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The Negotiator (1998)

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In a desperate attempt to prove his innocence, a skilled police negotiator accused of corruption and murder takes hostages in a government office to gain the time he needs to find the truth.


2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Adam Beck
Grant Frost
Chief Al Travis
Terence Niebaum
Maggie (as Siobhan Fallon)


In the midst of an elaborate conspiracy, an expert negotiator is driven to the edge when he's framed for the murder of his partner, as well as embezzling money from his department's pension fund. His only chance to prove his innocence is to take hostages himself, acquire the services of another expert negotiator, and find out who's running the conspiracy before it's too late. Written by Ted Walters

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Chicago's two top negotiators must face each other. One of them is holding hostages. The other is demanding surrender. And everyone's holding their breath. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

29 July 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El mediador  »

Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$10,218,831 (USA) (31 July 1998)


$44,484,065 (USA) (30 October 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ron Rifkin, Paul Guilfoyle and Kevin Spacey previously appeared in L.A. Confidential (1997). See more »


The taped segment of the conversation between Danny and Nate before being interrupted is different from the actual scene at the beginning of the film. See more »


Lieutenant Danny Roman: [trying to setup Omar by a bedrom window for a sniper shot, starts a joke] Omar... A Marine and a sailor are taking a piss... The Marine goes to leave without washing up... The sailor says, "In the Navy... they teach us to wash our hands... The Marines turn to him and says...
Omar: [in sync with Danny Roman] "... in the Marines they teach us not to piss on our hands..."
[sniper takes his shot and wound Omar in the shoulder end the siege]
See more »


References Shane (1953) See more »


Performed and Written by Craig Armstrong
Courtesy of Virgin Records Ltd./Melankolic
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User Reviews

Good Solid Hollywood Entertainment -- No More No Less
5 January 2008 | by (Oakland, CA) – See all my reviews

"The Negotiator" is neither a deep film that might cause serious contemplation of social issues nor a radically different experimental experience. It is simply a star-studded action thriller designed to allow the audience to escape into the world of Chicago hostage squad cops. A wrongfully accused negotiator/cop, played at about 300+ degrees Fahrenheit by Samuel Jackson matches wits with another negotiator, Kevin Spacey, who does his best to keep Jackson from reaching the boiling point. Briefly, Jackson is caught in the middle of an extortion scandal involving the lifting of millions of dollars from the policeman's pension fund. When Jackson's partner becomes aware of the secret heist, he is taken out, and the powers behind the white-collar corporate dealings use Jackson as the scapegoat. Jackson then retaliates by using extra-legal means.

What makes this movie are the performances by both Jackson and Spacey, with good performances by the supporting cast, including the late J.T. Walsch who made a career of playing heartless and emotionless middle-age men. And John Spencer is also involved as the Chief of Police, shortly before he was promoted to the White House Chief of Staff in "The West Wing".

The movie goes a mile a minute but is suffused with an interesting enough storyline to make it well worth the price of admission. Some of what happens is ludicrous when you really think about it, but you tend to just run with it. Not a bad way to kill two hours, and you could do a lot worse.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What happens at the end saziso
Who was the guy? shelbing42
Hostages set free bfree1
I love this movie alah-qp
This was literally my favorite movie when I was in grade school patmss
How could any of his fellow officers believe he could kill Nate erzug
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