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With: Diane Lane, Billy Burke, Colin Hanks, Joseph Cross, Mary Beth Hurt, Peter Lewis, Tyrone Giordano, Perla Haney-Jardine, Tim De Zarn, Chris Cousins, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Brynn Baron, John Breen, Dan Callahan, Erin Carufel, Gray Eubank, Zack Hoffman, Dax Jordan, Daniel Liu
Written by: Allison Burnett, Mark R. Brinker, Robert Fyvolent, based on a story by Mark R. Brinker, Robert Fyvolent
Directed by: Gregory Hoblit
MPAA Rating: R for grisly violence and torture, and some language
Running Time: 100
Date: 22/01/2008

Untraceable (2008)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Caught in the 'Net

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

A great idea for a horror movie, Untraceable taps directly into the consciousness of America today. It brings up issues of torture, privacy and personal violation, as well as our frightening over-reliance on all things computer. Yet its execution is rushed. It tries too hard to please too many different types of audiences, and the lead character -- not to mention the centerpiece performance by Diane Lane -- gets pushed to the margins. Lane plays Jennifer Marsh, an FBI agent specializing in cyber-crimes. Her husband died on the job, and her widowhood remains the extent of her character depth. She likes to catch people who steal passwords and credit card info and then go home to her mother and daughter. One night she and her partner Griffin (Colin Hanks) discover a nasty website that broadcasts the live torture and murder of innocent victims. The twist: the more people who click on the site, the more intense the torture and the faster the death. The other twist is that the killer uses so many mirror sites and other cyber-tricks that he's "untraceable." Once it's discovered that he lives locally, in Portland, a handsome local detective, Eric Box (Billy Burke), joins in, creating some rather flaccid "sexual tension" for Jennifer. The movie features lots of intense gore for young horror fans, who may find the rest of the film fairly tame. Indeed, Untraceable mostly resembles The Silence of the Lambs, but without that film's rich, psychological and emotional buildup. The usually reliable journeyman Gregory Hoblit (Hart's War, Fracture) directs.

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