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Overall Rating

Awesome: 13.33%
Worth A Look56.67%
Average: 27.78%
Pretty Bad: 2.22%
Total Crap: 0%

9 reviews, 36 user ratings

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Negotiator, The
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by Paulapalooza

"Standard script nicely punched up by Spacey and Samuel L."
4 stars

The eternal question: Sam Jackson vs. Kevin Spacey. Who makes who their bitch?

It's been a weak year for action flicks, at least ones with any substance. Hell, even for ones that are just about big things blowing up. This is the best of the lot thus far, and it's all because Kevin Spacey and Samuel L. Jackson bouncing off each others' vibes makes for damn enjoyable watching. Is it great? No. One for the ages? No. But it never insults your intelligence, thank God.

Sam Jackson is the best hostage negotiator on the Chicago police force. Unfortunately, there's thieving of the pension fund about, and Sam gets framed, so he takes a few hostages himself to sort out the mess, causing a bigger mess in the process. He calls out the second best hostage negotiator in Chicago (Spacey) and a cat-and-mouser ensues. Who took the money? Whose head games will be most effective? Who will die before the truth is discovered? Who do you trust?

The script is solid but unspectacular. F. Gary Gray's direction is unobtrusive and just lets the cast do their business. There's some business with black and white photography that never fits at all, but otherwise the film flows nicely. And all the supporting perfs are just fine, especially Paul Giamatti and the always entertaining J.T. Walsh in one of his final performances.

It's the Sam and Kevin show. Let's see it again sometime.

No bitches. Just good acting. Enjoy the scenery chewing.

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originally posted: 11/30/98 16:00:37
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User Comments

5/11/06 Agent Sands Overrated, I think. Good, though. 4 stars
10/01/05 Indrid Cold I suppose the acting elevates it somewhat above average, but nothing to write home about. 4 stars
12/13/03 R.W. Welch A tad overdone and overlong but nicely acted. 3 stars
4/01/03 Jack Sommersby Hey, look -- it's a lame-brained rip-off of "The Fugitive"!! 2 stars
2/06/03 123 despite predictable outcome, this movie rocks, my personal fave 5 stars
9/18/02 palaboy101 This is the movie the Pasay City police should've seen! 5 stars
9/28/01 Henry Ginsberg Very clever,but it had a really dumb ending. 4 stars
9/05/01 Butterbean Better than I thought it would be! Wonderfully directed by "Friday"'s director. 4 stars
8/09/01 E-Funk Surprisingly good film with a great cast revolving around an interesting story. So...yeah. 4 stars
2/13/01 Richard Wright ZZZ. Uninspired actioner,notable only for wasting its excellent cast.Next time, try harder. 3 stars
8/29/00 Chris Drake Formulaic plot, difficult to endure even with Jackson & Spacey 2 stars
7/06/00 Bruce Superb acting and directing, this is an action thriller that delivers 5 stars
2/16/00 Neil Austin Lovley Jubbly 4 stars
1/17/00 Dirk Diggler suspenseful 5 stars
1/12/00 paul smart and savvy 5 stars
1/11/00 dr.d tense and taut 5 stars
12/29/99 Pitt Very good suspense. Good dialogue. Liked it alot! 4 stars
7/30/99 Matthew Bartley If it wasnt for Kev and Sam Id probably have switched off 4 stars
7/09/99 Ben Leostein Rating: *** (out of ****) Category: "Good" 4 stars
6/25/99 David Keech Great cast makes up for fairly horrid script. Good comic relief from that male hostage. 4 stars
1/02/99 tarkin666 Jackson. Spacey. Need I say more? 5 stars
12/01/98 Kirgo Excellent action flik! 5 stars
11/13/98 chi-fan It kept me interested throughout 5 stars
11/02/98 skylar i love the dialogues between kevin and sam. :) 5 stars
10/27/98 MR HOLLYWOOD !! Sam Jackson/Kev Spacey hit it off !,plots a bit exaggerated though,"1 HOT MOVIE!" 4 stars
10/24/98 Ash This film kicks ass, its not the usual action flick,RECOMMENDED,the bad guys bite though 4 stars
9/15/98 Negative Creep Go see it just to watch Sam Jackson curse. Now Motherfucker¡ 3 stars
9/14/98 Chip Taylor The actors mostly make this film what it is. 4 stars
9/08/98 Young Einstein This movie was so much better than I expected. SO much better. 5 stars
8/26/98 Chuck-D Much like strange days, this film needs to have a different ending 3 stars
8/25/98 Puppy78 (You know who i am) spacey made a deal with the devil never to be in a bad film 4 stars
8/23/98 {{{OZ}}} I can't fault this film after a summer of shite. Spacey rocks. I loved it. 5 stars
8/20/98 Johny I would have given it a better rating if the ending was more effective 3 stars
8/16/98 Miss Stress any movie where 90% of the audience comes out yawning can't be good 3 stars
8/12/98 Pumpkin Great film. Superb acting. Better than I thought 4 stars
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  29-Jul-1998 (R)
  DVD: 03-Feb-2004


  22-Oct-1998 (MA)

Directed by
  F. Gary Gray

Written by
  James DeMonaco
  Kevin Foxx

  Samuel L.Jackson
  Kevin Spacey
  David Morse
  Ron Rifkin
  John Spencer
  J.T. Walsh

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