Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 25
  2. Negative: 2 out of 25
Watch On
  1. 88
    It's a thinking person's thriller, where pyrotechnics give way to plot, character development supplants fight scenes, and adrenaline does not short-circuit intelligence.
  2. A political thriller with more plausibility -- and yes, more thrills -- than most.
  3. Reviewed by: Gary Dauphin
    An intramural debate masquerading as an action movie.
  4. What a shame, therefore, that in its puritanical treatment of the only strong female character, the otherwise politically correct police story is blithely unaware of its own closet misogyny.
  5. 70
    A political film in the form of a thriller, rather than a garden-variety potboiler gleefully helping itself to stock political tropes from the genre's grab bag.
  6. It's a cautionary tale about the excesses of jingoist paranoia, and the folly of it all is that the more the film descends into somber liberal chest thumping, the less engrossing it becomes.
  7. 63
    The Siege is not a documentary but a glossy Hollywood entertainment that is prey to all the exaggerations, simplifications and acting histrionics that come with the genre.
  8. 63
    In its clumsy way, it throws in comments now and then to show it knows the difference between Arab terrorists and American citizens.
  9. 60
    If The Siege frustrates anyone, it should be the moviegoers who turn up expecting the kind of clean resolution that action movies thrive on.
  10. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    A potentially provocative idea is played out to diminishing returns.
  11. Edward Zwick's ultimately sedate thriller starts out with crisply efficient style and the potential for a much more involving story.
  12. The problem, as always, is that when you try to mix cliches with more complicated data it's often the cliches that win out.
  13. 50
    As a nail-biting thriller, The Siege is too confusing, and as a thought-provoking social drama, too confused.
  14. At some point, the movie itself crosses the line, from a modestly thoughtful attempt to extrapolate a drama from real and urgent events to a generic action piece with predictable good and bad guys and pat, civics-book morals.
  15. This is a dumb action flick that pretends to have a brain, a spot of affectation that plunges the audience into double jeopardy -- forcing us to traipse through not just the standard litter of bloody corpses but (oh, damn) the added trash of bloodless ideas.
  16. 50
    Zwick frequently sacrifices dramatic urgency in the name of sobriety.
  17. 50
    The good news, then, is that The Siege is hardly the ticking time bomb of racial slurs some would have you imagine, and the bad news is that it doesn't matter because it's all too damn pedantically serious to take seriously.
  18. Most of the fault rests with the script, which gets to this issue late and feels only perfunctory, more interested in the jolt of the image than the jolt of the idea.
  19. Reviewed by: Chris Gore
    A sometimes gripping but mostly routine shoot-em-up about Muslim terrorism in American.
  20. It's one of those fast, slick, half-smart shows that can't decide whether to pay its debts to action or reality -- and winds up cheating both.
  21. The story is an odd mixture of preachiness and paranoia, but the stars provide sizzling performances and the action moves at a lively clip.
  22. 50
    The filmmakers peddle fear and then try to claim the moral high ground; the treatment is foolish, confused, and borderline irresponsible.
  23. 40
    The pre-posterous plot is a far-fetched way to dis-cuss the power and meaning of the Consti-tution in the context of international terror-ism.
  24. Reviewed by: Jack Kroll
    This echo of the WWII internment of Japanese-Americans is the only new gimmick in Edward Zwick's entry in the cliche- terrorist genre.
  25. In an attempt to be complex and fair-minded, a simple story becomes a jumble of confused motivations.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 3
  2. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. Feb 18, 2012
    Mediocre movie - decent if you are looking for a political thriller. Some exciting scenes throughout the movie, but lack of flow and clarityMediocre movie - decent if you are looking for a political thriller. Some exciting scenes throughout the movie, but lack of flow and clarity on plot makes the movie suffer. Full Review »
  2. Oct 15, 2011
    very interesting movie. i was at the edge of my chair almost all the time. i especially liked the acting in this movie.