Untraceable
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Customer Reviews:

  • Nightmare Low on Extrapolation and Tension
    Novel in its approach, 'Untraceable' asks interesting moral questions about a plausible technological nightmare. A disgruntled man kidnaps select victims to torture and kill, adding more of a given hazard as the numbers of people log into his website. As his online broadcast is made known, FBI agents (headed by Jennifer Marsh [Diane Lane]) try to keep the situation under the radar and bloggers off the website. Savvy for obtaining a Russian domain for his website, the perpetrator renders the crew unable to pinpoint much less stop the website until they can locate him at his hideout. Sometimes a grizly update of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum," the film is often reminiscent of 'Silence of the Lambs' with eerie surveillance scenes. Somewhat cynical and far less tense, 'Untraceable' often remains more educational than entertaining. (2.5 *'s)...more info
  • Untraceable
    Untraceable proves that computers can be our own downfall and that it does stop people from realizing fact from fiction. ...more info
  • good late nite movie
    A minor comparison to saw movie series with another twist. Put it between saw2 and saw3. Good Movie to ad to your collection of killer flicks. ...more info
  • Not for Cat or animal people
    If you are a cat person to preserve your sanity do not watch this movie. At minimum skip the first 15 to 20 minutes....more info
  • Untraceable (Blue Ray)
    This movie was very intense. I couldn't watch the whole thing the first time. I just wasn't in the mood. The second time I watched with friends and it was intense, but it was very good. If you are squeamish at all don't watch this, but if you like suspense till the end than this is for you....more info
  • very good
    this movie is great a really good horror mixed with crime solving movie its graphic and it has twists in it the only down side is after u see it the first time u know the ending so its not as great this movie would of rocked if it came with different ending options...more info
  • all in the name of voyeurism
    Diane Lane plays an FBI agent, Jennifer Marsh, specializing in cyber crimes. Pretty soon, this FBI division are called to investigate deaths that are broadcasted via the Internet...[...] Site hits increase with each death episode. Someone is kidnapping people and killing them online. And the more site hits, the faster the victims die.

    You would think that in the name of humanity, people would cease from visiting the site. However, it is our curiosity to check out the site despite what consequences may be.

    However, this case becomes personal when the killer intrudes Jennifer's personal life. And like a moth to a flame, Jennifer finds herself in a mess without backup.

    *Untraceable* is like a spawn of *Saw*, *Copycat*, *Silence of the Lamb* and *The Net*. A good thriller worth watching. ...more info
  • Cool concept, poor execution
    (No pun intended).

    The idea was original but that's about as far as it goes. The plot is contrived and the suspense completely forced. Many parts of the movie made no sense and the resolution was predictable and unsatisfying. I thought it especially lame that we are expected to believe that this mentally-ill, 20-something dropout is a computer genius and master-criminal. Good grief...

    Watch "Mr. Brooks" instead; it's 50 times better.

    So NOT recommended....more info
  • From J. Kaye's Book (and Movie) Blog
    Un-freakin-believable! That was an edge of yourself thriller for me. The bad part is even though it is fiction and I could actual see something like that happening, which made it more real and scary for me.

    The story is about a psychopath who broadcasts the torturous death of a kitten over the internet. It's an appetizer what's to come, which is the death of a person. Supposedly, if the hits to the website were to stop, the act of killing would stop. Like most things, the viewers don't believe this is real. It is and as the FBI gets closer to the killer the killer gets closer to them by kidnapping one of the team members.

