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The Siege (1998)

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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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(story), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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3,961 ( 209)
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 »

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

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

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

[the team is listening in on the three suspected bus 87 bombers]
Elise Kraft: They're discussing how hard it is to find a decent cup of coffee over here.
[hands headset to Frank]
Elise Kraft: I make out three voices. What do you have on the infrared?
FBI Agent Mike Johanssen: Sounds like three.
Agent Frank Haddad: If we had microwave we'd know for sure. The CIA's got microwave. How come we don't have microwave?
[Hubbard is talking to the landlord]
Landlord: ...There are three of them. All day long they watch TV, and eat pizza. Nothing but pizza. Pizza, pizza, pizza...
[...]
See more »

Connections

References 60 Minutes (1968) 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

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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