Hostage Reviews

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Time Out
February 9, 2006
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AV Club
September 26, 2005
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
July 30, 2005
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
July 5, 2005
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
March 17, 2005
Visually stylish but highly improbable.
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
March 17, 2005
Hostage is all the pulp thriller Bruce Willis movies you've seen before.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
March 14, 2005
I thought, this is going to be a first-rate thriller, nobody plays that kind of character better than Bruce Willis, he's great at that. And then it just gets more and more complicated and more and more ridiculous.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
March 11, 2005
A tired formula.
| Original Score: 1/4
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March 11, 2005
Speaking of torture, if you dig it, by all means lock yourself up for two hours with Hostage, which begins by administering electric shocks to your viscera and keeps upping the voltage.
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Michael Booth
Denver Post
March 11, 2005
For action movie fans who require just a touch of depth and mystery between gunshots, Hostage could make for a satisfying night at the movies.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
March 11, 2005
I'd call it ugly and I'd be willing to bet that you won't see anyone climbing on a moral high horse in an attempt to shout it down. Someone should.
| Original Score: D+
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
March 11, 2005
Strictly by the book: It's adapted from an airport best-seller by Robert Crais, and its scenes might as well be preceded with chapter headings.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
March 11, 2005
Not that there's anything wrong with testosterone and senseless destruction as long as they're balanced by some true sense of heart and at least a smidgen of believability, neither of which survive here.
| Original Score: D+
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
March 11, 2005
The subplots are stacked up and nesting into each other like so many Russian dolls, and seeming every bit as precious.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
March 11, 2005
Willis plays a man with a past whose nightmare returns when a hostage drama reopens old wounds, blah, blah, blah...
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
March 11, 2005
This is, in the final analysis, just another Bruce Willis Movie, albeit one that makes us think a bit more than usual and maybe hope a little harder that all those bullets and explosions will be put to good use.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
March 11, 2005
If it doesn't wholly succeed, at least it fails in an interesting way.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
March 11, 2005
The writing and direction are simplistic.
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
March 11, 2005
The movie doesn't spend much time on details or characterization, especially of its nonessential female characters (which is to say all of them).
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
March 11, 2005
Doug Richardson's script is as riddled with plot holes as Pollak's house is with bullets.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
March 11, 2005
Beyond the cliches, there's something deeply offensive about the way Hostage exploits our empathy for children in peril.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
March 11, 2005
The film quickly collapses into incoherence with a barrage of bullets, Molotov cocktails and the arrival of a SWAT team.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
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Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
March 11, 2005
A well-intended but perfunctorily overblown feature produced by and starring Bruce Willis, whose emotionally raw performance is the film's saving grace.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
March 11, 2005
By the time Willis's character saves this considerably long day, it's filmgoers who will no doubt feel like prisoners.
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Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
March 11, 2005
It doesn't satisfy in the way a good thriller ought to.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
March 11, 2005
Bruce Willis, who feels like a resident of action thrillers, not a visitor, dials down here into a man of fierce focus and private motives.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
March 11, 2005
The script is clever without ever being smart, the violence is showy but not cathartic, and the performances are, to put it kindly, a mixed bag.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
March 10, 2005
Accept Hostage for what it is, and a flawed-but-enjoyable ride awaits. I never once glanced at my watch.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Mike Clark
USA Today
March 10, 2005
It can never quite make that final leap over its formula.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
March 10, 2005
Made with energetic flair and no small dose of violence, mercifully handled with discretion, Hostage exemplifies taut, confident filmmaking.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
March 10, 2005
The film doesn't follow its own rules.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Tom Maurstad
Dallas Morning News
March 10, 2005
Inevitably, the action has to take over, and the film devolves into a frenzy of fireballs and automatic gunfire.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
March 10, 2005
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
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Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
March 10, 2005
A visceral, sleazily self-assured B movie.
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
March 10, 2005
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.
| Original Score: 1/4
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 10, 2005
You might feel that the title applies to you.
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Gene Seymour
Newsday
March 10, 2005
When it's over, you just want to make sure the vise that's been squeezing your head for more than two hours didn't leave any dents or scratches.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Bob Longino
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
March 10, 2005
Entertainment by force of will, moviemaking by sledgehammer.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
March 10, 2005
Explosions, gunfights and suspense may keep you awake for a while, but not if the movie assaults logic and holds common sense hostage.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
March 9, 2005
An interesting French action pic fights gallantly for dominance over a bulging, American-style shoot-'em-up.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Jessica Winter
Village Voice
March 7, 2005
A steaming pile of siege clichés and screaming unlikelihoods.
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Robert Koehler
Variety
March 7, 2005
As the story further ramps up the complications, poor plot mechanics run pic off the road.
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Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
March 7, 2005
Director Siri's heavily stylized visual approach translates successfully, at least before everything reaches an overly operatic third-act crescendo.