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The Negotiator (1998)

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In a desperate attempt to prove his innocence, a skilled police negotiator accused of corruption and murder takes hostages in a government office to gain the time he needs to find the truth.

Director:

F. Gary Gray
2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Samuel L. Jackson ... Danny Roman
Kevin Spacey ... Chris Sabian
David Morse ... Adam Beck
Ron Rifkin ... Grant Frost
John Spencer ... Chief Al Travis
J.T. Walsh ... Terence Niebaum
Siobhan Fallon Hogan ... Maggie (as Siobhan Fallon)
Paul Giamatti ... Rudy
Regina Taylor ... Karen Roman
Bruce Beatty ... Markus
Michael Cudlitz ... Palermo
Carlos Gómez ... Eagle
Tim Kelleher ... Argento
Dean Norris ... Scott
Nestor Serrano ... Hellman
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Storyline

In the midst of an elaborate conspiracy, an expert negotiator is driven to the edge when he's framed for the murder of his partner, as well as embezzling money from his department's pension fund. His only chance to prove his innocence is to take hostages himself, acquire the services of another expert negotiator, and find out who's running the conspiracy before it's too late. Written by Ted Walters

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He frees hostages for a living. Now he's taking hostages to survive. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 July 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El mediador See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,218,831, 2 August 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$44,484,065, 1 November 1998

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,400,000, 25 October 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS-Stereo | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Partly based on the events surrounding the St. Louis pension fund scandal of the mid to late 1980s. See more »

Goofs

Police negotiators and entry teams conduct their activities independent of one another so that the negotiator doesn't inadvertently let the hostage taker know what the entry team is doing. See more »

Quotes

Lieutenant Danny Roman: Crazy is on the bus.
See more »

Connections

References Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Cotton-Eye Joe
(1995)
Performed by Rednex
Written by Janne Ericsson, Erkan Oban (as Øban), Pat Reiniz
Courtesy of Zomba Recording Corp.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good Solid Hollywood Entertainment -- No More No Less
5 January 2008 | by classicalsteveSee all my reviews

"The Negotiator" is neither a deep film that might cause serious contemplation of social issues nor a radically different experimental experience. It is simply a star-studded action thriller designed to allow the audience to escape into the world of Chicago hostage squad cops. A wrongfully accused negotiator/cop, played at about 300+ degrees Fahrenheit by Samuel Jackson matches wits with another negotiator, Kevin Spacey, who does his best to keep Jackson from reaching the boiling point. Briefly, Jackson is caught in the middle of an extortion scandal involving the lifting of millions of dollars from the policeman's pension fund. When Jackson's partner becomes aware of the secret heist, he is taken out, and the powers behind the white-collar corporate dealings use Jackson as the scapegoat. Jackson then retaliates by using extra-legal means.

What makes this movie are the performances by both Jackson and Spacey, with good performances by the supporting cast, including the late J.T. Walsch who made a career of playing heartless and emotionless middle-age men. And John Spencer is also involved as the Chief of Police, shortly before he was promoted to the White House Chief of Staff in "The West Wing".

The movie goes a mile a minute but is suffused with an interesting enough storyline to make it well worth the price of admission. Some of what happens is ludicrous when you really think about it, but you tend to just run with it. Not a bad way to kill two hours, and you could do a lot worse.


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