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"UNTRACEABLE"
(2008) (Diane Lane, Billy Burke) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
None Extreme Extreme Heavy Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate Mild Extreme Mild Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate None Heavy Heavy Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Suspense/Horror: An FBI agent tries to track down a killer who tortures and kills his victims live on the Internet, where the greater the number of viewers, the quicker the deaths occur.
PLOT:
Jennifer Marsh (DIANE LANE) is an FBI agent who works in the cyber crimes unit of the Portland, Oregon office alongside Griffin Dowd (COLIN HANKS) trying to catch those who break the law over or via the Internet. Her latest case, where a kitten's death is shown live on a site titled KillWithMe.com, doesn't impress their boss, Richard Brooks (PETER LEWIS), due to worse things happening in the world.

Yet, Jennifer -- a single mom to 8-year-old Annie (PERLA HANEY-JARDINE) and who lives with her own mother, Stella (MARY BETH HURT) -- finds one aspect of the site and act troubling. It seems that the goal is to attract more viewers, with each additional one increasing the speed of the deadly act.

When that then segues into the next victim being human and millions of people log in to watch his demise, Brooks calls in local police detective Eric Box (BILLY BURKE) to partner with Jennifer in trying to crack the case. They eventually narrow down the suspects to 20-year-old Owen Reilly (JOSEPH CROSS) who recently lost his suicidal father.

Yet, when attempts to shut down his site prove fruitless, Jennifer, Eric, Griffin and others in the FBI office -- including hearing-impaired agent Tim Wilks (TYRONE GIORDANO) -- realize they're racing against time as they try to locate and stop the killer before he tortures another victim to death, live on the Internet.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into "torture porn" movies (think "Saw") or are fans of someone in the cast, they might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For grisly violence and torture, and some language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • DIANE LANE plays an FBI agent who deals in cyber crimes, and must contend with the killer's actions, especially as they become directed at her. A single mom, she hates that her work keeps her away from her preteen daughter. She uses some profanity.
  • BILLY BURKE plays the local police detective partnered with Jennifer to work on trying to solve the case. He uses some strong profanity.
  • COLIN HANKS plays Jennifer's immediate FBI partner, a younger guy who's trying to find Ms. Right while working in the cyber crimes unit. He uses some profanity.
  • JOSEPH CROSS plays the deranged psychopath who sets up elaborate death traps for his victims, with their demise sped up by the number of people who view his snuff broadcasts on the Internet. He briefly uses strong profanity.
  • MARY BETH HURT plays Jennifer's mom who's concerned about her daughter's long work hours and the effect they're having on Annie. She uses a little profanity.
  • PERLA HANEY-JARDINE plays Jennifer's 8-year-old daughter who isn't happy her mom's always working.
  • PETER LEWIS plays Jennifer's no-nonsense boss at the FBI.
  • TYRONE GIORDANO plays Jennifer's hearing impaired coworker who helps with the case.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this suspense/horror flick that's been rated R. Profanity consists of at least 10 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Some non-explicit, sexually related dialogue is present, as are brief views of what look like gay bondage-related photos and unrelated ones showing some women in provocative poses, and a live view of a woman's bare back in the shower.

    Violence includes a person being shot to death, as well as various bound victims being tortured by various means, all to the point of death (while the same occurs to a kitten). The human deaths have bloody and/or gory results, and those scenes and moments of potential peril might be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers.

