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The Siege (1998)

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The secret U.S. abduction of a suspected terrorist leads to a wave of terrorist attacks in New York City, which leads to the declaration of martial-law.



(story), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Anthony Hubbard
... Elise Kraft / Sharon Bridger
... General William Devereaux
... Frank Haddad
... Samir Nazhde
Ahmed Ben Larby ... Sheik Achmed Bin Talal
Mosleh Mohamed ... Muezzin
Lianna Pai ... Tina Osu (as Liana Pai)
... Mike Johanssen
... Fred Darius
... Danny Sussman
... FBI Agent Floyd Rose
Jeremy Knaster ... INS Official
... INS Uniform
... Khalil Saleh


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


An enemy they can't see. A nation under siege. A crisis they can't control See more »


Action | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

6 November 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Against All Enemies  »


Box Office


$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,931,285, 8 November 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jodie Foster turned down the role that went to Annette Bening. See more »


During the press briefing, the general praises the FBI, and specifically Tony Hubbard. The name 'Tony' is heard, but the general's lips say Thomas. See more »


[the agents discuss the bus that was paint bombed]
Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: See if any was sold in quantity the last month. Danny, find out what stop these guys got on the bus, maybe there's a witness.
Agent Frank Haddad: Hub, I think we're all eager to give our weekends up on this, I know I am... but it just occurs to me, has any one committed a crime here? I mean, assault with a deadly color...?
Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: Here's what I don't like: they know explosives. They know our response time. They put in a call and walk.
See more »


Featured in 73rd Golden Globe Awards (2016) See more »


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.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Just more Hollywood product for consumption.
17 February 2012 | by See all my reviews

The Siege was released in 1998. It most likely was released on DVD sometime in 99 or at the latest 2000. It stars ever reliable Denzel Washington and one of my favourite actors Bruce Willis. I must've seen the DVD cover 127 times over the last decade.

I knew all the above facts very well, yet I never watched it until a couple days ago.

Why? Because, like Outbreak and many other films of the era, I knew the film back to front without watching it. I knew The Siege to be a terrorist themed film with obvious ethnic and socio-political issues that confronted obviously controversial topics in a brave way.

I repeat I thought that before I watched the film, and I was spot on. The Siege is everything I knew it was for a decade without the unneeded benefit of proof.

This is neither good nor bad, just the facts.

In five years time I will walk past a DVD shelf with The Siege on it and think 'yep I've seen it, then without any specifics I will re-think the thoughts of the first paragraph.

In this case Denzel is FBI Agent Anthony Hubbard, his second in command is played by Tony Shalhoub, who for the purpose of this review (and the film) I might point out is of 'middle eastern' descent.

When a terrorist threat arrives in New York City (yes the film was unfortunately prescient) it is swiftly identified as being of middle Eastern descent. When a bus filled with people goes BOOM NYC goes into lockdown mode, with the threat of more attacks looming the terror threat level goes to… whatever colour we think middle Eastern people are while still remaining PC.

With everyone on tenterhooks and ethnic tensions simmering an expert on middle Eastern affairs from another government department steps into the fray. Her name is Alyse Kraft (Annette Bening), and she tentatively teams up with Hubbard and co, providing advice and occasional hints, without ever really seeming to 'lock in' to the task.

After a series of bombings the army is consulted, lead by General Bill (Bruce Willis), and the politicians run a merry dance trying to decide how to deal with this fiendish threat to the American view of freedom, and if armed intervention is necessary.

The Siege presses every button that you think it will and shows all sides of the story – from the American side of the story that is – that means people from the middle East are neither all good or all bad (except the 'all bad' ones), and *GASP* Americans can be pricks and racists too, I would never have thought! The film was chugging along nicely in a mainstream formulaic way, without eliciting any extreme response from me, until the final 20 minutes got altogether preachy and ultimately verged into frankly ludicrous territory.

Final Rating – 5.5 / 10. In the end The Siege is hardly essential viewing, you won't learn anything from it unless you have been living under a common sense rock for 15 years, it is merely a movie. A well made one, but no more than that.

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