Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 33
  2. Negative: 9 out of 33
  1. Made with energetic flair and no small dose of violence, mercifully handled with discretion, Hostage exemplifies taut, confident filmmaking.
  2. 75
    The mechanics of the final showdown are unexpected and yet show an undeniable logic, and are sold by the acting skills of Willis and Pollak.
  3. 75
    Hostage has suspense and momentum.
  4. My new theory is that Willis' own aesthetic soul is more old-world than he knows, and that he works best with directors who either are (Luc Besson) or might as well be (M. Night Shyamalan) European.
  5. If Hostage looks a lot like a state-of-the-art French "policier" minus the pesky subtitles, the effect is purely intentional.
  6. 70
    The movie isn't particularly tasteful or finely crafted -- but it grabs you by the jugular, and only during an overcooked climax does it finally relax its grip.
  7. Full of small, weird moments.
  8. Good action movies live on style and excitement. But they also need credibility, and in Hostage, ALMOST a good genre piece, plausibility keeps getting slaughtered.
  9. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Hostage is really about sleek Bruce - buff, bald and clean-shaven - as he goes to town on two sets of assailants.
  10. On the plus side, bloated narratives make for a busy action star, and Bruce is quite the workaholic on this outing, clearly eager to rekindle memories of his "Die Hard" glory days.
  11. Willis, who'll turn 50 a week from Saturday, has this kind of hero down pat. He may never again get or demand the complicated dramatic roles I think he could handle, but he's well-cast.
  12. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    Right from the intriguing opening sequence, which hints at the bleakness which envelops the movie, Willis’ Talley is an interesting character.
  13. Certainly delivers violence and heroics, but not in a way everyone is going to enjoy -- it's brutal and harrowing.
  14. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    What sends this initially tense thriller over the precipice is a plot scheme that never knows when enough is enough.
  15. Brainlessly efficient action thriller.
  16. There's a gripping thriller between the gaps in logic. Director Florent Siri has a tough style and an unforgiving attitude, but it drowns in the queasy blood lust.
  17. The action is dynamically filmed and Willis is at his best. Suspense is soon hijacked by outright gore and grisliness, though.
  18. 50
    From the first strains of its overly dramatic, self-important score -- come on, this is not by any stretch of the imagination "Citizen Kane."
  19. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    It's a B-flick all the way, but it has no pretensions to the contrary, and that's some kind of refreshing.
  20. Especially discomfiting is the stream of kids in peril.
  21. 50
    By the time the film escalates into a suitably ridiculous Grand Guignol finale, all connection to reality has been severed.
  22. 40
    The amazing thing is how dull a movie crawling with gunfire, psycho tantrums and stuff blowing up can be when you just don't care what happens to anyone.
  23. Director Siri has a stylish eye that makes this film resemble a film noir outing, but the script (by Doug Richardson) is at first routine before growing increasingly outlandish.
  24. 40
    Bruce looks hot and underplays handsomely as always, but Hostage is a steaming pile of siege clichés and screaming unlikelihoods.
  25. Beyond the cliches, there's something deeply offensive about the way Hostage exploits our empathy for children in peril.
  26. 38
    An unrelenting assault on the brain and eardrums.
  27. The movie as a whole is nonsensical. And long. And slow. And head-poundingly loud as it culminates in slavering horror.
  28. It doesn't satisfy in the way a good thriller ought to.
  29. 30
    But by the time Willis's character saves this considerably long day, it's filmgoers who will no doubt feel like prisoners, as a movie that promises to be a taut nail-biter devolves into the kind of silly, overblown climax parodied so beautifully by Robert Altman in "The Player."
  30. 25
    Take a tired formula...Stir with a director, Florent Siri, who has no shame about stealing every sadistic suspense trick from the Die Hard series. Serve to a gullible audience willing to pay top dollar for secondhand goods.
  31. Hostage may well be the first action flick cited both for child abuse and audience abuse. In a singularly sadistic and degrading way it has something to offend everyone.
  32. This is a half-hearted, derivative action film with not a single honest artistic impulse behind it.
  33. More than sad, it's slightly sickening to consider the technology, talent and know-how squandered on Hostage, a pile of blood-soaked toxic waste dumped onto the screen in an attempt to salvage Bruce Willis's fading career as an action hero.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 98 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 50
  2. Negative: 4 out of 50
  1. Sep 5, 2014
    Hostage has clever action, surprises and a first rate performance from Bruce Willis.
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 26, 2014
    Willis delivers a great performance in this action thriller. He plays a retired hostage negotiator who becomes a small town sheriff after he fails to rescue a child who is held hostage. Kevin Pollak and Ben Foster also add refined roles to the movie. Hostage is crackling thriller with twists around every corner. Full Review »
  3. Jul 27, 2012
    This is such a great action packed movie with a great deal of suspense, good acting, and an overall decent plot. Pay no attention to the horrible review that the good for nothing critics gave this movie. Full Review »