    Bad attitudes are present (mainly from the sadistic killer), as are thematic elements and tense family material. Some of the behavior (especially the live Internet broadcasts of torture) might be enticing for some troubled kids to imitate.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there's some of that from flashing police lights, immediately followed by near-strobe effects from lightning during a storm.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, varying amounts of handheld camerawork occur in the film, as do several high altitude shots looking straight down as the camera moves along horizontally through the sky.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a man bound and gagged, with the website's name cut into his bare chest (with blood streaming down from that). We then hear that anti-coagulants are being pumped into his body, meaning he'll bleed to death from those cuts. He then proceeds to do just that (also bleeding a lot from his nose, as well as developing bruises all over his body), but not before experiencing a great deal of pain. We then see a large pool of blood below his body on the floor.
  • We see a previously dead victim (blood-soaked) in the back of an SUV.
  • We see that the killer has his next victim shirtless, with his hands and lower legs stuck in dried cement. Heat lamps are then turned on around him, eventually causing the victim's skin to blister in a bad (and graphic) fashion before dying from that.
  • There's a very brief view of a badly burned body in the trunk of a vehicle.
  • We see a male victim in just briefs in a transparent vat of water. He's bound and gagged, with his badge pinned into the skin on his bare chest. We then see that sulfuric acid is at the ready to be mixed into the water in which he's submerged (all but his head), with one agent saying the resultant mix will be battery acid. The acid then starts to mix with the water, resulting in agony for the victim, especially as we see skin starting to slough off, and the water turn red. That victim dies, and we later see his skeletal hand in the water, as well as very bad-looking skin.
  • We see repeated views of a video showing a cop approaching an armed man on a bridge. That man then shoots himself in the head, with blood spurting out and his body then falling off the bridge and landing hard on a car below it. Each subsequent view of that news footage is zoomed in, including one that goes into freeze-frame mode just as the blood sprays out (and we hear talk that the back of his skull ended up on top of a nearby building).
  • The killer's face is blistered from where some gas or steam burned him, while gunshots into his torso have bloody results.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The killer obviously has a bad attitude for his actions (torturing and killing people, as well as a kitten), all for others to watch live.
  • Jennifer demonstrates that her latest cyber criminal has stolen her faked identification and other such material.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence," "Blood/Gore" and "Jump Scenes" may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • The killer sets up a trap for a hungry kitten that he allows out of a cage toward a bowl of milk, only to have its feet get stuck on a glue-based rat trap strip. We see the kitten struggling there, and then later appearing weakened from this ordeal, and then finally dead (the views are both from in the room and on the Internet).
  • The killer grabs and shocks his next victim (a zapper against his neck) into submission, yanking him into a van. We next see the man bound and gagged, with the website's name cut into his bare chest (with blood streaming down from that). We then hear that anti-coagulants are being pumped into his body, meaning he'll bleed to death from those cuts. He then proceeds to do just that (also bleeding a lot from his nose, as well as developing bruises all over his body), but not before experiencing a great deal of pain. We then see a large pool of blood below his body on the floor.
  • We see that the killer has his next victim shirtless, with his hands and lower legs stuck in dried cement. Heat lamps are then turned on around him, eventually causing the victim's skin to blister in a bad (and graphic) fashion before dying from that.
  • FBI agents cautiously move through a suspect's house with their weapons drawn.
  • We see distant video footage (a compilation of news coverage) showing various deaths, such as a person engulfed in fire, and another ready to make a suicidal leap off a bridge.
  • We see the killer looking at computer photos of Annie.
  • Annie recognizes a live feed of her house on the Internet, and thus eventually goes outside to look for the camera. At the same time, Jennifer comes out of the shower (she's dressed when we see her), gets a call about that feed, and then sees Annie on it. She grabs her gun and races outside, panicked that Annie is missing, but she then finds her (and the girl is okay).
  • We think something is going to happen to Griffin when he receives a call from his missed date (especially when we then see that it's really the killer using a voice changer to sound like a woman).
