Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 76 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Devastated by an unspeakable tragedy while on the job as a hostage negotiator for the LAPD, Jeff Talley (Willis) resigns and accepts a low profile job as the chief of police in a sleepy town. On a slow Monday morning Talley's job becomes anything but quiet and sets him on a course that could change not only his professional but personal life forever. (Miramax) Expand
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. If Hostage looks a lot like a state-of-the-art French "policier" minus the pesky subtitles, the effect is purely intentional.
  3. 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.
  4. 50
    By the time the film escalates into a suitably ridiculous Grand Guignol finale, all connection to reality has been severed.
  5. The action is dynamically filmed and Willis is at his best. Suspense is soon hijacked by outright gore and grisliness, though.
  6. Beyond the cliches, there's something deeply offensive about the way Hostage exploits our empathy for children in peril.
  7. 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.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 35
  2. Negative: 4 out of 35
  1. DarthM.
    Mar 13, 2006
    This movie is very interesting. It starts a simple hostage situation and it gets more complex and more thrilling than most movies. It has suspense all the way and keeps wanting to see how everything will end. Its a great experience and thats all that matters!. Expand
  2. 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. Expand
  3. RayB.
    Oct 19, 2005
    This film is really difficult to judge. The film itself is a good old fashioned Bruce Willis action movie. But and it's a big BUT the novel it is based on by Robert Crais is one of the best crime thriller books ever written and the movie decided to pick parts of the story to follow and not always the best parts i.e. the discovery in MARS home which is not in the film. Collapse
  4. FrankO.
    Jan 15, 2006
    I was looking forward to viewing this movie because it was based on a novel by Robert Crais who I admire as a mystery writer. Needless to say, it was too much over the top with special effects and way too long. Expand
  5. Jul 31, 2014
    Why people stick to 90s thrillers when they want to make a film in 2005, I don't understand. "Hostage" is decent as an action-thriller flick, but its novelty value is awful. Ok, we start with a second-hand plot, some one-sided characters and pretty unconvincing performances. What's so disappointing is that the film does not even try to be inventive in any way, as if it was all about film-making school homework. The single thing that deserves praise are its outstanding visuals, with some scenes such as the one where Mars, the bad guy, emerges from the flames, being truly stunning. Of all the performances I liked Ben Foster's most, and if you watch the film you 'll know why. It is entertaining but feels like waste recycled. If making a collage of other movie scenes is regarded as film making, then we have a serious problem. Expand

See all 35 User Reviews