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The Negotiator (1998)

In a desperate attempt to prove his innocence, a skilled police negotiator accused of corruption and murder takes hostages in a government office to gain the time he needs to find the truth.

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2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Adam Beck
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Grant Frost
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Chief Al Travis
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Maggie (as Siobhan Fallon)
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Rudy
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Markus
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Palermo
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Eagle
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Argento
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Scott
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Hellman
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Storyline

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 Ted Walters

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He frees hostages for a living. Now he's taking hostages to survive. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

29 July 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El mediador  »

Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$10,218,831 (USA) (2 August 1998)

Gross:

$44,484,065 (USA) (1 November 1998)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kevin Spacey and J.T. Walsh previously appeared in Dad (1989) and Outbreak (1995). Another link in common between both actors is that they both played the role of John Williamson in David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross: Walsh in the original play, and Spacey in the 1992 film version. See more »

Goofs

The waveform being shown of the audio file being played is way off in comparison to the actual audio itself. See more »

Quotes

Lieutenant Chris Sabian: "I can't believe this, I'm just surrounded by a room of people who wanna go in there and kill him. This is the guy who call you friend. I got nothing invested in this. I wonder why that is, or maybe someday we'll find out."
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Connections

References Red River (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

Rise
(1998)
Performed and Written by Craig Armstrong
Courtesy of Virgin Records Ltd./Melankolic
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User Reviews

 
Acting Duos...
10 May 2007 | by (Argentina) – See all my reviews

An honest cop is an easy target, right? Well, this is what the trailer of "The Negotiator" states, but it also states a lot of more things; some which it shouldn't state. So my first recommendation is: don't watch the trailer of this film before watching the film itself…It will make it better. Danny Roman (Samuel L. Jackson) is a successful negotiator and, as it happens in these films, he's getting too close to something and consequences are ahead.

That's all you'll hear from me. After this main plot line, "The Negotiator" becomes a nerve- racking ride; with thrills all the way through and a very intelligent use of the general elements of the crime thriller. See, that's the thing about crime thrillers: they are always around the same kind of ideas and stories. I recently watched "Edison" and I didn't like the way it handled things; because it wanted to give an explanation to a conspiracy that was confusing and difficult to understand, sadly inside of a good script.

"The Negotiator" suffers from the same thing. However, writers James DeMonaco and Kevin Fox make it up with some beautifully written, gripping dialogue in a fantastic achievement; considering that one of them hadn't done anything before and the other had written "Jack". The screenplay of "The Negotiator" is probably what brings the rest to life.

It isn't the writers' fault but, although the cameras are well placed and F. Gary Gray's direction is accurate, everything feels a little bit like television (like in "SWAT"). I'm not saying this is a bad characteristic, because it doesn't make the film less dynamic and because the film is, as I said, intelligent; but it's ultimately disappointing. The music by Graeme Revell is one of the high points, with chilling strings that accentuate the characters' looks in the moments of tension.

These moments of tension also look like television, but we forgive it because we get some good intense looks. If "The Negotiator" is not good for everything else (which is not entirely true), it is good because of the actors (casting by David Rubin). Samuel L. Jackson is full of perfectly managed rage as Danny Roman, achieving a better performance than the ones he got in other movies where he carried guns, like "The Long Kiss Goodnight", "Rules of Engagement", even "Shaft" and definitely "SWAT".

A lot of the actors in the cast come from television or are now still on television (which may help the feeling I was talking about), like Ron Rifkin, John Spencer, Carlos Gomez, Nestor Serrano, Stephen Lee and Doug Spinuzza. They are all great, and so is the late J.T Walsh in a small role. Besides, Regina Taylor is powerful as Jackson the cold David Morse is astounding playing a kind of villain and showing he's one of the best for playing villains today; even in films like "Dreamer".

Paul Giamatti steals the show as a maniac hostage, which is a nice performance to see Giamatti before becoming the cult performer he is now. He was still good then. Siobhan Fallon is also flawless as a law-abiding secretary. But Jackson is the centre of the movie, alongside the other main character. Chris Sabian appears late in the film, but in the skin of Kevin Spacey he encounters Jackson's craziness and "The Negotiator" elevates itself into a whole different level. Spacey's facial expression and manner of talking and Jackson's unique eyes movement are just little details of their incredible performances and their chemistry.

Wonderful actors pay attention to details in movies. At least just to watch Spacey and Jackson, you can't miss "The Negotiator". It has one of the best acting duos I've seen in a long time.


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