Down 679 this week

The Negotiator (1998)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  29 July 1998 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 102,582 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 279 user | 66 critic | 23 from Metacritic.com

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.


Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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  

A young lawyer defends a black man accused of murdering two men who raped his 10-year-old daughter, sparking a rebirth of the K.K.K.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson
Outbreak (1995)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 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
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A woman suffering from amnesia begins to recover her memories after trouble from her past finds her again.

Director: Renny Harlin
Stars: Geena Davis, Samuel L. Jackson, Yvonne Zima
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A frustrated man decides to take justice into his own hands after a plea bargain sets one of his family's killers free. He targets not only the killer but also the district attorney and others involved in the deal.

Director: F. Gary Gray
Stars: Gerard Butler, Jamie Foxx, Leslie Bibb
K-PAX (2001)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

PROT is a patient at a mental hospital who claims to be from a far away Planet. His psychiatrist tries to help him, only to begin to doubt his own explanations.

Director: Iain Softley
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges, Mary McCormack
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 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
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A lawyer becomes a target by a corrupt politician and his NSA goons when he accidentally receives key evidence to a serious politically motivated crime.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Will Smith, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight
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
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A woman framed for her husband's murder suspects he is still alive; as she has already been tried for the crime, she can't be re-prosecuted if she finds and kills him.

Director: Bruce Beresford
Stars: Ashley Judd, Tommy Lee Jones, Bruce Greenwood
Air Force One (1997)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Hijackers seize the plane carrying the President of the United States and his family, but he - an ex-soldier - works from hiding to defeat them.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Stars: Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A man against capital punishment is accused of murdering a fellow activist and is sent to death row.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Kate Winslet, Laura Linney
Basic (2003)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A DEA agent investigates the disappearance of a legendary Army ranger drill sergeant and several of his cadets during a training exercise gone severely awry.

Director: John McTiernan
Stars: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Connie Nielsen


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


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


He frees hostages for a living. Now he's taking hostages to survive. 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)


£1,484,716 (UK) (1 January 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Kevin Spacey, one of the two main stars, doesn't appear until nearly 1/3 of the way through the movie. See more »


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 »


[Talking to Omar about Pit Bulls]
Lieutenant Danny Roman: There's the right man's best friend and the wrong man's worst enemy.
See more »


Referenced in 30 Rock: Dealbreakers Talk Show #0001 (2009) See more »


Cotton-Eye Joe
Performed by Rednex
Written by Janne Ericsson, Erkan Oban (as Øban), Pat Reiniz
Courtesy of Zomba Recording Corp.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Conventional siege thriller, made better than expected by its actors.
5 September 2004 | by (Todmorden, England) – See all my reviews

In terms of plot and story development, The Negotiator offers little that is new. It's a very conventional film. However, it gets a much needed injection from its cast, especially the two leads Jackson and Spacey, whose verbal exchanges are exciting and dynamic.

The far-fetched yarn introduces us to Chicago hostage negotiator Danny Roman (Samuel L. Jackson). Roman's partner Nate (Paul Guilfoyle) is brutally murdered just as he is about to expose a bunch of cops who have been stealing from the Disability Fund. All the clues at the scene of Nate's murder point to Roman being the guilty one. Danny is arrested for the killing, but he remains determined to prove his innocence. He violently besieges the Internal Affairs division of the Chicago P.D, taking several hostages at gunpoint, and proceeds to demand that his name be cleared. Hostage negotiator Chris Sabian (Kevin Spacey) arrives on the scene to talk Roman into surrendering his hostages.

The ease with which Jackson's character is framed for a crime he didn't commit is hard to believe, and his subsequent decision to take hostages in order to clear himself stretches credibility to the limit. The solution to the mystery - with the revelation of the real killer coming right at the end - isn't especially believable either. However, improbabilities aside, The Negotiator is an entertaining work. As mentioned, Jackson and Spacey's confrontations are quite dynamic and help to make the film compulsively watchable. Siege thrillers by their very definition are exciting, and this one is no exception. Granted, The Negotiator is totally conventional fare, but within its limitations it remains a well-crafted, absorbing and agreeable offering.

33 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Good guy is a terrorist? Lunda2222
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
Discuss The Negotiator (1998) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: