- Rated: R
- Closed captioning available
- Run Time: 1 hours, 37 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: February 20, 2001
- Originally Released: 2000
- Label: Universal Studios
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Single Side - Single Layer
- Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen - 1.85
- Aspect Ratio: Letterbox - 1.85
- Dolby Digital 5.1 - English
- Dolby Digital 5.1 - French
- Additional Release Material:
- Film Highlights
- Trailers: Original Theatrical Trailer
- Text/Photo Galleries:
- Production Notes
- Biographies: Cast & Crew
- DVD-ROM Features:
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Sight and Sound - 01/01/2001
"...A thoughtful screenplay by David Elliot and Clay Ayers give a strong supporting cast plenty to chew on..."
Los Angeles Times - 09/08/2000
"...Meticulously crafted....Intelligently plotted and well-acted by James Spader, Keanu Reeves and Marisa Tomei..."
A stylish thriller that recalls David Fincher's SEVEN, THE WATCHER is set in the urban landscape of modern Chicago. The story follows Los Angeles transplant Joel Campbell (James Spader), an ex-police detective who has relocated to Chicago in order to escape his past. It appears that a dangerous serial killer, David Allen Griffin (Keanu Reeves), has formed a special emotional attachment to Campbell, luring him to Chicago in order to continue their deadly game of cat-and-mouse. Each game commences when Griffin sends Campbell a picture of a young girl, giving Campbell 24 hours to track her down before she's murdered. After three tragic failures, the stakes are upped when Griffin kidnaps Campbell's beautiful psychiatrist, Polly (Marisa Tomei), mimicking an earlier event that drove Campbell to Chicago in the first place.
THE WATCHER is a commentary on modern society's effect on people: making them crudely unable to notice the peripheral people in their daily lives. First-time director Joe Charbanic shoots his film like a music video, using elliptical editing, slow motion, and a postindustrial soundtrack that greatly reflects the Chicago music scene. As the tortured detective, Spader possesses an internal fire that gradually builds in intensity as the film progresses.
In this chilling mystery-thriller, FBI agent Joel Campbell and serial killer David Allen Griffin go head-to-head. Griffin stalks the streets of Chicago for his victims, photographing them and sending the pictures to Campbell before he kills them. This cat-and-mouse activity drives Campbell nearly to the point of insanity, just as it did when both killer and detective were living in L.A. playing the same game. Campbell fled to Chicago and Griffin followed. Now that the battle has changed locations, THE WATCHER asks, will Campbell be the victor--or just the next victim'
FBI Agents |
Los Angeles, California |
Serial Killers |
Theatrical Release |
- Theatrical release: September 8, 2000.
- Filmed on location in Chicago, Illinois.
- THE WATCHER was the number one grossing film in its opening weekend ($9.1 million).
- Just months before its September 8, 2000, release, THE WATCHER's title was changed from DRIVEN, which was the title on the first round of Keanu Reeves's promotional posters.