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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.

Director:

Edward Zwick

Writers:

Lawrence Wright (story), Lawrence Wright (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
4,892 ( 471)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denzel Washington ... Anthony Hubbard
Annette Bening ... Elise Kraft / Sharon Bridger
Bruce Willis ... General William Devereaux
Tony Shalhoub ... Frank Haddad
Sami Bouajila ... Samir Nazhde
Ahmed Ben Larby Ahmed Ben Larby ... Sheik Achmed Bin Talal
Mosleh Mohamed Mosleh Mohamed ... Muezzin
Lianna Pai ... Tina Osu (as Liana Pai)
Mark Valley ... Mike Johanssen
Jack Gwaltney ... Fred Darius
David Proval ... Danny Sussman
Lance Reddick ... FBI Agent Floyd Rose
Jeremy Knaster Jeremy Knaster ... INS Official
William Hill ... INS Uniform
Aasif Mandvi ... 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:

On November 6th our freedom is history See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Arabic | Spanish

Release Date:

6 November 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blowback See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

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

Gross USA:

$40,981,289

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$116,672,912
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

George F. Miller broke the right side of his jaw in two places while working on this film. 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

General William Devereaux: Elise Kraft wouldn't know the difference between a sheik and a prophylactic of the same name.
Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: Thanks for the heads-up.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Some post-2001 versions have the World Trade Center digitally removed from the New York skyline. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Real Time with Bill Maher: Episode #14.35 (2016) 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

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User Reviews

An amazing movie, especially in light of recent events
8 October 2001 | by handle1See all my reviews

Warning: Contains minor plot spoilage

When I first watched the movie a year or so ago, the first thing that really caught my attention in the beginning of the movie was the first explosion. There was no ludicrous running from the explosion like you see in most action movies. Washington's character blinked because of the explosion flash and then was thrown on his tail by the force of the detonation. Because he was facing the explosion he received a bloody noise from the air concussion (before even hitting the ground), and he couldn't hear after the explosion. They also showed him in shock right after the explosion. The impact of the explosion on inanimate objects was also more accurate. You could clearly see the inverse falling off effect of distance from the explosion.

Glass shattering was shown in slow motion at the same slow mention speed as the fireball moving in the background. These are details of things that happen in real life that I haven't seen in any other movie, action or otherwise. And that was a very small thing about the movie that impressed me.

I think the story line is extremely plausible and appropriately complex (which I thought before 9/11). The analysis of the culture of the terrorists was very accurate compared to most movies dealing with the topic. The terrorists weren't demonized and their motives were examined and explained in a well balanced way.

I think Bruce Willis does the movie a disservice, although it is his history of action and mediocre characters that hurts the movie, not his actual acting in the movie. The complexity of his character is interesting. The movie leaves it up to interpretation whether General Devereaux is really reluctant to impose martial law on New York, or whether he just tells the congressional committee what they want to hear in order to get himself in. Devereaux is definitely the "bad guy" in the movie, but not because he is portrayed as the nexus of evil, but because his world-view allows him to rationalize actions that are un-American.

One of the biggest criticisms that I have seen of the movie is that the end of the movie is not believable because of the martial law that is imposed on New York City. But if two or three more significant attacks happen to New York City, I won't be surprised at all if martial law is declared there.

I always thought the movie was excellent, but with the events in recent days, the impact of the movie has definitely ratcheted up a few notches.


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