Under Siege


Under Siege

Critics Consensus

A well-directed action thriller that makes the most of its confined setting, Under Siege marks a high point for early '90s action -- and its star's spotty filmography.



Total Count: 26


Audience Score

User Ratings: 63,944
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Movie Info

Andrew Davis directed this exciting thriller starring Steven Seagal, sans ponytail, and featuring electric, over-the-top performances by Gary Busey and Tommy Lee Jones. This action saga takes place on the battleship USS Missouri, about to be decommissioned from service after a visit from George Bush. When Bush departs the vessel, a band of terrorists overcome the remaining skeleton crew and take over the ship, under the ruse of holding a surprise birthday party for the ship's commander, Captain Adams (Patrick O'Neal). The band is led by Strannix (Jones), a disgruntled ex-CIA operative, and his right-hand man, the psychotic Krill (Busey). The terrorists plan to steal the ship's store of nuclear warheads, transfer them to a stolen North Korean submarine, and sell them to a Middle Eastern country. Unfortunately for Strannix, he has overlooked the ship's cook, Casey Ryback (Seagal). Ryback is a much-honored Navy SEAL who, because of a minor scandal, is quietly completing his twenty-year tour in the galley of the Missouri. Forced into action, Ryback, along with the woman who jumped out of Captain Adams' birthday cake (Erika Eleniak), knocks off the bad guys one-by-one while crawling inside the bowels of the ship.


Steven Seagal
as Casey Ryback
Tommy Lee Jones
as William Strannix
Gary Busey
as Cdr. Krill
Erika Eleniak
as Jordan Tate
Patrick O'Neal
as Capt. Adams
Nick Mancuso
as Tom Breaker
Bernie Casey
as Cdr. Harris
Damian Chapa
as Tackman
Troy Evans
as Granger
Lee Hinton
as Cue Ball
David Y. Hodges
as Bridge Watchman
Glenn Morshower
as Ens. Taylor
Leo Alexzander
as Lt. Smart
John Rottger
as Commander Green
Brad Rea
as Marine Guard
Michael Weldon
as Lieutenant Ballard
Rickey Pierre
as Kitchen Helper
Raymond Cruz
as Ramirez
Duane Davis
as Johnson
Leo Alexander
as Lt. Smart
Frank Ferrara
as Commando
George Cheung
as Commando
Adam James
as Commando
Jim Chimento
as Commando
Craig Dunn
as Commando
Miguel Nino
as Commando
Daniel Dupont
as Commando
David Webster
as Commando
Gene Barge
as `The Bail Jumpers'
Michael James
as Commando
Richard Davis
as `The Bail Jumpers'
Anthony G. Brown
as `The Bail Jumpers'
Tad Robinson
as `The Bail Jumpers'
Hiram Bullock
as `The Bail Jumpers'
Wendell Wayne Stewart
as `The Bail Jumpers'
Christopher Alan Cameron
as `The Bail Jumpers'
Tom Wood
as Private Nash
Jerone Wiggins
as Sammy Lee
Joseph F. Kosala
as Engine Room Watch Officer
Joseph Kosala
as Engine Room Watch Officer
Gregory G. Stump
as Bridge Officer
David U. Hodges
as Bridge Watchman
Bruce Bozzi
as F-18 Pilot
Craig Pinkard
as Submariner
Sandy Ward
as Calaway
Conrad E. Palmisano
as Strike Team Leader
Nate Robinson
as Ship's Doctor
Andy Romano
as Adm. Bates
Drucilla A. Carlson
as Captain Spellman
Joseph R. John
as Chief of Staff
Dale Dye
as Captain Garza
Robert Nichols
as Colonel Sarnac
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Critic Reviews for Under Siege

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (6)