    Diane Lane plays FBI agent Jennifer Marsh and is like always, outstanding in her acting. The rest of the cast is equally as good with a powerful ending. Loved it!...more info
  • Rental
    This is a decent rental, but I would advise against buying it. In a movie that fuses a little bit of Copycat with Saw, you have an up and down affair. Though a lot of technical jargon is tossed around, there are many technical errors that even I spotted, and I am far from a computer wiz. There are also several police procedure gaffs that I noticed as well. Still if you suspend some belief, the story is decent, and the deaths are somewhat original. The acting is mostly strong, but nothing incredible. This one is just okay. ...more info
  • "The whole world wants to watch you die, and they don't even know you."
    UNTRACEABLE, for all its aspirations to being a harrowing psychological techno-thriller, ends up mostly flat and uninteresting. But, after SAW and Rob Zombie's terrifying flicks, maybe my threshold for the grotesque and the disquieting is now just too high. The visceral torture scenes in UNTRACEABLE invoke a sense of uneasiness, but the rest of the film simply can't maintain the squirmy suspense. It's too bad, because things do start out promisingly and ominously, and with a kitten.

    Diane Lane and Colin Hanks play two federal agents working out of the FBI's Cyber Crimes Division who become part of a Portland task force assembled to catch a psychopath who conducts online torture and eventual murder of his abducted victims, all done on live streaming video. The hook to his website is that it's interactive. The more hits the site garners, the faster the torture goes, and the sooner the victim dies, thus rendering the viewer an accomplice to murder. As the FBI and the Portland police desperately pursue leads - but mostly flounder around, feeling helpless - the killer begins to engage them in a cat & mouse game. And soon, members of the task force find themselves targeted. Note that Diane Lane's character is a widowed single mom, so concerns regarding her cute and curious daughter surface quite early.

    Here's a bit of a rant (sorry, dudes): There's a dubious credo subscribed to by a rude percentage of the web surfing community, that with the ability to anonymously log on comes a certain rush and also a rebuffing of consequences. The world wide web can often times bring out the utter crud in people. The most disturbing things in the film may have been the crudity and mean-spiritedness generated on the snuff site's chat room window. This is the morbid onlooker's syndrome as transferred online, and it is unsavory stuff. Is it in our DNA that we get our ya-yas gazing at horrifying things, that we can't at all avert our eyeballs? Me, I'm not really one to talk. I couldn't help watching the SAW films, and HOSTEL. Hell, eons ago, I even saw FACES OF DEATH. And, like most, I'll take an inquisitive peek at a roadside accident. It's genetics, right? Because if it is, then I'll feel better about watching so many low taste films.

    It's like this. A film can flirt with snuff & torturerama and then can have the gall to sermonize about voyeurism and the growing desensitizing of the masses. Fine by me. But, by the hammer of Thor, that film had better not bore me! UNTRACEABLE, being not at all an edgy film, failed to engage me. It's certainly a far cry from SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, or SE7EN, or even SAW. Just because a character in the film says mystifying things like "We're blackholing those IPs!" or "backdooring those Trojans," that does not a smart film make (and is it me or does "backdooring a Trojan" sound kinda not cool?). The film's weak elements serve to drag the whole thing down. Can't lay the blame too much on Diane Lane (although her character does some unclever things). Diane Lane is solid enough and lends a warmth to her character. But the rest of the cast is unremarkable (sorry, Tom Hank's son). There's a triteness to the story, a certain plodding blah-ness to it, and certainly no jaw-dropping twists. The website torture sequences are fraught with queasy tension and a certain sicko factor, so the film succeeds from that aspect. Yet the villain is unmemorable, and his identity really is revealed too early in the game (so there goes a chunk of the suspense). Typically, annoyingly, the agents are undermined by a self-serving and officious boss, and I only wish that he'd been kidnapped and tortured. Then there's the anticlimactic and unsatisfying showdown between Diane Lane and the killer, followed by the film ending rather abruptly. By that point, I didn't even mind....more info
  • Probably my favorite thriller of all time.
    I'm not much for a lot of words, but my wife and I absolutely LOVE this movie. We've watched it about 15 times now. I love the rain in this movie and I love the cold blue look. It's got a very high tech feel as the story centers around those who use computers to catch hackers and the like. The acting is profound and I just can't get over the "feel" when watching this movie. I love it, my only wish is to find some other movies like this that are at this level of quality....more info
  • The Visions Of The Even Darker Side Of The Internet
    When Untraceable was first released in the cinema, I'm sure a lot of people thought that this was just another "gorno" Saw rip off. In some senses it is, but in others it gives us something much more intelligent rather than blood and guts. It portrays the true darker side of the internet for which I fear and know there are websites that thrive of the death and torture of others. I'm not saying these sites kill but they capitalise off the dead and that's just as bad as these people who view and enjoy such content are just as guilty as those doing the killing.

