Clint Eastwood modified his taciturn tough-guy image to play a vulnerable, tormented Secret Service agent in this well-written, proficient 1993 thriller directed by Wolfgang Petersen (The Perfect Storm). In the Line of Fire casts Clint as Frank Horrigan, a veteran agent still haunted by his failure to protect President John F. Kennedy in 1963 and fearful that he won't be equal to a similar challenge to the current president's safety. That fear is exploited by professional assassin Mitch Leary (John Malkovich in one of his best screen characterizations), who plans to kill the prez and calls Frank periodically to taunt him. Rene Russo is excellent as a crisply efficient female agent, but it's the onscreen duel between Eastwood and Malkovich that provides Fire's sizzle. Clint makes Frank Horrigan a fully rounded character, displaying humor, imagination, determination, and painful awareness of his own limitations. Malkovich, likewise, plays Leary in three dimensions. His deliciously psychopathic villain -- a brilliant but ruthless killer with a twisted sense of humor -- is in the mold of Anthony Hopkins's Hannibal Lecter (The Silence of the Lambs). This well-made thriller tingles with carefully calibrated suspense, but it's those lead performances that distinguish it from ordinary entries in this genre. The DVD Special Edition includes a commentary by Petersen, a Showtime-produced documentary on the Secret Service, deleted scenes, trailers, and TV spots.