Along Came a Spider

  • Review Date: May 19, 2003
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2001
  • Running Time: 103 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Blood, violence, murder good Freeman, dumb plot.
  • Review Date: May 19, 2003
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2001
  • Running Time: 103 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Violence

Characters in peril, including children. Many deaths.

Sex

Brief mild reference

Language

Strong language

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking and smoking

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is very violent, with many deaths and lots of spurting blood. Characters use strong language. Many people may be upset by seeing children in peril, though Megan and her friend are strong, brave, loyal, and very smart. Other characters betray the trust of people who have been good to them, which may be disturbing to some viewers.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Morgan Freeman returns as Dr. Alex Cross in this prequel to Kiss the Girls. Monica Potter plays Jazzie, a Secret Service agent assigned to a private school in Washington D.C. When Megan (Mikka Boorem), a child of a senator, is kidnapped from the school, Jazzie blames herself. Contacted by the kidnapper, Cross becomes involved in the case and seeks Jazzie's help.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Like the original, ALONG CAME A SPIDER has a nursery rhyme title and centers on a kidnapped girl. This time it is not a serial killer, just a madman inspired by the Lindburgh kidnap case, trying to make a name for himself with the crime of the new century. And this time the kidnap victim is not a woman but a little girl, the daughter of a United States senator. Let me just point out here that the Secret Service does not protect the children of senators or even senators, who are in a different branch of government. We'll give them some leeway for movie logic, on that one. But there are some lapses, like having the President of Russia living in Washington, DC, that are simply preposterous.

Freeman, as always, is a pleasure to watch, bringing a complexity and weight to every scene that almost makes up for a dumb plot. But even he cannot make up for Monica Potter, who replaces Ashley Judd as Freeman's co-star, and who is as bland as a Barbie doll, and with an even blanker facial expression. There are shoot-outs, chases, and near-misses, some well staged. But the final twist is just plain dumb, and neither the performers nor the script's explanation of the characters' motivation have the panache to carry it off. No one could, especially when they resort to that hoariest of clichés, the good guy figuring it all out and then going out to the deserted location where it is all happening all by himself! At least they spare us the long explanation by the villain about the master plan.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what people do when they have to pick themselves up and go on following a disaster. They may also want to talk about how we decide whom we will trust and how we find reserves of strength when we are in scary situations. They should discuss Cross' statement that everyone is born with a gift or gets good at something and "you don't betray that." They might also want to talk about whether criminals really are motivated by the prospect of fame, and whether there is or ever will be again a hero as universally adored as Lindburgh was.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 6, 2001
DVD release date:September 25, 2001
Cast:Monica Potter, Morgan Freeman, Penelope Ann Ann Miller
Director:Lee Tamahori
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Genre:Thriller
Run time:103 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:violence and language

This review of Along Came a Spider was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byAshnak April 9, 2008
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

Decent Psychological Thriller

This police detective thriller is an OK movie for adults.
Teen, 13 years old Written bykellipetrelli December 20, 2010
AGE
16
QUALITY
 
I read the book, and i have to see the movie.. I loved the book (read it when i was eight) and i personally think the violence will be crazy, and that Morgan Freeman should not be part of this movie, at least not alex cross.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Adult Written byMovieLover4Lyfe October 29, 2010
AGE
16
QUALITY
 
This movie was ok, the book is much better. The first movie in the series 'Kiss the Girls' was a lot better than this movie too.

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