  • We see a male victim in just briefs in a transparent vat of water. He's bound and gagged, with his badge pinned into the skin on his bare chest. We then see that sulfuric acid is at the ready to be mixed into the water in which he's submerged (all but his head), with one agent saying the resultant mix will be battery acid. The acid then starts to mix with the water, resulting in agony for the victim, especially as we see skin starting to slough off, and the water turn red. That victim dies, and we later see his skeletal hand in the water, as well as very bad-looking skin.
  • We see repeated views of a video showing a cop approaching an armed man on a bridge. That man then shoots himself in the head, with blood spurting out and his body then falling off the bridge and landing hard on a car below it. Each subsequent view of that news footage is zoomed in, including one that goes into freeze-frame mode just as the blood sprays out (and we hear talk that the back of his skull ended up on top of a nearby building).
  • FBI agents raid a house with their guns drawn.
  • Jennifer goes to a motel room, only to find the place in disarray. She slowly goes through the room with her gun drawn, including suddenly opening a closet door (to find nothing there).
  • While driving across a bridge at night in the rain, Jennifer's vehicle suddenly cuts off, with no electronics on it or nearby (including her cell phone) working. She's also trapped in it, so she breaks the driver's side window with her arm and gets out. After using a call box to call for help, her vehicle comes back on, so she slowly approaches it with her gun drawn, and gets inside. The killer then contacts her via her onboard communications system and then pops up behind her from the back seat, shocking her (we see the flashes of the jolt from outside the vehicle).
  • The killer drags a bound, gagged, and unconscious Jennifer across the floor. As she comes to, he hoists her up into the air upside down, and briefly holds her gun on her. He then places a gas-powered rototiller below her, starts it, and then has his computer system slowly lower her toward the rapidly spinning and very sharp blades. She struggles to avoid them, bending upward and then swinging back and forth (all aired on the Internet). She then manages to grab a lever that lets gas or steam loose in the killer's face, burning him. She then frees herself from the hoist and repeatedly hits him on the back with her bound hands, but he knocks her backwards and then starts the rototiller toward her. She then repeatedly shoots him in the torso, killing him.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Automatic weapons: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • We see various images of automatic weapons on a computer screen.
  • The killer uses an electronic zapper to stun his victims into submission.
  • After he points her service handgun at her, Jennifer escapes and shoots the villain repeatedly in the torso, killing him.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Some of the phrases are seen written as text messages on the screen, and since they flash by, it's possible more are present than are noted here: "He's a f*cking jackass," "He's a f*cking idiot," "F*cking sad" (written), "When did the world get so f*cking insane?" "Just another f*cking terrorist," "F*cker," "Sh*t, you scared me," "Piece of sh*t," "Oh sh*t," "S*ck sh*t," "Bullsh*t" (written), "What the hell is this?" "Stupid bitch" (written), "Who the hell is this guy?" "There isn't a G*ddamn thing we can do about it" and "Freak."
  • It's possible the film could inspire troubled kids to try to do the same (torture people or animals online), or fake doing the same.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A door is suddenly knocked open.
  • The killer pops up behind Jennifer from the back seat, shocking her (we see the flashes of the jolt from outside the vehicle).
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song has the lyric, "Girl, let me take you" (meant sexually).
  • PROFANITY
  • Some of the profanity is seen written as text messages on the screen, and since they flash by, it's possible more are present than are noted here.
  • At least 10 "f" words (2 written), 10 "s" words (1 written), 1 slang term using female genitals ("p*ssy" -- written), 2 hells, 1 ass (used with "hole"), 2 uses each of "G-damn" (written) and "God" and 1 use each of "Oh God" and "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see various views of girls posing in pictures on the Internet. Nothing explicit is seen, but some of the poses are provocative, while some "come-on" ads (text-based) are also briefly seen.
  • A song has the lyric, "Girl, let me take you" (meant sexually).
  • About their latest perp, Jennifer says he's into high-end tech and low-end porn. Griffin then jokingly adds that the suspect might be female, thus making her the perfect woman for him.
  • We see photos on a man's wall of what look like gay bondage/porn (we saw some shirtless, bound men, etc.). Various DVDs (presumably of similar material) are also seen, but not the covers.
  • Jennifer mentions the behavior of people on the Internet, including watching people having sex.
  • We see the mostly obscured image of Jennifer behind her frosted glass shower door (the image shows no details or nudity).
