However, from a cinematic standpoint, this is no five-star film. The plot jumps around and is sometimes almost headache-inducing. The pace often meanders and Annette Bening is annoying. However, there are a few pretty good scenes; the best being when Denzel is trying to negotiate with a group of terrorists holding a city bus hostage. A couple other exciting moments, hence the three stars.
Please, don't believe the hype unless you want to be disappointed. But, if you want to see a sporadically entertaining sign-of-the-times film, "The Siege" is isn't a bad way to kill two hours.
Anyway, it is a great movie, and I cannot see why someone would find this movie racist. The Arab citizens are portrayed as normal people just like everybody else, and just because a movie contains a scene in which Arabs are sent to internment camps (en masse) does not mean that the creater of the film believes that this is correct.
As for the acting, every role was played superbly, although Elise was not very convincing...
And, in response to the person who said that they never really said why the terrorist cells were attacking, here is the answer, which anyone who is really paying attention should be able to grasp:
The U.S. secretly kidnaps a Muslim religious leader, which sparks terrorist attacks on the city of New York.
NY Times published an article today entitled: "2 Men Charge Abuse in Arrests After 9/11 Terror Attack" (May 3, 2004). The parallels are just scary: so much so that I almost immediately thought of this movie.
Read this article and you will understand what made this such a prescient, important movie then, and now more than ever.
Or worse yet, juxtapose this situation with the one in Iraq at Abu Gharib Prison and it only gets scarier.
In my opinion, this film could only be deemed a propoganda piece if you do not believe or have no hope that someone with the same calibre as the Denzel Washington character exists today.
The messages throughout are captivating and believeable and are articulated without being overbearing, even though the film itself is a bit loud.
I was drawn to Tony Shalhoub's character far more than Denzel Washington's. He was far more interesting and superbly played by Mr Shalhoub; though Denzel Washington puts in another excellent performance in this film; as does Bruce Willis (and he is not a favourite of mine) Annette Bening was excellent as the CIA agent and her character left me wondering just how far she allowed her ideals control the decisions she made.
I would recommend this film to fans of Tony Shalhoub and Denzel Washington any day.
Washington stars as "Hub," an FBI agent leading a team in finding the terrorists responsible for a series of bombings in New York. They often refer to them as "cells," which I am assuming as groups or an organization of some type; the film is never really clear what a "cell" is. Tony Shalhoub plays Frank, FBI partner and an American of Arab descent, and also feels threatened by the United States when The President sends a crazed general (Bruce Willis) to install martial law on New York, which causes every Arab-descented individual to be locked up, including Frank's son. Annette Bening plays a CIA spy attempting to crack the case and has some involvement as well...
I must say Edward Zwick still has his directorial flair for entertainment, but the screenplay could've used some serious modifications. The movie jumps around a lot without a clear focus. We also never really know WHY the Arabs are bombing New York in the first place. The acting in it isn't very good either...Read more ›