of what they were trying to make with this film and the challenges of filming in a dangerous locale.

They gave it an earnest try with a heck of a cast and nice little twist at the end with two characters, but the pacing, angst and amount of characters drags it down - I will save the huge writing gaffes for the comments section as to not spoil it for those that might watch this. Three for the film and supplement, 0 for the Blu.

Michael Mann light?
Alfonso Garcia | Chicago | 01/05/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)

"La Linea or The Line is a film starring Andy Garcia, Ray Liotta, and Esai Morales and a powerful setting in Mexico.

The plot revolves around the current climate in Mexico regarding the drug cartels and the infrastructure
that lies within them, however unlike the Italian Mafia they're not as romantic nor interesting and this film certainly does not help. Ray Liotta stars as Mark Shields as an assassin spear headed by a United States private agency to eliminate Pelon played by a surprising Esai Morales who is trying to prove himself as the newly selected boss to the dying former if you will don Javier Salazar played by Andy Garcia, while Salazars son Diablo played by Jordi Vilasuso is trying to vie for power. The film goes through the usual developments that you would expect in an film that is equal parts Traffic and Man on Fire although not nearly as good. The direction by James Cotton is very Michael Mann in it's style however I commend him for making the film look nicer that it should in fact I was surprised at his maturation considering his last film Demon Slayer was a mumbling mess, however despite the nice things James Cotton did in this film it still tragically did not work and thus neither the decent direction not acting could save this film. La Linea just could never make up it's mind it,ran with a concept that has not been properly executed on film( however NBC's King Pin came close) that is the whole cartel structure and the way they are run, instead La Linea decides to overuse common cliches associated with crime films and across the border politics, you know, crooked cops, a hooker with a heart of gold, expected climax, and things that make little to no sense. I would of certainly thought that considering this film was made in the heart of the current cartel war that it would give harsher facts about the life style that is the life style in the cartels and instead all we get are Tony Montana light and intentional fear mongering considering a Middle Eastern subplot that is equally underdeveloped and insane. Indeed it sounds like it is all bad however I give this film three stars considering the acting was solid particularly Esai Morales, this Boricua was very convincing as a needy and desperate man fighting and trying hard to maintain power, Ray Liotta plays the stereotypical damaged goods hit man and Andy Garcia fans may get disappointed in how little he appears in this film, it almost felt like a cameo. Overall La Linea offers nothing new in crime cinema nor does it take advantage of such a fetching cast however if you want a Michael Mann type fix it's an decent film for a couple of hours however I advise it as an rental only.

Here are Some Extra mini stats on a 1 to 5 scale

Action 2/5
The cover might suggest otherwise however the action is neither exciting nor original pretty underwhelming for action junkies.

Drama 1/5
Overused cliched actions by a tortured Ray Liotta who does everything in the book with the hooker with the heart of gold along with the rest of his actions and the rest of the film.

Acting 3/5
Again not perfect however a lot of the performances were pretty good.

Sexuality 5/5
A lot of nudity and innuendo (it's Tijuana for God's sake!) the 5 for 5 is not an indication of quality nor efficiency but of the content presented in the film.

Blood/Violence 2/5
Not too bad there are some bloody gun shoots but nothing over the top.

Comedy 1/5
Nothing funny here well unless you like pain and misery.

Well there you are I hope you enjoyed my review."
Rent a Steady Cam
Robert S. Preece | Dallas, Texas | 11/29/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Great Cast. Bad Script. In a nutshell, this is a movie about a cross border drug smuggling operation and the conflict created by "crossing the line" from ordinary drug running to dealing with Afghans intent it appears on terrorism rather than the smuggling of a few pounds of cocaine. When the line is crossed, the big bad United States Government steps in and the violence begins.

I rarely give bad reviews, but this one deserves a bad review on so many levels. What in the world were Ray Liotta and Andy Garcia thinking when they signed up for this boring, confusing, pointless attempt at cinema. I just hope that Liotta and Garcia didn't take a percentage contract on this direct to dvd dud. Then there is the movie quality itself. Note to James Cotton, rent a Steadycam. I found myself overwhelmed with motion sickness as a shaking camera is substituted for action and tension. Are we to believe that a shaking camera and over the shoulder framing puts us closer to the action. Oh I forgot there wasn't much action unless you like people being brutally beaten, shot, or sawed into pieces. Save your time, and don't cross the line to get this one."