  • We see a male victim in just briefs in a transparent vat of water.
  • We see an overhead shot looking down on Jennifer in the shower as she's bent over and crouched down (meaning all we see is her bare back).
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • A victim's wife worries about him as his deadly torture is broadcast on the Internet.
  • The killer states that his father died last year.
  • Eric briefly mentions Jennifer's late husband and his funeral.
  • Annie recognizes a live feed of her house on the Internet, and thus eventually goes outside to look for the camera. At the same time, Jennifer comes out of the shower (she's dressed when we see her), gets a call about that feed, and then sees Annie on it. She grabs her gun and races outside, panicked that Annie is missing, but she then finds her (and the girl is okay).
  • Jennifer sends her mom and daughter off somewhere, in hopes that they'll be safe (now that the killer has targeted her family).
  • A young man is still despondent over his father's death a year earlier, and takes out his revenge (over news coverage of that) on others.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Torture porn movies.
  • People's voyeuristic tendencies, especially on the Internet.
  • Jennifer's comment that those who watch such snuff broadcasts are not fans, but are accomplices (since the greater the number of them equals a faster death for the victims).
  • A young man is still despondent over his father's suicide death a year earlier, and takes out his revenge (over news coverage of that) on others.
  • The killer's belief that one day executions will be aired over the Internet for a fee.
  • VIOLENCE
  • The killer sets up a trap for a hungry kitten that he allows out of a cage toward a bowl of milk, only to have its feet get stuck on a glue-based rat trap strip. We see the kitten struggling there, and then later appearing weakened from this ordeal, and then finally dead (the views are both from in the room and on the Internet).
  • The FBI yanks a front door off its hinges, and then knocks another door open as they raid a house, guns drawn.
  • From a distance, we see a sheet-covered body on the ground near the scene of an unseen motorcycle accident (no blood).
  • The killer grabs and shocks his next victim (a zapper against his neck) into submission, yanking him into a van. We next see the man bound and gagged, with the website's name cut into his bare chest (with blood streaming down from that). We then hear that anti-coagulants are being pumped into his body, meaning he'll bleed to death from those cuts. He then proceeds to do just that (also bleeding a lot from his nose, as well as developing bruises all over his body), but not before experiencing a great deal of pain. We then see a large pool of blood below his body on the floor.
  • The killer shocks his next victim, causing the man to tumble down some steps.
  • We see that the killer has his next victim shirtless, with his hands and lower legs stuck in dried cement. Heat lamps are then turned on around him, eventually causing the victim's skin to blister in a bad (and graphic) fashion before dying from that.
  • We see a male victim in just briefs in a transparent vat of water. He's bound and gagged, with his badge pinned into the skin on his bare chest. We then see that sulfuric acid is at the ready to be mixed into the water in which he's submerged (all but his head), with one agent saying the resultant mix will be battery acid. The acid then starts to mix with the water, resulting in agony for the victim, especially as we see skin starting to slough off, and the water turn red. That victim dies, and we later see his skeletal hand in the water, as well as very bad-looking skin.
  • We see repeated views of a video showing a cop approaching an armed man on a bridge. That man then shoots himself in the head, with blood spurting out and his body then falling off the bridge and landing hard on a car below it. Each subsequent view of that news footage is zoomed in, including one that goes into freeze-frame mode just as the blood sprays out (and we hear talk that the back of his skull ended up on top of a nearby building).
  • The killer pops up behind Jennifer from the back seat, shocking her (we see the flashes of the jolt from outside the vehicle).
  • The killer drags a bound, gagged, and unconscious Jennifer across the floor. As she comes to, he hoists her up into the air upside down, and briefly holds her gun on her. He then places a gas-powered rototiller below her, starts it, and then has his computer system slowly lower her toward the rapidly spinning and very sharp blades. She struggles to avoid them, bending upward and then swinging back and forth (all aired on the Internet). She then manages to grab a lever that lets gas or steam loose in the killer's face, burning him. She then frees herself from the hoist and repeatedly hits him on the back with her bound hands, but he knocks her backwards and then starts the rototiller toward her. She then repeatedly shoots him in the torso, killing him.



  • Reviewed January 22, 2008 / Posted January 25, 2008

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