Among the American films of German director Wolfgang Peterson, who achieved his international breakthrough with the submarine drama Das Boot (1981), In the Line of Fire may be the most respected and successful. The movie fulfills all the expectations that one might have for an action thriller. Much of the film's success owes to the performances of leads Clint Eastwood and John Malkovich. Eastwood turns in another variation of the loner role that he pioneered in Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars, but this is an older, mellower Eastwood, who adds more dimensions to his traditionally limited characters. His performance here is in the same weathered vein as his Oscar-winning work in Unforgiven. Malkovich, well-versed in playing demented geniuses, is equally convincing in the more extravagant role of the diabolical, chameleon-like, would-be assassin.
by Brendon Hanley review