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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 48,360 users   Metascore: 53/100
Reviews: 266 user | 117 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:
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...
...
...
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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
Edit

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:

On November 6th our freedom is history 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

According to an interview that screenwriter Lawrence Wright gave to CBS in 2007, the film was a box office failure upon its theatrical release, "but it was the most-rented movie in America after 9/11." Wright also claimed that the initial release bombed because "Muslim and Arab protesters picketed the theaters. They were furious at being stereotyped as terrorists." See more »

Goofs

After the bus explosion, the blood on Hub's face disappears and reappears between shots. See more »

Quotes

Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: [upon informing Devereaux that he is being arrested] William Devereaux, you are under arrest for the torture and murder of Tariq Husseini, an American citizen.
General William Devereaux: Is this some kind of a joke?
Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: You see me laughing, general?
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.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Very Prescient View of Post-Terrorism America
25 October 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Islamo-fascists (or simply "terrorists") have taken their game to a whole new level, striking schools and even the FBI office. This film shows a fictional version of what happens when America meddles in foreign affairs, when the foreigners push back and how we would have to give up civil liberties to protect our freedoms. (Or, more properly, why we shouldn't have to.)

Denzel Washington is Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard, and like all his action roles, he is a strong and sturdy leader. I love Washington so much. I warmed up to him after seeing "Man on Fire" and this goes above and beyond that as the best role I've seen him in. Annette Bening is a CIA operative, and she continues her streak of starring in roles that annoy me (such as the one in "American President"). Other than "American Beauty", I can do without her...

Bruce Willis is Major General William Devereaux and is quite good at being both pragmatic and tyrannical as he needs to be -- in the same role. We see his "Die Hard" persona more refined into a leadership spot -- commanding others to do what McClane's commanders would have him do. It's like a promotion. Tony Shalhoub is Agent Frank Haddad, and this is his best role (and when does he ever disappoint?). Aasif Mandvi ("The Daily Show") also appears as Khalil Saleh.

This film works as an action-drama. Plenty of frustrated romance and explosions, as well as gunfights and tense situations where a bus might explode (where is Keanu Reeves when you need him). So, even if you have no interest in American history or politics, you're probably going to appreciate the running and jumping and shooting.

History and politics buffs will enjoy it even more. We have the history of what America did in Iraq after the Gulf War (hint: we let Saddam slaughter his own people). And we have a sneak-peak of what would happen if a major terrorist attack hit New York. Muslims and Arabs are rounded up and all seen as suspects, liberties are brought to a minimum and there is a debate between waging a war and a police action -- with war winning the debate. I think if anything this film gave America too much credit for being sympathetic to Muslims. But at least we don't have concentration camps where we store innocent Arabs (unless you count Guantanamo Bay).

This film flew under my radar and I had not been aware of it until some friends pointed me in the right direction. With 9/11 and Iraq now having happened, this film gives a great overview. Along with "Syriana", "Jarhead" and "Three Kings" this will give a good starting point of how to view the world and America's role in it, at least from a fictional point of view.


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