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The Siege [DVD] [1999]

56 customer reviews

Price: £3.20 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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The Siege [DVD] [1999] + Courage Under Fire [DVD] [1996] + Out of Time [DVD] [2003]
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Product details

  • Actors: Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis, Annette Bening, Tony Shalhoub, Sami Bouajila
  • Directors: Edward Zwick
  • Writers: Edward Zwick, Lawrence Wright, Menno Meyjes
  • Producers: Edward Zwick, Bruce Devan, Jonathan Filley, Lynda Obst
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Portuguese, Swedish, Danish, Hungarian, Polish, Icelandic, Finnish, Czech
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 7 Jun. 2004
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004SC7W
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,355 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

FBI/NYPD anti-terrorist officer 'Hub' Hubbard (Denzel Washington) is called into investigate when a Brooklyn bus is bombed. The perpetrators are demanding the release of Sheik Ahmed Ben Talal, who has been kidnapped by US General William Devereaux (Bruce Willis). Hub focuses his initial search on Brooklyn's Arab community, but is shadowed by CIA operative Elise Kraft (Annette Bening), whose contact in Palestine intimates that the real problem lies elsewhere. Before Hub or Kraft can act, however, the FBI headquarters are also bombed, and Deveraux imposes a state of martial law.

From Amazon.co.uk

A high-profile action/exploitation thriller set in the late 20th century, The Siege is really a fantasy that extrapolates from major terrorist bombings, such as the one at the World Trade Centre. Denzel Washington is FBI special agent Hubbard, "Hub" to his friends, whose anti-terrorist task force must track down the terrorist cells responsible for a spate of bombings in New York. His partner is an FBI agent of Arabian extraction (played convincingly by Tony Shalhoub), proving not all Arabs are bad guys--a point the film should be lauded for making again and again. Thrown into the mix is a CIA spy (played almost kittenish at times by Annette Bening), whose ties to the terrorists appear to be at the centre of the conflicts. When the bombings escalate out of control, the President institutes martial law, sending in General Devereaux (played with impenetrable countenance by Bruce Willis) with tanks and troops to ferret out the terrorists. Echoes of Japanese-Americans in internment camps ring out as Arabs, including the son of the Arab-American FBI agent, are herded into a stadium. Periodic audio-montages of "man in the street" sentiments anchor the material in the present and show how serious and relevant the material is. But finally what we have is a taut and entertaining popcorn movie, giving itself the humanistic nod when it can. --Jim Gay, Amazon.com

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Rennie Petersen on 17 Sept. 2007
Format: DVD
The Siege tells a hypothetical story about terrorist attacks on New York City by Islamic fundamentalists, and how an FBI department led by Special Agent Hubbard (Denzel Washington) tries to stop them. A CIA agent (Annette Bening) is also involved, and refuses to cooperate with the FBI, at least at first. When the attacks continue and the FBI and police are unable to stop them, President Bill Clinton imposes martial law and U.S. Army units under General Devereaux (Bruce Willis) occupy and isolate Brooklyn and round up all the young Arab men and place them in an internment camp. This leads to several consequences and to a final showdown that will not be revealed here.

The Siege was controversial already in 1998 when it was released: the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Council on American-Islamic Relations both protested strenuously and said the movie was offensive and discriminatory. After the 9/11-2001 terrorist attacks on the United States it can be seen that the movie was in some ways prescient: it practically predicted terrorist attacks on New York by Islamic fundamentalists, a fatal lack of cooperation between the FBI and the CIA, and the imposition of measures that reduced civil liberties for average Americans.

In fact, the key conflict in The Siege is not the conflict between the terrorists and the law enforcement agencies. The key conflict is an ideological one: On one hand there are those who believe that all possible means, including the use of torture and the detention and isolation of suspects with no access to legal process, can be necessary responses to a terrorist threat.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By velissaria on 6 Aug. 2011
Format: DVD
The Siege is a 'prophetic' movie in my opinion, because although it was released in 1998, before the 9/11 and the numerous bombings in London, Madrid, India and elsewhere, it kind of foresees these events.

US Army General William Devereaux (Bruce Willis) is involved in the abduction of a Sheikh, an Islamic religious leader. As a result, New York City becomes a terrorist target starting with the blowing up of a bus in busy Brooklyn. FBI Special Agent Anthony Hubbard (Denzel Washington) and his Arab fellow-agent Frank Haddad (Tony Shalhoub) try to locate and stop the terrorist cells while violence, bombings and mayhem are escalating. CIA agent Elise Kraft (Annette Bening) seems to have a lot of helpful information, but what is her agenda?

USA focused disaster movies are not usually my cup of tea and I watched this movie after my partner chose it. I must admit though that it is a fast paced adventure with an intriguing story line. The cinematography is fresh and remains up to it almost 12 years down the line, although the effects and action scenes are pretty typical US style, i.e. with lots of explosions, but in this particular film, bomb explosions are a main plot theme, so they don't seem out of place or too exaggerated.

While I was watching the movie I had to check what year it was made, because I couldn't believe the fact that it actually predicts the attack of Muslim extremists on US soil and New York in particular. In addition, the reaction of General Devereaux foretells the events at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By OTTS on 6 April 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
This film is so shockingly accurate on so many levels, that I hope you will forgive me when I say, the US officials, government, CIA, etc. and the Al-Qeda must have watched this film and then began their respective planning.
The fact that the Army did not go and round up all Arabs, etc. in a stadium in New York after 9/11 is possibly due to this film, as it shows the likely outcome, public outcry/ demonstrations and sympathies, if they had done so.
Instead they round many people up and shipped them to their own "camps" out of sight and out of mind. They are still detaining and torturing people just like the film shows and worse.
That the FBI is the honorable protector of freedom is of course completely fictional but they couldn't have made a sell-able film otherwise.

This film should be filed under non-fiction.

(I had seen this film before 9/11...)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Corey Newcombe on 26 Nov. 2014
Format: Blu-ray
After the abduction by the US military of an Islamic religious leader, New York City becomes the target of escalating terrorist attacks.

Anthony Hubbard, the head of the FBI's Counter-Terrorism Task Force in New York, teams up with CIA operative Elise Kraft to hunt down the terrorist cells responsible for the attacks.

As the bombings continue, the US government responds by declaring martial law, sending US troops, led by Gen. Devereaux, into the streets of New York City.....

Its a topical film for sure, and it was made before the tragedy in New York, and for fans of the film, its a good job, because there is no way it would me made today, it's just too close to those events.

But regardless of its political message, and its patriotism, it's just too dull in some places, and even though Washington is as good as ever, and Willis plays a convincing hate filled General, it just doesn't deter you away from the blandness of the outcome.

Plus the fact that after the visually stunning scene with the bus, it's as if Fox has said to the producers 'look guys, you've had your big key scene, any other incidents with the film will be cutaways, or a noise in the background', and that is just what happens.

And Benning is totally miscast in this, whenever she utters anything specific to her job, or becomes authoritative, the film verges on parody.

But its worth watching for its message about xenophobia, the impressive set piece, and of course, Washington.

Good, but bland....
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