    Anyway, enough of the sentimentality I think I need to get around to talking about the movie. The original trailer for this movie tried to make it look like a sick horror movie that puts a twist on the already popular Saw franchise. Let me tell you, it's nothing of the sort. It's a very different breed of torture movie and in a sense, that's a good thing. Diane Lane plays FBI Agent Jennifer Marsh, who works in the internet devision locating and shutting down illegally operating sites. One day while in the office she's given a site to look at, a site which she thinks is just another routine run is something she's never encountered before. The site is called KillWithMe.com and it has real people placed in torturous situations and the more people that visit the site, the quicker the victim dies. The site, even in the watchful eye of the FBI is "Untraceable" and can't even be shut down due to the use of a number of clever internet tactics.

    This is quite a slow running movie and is placed more around the characters rather than the torture aspect of the story. This, in my opinion is a very good thing as it allows for character progression and much better story telling. The movie isn't perfect but it gives us something that we can all learn from and that's be cautious of the internet. Sure, there aren't sites out there that kill people... Yet. A line in the movie summed the feeling up perfectly when it was said that soon TV will broadcast live executions and even charge people to watch it. I have no doubt that this is a possibility, just look at the number of movies that focus on blood and guts released in the last 5 years. We're being desensitised to violence, blood and guts and it will come to a point where we come to view another persons death as mere entertainment. Watch this film as it's a worthy 1 and a half hour spent but don't expect anything edge of your seat dramatic....more info
  • A lot of people didn't like this, but I'm not one of them.
    Untraceable (Gregory Hoblit, 2008)

    Untraceable is a movie that made me vaguely uncomfortable, and I couldn't quite put my finger on why until I read the best/worst of 2008 lists at Dread Central, where one of the reviewers there handed it to me (never let it be said that I don't give credit where credit is due); he called it the hypocrisy of the movie, the idea that this is a movie about watching, and contributing to, evil while turning its viewers into voyeurs themselves. (He put it much better than I just did; I don't have the article to hand to directly quote.) That said, I think maybe that reviewer missed the point a bit; I got the idea that this was a conscious decision by director Gregory Hoblit (Primal Fear) and screenwriters Robert Fyvolent (his first credit), Mark Brinker (also debuting here), and Allison Burnett (Autumn in New York).

    The movie is the story of Jennifer Marsh (Diane Lane), an FBI cybercrimes investigator. During a seemingly unrelated investigation, she stumbles upon a website whose premise is revolting, yet fascinating--a person is restrained in some way, and destined for a grisly end, with the rate at which the person will die is determined by the number of hits the website gets. Everyone who logs on, then, takes part in the murder, albeit indirectly. Once she starts tracking the guy, he finds out who she is and begins tracking her as well, turning the investigation into a game of cat and mouse; which will get to the other first?

