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At Theaters: 11/6/1998 On Video: 4/20/1999
Rated: R Length: 1 hr. 56 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 119802
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
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Storyline Heading

When a bus blows up in Brooklyn and a campaign of terror begins to make its bloody mark on the streets of New York City, the men and women who have sworn to protect the country must now reckon with the many implications of their oath.

Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Thriller - Older audiences will enjoy this political thriller most; teens and young adults expecting lots of slam-bang action will be disappointed, and children will be bored.
Cast and Crew Heading
Denzel Washington (The Preacher's Wife)
Annette Bening (Mars Attacks!)
Bruce Willis (Armageddon)
Producer: Lynda Obst (Hope Floats)
Dir/Prod: Edward Zwick (Glory)
Production Notes Heading
About The Production
About The Location
Content Heading
PROFANITY: Occasional use of strong profanity.
SEX/NUDITY: Some fooling around with implied nudity.
VIOLENCE: Frequent explosions and shootings.
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Alcohol at restaurants and at home; cigarette smoking.
ACTION: Some shootouts, lots of explosions, a chase scene.
COMEDY: A wisecrack here and there.

Pictures © Twentieth Century Fox ®
All Rights Reserved.

Critic's Review Heading
Above Average
Denzel Washington and director Edward Zwick have had an amazing track record together, working on two of the most powerful war films in recent cinematic history: 1989's aptly named Civil War epic Glory, and 1996's underappreciated Gulf War mystery Courage Under Fire. For The Siege, their third collaboration, Washington and Zwick work with a promising fictional war-like situation (New York City under martial law), and the mediocre result is dismayingly unworthy of their combined talents.


Opinion Heading

Based on an Exit Polling of 159 Moviegoers

Ages Age Group
Your Probability of
Enjoying This Movie
Movie To Friends
13-19Teens (M)
Fairly High
13-19Teens (F)
Fairly High
20-29Yg Adults (M)
Fairly High
20-29Yg Adults (F)
30+Adults (M)
Fairly High
30+Adults (F)
Fairly High
*Possible Ratings: Very High, High, Fairly High, About 50/50, Fairly Low, Low, Very Low.

About Our Opinions

Be sure to read the DETAILED OPINIONS
The positive and negative comments made by moviegoers are very
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A special agent of the FBI, a case officer of the CIA, and a general in the U.S. Army have all taken the same oath - "to support and defend the Constitution." But when a bus blows up in Brooklyn and a campaign of terror begins to make its bloody mark on the streets of New York City, the men and women who have sworn to protect the country must now reckon with the many implications of their oath.

Anthony "Hub" Hubbard (Denzel Washington), the head of the Joint FBI/NYPD Terrorism Task Force, is the man charged with keeping the city safe from an array of threats that seem to grow more terrifying with every headline. As an officer of the court, his job is the apprehension and prosecution of criminals. Elise Kraft (Annette Bening) is a CIA operative, now undercover, with important sources in the Arab-American community and ambiguous ties to the suspects. Her agenda, like that of her government's foreign policy, is more complex than Hub's. And yet these two are forced to work together, forging an uneasy alliance, as the incidents of terror threaten to paralyze the city under siege.

As Hub and Elise begin their efforts, the public's clamor for safety and the escalation of terrorist activities force the hand of the President of the United States, whose only recourse is to declare a State of Emergency and ask help from the military.

General William Devereaux (Bruce Willis) is a thoughtful, cautious warrior who well knows the dangers of bringing the army onto the streets of an American city. Although he argues against it, when he's given the unenviable task of imposing military order he responds as a soldier must, with unquestioning obedience and purpose.

As the pursuit of the terrorists becomes more desperate, these three lives become intertwined in a terrible and frightening dilemma, a situation that threatens the very fabric of a democratic society and the central premises on which it is founded.

At what point does the protection of the country's citizens conflict with the protection of their rights? Faced with such grave danger, how will the members of a free society measure up? How quickly will the country abrogate the Constitution? How shallowly beneath the surface does the ugly spectre of repression and persecution reside?

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