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The Negotiator [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) [Import]
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Although it eventually runs out of smart ideas and resorts to a typically explosive finale, this above-average thriller rises above its formulaic limitations on the strength of powerful performances by Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Spacey. Both play Chicago police negotiators with hotshot reputations, but when Jackson's character finds himself falsely accused of embezzling funds from a police pension fund, he's so thoroughly framed that he must take extreme measures to prove his innocence. He takes hostages in police headquarters to buy time and plan his strategy, demanding that Spacey be brought in to mediate with him as an army of cops threatens to attack, and a media circus ensues. Both negotiators know how to get into the other man's thoughts, and this intellectual showdown allows both Spacey and Jackson to ignite the screen with a burst of volatile intensity. Director F. Gary Gray is disadvantaged by an otherwise predictable screenplay, but he has a knack for building suspense and is generous to a fine supporting cast, including Paul Giamatti as one of Jackson's high-strung hostages, and the late J.T. Walsh in what would sadly be his final big-screen role. The movie should have trusted its compelling characters a little more, probing their psyches more intensely to give the suspense a deeper dramatic foundation, but it's good enough to give two great actors a chance to strut their stuff. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Spacey, Ron Rifkin, John Spencer, J.T. Walsh.
Running Time: 135 minutes.
Rated R for violence and language.
When the director has the lucky chance to work with not just one, but TWO of the most exceptional modern actions of the past decade, he should have been licking his chops in anticipation. Director F. Gary Gray (whose previous work was with Ice Cube and Chris Tucker in "Friday") uses the likes of Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Spacey to his advantage, creating a fast-paced action-drama that uses both actors as chess pieces that are intertwined in a suspenseful race against time.
Jackson stars as an extremely successful hostage negotiatior who loses his partner in an accident. When he is framed for the accident as murder, he takes matters into his own hands by taking hostages himself. Kevin Spacey is the top-of-the-line officer assigned to assist the police department with consultations with Jackson, only to find himself in the most unique hostate situation he has ever encountered. Both must learn to trust each other, with Jackson attempting to find the true answers about his partner's death and Spacey trying to keep his incredible reputation in tact.
Gray does a fine job using the intense script (which unfortunately does have a few logical lapses), producing a motion picture that possesses all the essential ingredients to be a successful and enteraining flick. Jackson is very good in the lead role, while Spacey is as his usual best. Although F. Gary Gray was lucky enough to have excellent people for support, he does a fine job pulling off one of the better action thrillers of the year.
Directed by F. Gary Gray (Friday, A Man Apart, Set It Off) made a entertaining, suspenseful, action-thriller made surprisingly believable, thanks to Jackson & Spacey terrific performances and especially the Supporting Cast are Strong. The film wasn`t a Hit, when it was release in the Summer of 1998, despite Good Reviews by Critics & Audiences, who seen the film. This film did much better on Video. The Script might have some logic lapses but it`s a gripping & well-made taut thriller. Gray`s Best Film to Date. Written by James DeMonaco & Kevin Fox. Super 35. Grade:A-.
Jackson plays Danny Roman, a good cop who is falsely accused of skimming from the police pension fund. When the frame-up looks too solid to escape, Roman resorts to taking some hostages at the police station to buy the two things he needs the most -- the time and the information to prove his innocence. He begins to interrogate some of the hostages, several of whom are close friends, and to pick information from some sensitive computer files. Gradually he begins to uncover an ugly conspiracy involving corruption at various levels of the police department, but every question he answers seems to lead to two more.
In the meantime, the police respond to the hostage crisis and call in expert hostage negotiator Chris Sabian (played by Spacey) to "talk down" the apparently volatile Danny Roman. While Roman is predictably cast as a very sympathetic character, Sabian remains an unknown factor until the very end of the movie, a consummate professional whose loyalties and intentions can never quite be pinpointed. Roman is never sure from one moment to the next if Sabian is ally or enemy.Read more ›
As I have always believed. . . Kevin Spacey is brilliant. He doesn't disappoint here either. He is only a supporting role here, but that is how he won his first Oscar. He is called in to negotiate with the negotiator. . .
This movie is compelling at every turn. The characters are well developed when needed to be. I do enjoy the fact that the stars of the movie have normal looking wives, not Hollywood Starlets. These are supposed to be cops, not big stars. They pull it off so well (at least what I would think a real police officer would be like, as I am not one). The suspense is good, never too extraneous.
Overall, this movie is great. I love how it moves, and I love how it was shot.
Most recent customer reviews
Great movie, with two of my favourite actors. Suspense right to the very end!Published 20 months ago by Da Hammer
Samuel L. Jackson has become quite adept at portraying intense characters who are both likeable and bothersome. Read morePublished on April 13 2004 by Ohio Media Man
When I saw this I was thinking oh my goodnes what would I do in this situation? A cop takes people hostage?!? And you will wonder that too. Read morePublished on April 14 2003 by Harold McInnes
The Negotiator is one of my favorite movies of all time. Samuel L. Jackson playes a hostage negotiator who is framed for embezzlement and the murder of his partner. Read morePublished on Jan. 13 2003 by Captain Picard
Let's face it. The Negotiator is not the best action thriller around. If you are looking for a movie with a lot of action (by that I mean fist-fights, shootouts, and explosions),... Read morePublished on Dec 3 2002 by bigbadb
It's a good movie, in my opinion. It has some unexpected stuff and I was pretty interested.Published on Nov. 30 2002
1) Samuel Jackson's best work yet. He plays a police who gets caught in a web of lies and has to get himself out by doing the exact opposite of he police work. Read more
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