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The Siege (1998)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  6 November 1998 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 53,309 users   Metascore: 53/100
Reviews: 273 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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(story), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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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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Edit

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
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:

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

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

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 »

Goofs

The length of the cigarette Hubbard is holding changes while he's interrogating the suspect about the suitcase of money. See more »

Quotes

[a big discussion is underway about the fight against terrorism in New York City]
Chief of Staff: General?
General William Devereaux: The Army is a broadsword, not a scalpel. Trust me, senator, you do not want the Army in an American city.
Chief of Staff: But hypothetically... how long would it take you to deploy?
General William Devereaux: You know we can't go in until the President invokes the War Powers Act.
Chief of Staff: I understand that, General. Let's assume, for a moment, that the order has been given.
General William Devereaux: Twelve hours after the President gives the order we can be on the ground. One light ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Features Jesse James (1939) 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

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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