Box art for The Negotiator

The Negotiator

action & adventure, drama, thrillers

Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Spacey star in this tense thriller about a hostage negotiator who, after being framed for murder, tries to clear his name by taking people hostage.

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4 stars

Based on actual events, F. Gary Gray directs this tense action/suspense thriller about Danny Roman- a top Chicago hostage negotiator who, after being framed for murder and suspected of departmental corruption, takes desperate measures to clear his name and discover the truth by taking hostages of his own and forcing a fellow top negotiator from a different district to diffuse the situation. The film does get overwrought and maybe a bit much in terms of believability from time to time, but is nevertheless an extremely suspenseful thrill ride punctuated by solid performances from a great cast. Samuel L. Jackson is tremendous as Roman, and Kevin Spacey is likewise very top-notch as the outsider negotiator Chris Sabian. Those two work well together, and I'd love to see them do more work with one another in the future. J.T. Walsh gives a solid turn in one of his final films as a shady player at Internal Affairs whom Danny takes hostage, and, for comic relief, there's Paul Giamatti as a weaselly informant. And it also doesn't hurt to get solid, if typical work from David Morse as one of Danny's colleagues who is conflicted by how to handle the situation. That's one aspect where the film really shines. The hostage taker knows all the rules and tricks, and the fact that he has a history with the people on the other side (who might also be the people that set him up) make this a real nail-biter at times. Having an outsider come into the situation is also great as he could be more trustworthy in Danny's eyes, but not necessarily. Plus, he's got to deal with Danny's department, who likewise don't know or really trust him. Like I said, the film isn't perfect, but is still very thrilling, extremely gripping, and holds together quite nicely. F. Gary Gray gets crap as a director for being rather contrived and cliched, but when it comes to delivering crowd pleasing entertainment, he's great, and this is a film I really recommend.

- cosmo313, Sunday, December 9, 2012

3 stars

Another flixter deletion, I reviewed this a long time ago but it was probably too colorful. The length could be condensed but I think it's one of Samuel Jackson's best movies in a leading role. It has a solid supporting cast and is a prime example of his yelling abilities.

- Chiefilms, Saturday, July 30, 2011

3 stars

F. Gary Gray is a terrific director when it comes to delivering action, suspense and thrills. He is overlooked as a talented director because his films tend to be "cliched" and "derivative". However I think he's a good director, not great, not excellent, but good. Gray knows how to deliver a good story to the screen, and he most certainly does it with The Negotiator. This is an electrifying film with plenty of action, but more importantly, suspense. The story follows a cop who is accused of killing his partner. His partner uncovered a conspiracy of embezzlement with the police department. Officer Danny Roman must then take matters into his own hands to uncover the truth. He takes a group of people hostage at the Chicago internal affairs division headquarters.The Negotiator is a well crafted action thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. The film is not perfect, but it certainly delivers good entertainment. Samuel L. Jackson gives a great performance and so does Kevin Spacey. The plot is very interesting, like I said itr's not perfect, but there are more good things than bad in the film. The acting choices are good, and everyone delivers something unique on screen. I really enjoyed this film and despite the somewhat lackluster bits, theres too much going on that makes up for the bad. For me, The Negotiator is one of Samuel L. Jackson's best films, and he delivers something on screen thats better than most of his other work.

- TheDudeLebowski65, Sunday, May 22, 2011