Audience Reviews for Under Siege

  • Sep 06, 2018
    The fun kind of dumb, Under Siege is probably Segal's best work, and in my opinion the only reason people ever mention him in the same breath as the likes of Stallone, Schwarzenegger or Willis.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • May 07, 2016
    "Under Siege" is a classic 1990's action due to its intense climax, great acting and lack of computer generated images. The plot to "Under Siege" is the captains' birthday awaits and everything is planned. On the evening a group of terrorist take over and it's up to one chef/former "S.E.A.L." named "Casey Ryback" portrayed by "Steven Seagal" to stop the terrorists. The movie opens with a classic introduction to "Casey" which is him talking to his friends. The scene shows that "Casey" is a nice person, which makes the audience care for him. The action-sequences in this movie are intense and exciting. The action sequences that show "Casey" and "Jordan Tate" portrayed by "Erika Eleniak" together are splendid they show their relationship grow and develop. The movie's climax certainly lives up to the suspense mixed with the amazing cinematography by "Frank Tidy". This is the first time seeing "Steven Seagal" in an action movie, honestly as a film critic his performance blew everyone away, it was terrific. "Gary Chang" creates music for drama/action and even rock and roll. "Gary Chang" does a swell job due to being able to change the emotion correctly in his music. By far the best thing about the movie is the cinematography "Frank Tidy" both an experienced and talented man films "Under Siege" with darkness and excitement. If you are a person who enjoys "Steven Seagal's" action movies then I highly recommend you watch "Under Siege" as it has splendid performances, amazing filming and a superb film score. This movie doesn't have too many flaws; to list them would be nitpicking. Although the movie does have some parts of it that could improve slightly, the movie's script is most likely the biggest issue but once again small details. I give 1992's "Under Siege" an 8.5/10.
    Steve G Super Reviewer
  • Jul 11, 2013
    Here we go, Steven Seagal's response to Bruce Willis and 'Die Hard', his very own Die Hard and quite possibly the first film after 'Die Hard' to be labelled with the 'Die Hard on a...' tag. What's even more amazing is this is a superb action flick that not only looks damn slick, sounds damn cool and plays out reasonably realistically for the most part, but its easily one of Seagal's best (and he ain't got many). Plot...a battleship loaded with dangerous nasty weapons and a full crew, its hijacked by a crazy ass bad guy and his endless team of henchmen (plus a dirty double dealing Officer of the ship). People are killed, the rest are locked up leaving only one man, that man is a cook, that man is...STEVEN SEAGAL. Its now up to Steven Seagal, the most lethal, most dangerous, most stealthy badass ex-Navy SEAL ever! to save the day and terminate every last bad guy with extreme precise knife wielding prejudice. So yeah the film is a total play on a certain McTiernan classic, the setup is the same, the execution, the way the film unfolds, hell there's even the same explosion whilst leaping off a high ledge sequence. The only real difference here is Seagal has a rather pointless sexy female that follows him around like a lost puppy, she adds nothing and she does pretty much does nothing accept show us her lovely tight ass at the start. What I do like about this film is the realistic aspects of it. Filmed in part on a real battleship this naturally helps sell the whole concept and it does look really good. This in turn gives you the claustrophobic tightness of the battleship interior which makes fights, booby traps and gun battles even more tense and exciting. I also really enjoyed seeing Seagal go all 'A-Team' on us with his little death traps and tricks using various objects and interior fittings, unsure how realistic they all were but I'm sure they are true to life. Also nice to see Seagal getting assistance from a few freed crew members which again adds a nice touch of believability to the story, its not completely Seagal the killing machine. Although the excuse for using Erika Eleniak is still wafer thin, literately there just for that one strip sequence methinks. All other aspects of the military including lingo, scenarios, meetings, weapons, procedures etc...all seem top notch, I do believe a lot of care is taken with this kinda of thing especially with Seagal. Of course the whole idea of hijacking a battleship seems ridiculous as there would be so many men on board, so many places to hide, hold up and run to and probably various ways of communication/alerts that I'm sure it would impossible. The film relies heavily on two factors, the invincible hero in Seagal and the scenery chewing villains, namely Jones and Busey. The whole film is so obvious right from the start, everyone knows Busey is the bad guy, he looks just like his character from 'Lethal Weapon', he's a bad guy clearly. Busey is basically you're standard villain, he's just the perfect bad guy every time, bad guy classes 101, hire Busey with his crazy blonde hair and huge teeth, the perfect slime ball. Jones of course is also clearly a bad guy but feels a bit miscast for me, doesn't really come across as an ex-CIA kinda guy or an insane hippie. Plus I can understand why he wants to get even after they tried to eliminate him. Anyway Seagal looks in good shape here, he's trim, no ponytail, his fight sequences actually look half decent and more importantly he's kinda believable too. Not too many cheesy one liners but a more straight laced no nonsense fella, of course every film Seagal stars in he plays an invincible ex-military/ex-cop superman type so there's nothing new here. The whole film is sharp and action packed yet none of it looks over the top, its all pretty grounded which is why its well remembered. Great gun battles, cool looking hardware, authentic settings and some really good violent fights, the workshop fight makes you wince here n there. Only down side for me was the rather anti-climatic finale and ending, oh and the close up shot of Seagal's stern mug as he salutes is hilarious, unintentional of course.
    Phil H Super Reviewer
  • Dec 14, 2012
    Under Siege is one of those films that relies on previous action flicks to create its plot. Despite this, this is a fun little flick that is purely mindless from start to finish. With this one, Director Andrew Davis delivers a heavily flawed picture that is very predictable, but is pure popcorn action. The dialogue, I have to say is the worst aspect of the film as it is very tongue in cheek and pretty cheesy. This film is basically Die Hard on a battleship. We've seen this type of film before, but it manages to be a thrill ride and offer something worth seeing for viewers of action films. The script has plenty of imperfections; however the action is exhilarating and makes for an entertaining picture that manages to overcome its flaws. Under Siege relies more on the action to compensate the paper thin, predictable plot. Tommy Lee Jones is the best actor here and he delivers a menacing and worthwhile performance that stands out above every other actor. This is a popcorn flick pure and simple; however don't expect anything great with this film. This is one of those films that you've seen many times before, and by this point, you've better genre films, with a really convincing plot. Under Siege is flawed and could have been much better, luckily Jones plays a great villain and it's what keeps you interested in the film. I've never been a big Steven Seagal fan, and I'm still not. But here he's entertaining and with his sidekick Erika Eleniak armed with two massive canons, they have what it takes to take out the threat and make this a cheesy good time.
    Alex r Super Reviewer

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