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The Siege (1998)

Denzel Washington , Annette Bening , Edward Zwick  |  R |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Denzel Washington, Annette Bening, Bruce Willis, Tony Shalhoub, Sami Bouajila
  • Directors: Edward Zwick
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: December 26, 2000
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005221K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,304 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Siege" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

When a crowded city bus blows up in Brooklyn and a campaign of terror begins to make it's bloody mark on the streets of New York, it's up to FBI special agent Anthony "Hub" Hubbard (Washington) and U.S. Army General William Devereaux (Willis) to find out who's responsible and put an end to the destruction. Together, they face explosive danger at every turn when they team up towage an all-out war against a ruthless band of terrorists.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very thought provoking, and not all that unlikely July 7, 2007
Format:DVD
The Siege tells a hypothetical story about terrorist attacks on New York City by Islamic fundamentalists, and how an FBI department led by Special Agent Hubbard (Denzel Washington) tries to stop them. A CIA agent (Annette Bening) is also involved, and refuses to cooperate with the FBI, at least at first. When the attacks continue and the FBI and police are unable to stop them, President Bill Clinton imposes martial law and U.S. Army units under General Devereaux (Bruce Willis) occupy and isolate Brooklyn and round up all the young Arab men and place them in an internment camp. This leads to several consequences and to a final showdown that will not be revealed here.

The Siege was controversial already in 1998 when it was released: the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Council on American-Islamic Relations both protested strenuously and said the movie was offensive and discriminatory. After the 9/11-2001 terrorist attacks on the United States it can be seen that the movie was in some ways prescient: it practically predicted terrorist attacks on New York by Islamic fundamentalists, a fatal lack of cooperation between the FBI and the CIA, and the imposition of measures that reduced civil liberties for average Americans.

In fact, the key conflict in The Siege is not the conflict between the terrorists and the law enforcement agencies. The key conflict is an ideological one: On one hand there are those who believe that all possible means, including the use of torture and the detention and isolation of suspects with no access to legal process, can be necessary responses to a terrorist threat.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YOU DON'T KILL A MOSQUITO WITH A BOMB June 23, 2003
Format:DVD
In 1998 I could easily have glossed over this movie as yet another Hollywoodesque mega-treatment of a hackneyed racial slur. But now, after the you-know-what in 2001, the theme, the perspectives, the sheer predicament of things, and most importantly, the message of the movie are stunning in their frightening reality. Much of the city under "siege" could have been a doozy idea in 1998, but in 2003 it doesn't seem to be that distant a possibility. Could this have given Al Quaeda the ideas it needed for 911?
I am not sure why some reviewers rant about this being an anti-Islamic or anti-Arab propoganda. The movie shows a clear distinction between the good guys (Denzel's colleague in FBI is an Arab too) and the fanatics who plan to blow up buildings with no remorse all in the name of "allah". This film isn't about anti-ethnic sentiment, it's more about paranoia and hasty decision making brought about by reactionary leadership (such as the extant one, of course).
The story clicks on all of the present hot buttons such as terrorism in NYC, America's militant retaliation, and the futility of such belligerence in ridding the world of terrorism. It is unnerving to to think of how much our world has changed since this movie first came out so many years previously and that a film that was made to be entertaining and an escape from our real everyday life now is now a reminder of some very recent and real tragic events (7-11, US snipper shootings).
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Realistic and very plausible scenario August 20, 2000
Format:DVD
What if an Arab terrorist(or several?) attacked New York, escalating his bombing capabilities? How easy is it to turn people against one another with hate crimes and martial law? Does the end justify the means when General Devereaux(Bruce Willis) suspects all Arabs in New York and introduces a policy that's no better than Hitler's concentration camps? Just who is the bad guy? Well, this is a fantastic and highly dramatic story which could well come true . . . maybe it already has. Denzel Washington plays an FBI agent investigating the bomb attacks as New York is plunged into paranoia. First a bus, then a crowded theatre, and then the suicide bombers go for the FBI building. When Congress elect declaration of martial law, will it work? Watch for yourself. In my view, as well, I disagree with anyone that calls this movie racist. Go stay locked in your leftie student digs while your rich parents send you handouts! What the point is that when the actions of a few(it can apply to any social group) affect the well-being of the social/ethnic group as a whole, then it's a bad thing. The soundbites of New Yorkers calling for deportation and hatecrimes adds further imapct. All in all, a good, taut action thriller that also conveys many messages about the society we live in.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ahead of its time April 28, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This movie came out before Americans ever really thought that terrorist attacks on our soil were a possibility. But it rings true and offers up many thoughts to ponder. Denzel Washington plays the FBI agent in charge of the investigation of the bombings that are destroying New York City. Annette Bening plays the CIA agent who is working towards the same end but from a different angle. The problem is, she is not being up front with the FBI and hiding her sources and much of her information. Do you think this is not possible even today? There has been much talk about the lack of communications between the agencies. While Denzel and Annette turn in fine performances it is Bruce Willis who steals the show. As the Army General who is eventually given the task of setting up the rules of martial law in New York City and taking control of the situation. Bruce's character argues against martial law and tries to explain to anyone who will listen that the U.S. Army is something that they do not want involved in this. That the army is not a swift sword but a massive blunt device that can not surgically remove the problem. But no one heads his message and when he is ordered to take control he does so with brute force. Setting up "concentration camps" of Arab Americans and shutting down the exits from the city with tanks. Tanks in New York City! Is it far fetched to think it is possible if the terrorism gets worse on our soil, that we could set up these types of camps?
Again and again we see the different views of how to proceed from the FBI, CIA and U.S. Armed Forces. A study in our government and their reaction in a small way. This movie was an eye opening when it came out but unfortunately written off as nonbelievable by too many.
Buy this movie, rent this movie, borrow this movie, but see this movie. You will be glad you did.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great action movie
Excellent movie! Saw this year's ago. Unfortunately it puts the military invabbad light. It makes bout the military as the bad guy, when bin fact the military makes dire warning of... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Pete
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie
this is a good movie and the cast is great.....it has a lot of twists and turns....goo movie to watch.....thanks
Published 1 month ago by Angela Magnano
4.0 out of 5 stars good buy
i like it a lot and im glad it came on time, it was at an awesome affordable price, yes i recommend it
Published 2 months ago by Erica
3.0 out of 5 stars More of a reality since Boston
The theme of this movie and lots of its content show quite the premonition abilities of the writers. Read more
Published 2 months ago by K
5.0 out of 5 stars Most rented movie after 9/11.
I think this was one the most rented movies after 9/11 and you can see how this country could have turned out if it wasn't for Cooler minds. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mameer
5.0 out of 5 stars An ironic look at terrorism
This movie had a scratch and it skipped a small part of the film.

Denzel was wonderful in this portrayal of an FBI leader who goes up against the hard-nosed US Army... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Butterfly Poet
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT STORY GREAT ACTORS GREAT ACTING MANY LAYERS OF RIGHT & WRONG...
Many if not most of today's movies have great moments, things we recall and applaud. THE SEIGE, starting with Washington and Benning offers moments to hours of great viewing and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Roy Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome flick
Great movie, pre 9-11 NYC under terrorist threat really weirded me out. I loved it. Denzel and the whole cast were great.
Published 3 months ago by Catherine
5.0 out of 5 stars Denzel Washington vs. Terrorists vs. Gen Bruce Willis vs. Arabamerican...
I really loved this movie because seeing Denzel Washington pitted against terrorist and Bruce Willis was fantastic. Read more
Published 4 months ago by submariner
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
This is a really great movie
Sad to see the World Trade Center
must see as soon as you can
Published 6 months ago by carmek
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