Untraceable Movie Review Summary

Actors: Diane Lane, Billy Burke, Colin Hanks, Joseph Cross

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Untraceable

This is the story of how the FBI captures a serial killer who shows his murders live on the Internet. Diane Lane plays a FBI agent named Jennifer Marsh, who hunts done cyber criminals. She catches a guy doing identity theft and has him arrested. She works with another FBI agent Griffin Dowd (played by Colin Hanks). She finds a website called “Kill With Me” which is a live feed showing a kitten being slowly killed. After the kitten is killed, the website puts up a man being killed. The more visitors to the website, the faster he is killed. The man dies. The FBI tracks down a possible suspect who they think may be the perpetrator, but he has an alibi.
Click here to see the rest of this review

The killer is revealed to be a young man named Owen Reilly (played by Joseph Cross). He invites a man over on a false pretense. He tells the man he lives alone because his father died last year. He uses a taser on the man to knock him out so he can make him his next victim. He puts him in the basement half buried in cement. This man is a television personality. He has tied so he cannot move, in front of heating elements. He is being tortured by being cooked to death. The FBI goes on the news, tells everyone they are an accomplice to murder if they visit the website. The website visitors are restricted so only Americans can see it. While being tortured, the man is able to mouth the address of the house. A deaf person at the FBI reads his lips. The FBI raids the house at that address, but there is no one there. It is the house where the man met the killer, but he was taken elsewhere to a basement of another house to be murdered. The website gets even more visitors than before so the man is killed faster.

The killer puts a video camera in front of FBI agent Marsh's house. He puts the live image on the website. Her daughter Annie sees the images on the television in her house. She goes outside to investigate where they are coming from, while her mother is in the shower. When FBI Agent Marsh sees the video on the television, which shows her daughter in front of the house, she runs outside with her gun. She finds the dead man, who was cooked, in the trunk of a car parked across the street. She learns her computer was accessed so the killer has all of her information. The killer also contacts FBI Agent Griffin by telephone using a voice-changing device to simulate the voice of a woman to lure him so he can capture him.

The FBI agent is the next one to be tortured. He is shown on television in a tank half-filled with water connected to tanks of sulfuric acid, which mix with the water based on the number of website visitors. The killer tells him, if no one watched he would only be sitting in water, but the whole world wants to see him die and they do not even know him. Agent Griffin signals them with Morse code by blinking his eyes. He says “our suicide” then dies.

FBI Agent Marsh figures out the killer is getting even for the suicide of his father, which happened one year before. The video footage of the suicide got very popular on the Internet. All those murdered have some connection with his father's death. Reilly had a mental breakdown after his father's suicide and was in a mental hospital for six months. When he got out, he started his crime spree. They figure out Reilly lives alone in his father's house. They raid it, but he is one step ahead of them and not there. They discover it is the basement where all the murders have been done. The find the dead body of Agent Dowd almost dissolved in the sulfuric acid bath.

Agent Marsh continues the investigation with the help of Detective Eric Box (played by Billy Burke). Her car stalls out in the pouring rain at the site where Reilly's father died. Her cell phone does not work. Reilly talks to her over the speaker in the car. He blames the FBI for letting people do whatever they want. The locks on the car don't work. She breaks the window to get out, and uses a payphone to call for help. She tells Det. Box, Reilly disabled her car's computer. Her car lights come back on. She gets back in the car. Reilly uses a taser on her from the back seat. When help arrives, her car is gone.

Reilly takes her, tied up, to the basement of another house where he has setup another kill site.   He uses a wench to lift her and hangs her upside down over rotating saw blades. He shows her in this condition on the Internet with a live feed. The FBI figures out he has her in the basement of her own home. They go to rescue her, but there is not enough time. As she is lowered on the cable to the cutting blades, she swings over to a pipe on the wall, to hold herself out of the way of the cutting blades. When Reilly tries to move her back into position, she opens the hot water pipe to spray it in his face. While he is hurt, she breaks free. They fight. She gets her gun and kills him.
Best part of story, including ending: I like tough women as crime-stoppers. It makes it more exciting when the good guys are female.

Best scene in story: The best scene is at the end when FBI Agent Marsh breaks free and takes out the murderer because it is very exciting and we don't want her to be killed.

Opinion about the main character: FBI Agent Marsh, when told to take some time off after the death of her partner Agent Dowd, refuses and continues on until she solves the case. It is great when she succeeds by her determination.

The review of this Movie prepared by Willi Vision a Level 31 Creepy Stalker Barn Owl scholar

Script Analysis of Untraceable

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Actual chase scenes or violence 50%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 10% Time/Era of Movie:    -   present 2000+ Crime & Police Story?    -   Yes Crime story:    -   catching/stopping killer Criminal enemy is...    -   serial killer

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Pacific NW City?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   very gory visuals of deaths and torture Kind of violence:    -   guns Unusual forms of death    -   frying (cooking) Any profanity?    -   Occasional swearing

Movies with storylines, themes & endings like Untraceable

Untraceable Message Board (click here)
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian