Mad City (1997)

PG-13  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  7 November 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 16,096 users   Metascore: 45/100
Reviews: 69 user | 58 critic | 23 from

A disgruntled security guard holds a school trip group hostage, while a news reporter forms a bond with him.



(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lou Potts
Mrs. Banks
Miss Rose
CTN Junior Executive
Bingwa ...
Nat Jackson


Sam Baily, upset over losing his job, takes a natural history museum hostage. Max Brackett, journalist, is in the museum when this occurs, and gets the scoop. The story spreads nation wide, and soon it is all anyone talks about. The story itself is the news, not the reason why or the real people behind it. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


This November, the biggest hostage negotiation is about to begin See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for depiction of a hostage situation, including violence and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 November 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El cuarto poder  »

Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,649,742 (USA) (7 November 1997)


£533,374 (UK) (24 July 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The four engine business jet shown is a Lockheed Jetstar. One of the very few four engined business/personal jet planes produced. They are not as popular as twin engine business or personal jets because they cost more to purchase, maintain, and operate simply because of the four engine configuration. The pods hanging on the wings are external fuel tanks. They were produced from 1957 to 1978 and most were retired from service in the 1990s. Approximately 204 were produced and were the first dedicated business jet produced. Popularity dwindled due to high operating (fuel and maintenance) costs See more »


Kevin Hollander: I'm who Americans trust for their news.
Max Brackett: You really shouldn't let a marketing slogan go your head.
See more »


References Ace in the Hole (1951) See more »


Musetta's Waltz
from "La Bohème"
Music by Giacomo Puccini (as Puccini)
Text by Giacosa after Murger
See more »

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User Reviews

one man's insanity reigns after he loses his job
29 March 1999 | by (Broken Bow, Oklahoma) – See all my reviews

Interesting look at an emotionally crippled man as he goes out of control after losing his job. He holds several children and a few adults hostage in a museum after the curator refused to discuss his termination. One of the hostages is a newsman who winds up acting as the liaison between the police and the gunman. The situation leads to national prominence, drawing in an unscrupulous network newsman who only wanted to feather his own nest with the story. Good movie about a not unbelievable happening.

18 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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