7.3/10
130,354
295 user 68 critic

The Negotiator (1998)

Trailer
0:33 | Trailer
In a desperate attempt to prove his innocence, a skilled police negotiator accused of corruption and murder takes hostages in a government office to gain the time he needs to find the truth.

Director:

F. Gary Gray
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Popularity
4,314 ( 134)
2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Samuel L. Jackson ... Danny Roman
Kevin Spacey ... Chris Sabian
David Morse ... Adam Beck
Ron Rifkin ... Grant Frost
John Spencer ... Chief Al Travis
J.T. Walsh ... Terence Niebaum
Siobhan Fallon Hogan ... Maggie (as Siobhan Fallon)
Paul Giamatti ... Rudy
Regina Taylor ... Karen Roman
Bruce Beatty ... Markus
Michael Cudlitz ... Palermo
Carlos Gómez ... Eagle
Tim Kelleher ... Argento
Dean Norris ... Scott
Nestor Serrano ... Hellman
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Storyline

In the midst of an elaborate conspiracy, an expert negotiator is driven to the edge when he's framed for the murder of his partner, as well as embezzling money from his department's pension fund. His only chance to prove his innocence is to take hostages himself, acquire the services of another expert negotiator, and find out who's running the conspiracy before it's too late. Written by Ted Walters

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He frees hostages for a living. Now he's taking hostages to survive. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filming of Danny Roman (Samuel L. Jackson) and the hostages in the Internal Affairs offices took place at a studio in Los Angeles, California. In order to simulate the Chicago skyline that can be seen looking out of the window, a one hundred sixty foot by forty foot poster was created, using six cameras, placed on the twentieth floor of 77 West Wacker Drive in Chicago, Illinois, looking outside the window. The poster was placed outside the office movie set in Los Angeles. See more »

Goofs

When Palermo is told to take the shot, a closeup on his eye blinking through the scope is a stand in. This is evident by the brim and strap of a helmet and facial wrinkles that Palermo doesn't have. He has smoother skin and wears a backwards baseball cap. See more »

Quotes

Lieutenant Chris Sabian: "I can't believe this, I'm just surrounded by a room of people who wanna go in there and kill him. This is the guy who call you friend. I got nothing invested in this. I wonder why that is, or maybe someday we'll find out."
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Alternate Versions

On newer prints of the film, including VUDU, the Warner Bros. 75 Years logo is omitted at the beginning. However, the 1992 "Distributed By Warner Bros." logo is retained at the end of the film. See more »


Soundtracks

Cotton-Eye Joe
Performed by Rednex
Written by Janne Ericsson, Erkan Oban (as Øban), Pat Reiniz
Courtesy of Zomba Recording Corp.
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User Reviews

An intelligent, taut thriller
11 May 2002 | by Arthur-23See all my reviews

Just when you think he's cornered, he thinks of a new strategy. Samuel L. Jackson portrays Lieutenant Danny Roman, police hostage negotiator. When he's framed for a crime he didn't commit, against his fellow police officers no less, he knows that the only way out is to bring in an equally tough negotiator, Lieutenant Chris Sabian played by Kevin Spacey, who's from another precinct and who therefore could not have been contaminated by the bad elements within his own force, which buys him the necessary time to bluff and blindside while he finds the clues he needs to prove he's innocent. Chicago is taken hostage along with the few people he retains as bargaining chips, and we are taken along for the ride. This was a masterful job of film-making from beginning to end. The characters and story were flawlessly developed. We don't precisely know who's guilty or who's innocent. Roman conducts his interrogation and trial while he negotiates with the police outside, some of whom are working overtime to eliminate Roman before he figures it all out. This all occurs right under the noses of the FBI who are in way over their heads and don't have a clue who's guilty or innocent, just like the rest of us watching. Along the way, we get to witness Roman lecture his underlings about the finer points of negotiations while he himself has just become a hostage taker. "Never say no!" he barks with effective zeal. And he tests his bewildered pupils continuously, who fail continuously. Only Sabian is smart enough to understand what's going on in Roman's mind. The strategy is shared by two men who think alike, who are under stress, and have an innate instinct for lie detection. The screenplay was terrific. The cinematography was effective. The acting of Jackson and Spacey exceptional. And the supporting cast, particularly bad-guy-turned-good-guy Paul Giamatti who provides great comic relief, was outstanding. If you're in the mood for an intelligent, taut thriller, The Negotiator delivers... 9/10.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 July 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Negotiator See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,218,831, 2 August 1998

Gross USA:

$44,547,681

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$44,547,681
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS-Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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