why Cranky is in pain
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

amazon.gif
Top Selling DVD     Books

BLU-RAY DVDs:
50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Robocop
Selma
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
Akira
Avatar
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Bambi
A Bug's Life
Cars
Chronicles of Narnia set
Coraline
Ghostbusters
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Ratatouille
Rio
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
combo
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE

OFCS

Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

 DISNEY PIXAR DVDs
Alice in Wonderland
Bambi
Beauty and the Beast
Bolt
Cinderella
Coraline
E.T.
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Pinocchio
Princess Mononoke
Ratatouille
Rio 
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

siege poster

The Siege

Starring Denzel Washington, Annette Bening and Bruce Willis
Screenplay by Lawrence Wright and Menno Meyjes & Edward Zwick
Directed by Edward Zwick
Website: www.thesiege.com

IN SHORT: Cranky liked it.

Hollywood's obsession with destroying New York continues with a good popcorn flick called The Siege. The fun is all in the star power onscreen and while the suspense level doesn't reach the "can't eat the popcorn" stage, it's a pretty good ride.

The Siege pulls its background story out of real events and rumors that won't die: have Americans kidnaped terrorist suspects to bring them into US territory and jurisdiction? The Siege opens with such a heist, of an Iraqi Sheik named Ahmed Bin Talal. Second question: What if the terrorists were organized enough, and financed well enough to bring the battle to our cities, as they have in Athens and other European cities?

Cranky doesn't want to think that much. Though the captured sheik is the reason for the terrorist attacks we see in the flick, he vanishes from the movie almost immediately. The terrorist cels are never seen or heard, and we are deprived of the joy of knowing who the bad guy is way before he (or she) goes up in a pyrotechnic blast. The lack of a face to pin a bullseye on is the only weakness in The Siege.

Anthony "Hub" Hubbard (Denzel Washington) heads an FBI/NYPD anti-terrorism task force. His right hand man Frank Haddad (Tony Shalhoub) is a Lebanese, 20 years in America 10 years in the bureau. A bus bombing in Brooklyn brings him face to face with CIA spook Elise Kraft (Annette Bening) and later with the mastermind behind the sheik's abduction, Army General William Devereaux (Bruce Willis). Hub doesn't like Elise. Elise doesn't like the General and everyone is focused on the sole connection to the mysterious terrorist cels, a Palestinian professor named Samir Nazhde (Sami Bouajila). Samir helped get terrorists into this country. His brother did the martyr bit in an Israeli movie theater. And he's sleeping with Elise.

Very quickly we discover that everything that appears to be one thing is really something else.

After Brooklyn, the terrorists bomb a Broadway theater. Then they go after the children and, failing that, they take out the FBI headquarters itself. 600 dead.

With the faces of the enemy unknown, the script softly deals with all the political repercussions of dealing with these lunatics. The question is posed again and again in different ways: how far will you go, how far will American citizens let their government go to take down these terrorists? Noted conservative Arianna Huffington, of course, is one of the first TV talking heads to insist that the Army invade the city and flush out the terrorist cels, and whatever rights get squashed will just have to wait.

As far as the Devereaux is concerned, it is a bad idea. In his own words to a Congressional subcomittee: "I implore you. Do not consider this as an option." but Congress does and when he moves in it is with all the subtlety of a hunters using a sledgehammer to take out a cockroach. Detention camps are set up. Arab males are grabbed off the street, and from their homes. One of them is Haddad's son. Now you consider; what if the bad guys were Black? Or Asian? Or Jewish? How far would you let the government go before they get to your particular subgroup. Discuss and debate...

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to The Siege, he would have paid . . .

$5.00

Solid date flick level, aimed more for the guys.

The bright star rising in this flick is the performance of Tony Shalhoub. Shalhoub continues to impress Cranky with his run of top notch characters and his ability to inject humor into a humorless scenes.


buy movie posters

The Cranky Critic® is a Registered Trademark of, and his website is Copyright © 1995  -  2015   by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.