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The Siege (1998)

 -  Action | Crime | Drama  -  6 November 1998 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 49,545 users   Metascore: 53/100
Reviews: 270 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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Title: The Siege (1998)

The Siege (1998) on IMDb 6.3/10

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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Ahmed Ben Larby ...
Sheik Achmed Bin Talal
Mosleh Mohamed ...
Muezzin
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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

6 November 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Against All Enemies  »

Box Office

Budget:

$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£845,954 (UK) (8 January 1999)

Gross:

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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

George F. Miller broke the right-hand side of his jaw in two places while working on this film. See more »

Goofs

Nearly the entire movie is set in the dead of winter (heavy coats, visible breath, etc.) yet the fly-over of the capitol building shows trees in full bloom. See more »

Quotes

Senator: You don't fight a junkyard dog with ASPCA rules. What you do is you take the leash off your bigger, meaner dog.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
What if....
19 June 1999 | by (Toronto, Ontario) – See all my reviews

At first glance, The Siege looks to be a jingoistic, typically heroic American patriot film. But upon further review, and if you honestly give this movie a chance and listen to what it has to say, you'll see that it wants us to listen, it wants us to learn and it wants us to just look at the possibilities of " what if? ".

This is one of the best movies that I have seen in recent years and what kind of stumps me is the negative criticism surrounding the film, not just the complaint of racism ( I'll get into that later ) but about the film in general. And I have come to a conclusion that not everybody will agree with and certainly many will dislike.

The positive reviews that have been in the IMDb have been, at least a great many of them, from people that are nationalities other than American. And perhaps the reason for that is that we can sit back and look at the U.S. from afar and it may be easier for us ( as non Americans ) to understand more clearly what this movie is trying to say. And it may be easier for us ( whatever nationality we happen to be ) to understand what is wrong with America and why a film like this is just trying to give one possible reason for the decay of American society. That is not to say that our own countries don't have problems, because they do, but we can just see what is wrong with America a little easier, we are not blinded by our own patriotism. It may be easier still for perhaps Europeans to appreciate the movie even more than others because maybe their own countries have been under siege at one point or another. And maybe the relevance is that much more prevalent when you have been that close to something.

And what this movie has to say perhaps should not be taken lightly.

Steve Martin's character in " The Grand Canyon " uttered the line " watch the movies, they have all of life's answers. " Perhaps that has never been more true than what this film's message is. And I believe that message is that sooner or later if there is always going to be that one watch dog, that one Big Brother that is known as the United States, then something like this may happen. What if....

I truly believe this movie has been unfairly criticized about it's apparent racist tones. Every time there is a bombing by terrorists that are Arab in heritage, there is always a scene that follows where the Arab leagues lend their support and let the FBI know that they want these criminals brought to justice just as much as anyone does. " They love this country just as much as we do. " Denzel says in one of his speeches to the people in charge. Is it really racism when a movie tries to explore what could happen when one body of government takes matters in their own hands and breaks international law? To me every effort was made to show Arabs as normal, family loving, law abiding, peaceful citizens that they are. A bunch of Arab terrorists does not mean that all Arabs are fanatics that are bent on destroying America. That perception is like believing that all we as Canadians do is play hockey, drink beer and play in the snow.

The movie itself is so well acted and it is so well written that I really can't understand why Washington did not get a nod for best actor. He is mesmerizing. And I think his final confrontation with the general is tense, and brilliant.

Washington plays Hub, a very patriotic, by the book FBI agent that is personally affected by all the chaos that has ensued in his city, and he plays him brilliantly. Bening and Shaloub are also wonderful in their roles and the music in the film is haunting. Willis is a little weak in the film but that is minor in comparison to the rest of the movie.

If you haven't seen this film because of what you have heard, give it a chance, it is well worth it. And try to watch it and listen to what it has to say. You may be surprised. I'm not sure if something like this could ever happen to the US, but it is not out of the realm of possibility.


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