‘A dangerous game. Played live.’
On the Line is a 2022 American mystery thriller film in which an unknown caller threatens to kill a radio host’s entire family live on air. To save his loved ones, the host is forced into playing a survival game and the only way to win is to find out the identity of the criminal…
Written, co-produced and directed by Romuald Boulanger. Also produced by Robert Ogden Barnum, James Cooney and Marc Frydman.
The movie stars Mel Gibson (Bandit; Panama; Hot Seat; Agent Game; Boss Level), William Moseley, Kevin Dillon, John Robinson, Carole Weyers, Nadia Farès, Enrique Arce, Alia Seror-O’Neill and Yoli Fuller.
“There’s not a lot of physical activity in On the Line, but it does just fine with heated encounters and, again, Gibson is alert here, which is nice to see. Where the screenplay ultimately goes with Gary’s games is a supreme letdown, going from bomb threats and sleuthing to a resolution that’s meant to be clever, or even cutesy, but it just falls flat.” 2.5 out of 5, Blu-ray.com
“The film’s ending may divide a portion of viewers who may retroactively consider the case complicated. Admittedly, it might be, but overall it doesn’t stray from the framework of realism so that one doesn’t appreciate the freshness it exudes. It accounts for some of the story’s inaccuracies and is capable of stimulating the viewer’s thinking in relation to something more conventional.” 3.5 out of 5, Filmy [translated from Greek]
“On the Line is never once good or grounded in logic, but usually tolerable in a dumb fun way that is elevated by Mel Gibson’s presence. Meanwhile, whoever thought the reveals would come anywhere close to working should be put on the line to answer for their cinematic crimes. They drain the goodwill from what there is to commend here.” Flickering Myth
” …that third act is hard to believe. It will almost make viewers wonder if the entire film was an extended joke—but on whom? Weirdly, you have to admire Boulanger’s resolve to go there and then double-down. Recommended for Gibson fans (he keeps things interesting, doesn’t he?)…” J.B. Spins
“If anything, the ending of On the Line reminds us something we often forget, that time is precious and there’s unfortunately no getting it back. This is a story that should’ve gone harder, like Oliver Stone’s Talk Radio back in 1988 or at least something akin to a disturbing Black Mirror episode. Instead we get the VOD hybrid of a Scooby-Doo rerun crossed with an episode of Punk’d. Zoinks.” 1.5 out of 5, Keeping It Reel
“Writer/director Romuald Boulanger has a surprise or two in mind, but everything from the film’s forced dialog to the telegraphed shot selection and generic staging screams unsurprising TV drama. Mel and co-star Kevin Dillon ham it up good, while the rest of the ensemble mostly seems self-conscious.” 2 out of 5, Maddwolf
“Without saying too much about how On the Line concludes (only for it to conclude yet again with the filmmaker trying and failing to play the same trick twice), those qualities turn out to be, if not the whole point, then at least justified by what’s actually happening here. The payoff is also nonsensical and absurd, though, with a heavy dose of pointlessness added to the mix.” 1 out of 4, Mark Reviews Movies
“On the Line takes its time but builds a suitably tense atmosphere […] this movie is entirely watchable as well as well-produced, eye-pleasing, and more often than not, kind of fun to listen to. On the downside, the tension I mentioned earlier takes a massive nose dive about halfway through when filmmakers have Elvis looking for the mystery caller for far too long than is necessary.” Mother of Movies
“There’s little menace in the (mostly) unseen kidnapper’s voice, and Gibson never lets on that the stakes are as high as the story claims […] Gibson’s always given fair value, even in C-movies in his post-cancellation dotage. This one dogs along until the cheap cheat of an ending lands. And tries to land again.” 1 out of 4, Movie Nation
“Mel Gibson’s charisma is the only thing that keeps On the Line afloat. He seems to be enjoying his role, but it’s hard not to think about much more suspenseful and smart Mel Gibson thrillers like Ransom […] At a running time of 1 hour and 44 minutes, On the Line is an asinine, preposterous and silly thriller with a lazy twist that’s worse than M. Night Shyamalan lame twists.” The NYC Movie Guru
“The script idea goes well until two-thirds of the film. From there on it becomes chatty and as we move towards the “subversive” finale it develops into indifferent – not to say predictable. Mel Gibson plays a role he knows well and the supporting cast follows him around expecting him to save the day. But which is not saved…” My Film [translated from Greek]
“I would not recommend a movie as slipshod and derivative as On the Line no matter who the star of the movie is. There is no need to remove Gibson from the conversation because On the Line isn’t worth much of a conversation. The film drifts from one stock scene of suspense to another with a mediocre ease that fits such a forgettable and bland concoction as On the Line.” Geeks Vocal Media
“There are noticeable plot conveniences, yet nothing that really gets in the way. And overall, the development of this central mystery delivers more positives than it does negatives. The final fifteen minutes on the other hand, will be make or break for some. The plot progression does deliver some surprises and modest spots of misdirection but the finale flips everything on its head.” 70%, The Silver Screen Analysis
“An ending that feels way out of place and ultimately disappointing does knock On the Line down a level from “very good” to just “good”, but the journey there is an enjoyably tense one bolstered by a fully invested Gibson and some bits of ingenuity to revitalize an old medium.” 3 out of 5, Voices from the Balcony
“Despite the tension levels not reaching the levels I had expected, the back story for On the Line was pretty good and we do learn about our characters in a well-paced manner that deviate strongly so everything builds nicely up to the finale.” 3 out of 5, Which Film
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