    I've been a fan of Diane Lane's for a long, long time (I first saw her in Lady Beware some two decades ago and was instantly captivated), and it's the rare Lane movie that I end up not liking. Such is the case here; I did find it an effective thriller, though some of its plot twists were all too predictable (you just know that a member of her team is going to end up in the chair at one point, because hasn't that plot twist been used in dozens of thrillers over the years?). The thing that truly makes it effective, I think, is exactly that aspect of the film that the Dread Central reviewer called hypocrisy; the idea that we film viewers are voyeurs, especially those of us who are drawn to the darker side of film. I thought the writers of this movie, adapted from an original story by Fyvolent and Brinker, were using that voyeurism idea to explore the concept that, perhaps, being drawn to darker thrillers, slasher films, and that sort of thing, which is usually viewed as a harmless, or cathartic, form of escapism is perhaps something more. It does tread a line that I find objectionable, in that it cleaves uncomfortably to the same mindset that allows people to charge that heavy metal music or Dungeons and Dragons or whatever leads to people killing each other (which is, despite its prevalence, just a ludicrous idea; if you lend it any credence, you can safely dismiss this review, as we're coming from opposite directions when viewing this movie). But I don't believe the script in any way goes over this line, and that makes all the difference. It's a clearheaded examination of this phenomenon, and I think the choice of the killer makes it relatively clear that the writers weren't trying to use him as synecdochic of an entire society (which would have been problematic, obviously, given the cause-and-effect argument I mentioned above). So, yes, there's an hypocrisy here, but I don't think it's an hypocrisy on the part of the writers; I think they were examining an hypocrisy that's endemic to our society and goading us to think about it.

    I liked it. I know a lot of people didn't, so I expect your mileage will vary, but I think it's worth a rental. *** ?
    ...more info
  • So Disturbing
    It seemed like an interesting concept for a movie but it was very disturbing. So intensely disturbing in fact that I had difficulties falling asleep after watching the movie!
    ...more info
  • I hope the real life FBI agents are smarter than these guys...
    So many plot holes! If somebody was murdered by hundreds of heating lamps... maybe the FBI should try to find out who the heck bought all those lamps? If somebody got burned to death in a pool of sulfuric acid, maybe, just maybe, they need to find out who purchased tanks and tanks of sulfuric acid! It's not one of those everyday items you buy at your local walmart! Who the heck wrote this script? A middle schooler? Are you kidding me?

    The main character, who is a trained FBI agent has no idea how to protect herself knowing that someone's out there to kill her! Her computer gets broken into...and she's supposed to be a cybercrime expert? Her car got broken into and reprogrammed (huh?) and now that it's started back up again.. she enters the freaking car without even checking it out! And of course the killer was hiding in the back seat the whole time! What????? Are you kidding me?

    I understand what they're trying to say... yes, things are getting perverted and people are getting more and more desensitized. It's scary.. But come on... at least put some effort into writing a decent script...

    And what's with the FBI agents cheering as the main character kills the killer at the end? Do they think it's a football game?

    ...more info
  • NOT AS BAD AS MANY SAY IT IS
    I watched this one today, expecting a big bloody "HOSTEL" type mess and was pleasantly surprised. Granted, there are some gruesome items, but it's nowhere as bad as I thought it was going to be.

    It's more "detective thriller" than it is "bloody horror movie". I was pleasantly surprised as it held my attention throughout the entire movie. I'm glad I decided to watch it.

    For those of you that haven't read already what the plot of the movie is, in a nutshell it's about a psycho who puts a live stream online showing a person that will be killed. The more people that sign on to watch, the faster that person dies. Each person is placed in a "SAW-like" situation, and the FBI is trying their darndest to shut the site down. Yet, as word of mouth spreads about the site, you can only imagine how more curious people become when they hear about it and they want to sign on just to check it out. Unfortunately, doing so just speeds up the death of whoever happens to be captive at the time a person looks at the site.

    Check it out if you like thrillers. Definitely worth a look....more info
  • Entertaining
    This movie has lots of actions, tense, as you would expect from a cyber-movie. The main plot is about a psychotic man who uses his taser to get the people to his "dungeon" and display the torture online. I thought the plot was brilliant. The way he does his torture where the lights increases as the viewers increases which practically baked the victim; the use of chemical (forgot what it was) on the next person; and the voice changer so the psycho can lure his victim - I thought those were all unique and high-concept.

