In Canton, Mississippi, a fearless young lawyer and his assistant defend a black man accused of murdering two white men who raped his ten-year-old daughter, inciting violent retribution and revenge from the Ku Klux Klan.
Samuel L. Jackson
When a multimillionaire man's son is kidnapped, he cooperates with the police at first but then turns the tables on the kidnappers when he uses the ransom money as a reward for the capture of the kidnappers.
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
Despite the fact that this was filmed in Super 35, "Filmed in Panavision" is listed in the end credits. See more »
Several vehicles in this movie that belong to the Chicago Police Department have red and blue lightbars. All Chicago Police vehicles are required to have all blue lightbars. See more »
Lieutenant Danny Roman:
[while trying to talk down a Hostage Taker through a closed door]
Yeah, I like animals better than people sometimes... Especially dogs. Dogs are the best. Every time you come home, they act like they haven't seen you in a year. And the good thing about dogs... is they got different dogs for different people. Like pit bulls. The dog of dogs. Pit bull can be the right man's best friend... or the wrong man's worst enemy. You going to give me a dog for a pet, give me a pit bull. Give me... Raoul. ...
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The Negotiator presents us with both of two things in a summer full of flicks only containing one or the other: ambition AND intelligence. It doesn't have any qualms with taking a far-fetched concept and treating it with absolute seriousness, but unlike most movies that are willing to do this (especially some recent ones involving very large asteroids and very large lizards), it is able to pull it off by combining a tight script with strong, strong acting.
If this were a perfect world, Jackson would deserve an Oscar nomination for his performance here. There's no way on Earth he'll get it, of course, but he's given the difficult role here of playing a guy who has to convince the guys downstairs that he's a psycho, while convincing the guys he's kidnapped that he's innocent, and he does a flawless job of it. No easy task, especially when you consider the fact that he's got to throw in the occasional gunfight. At least he'll probably win the MTV award :)
What results is a skillfully made film. I enjoyed it. It made sense but kept me guessing, the action was intense but still followed logical patterns, and the ending was not a disappointment. An altogether fun experience.
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