Picks and Pans Review: The Watcher

updated 09/25/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/25/2000 01:00AM

James Spader, Keanu Reeves, Marisa Tomei

Cat lovers may be conflicted over their feelings toward the serial killer (Reeves) in The Watcher after he adopts one of his victim's pet felines. But anyone would be hard-pressed to argue that this lackluster suspense thriller is more than cinematic Kitty Litter with only one inspired gimmick: the killer's habit of sending photos of his intended victims to an FBI agent (Spader), giving the law 24 hours to prevent another murder.

Spader brings a weary doggedness to his role, while Reeves—who has distanced himself from the film—looks puffy and bored. Tomei, playing the G-man's shrink, spends the longest of her few scenes tied to a chair with her mouth taped shut, which is no way to kick-start a stalled career. (R)

Bottom Line: Faulty vision

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