    Now adays, though, Feds can easily trace the IP address. In this movie, they have difficulty tracing the IP address of the user. I'm sure that is why the title is Untraceable. The computer forensic folks are a lot savier now. It would have added more mystery if the audience does not know who the person behind the keyboard. That would have given them something to solve.

    I laughed at the ending, though. When the heroin broke loose of her captivity where she was tied upside down, one of the users posted a question: "How can I download this scene." (something like this). I thought that was hilarious as it shows us our obsession with live Interent action.

    Again, this movie is entertaining enough in a different way. I would still recommend seeing it. Cold Eyes...more info
  • Good Old Horror Movie
    If you don't know the plot, see the Amazon description. The advertising sells it as a thriller, and many of the reviews link it to Saw (definitely horror) and some of the Ashley Judd fare. But this movie is really more thoroughly connected to John Carpenter's Halloween. Watch this, then watch that. For example, the lighting. As with Halloween, most of the action takes places at night, and even the daytime action takes place in heavily overcast daylight, leaving washed out colors, and an almost black-and-white feel to the movie. Second, the music. Anyone who ever watched Halloween remembers the score, and Untraceable's score sounds eerily like it. Then there's the bad guy. With his blank white face, especially in a few scenes, he looks very much like the killer in Halloween. Then there are the lead females. Granted, Jamie Lee Curtis was twenty years old when Halloween was released, and Diane Lane is in her forties. But again, watch this, then watch that. There are a number of scenes in which Diane Lane's character looks much like the Jamie Lee character.

    The story moves along quite nicely, with solid performances all around. I'm not enough of a geek to know whether the internet stuff that was being done in the movie can actually be done, but it worked in the context of the movie. The only thing that bothered me was (POSSIBLE SPOILER COMING) Marsh getting into her SUV without checking the back seat after being stalled on the bridge. That seemed implausible.

    All in all, a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours....more info
  • Death by Internet
    You know those movies that by the time it's half over it's so bad or silly that you're wishing it was all over? I mean...the simple solution to those kinds of movies is change the channel (or turn the DVD off), right? But something keeps you watching. You've watched it this long; now you've just GOT to see how it ends. In fact, there's a half hour left and you have an appointment, so you set your DVR to record the rest so that you can "see how it ends."

    That pretty much sums up my experience with Untraceable. Okay, okay...I guess 2 stars is a little harsh if I was so compelled to see it through. But, man, it was painful at times. Like watching some apple pie Jimmy Olsen look-a-like from Smallville trying to be Jigsaw from Saw...it just didn't work for me.

    Basically Jimmy Olsen abducts people then puts them up on an "Untraceable" website where the victims are torturously murdered. The movie is not a whodunit; the movie shows you the killer pretty much right up front. It's more about the brutal killings and Lois...er, I mean...Diane Lane's team of cops tracking the killer. If not for the gruesome killings, this movie might have been better produced as an episode of C.S.I. or insert your favorite crime drama series here.

