Linewatch 2008 Movie Scene Cuba Gooding Jr. as Michael Dixon in his border patrol uniform holding a gun pointed at the criminals

Linewatch [2008]

I just love movies like this. There’s no bullshit, no melodrama or attempts to make something larger than life. What remains is life itself, messy and unpredictable. Linewatch is a cool little thriller about a border patrol officer whose quest to find a vicious coyote will lead him into a lot of trouble. That’s all I’m going to say about the plot of this movie. That and that the entire story takes place over the course of just a couple of days. It unfolds at a brisk pace and when you add to that the short running time of just ninety minutes, Linewatch becomes an easy watch. Just because you haven’t heard about it, don’t think it’s bad.

As soon as you play it, you’re going to notice excellent cinematography and direction. We open with an impactful scene where Border Patrol officer Michael Dixon finds a truck full of dead people in the middle of the desert. As soon as that scene ended, I knew this movie was going to be good. They didn’t fuck around and tried to be smart or poetic. They wanted to make an effective thriller about a man whose dark past comes to fuck with him once again. And they fucking made it. What makes Linewatch a movie worth watching are not just alluring visuals and tight direction but also an intelligent script and compelling performances. The character development was really good further immersing you into the story.

Now, I know that Cuba Gooding Jr. has been in a lot of bad movies. However, I assure you that this one is not one of them. During this period, he was actually in a couple of solid productions like Dirty, Hardwired, and Wrong Turn at Tahoe. Here, he gives a committed and subtle performance that ends up carrying the entire movie. I shouldn’t also forget to mention your favorite bad boy Omari Hardwick (Power) who was just as good. It’s just a shame we didn’t get the chance to see more of Dean Norris (Breaking Bad) but that’s just how things played out. 

To get back to the characters just for a while, David W. Warfield did a terrific job of creating authentic people who act in a natural way. One of the criminals is obsessed with reptiles and keeps reciting facts he has memorized about them. No doubt this is a tactic to appear educated and it also gives him a unique twist. Others have their own quirks. All of this contributes to the overall realness of the movie, raising the stakes even more. It’s the little things like this that make Linewatch such a pleasure to watch. I played it late last night with zero expectations and I was able to finish it in one go.

Just as the sun was starting the rise, the credits rolled and I felt that “I just watched a good movie” vibe. The way the story plays out and the generally dark and ominous atmosphere reminds me of older neo-noir thrillers. Movies like City of Industry and Phoenix. While we’re dropping names, I simply must mention Transpecos, another cool little thriller starring Gabriel Luna and Clifton Collins Jr. While that movie takes place almost entirely in the vast New Mexico desert, Linewatch uses this picturesque setting mostly as a backdrop to tell a hood/gangsta story. 

The two seamlessly blend together into a potent mixture. Finally, I know that this isn’t the greatest movie in the world but it will do just fine if you’re looking for an effective thriller that’s easy to watch. And make sure to check out the other movies I mentioned, they’re even better.

Director: Kevin Bray

Writer: David W. Warfield

Cast: Cuba Gooding Jr., Omari Hardwick, Evan Ross, Dean Norris, Malieek Straughter, Sharon Leal, AMG

Fun Facts: Linewatch was filmed in Albuquerque, New Mexico with a budget of around $5 million.


IMDb Link:

YouTube player