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The Siege (1998)

The secret U.S. abduction of a suspected terrorist, leads to a wave of terrorist attacks in New York City, that lead to the declaration of martial-law.

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Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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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)
...
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 »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

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:

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

Gross:

$40,932,372 (USA) (12 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

In several scenes, General William Devereaux is seen not wearing his U.S. Army uniform, instead he's seen wearing an ordinary suit. It is revealed that General Devereaux is actually holding a position in the President's cabinet while retaining his Army commission as a Major General, possibly National Security Advisor, or White House Chief of Staff. This resembled Alexander Haig, who was Richard Nixon's Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and later White House Chief of Staff, while retaining his General rank in the Army, or Colin Powell, who was Ronald Reagan's National Security Advisor, while also retaining his General rank in the Army, and later known as "political General". See more »

Goofs

In one scene before the bus explodes, Hub and Frank are driving in a car and Elise / Sharon is sitting on the rear seat. During the shots in which she is shown, you can clearly see through the rear window that the following cars are changing between shots. See more »

Quotes

[Hubbard and Haddad are conversing as they are walking]
Agent Frank Haddad: He says, "If you're on the State Department Terrorist Watch List, you cannot get into the country." So I tell him, "Ali Waziri was on the watch list, and he got in!"
Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: What did State Department tell you to do?
Agent Frank Haddad: Told me to call INS.
Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: All right, what did INS say?
Agent Frank Haddad: Told me to call State.
[...]
See more »

Connections

References 60 Minutes (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Great Leap Forward
Written by Jim Kerr (as James Kerr) and Charlie Burchill (as Charles Burchill)
Performed by Simple Minds
Courtesy of Virgin Records America, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Eerily prescient.
21 August 2004 | by (Xanadu) – See all my reviews

This film, made in 1998, is so close to the reality of Sept. 11, 2001 that it sends chills down your spine. Although events played out differently, so many elements in the film are near-mirror reflections of the reality. The attacks are carried out by Islamic extremists, whose core network were trained by the CIA, their attacks were dramatic and centered on New York City, there was little cooperation between, the FBI, CIA and military, and Arabs and Arab-Americans were rounded up in large numbers, or were subjected to harassment and violence. The images of bodies and debris are no less shocking than the sight of people jumping to their death from the World Trade Center. Torture was employed by US soldiers, in pursuit of terrorists. With all of that said, even had the attacks of Sept. 11th not occurred, this would still be a tremendous film.

Director Ed Zwick and actor Denzell Washington team up once again for a great one-two punch. Denzell brings great humanity to his role as an FBI agent, charged with counter-terrorism operations and investigations. He is aided by Tony Shalhoub, who delivers another great performance and some of the best lines. Annette Benning displays her talent as a CIA operative at the heart of the whole crisis. Roger Deacons adds his wonderful cinematography, and Bruce Willis turns in a fine performance as an over-zealous army general.

The film delivers a cautionary tale about extreme reactions to terror and the loss of freedoms that can result from acting in anger, rather than with reason and law. The rounding up of citizens, as depicted in the film, and the declarations of martial law, are not that far away from the provisions of the Patriot Act, which violates First Amendment rights, the right to privacy, and the right to due process. The film suggests that by giving up these rights, or stripping them away, we become the very thing that our enemies claim we are. It suggests that that may be the terrorists true aim.

This is not a crystal ball prediction of 9/11; but it is a fine thriller. The filmmakers did their homework and got quite a bit right. They also extrapolated things to an extreme, but not an implausible one. However, they delivered an excellent film, and one that should be seen and studied.


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