7.3/10
114,135
283 user 68 critic

The Negotiator (1998)

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.

Director:

Reviews
Popularity
4,441 ( 275)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In Canton, Mississippi, a fearless young lawyer and his assistant defend a black man accused of murdering two white men who raped his 10-year-old daughter, inciting violent retribution and revenge from the Ku Klux Klan.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An attorney defends an officer on trial for ordering his troops to fire on civilians after they stormed a U.S. embassy in a third world country.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Samuel L. Jackson, Guy Pearce
Outbreak (1995)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Extreme measures are necessary to contain an epidemic of a deadly airborne virus. But how extreme, exactly?

Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The story of what happens one day in New York City, when a young lawyer and a businessman share a small automobile accident on F.D.R. Drive, and their mutual road rage escalates into a feud.

Director: Roger Michell
Stars: Ben Affleck, Samuel L. Jackson, Kim Staunton
Runaway Jury (2003)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A juror on the inside and a woman on the outside manipulate a court trial involving a major gun manufacturer.

Director: Gary Fleder
Stars: John Cusack, Rachel Weisz, Gene Hackman
The Client (1994)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young boy who witnessed the suicide of a mafia lawyer hires an attorney to protect him when the District Attorney tries to use him to take down a mob family.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Renfro
Shaft (2000)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

New York City police detective John Shaft (nephew of the original 1970s detective) goes on a personal mission to make sure the son of a real estate tycoon is brought to justice after a racially-motivated murder.

Director: John Singleton
Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Vanessa Williams, Christian Bale
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Adam Beck
...
Grant Frost
...
Chief Al Travis
...
...
Maggie (as Siobhan Fallon)
...
Rudy
...
...
Markus
...
Palermo
...
Eagle
...
Argento
...
Scott
...
Hellman
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

29 July 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El mediador  »

Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$10,218,831 (USA) (2 August 1998)

Gross:

$44,484,065 (USA) (1 November 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

Obviously the last shot in the ambulance is to show the scene and the patient leaving the place, but a patient inside an ambulance rides with the head to the front. See more »

Quotes

Lieutenant Chris Sabian: Well I guess you think Butch and Sundance lived too.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Castle: Cops & Robbers (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Doin' What I Did
(1994)
Performed and Written by Dwight Yoakam
Courtesy of Reprise Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Highly enjoyable if implausible action thriller - 86%
20 June 2007 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

Regular readers of my reviews (all three of you) will know that one film that really soured my opinion of the Hollywood machine is the completely botched "Italian Job" remake - a typically stylish but ultimately shallow rehash of a perfectly good original. I was almost angry at director F. Gary Gray for trying to wreck my fond memories of Michael Caine in Turin so imagine my surprise to find him responsible for this earlier effort which is a genuinely exciting, if far-fetched, thriller starring two of Hollywood's biggest actors. Where did it all go wrong for the poor guy?

Samuel L Jackson plays police negotiator Lt. Danny Roman, a hostage negotiator with the Chicago PD who's a nice guy and all-round good bloke. After discovering corrupt cops helping themselves to the department's disability fund, Danny's world comes crumbling down after his partner is gunned down with all evidence pointing to him. Believing himself to be set up by Internal Affairs, led by Inspector Niebaum (J.T. Walsh) and Commander Frost (Ron Rifkin), Danny decides to take some hostages of his own in a desperate attempt to prove his innocence. Facing fellow negotiator Chris Sabian (Kevin Spacey), can Danny discover the truth before his one-time colleagues put a premature end to the siege?

Featuring quality at every level of the casting, "The Negotiator" shrugs off it's far-fetched scenario and becomes one of the most compulsive thrillers I've seen in ages. With the outcome never really certain until the credits roll, this is as good an example that I can think of of a film that has all the traditional elements of a classic summer blockbuster but remains taunt, thrilling and exciting throughout. Acting is a real strength of the film as Jackson, Walsh, Paul Giamatti and David Morse offer real depth to their characters and hold the film together with ease. Spacey looks a little out of place - he's too nice to play the stone-faced good guy with a mean streak - but his performance supports Jackson's wild-eyed paranoia perfectly. The biggest problems I found was that the story took a while to get going and when it did, it was actually rather obvious who the villains are.

I was actually a little tired of hostage movies after watching the equally brilliant "Inside Man" a little while ago but while that was a little on the slow side, this kept up a cracking pace until the very end. But both are exceptionally well-written, well-acted pieces of cinema and I don't think I could pick between the two. Even my Better Half enjoyed it, making me stay up late to watch it in spite of my early start the next day. I wouldn't describe "The Negotiator" as exceptional because it doesn't offer anything new in terms of action films or thrillers and the premise, as I've said, is too far-fetched for me personally. But "The Negotiator" is still a highly enjoyable film in its own right and to ignore it would be criminal. Feel free to ignore "The Italian Job" rehash, though...


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

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?