    So my recommendation is to catch Untraceable on cable. Don't buy this or don't waste a spot in your rental queue.
    ...more info
  • Weak and predictable plot
    Diane Lane in an uninspiring role as a cyber cop. Like this hasn't been done before on TV by one of the myriad crime shows. Acting was pretty bad. As I watched the movie, I kept saying to myself "I know what's going to happen next." It was comical hearing them referring to trojans, netbots, and all the cyber mumbo-jumbo. I was really impressed (he said, tongue in cheek). Because the storyline became so predictable, you don't care for the victims. Just a stupid movie....more info
  • Great Premise...Not So Great Execution
    What a wasted chance. The first 15 minutes of Untraceable are professional, authentic and eye-opening. You really feel as if it is going to be a good movie. Diane Lane is a great actress and has demonstrated this in plenty of films. The killer's set-ups are terrifying and the way his style of killing implicates our neurotic voyeuristic culture is profound. Unfortunately, the police aspect of the investigation is terribly bad. After watching shows such as Criminal Minds with their professional profiling techniques, the blundering police, naysaying superiors and immature language and behavior of Detective Box (whom you may remember as Gary Matheson from Season 2 of 24) really bring down the quality of the feature. If the film makers wanted to make a comment about the difficulty of FBI/Local Police Cooperation, they should have fleshed those angles out better than hope that the quality of the killer's little cyber dungeon would carry the day. It's gut-wrenching to think of what might of happened if the writers had put just as much energy to the investigative methods as it did to almost glorifying the killer's methods by dedicating so much film time to him. If you watch this , make sure it is 99 cents for 2 night at your local rental place. Otherwise you'll surely feel robbed....more info
  • Serial Killer Thriller
    "Untraceable," starring Diane Lane as Jennifer Marsh, head of the FBI Portland Cyber Crimes unit, uses as background gruesome, horrifically twisted crimes. This casts a dark cloud of foreboding over the proceedings.
    A new website, KillWithMe.com, pops up with real images of a cat innocently lapping up milk from a saucer. The computer hacker has arranged that, the more people hit the website, the faster the cat will be killed through a contraption he's hooked up. Soon after, the stakes are raised when a human being appears on the website, his destiny linked to the number of curiosity seekers who tune in to watch. Teamed with local Portland police Detective Eric Box (Billy Burke), Jennifer races to close down the website and find the hacker/killer.
    Despite all-out efforts on the part of the FBI and local police, the killer appears unstoppable. What's more, he seems to enjoy baffling the authorities while brazenly continuing his bizarre program of murder.
    "Untraceable" is competently made and benefits from a solid, believable performance by Lane, a good supporting cast, and a series of disturbing set pieces depicting the assorted ways in which the killer lays the groundwork for his victims' demise. Because the deaths are keyed to hits by computer users, the victims are slowly tortured to death.
    About halfway through the movie, however, the turf becomes all too familiar. As in countless thrillers before it, "Untraceable" switches gears into formula, making its resolution both predictable and disappointing.
    Lane gives her character authority and intelligence. An early scene shows how effectively she does her job. When she is thoroughly perplexed and rendered helpless in the wake of this new, horrrifying crime, we see her frustration and determination to shut down the website and nail the perpetrator. So it's a game of wits, really, between Jennifer and the killer, whose identity is not revealed until halfway through the movie. Both are bright, both have the ability to checkmate the other's moves, and both are motivated to prevail.
    Colin Hanks (Tom's son) plays Jennifer's cyber crimes partner, Griffin Dowd, whose job always seems to interfere with his attempts to meet interesting, eligible women. This is sort of a running gag in a film that is otherwise deadly serious in tone. Burke's Detective Box is the typical movie cop -- strong, resourceful, efficient, resolved, yet impotent because he's up against something he's never encountered before.
    Compared to such recent movies as the "Saw" and "Hostel" franchises, "Untraceable" is fairly tame. It uses its grisly images as integral plot points, not as the centerpiece and raison d'etre. The images are disturbing, but without them, the movie would be just another TV flick. Screen violence is not always reprehensible. If handled with tact, it can underscore drama and add tremendous tension.
    Rated R for strong images of violence and language, "Untraceable" is a well made thriller. Elevated by the presence of Diane Lane, it combines the procedural nature of "Zodiac," the cat-and-mouse interplay of "Silence of the Lambs," and the ghastly images of "Seven." ...more info
  • Ok, But Don't Buy
    This movie was ok for a Saturday night with nothing better to do. The story is a bit far fetched but it was somewhat entertaining. Its nice to see a Hollywood actress who actually looks her age, rather than the expressionless, Botoxed, plastic fakes.

    This is definitely rental material....more info
  • This could be movie of the year
    This was a great movie CLEARLY SO MUCH BETTER THEN "NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN" . I don't really wanna give away much about this movie so I'm just going to say that the plot was very creative and the actors and actress's were great. And on my final note, after I say this movie I couldn't even dream of touching a computer that entire night because the move was so suspenseful. ...more info