Along Came a Spider Movie Poster Image

Along Came a Spider

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

What parents need to know


Characters in peril, including children. Many deaths.


Brief mild reference


Strong language

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.

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?


The movie's filled with plot points that make little sense. 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/Streaming release date:September 25, 2001
Cast:Monica Potter, Morgan Freeman, Penelope Ann Ann Miller
Director:Lee Tamahori
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Run time:103 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:violence and language

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  • Kiss the Girls Movie Poster Image
    A thrill-less thriller. Too violent for kids.

What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byAshnak April 9, 2008

Decent Psychological Thriller

This police detective thriller is an OK movie for adults.
Adult Written byMovieLover4Lyfe October 29, 2010
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.
Teen, 14 years old Written byT-Rod July 8, 2010

My review of the book--not the movie

I have not yet seen this movie, but i know from the "Sex: Brief mild referance" and the "good Freeman, dumb plot", that this is a terrible adaption of the book. The movie is based on the book w/ the same title by James Patterson( a very talented thriller/suspense writer ), and though the movie was made second in the series, it is the first in the books. Kiss the Girls( the first movie starring Morgan Freeman in the role of Alex Cross ) was the second book. Now, the book is a twisted, demented, and corrupt view into the mind of a killer. It shows you the POV of the characters Soneji, Cross, Jezzie, Maggie Rose Dunne, and a few other minor characters. But mostly Cross and Soneji. It, surprisingly, isn't filled w/ much violence. A few are shot in a McDonalds, a man is choked with handcuffs, another man is shot in the head, people are scewered with a hunting kife, a man is cut in the cheek with sheering scissors, a boy is beaten and raped after dying from overdose of some kind of knock-out gas, and maybe a few other things. Sex felt much worse. After Alex and Jezzie start having feeligs with each other and after a few drinks( there is a few brief drinking scenes ) they both go into a room for the night, and somethig tells me that they weren't just going in there for a friendly conversation. Alone on an island, they take off their clothes and it says, "And then we did each other." Also, another scene where it describes in explicit detail, intercourse in a bathtub. Also, when you read in the POV of the killer, you read twisted and sickening ideas, thoughts, and memories...BUT!!!... Alex Cross is determined to continue searching for Maggie Rose Dunne after everyone else gives up hope. Also, he still plays and has fun w/ his kids, though he is very busy often. Nana Momma is looked at as a wise and responsible woman
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models