ABC Film Challenge – 1990s Movies – N – The Negotiator (1998) Movie Review

Director: F Gary Gray

Writer: James DeMonaco, Kevin Fox (Screenplay)

Starring: Samuel L Jackson, Kevin Spacey, David Morse, Ron Rifkin, John Spencer, J.T. Walsh, Siobhan Fallon, Paul Giamatti

Plot: 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.


Tagline – Chicago’s two top negotiators must face each other. One of them is holding hostages. The other is demanding surrender. And everyone’s holding their breath.

Runtime: 2 Hours 20 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Negotiator starts when Chicago’s best negotiator Danny Roman (Jackson) finds his life turned upside down when his partner is murdered while investigating corruption within the department. Danny becomes framed for the murder, facing defeat in the courtroom, Danny takes a drastic step.

Danny takes the Internal Affairs office hostage, demanding another negotiator from outside the department Chris Sabian (Spacey) to talk to him, demanding to get the truth of his innocence out and clear his name.

Thoughts on The Negotiator

ThoughtsThe Negotiator is an action thriller that will see a specialist negotiator using his skills to take hostages and maintain control of the situation while the whole police force is trying to take him down. This is a story that will keep us guessing from start to finish, as we look to learn the truth, with the one thing we truly know being that Danny is innocent. This is a story that is relentless once Danny takes control where the 2 hours 20 minutes will fly by without even considering what is going on or letting you take a breath. Samuel L Jackson and Kevin Spacey proved they were on the best of their games during this film. We have a great supporting cast too, with Paul Giamatti getting plenty of laughs along the way. For the late 1990’s this is one of the very best thrillers you will see.

Final Thoughts The Negotiator is one of the best thrillers of the 1990s.