Along Came a Spider (film)

Along Came a Spider (film)

name = Along Came A Spider

caption =
director = Lee Tamahori
producer = David Brown
Joe Wizan
Morgan Freeman
Marty Hornstein
writer = Marc Moss
Based on the novel by James Patterson
starring = Morgan Freeman
Monica Potter
Michael Wincott
music = Jerry Goldsmith
cinematography = Matthew F. Leonetti
editing = Nicolas De Toth
Neil Travis
distributor = Paramount Pictures
released = April 6, 2001 USA
runtime = 103 minutes
language = English
budget = $28,000,000
preceded_by = "Kiss the Girls"
followed_by =
amg_id = 1:209848
imdb_id = 0164334

"Along Came A Spider" is a 2001 American mystery film directed by Lee Tamahori. The screenplay by Marc Moss was adapted from the 1993 novel of the same title by James Patterson, but most of the key plot elements of the book were eliminated. This was the first book in Patterson's Alex Cross series, although the second one to be filmed, following "Kiss the Girls" in 1997.

Plot summary

After Washington, D.C. detective, forensic psychologist, and author Alex Cross loses control of a sting operation, resulting in the death of his partner, he opts to retire from the force. He finds himself drawn back to police work when Megan Rose, the daughter of a United States senator, is kidnapped from her exclusive private school by computer science teacher Gary Sonjei. Secret Service agent Jezzie Flannigan, held responsible for the breach in security, joins forces with Cross to find the missing girl.

Sonjei contacts Cross by phone and alerts him to the fact one of Megan's sneakers is in the detective's mailbox, proving he's the kidnapper. Cross deduces the man is obsessed with the 1932 Lindbergh kidnapping and hopes to become as infamous as Bruno Hauptmann by committing a new "Crime of the Century" that might be discussed by Cross in one of his true crime books.

Sonjei demands that Cross deliver to him a ransom of $10 million dollars in diamonds by following an intricate maze of calls made to public phone booths scattered throughout the city. He ultimately tosses the gems out the window of a rapidly moving Metro train to a figure standing by the tracks. When Sonjei later arrives at Jezzie's home and confronts Cross after disabling the woman with a taser, the detective realizes the kidnapper is unaware of the ransom demand and delivery. Sonjei tries to leave with Jezzie but Cross kills him.

Cross becomes suspicious and searches Jezzie's home computer, on which he finds enough evidence to convince him neither the woman nor her fellow agent, Ben Devine, are who they appear to be. He tracks them down to a secluded farmhouse, where Jezzie has murdered Devine and is now intent on eliminating Megan Rose, until Cross comes to her rescue. Cross saves Megan and kills Jezzie.


One of the primary elements of the book screenwriter Marc Moss eliminated from his script was the fact Sonjei is actually a mild-mannered suburban husband and father suffering from dissociative identity disorder resulting from childhood abuse suffered at the hands of his stepmother and her children. After a lengthy trial for kidnapping and several murders not included in the film, he is found guilty but remanded to a mental institution to serve his sentence. Also missing from the film is a romantic relationship shared by Cross and Jezzie, her trial and eventual execution by lethal injection, and the discovery of Maggie, hidden away with a native Bolivian family near the Andes Mountains, two years after her kidnapping.

In the US, the film opened in 2,530 theaters and earned $16,712,407 in its opening weekend. It eventually grossed $74,078,174 in the US and $31,100,387 in international markets for a total box office of $105,178,561 [ [] ] .


*Morgan Freeman ..... Alex Cross
*Monica Potter ..... Jezzie Flannigan
*Michael Wincott ..... Gary Sonjei
*Dylan Baker ..... Ollie McArthur
*Mika Boorem ..... Megan Rose
*Billy Burke ..... Ben Devine
*Anton Yelchin ..... Dimitri Starodubov
*Jay O. Sanders ..... Kyle Craig
*Michael Moriarty ..... Senator Hank Rose
*Penelope Ann Miller ..... Elizabeth Rose
*Anna Maria Horsford ..... Vickie

Critical reception

Elvis Mitchell of the "New York Times" called the film an "overplotted, hollow thriller, which crams in so much exposition that characters speak in fetid hunks for what seems like minutes at a time ... But "Spider" couldn't be better served than it is by Mr. Freeman, whose prickly smarts and silken impatience bring believability to a classless, underdeveloped thriller ... Still, he is wasted in this impersonal, barely ept thriller." [ [ "New York Times", April 6, 2001] ]

Roger Ebert of the "Chicago Sun-Times" stated, "A few loopholes I can forgive. But when a plot is riddled with them, crippled by them, made implausible by them, as in "Along Came a Spider", I get distracted. I'm wondering, since Dr. Alex Cross is so brilliant, how come he doesn't notice yawning logical holes in the very fabric of the story he's occupying? ... The film contains two kinds of loopholes: (1) Those that emerge when you think back on the plot, and (2) Those that seem like loopholes at the time, and then are explained by later developments that may contain loopholes of their own ... There are places in this movie you just can't get to from other places in this movie." [ [ "Chicago Sun-Times", April 6, 2001] ]

Wesley Morris of the "San Francisco Chronicle" said, "Beyond the B-movie excursions that dry up after the first 20 minutes, "Spider" is a mess of motives left unclear and characters left dangling ... Tamahori has a tough time wringing a drop of original suspense from any of this stuff." [ [ "San Francisco Chronicle", April 6, 2001] ]

Robert Koehler of "Variety" felt "the very characteristics that have made Cross so appealing, particularly his mind-tickling abilities to assess and outmaneuver his criminal opponents, are reduced here to the most fundamental and predictable level ... As reliable as any actor in Hollywood, Freeman delivers the requisite gravitas, but the bland script curtails any personal touches he might have inserted were his sleuth character unraveling a truly vexing mystery." [ [ "Variety", April 1, 2001] ]

Awards and nominations

Jerry Goldsmith won the BMI Film & TV Award for his original score, and Morgan Freeman was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture but lost to Denzel Washington for "Training Day".


External links

* [ Official website]
*imdb title|id=0164334|title=Along Came a Spider
* [ "Along Came a Spider"] at Rotten Tomatoes

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