Along Came a SpiderApril 6, 2001
A congressman's daughter under Secret Service protection is kidnapped from a private school by an insider who calls Det. Alex Cross, sucking him into the case even though he's recovering from the loss of his partner.
Release Year: 2001
Rating: 6.2/10 (29,766 voted)
Critic's Score: 42/100
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Michael Wincott, Monica Potter
Detective/psychologist Alex Cross loses his partner in an out of control 'bust.' He stops working and cannot forgive himself. He is drawn back to work reluctantly when a senator's daughter is kidnapped and the kidnapper seems to want to deal with Alex personally.
Writers: James Patterson, Marc Moss
Jay O. Sanders
Senator Hank Rose
Penelope Ann Miller
Anna Maria Horsford
Floyd the Fisherman
The game is far from over.
Release Date: 6 April 2001
Filming Locations: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $16,712,407
(8 April 2001)
(12 August 2001)
Did You Know?
The scene where Alex Cross pays the kidnapper by throwing the thermos containing the ransom from the window of a transit train is taken from James Patterson's novel "Roses Are Red", which starred Alex Cross investigating another of his "best enemies", Kyle Craig, aka "The Mastermind".
When Cross enters Union Station, the caller tells him to get on "the Metro", which is the common term for the Washington DC subway system. A few scenes later, a news reporter refers incorrectly to the subway system as "the MTA".
Tonight was your first night at the club, wasn't it?
No. I've been there a few times before.
Really? Well, how come I haven't seen you?
I noticed you the first night I walked in. You always stand out.
Does What A Thriller Should, No More, No Less
"Along Came A Spider" works. It may suffer from one plot twist too many,
may borrow liberally from other pictures, it may have narrative holes you
could run a horse race through, but in spite of all that, it WORKS. And as
everyone knows, that is about the highest compliment a film like this can
Directed by Lee Tamahori, "Along Came a Spider" hits the ground running
a bravura sequence in which a federal sting goes horribly wrong and a good
agent dies. Det. Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman), the leader of the sting,
into brooding isolation, but a year later, the daughter of a U.S.
congressman (Michael Moriarty) is kidnapped from her prestigious Washington
boarding school by a brilliant madman, and Cross, a mental wizard with the
ability to see into the mind of the maddest psychopath, is the only one who
can track the criminal's M.O. and save the girl.
Standard thriller territory, and it's given more or less standard
albeit with a fair share of stylistic spark and energy. Tamahori does a
good job choreographing his action set pieces, particularly that shattering
opening and a nifty cat-and-mouse chase that closes out the picture.
Cinematographer Matthew F. Leonetti gives the film a dark, brooding visual
richness, and Jerry Goldsmith contributes another thunderously effective
The acting is also generally strong across the board. Morgan Freeman..
can one say? I honestly cannot think of another modern actor who has done
such consistently high-quality work. Granted, Cross does not seem like a
role that would overly tax a top-notch thespian like Freeman, but he
sell it short either, giving the character his full, commanding force. He
is the tough, solid center that really elevates "Along Came A Spider" above
pulp territory. Michael Wincott plays the psycho (as naturally he would;
what else is Michael Wincott going to play in a film?), and gives it his
gravelly-voiced best, making us hate this guy just as much as we should.
Monica Potter is fine as the young security officer helping Cross track the
fiend, but I was constantly distracted by the fact that her voice sounds
EXACTLY LIKE JULIA ROBERTS! I swear, it sounded like she'd been dubbed.
I the only one who noticed this? Probably, so I'll drop
If there's any real complaint to be had with "Along Came A Spider" (aside
from my weird personal difficulties with Monica Potter's voice), it is an
age-old one for a thriller: script problems. Screenwriter Marc Moss keeps
things moving nicely, and there are some clever moments throughout, but the
film also raises unanswered questions. What was the purpose of the weird
Lindbergh website the kidnapper sets up? When will they learn that
internet-related plot devices just don't work in films? What was the point
of the Russian kid who seems to play such a big role in the middle portion
of the picture? Why did Moss feel the need to crib his most exciting
sequence, a footchase with the maniac leading Cross through Washington via
cell phone, from "Dirty Harry"? Granted, I haven't read the novel by James
Patterson upon which this film was based, so I may not be casting blame in
the right place. But Patterson didn't write this script, so maybe I
As I mentioned before, however, all of this largely doesn't matter. In the
moment, while it's unfurling in front of you, the film's fast pace,
performances, and visual polish keep you intrigued, and allow you to
overlook the plot's more outrageous contrivances and awkward reversals.
"Along Came A Spider" is not a perfect thriller, but brother..it WORKS.