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The Siege (1998)

R  |   |  Action, Thriller  |  6 November 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 55,374 users   Metascore: 53/100
Reviews: 277 user | 118 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

The secret US abduction of a suspected terrorist leads to a wave of terrorist attacks in New York that lead to the declaration of martial law.



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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ahmed Ben Larby ...
Sheik Achmed Bin Talal
Mosleh Mohamed ...
Lianna Pai ...
Tina Osu (as Liana Pai)
FBI Agent Mike Johanssen
Fred Darius
Danny Sussman
FBI Agent Floyd Rose
Jeremy Knaster ...
INS Official
INS Uniform
Khalil Saleh


After the abduction by the US military of an Islamic religious leader, New York City becomes the target of escalating terrorist attacks. Anthony Hubbard, the head of the FBI's Counter-Terrorism Task Force in New York, teams up with CIA operative Elise Kraft to hunt down the terrorist cells responsible for the attacks. As the bombings continue, the US government responds by declaring martial law, sending US troops, led by Gen. Devereaux, into the streets of New York City. Written by Karen Eiler <keiler@sprintmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


An enemy they can't see. A nation under siege. A crisis they can't control See more »


Action | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

6 November 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Against All Enemies  »

Box Office


$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$13,931,285 (USA) (6 November 1998)


SGD 511,909 (Singapore) (19 February 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


While negotiating with the bus bombers, Hubbard offers to exchange himself for the hostages. In Ricochet (1991), Denzel Washington's character makes the same offer while negotiating with another criminal holding a woman hostage. See more »


During the standoff between Gen. Devereaux and Hub the General initially does not stand down, but calls out "Captain", which is the signal for the army personnel to raise their weapons. After Hub convinces the General to stand down Devereaux calls out not to the Captain, but to the Sergeant to lower his weapon. See more »


Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: [conversing with Elise] You think I want to lose them? You think I'm in the losing people business, huh? If I don't take them out properly, they hit the streets in two hours! I don't care if I find semtex, plutonium, dynamite; self-lighting charcoal briquettes! Without the right warrant, they walk.
See more »


Referenced in Bad Movie Beatdown: BMB Spoony Experiment: Tekken (2011) See more »


First You Cry
Written by Buddy Flett and David Egan
Performed by Little Buster And The Soul Brothers
Courtesy of Rounder Records
by arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

This fictional movie showed us what was coming. And they showed us what not to do!
3 December 2004 | by (Nashville) – See all my reviews

This was a very strange film. Strange, because it had so many of its facts right for 9/11. Right city, right jihadists, right plot.

And the military's answer to the terrorist threats? Go in, plunder, pillage, torture, abuse and kill the bad guys. Moral? If we stoop to their level, we are no better than the enemy. The real irony is, Denzel's character had the CHARACTER to do the right thing.

Oddly, and presciently, Bruce Willis' general was about to do all the wrong stuff, and with a little help from Denzel, decided not to resort to all the things we really have resorted to. This movie is notable for several reasons, but the uppermost is showing us the future we shouldn't take, but took anyway.

The irony is not lost. What is confounding here is how much of this originally semi-corny movie got right. Washington, Benning, Shaloub, and Willis, all deliver in a big fashion, with some pertinent warnings. The road not taken was the moral. How scary that in the long run, when presented by a much larger threat, we one-upped this movie's punch line in reality. How much stranger can you get than that?

This was a fairly realistic portrait of the underworld, the intrigue, the terrorism, and gave us a scary view of our future. Hopefully, next time a movie like this one comes along, we might be better served by taking it more seriously.

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