The Negotiator

The Negotiator

F Gary Gray (1998)

15 Certificate
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Our Score
Despite being cluttered with clichés, this action drama is still efficiently exciting cinema, thanks to the electrifying chemistry between the leads. Samuel L Jackson and Kevin Spacey play Chicago police negotiators - cops skilled at talking hostage-takers out of the dead ends into which they've put themselves. Jackson, fresh from persuading a madman not to kill his own daughter, is accused of stealing from police funds. So he occupies the Internal Affairs headquarters and takes captives to buy himself time to clear his name. It's when Spacey is called in to negotiate with the negotiator that director F Gary Gray's movie really comes alive. The support cast is pretty classy, too, with familiar faces like Dean Norris (Breaking Bad) and Paul Giamatti (Sideways) going on to greater things. The film is also dedicated to that fine character actor JT Walsh, who made his name playing sinister types in films like A Few Good Men, Red Rock West and Breakdown. He died from a heart attack, aged 54, prior to the film's release.


Hostage negotiator Danny Roman is framed for murder and turns the tables by taking captives of his own to ensure his pleas of innocence are heard. His colleague Chris Sabian is sent in to reason with him and save the hostages, leading to a battle of wits as Roman tries to persuade him to take his side. Thriller, starring Samuel L Jackson, Kevin Spacey, David Morse, JT Walsh and Paul Giamatti.

Cast & Crew

Danny Roman Samuel L Jackson
Chris Sabian Kevin Spacey
Cdr Adam Beck David Morse
Terence Niebaum JT Walsh
Rudy Timmons Paul Giamatti
Chief Al Travis John Spencer
Cdr Grant Frost Ron Rifkin
Maggie Siobhan Fallon
Karen Roman Regina Taylor
Markus Bruce Beatty
Director F Gary Gray
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Warner BrothersGuidance: Violence, swearing.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray