Rated R 2005

Hostage certainly delivers violence and heroics, but not in a way everyone is going to enjoy -- it's brutal and harrowing. The English-language debut of French director Florent Emilio Siri (2002's The Nest), it plays like the next step in the Clint Eastwoodization of Bruce Willis from action icon to flawed, aging hero with regrets. After washing his hands of L.A., hostage negotiator Jeff Talley (Willis) winds up in the small town of Bristo Camino, which is extremely low on crime, but as fate would have it, home to one of the most evil juvenile delinquents in the world (Ben Foster). When he and his friends stage a home invasion, however, they pick the wrong house, one where the resident (Kevin Pollak) is connected to some very high-level crooks. Two groups of bad guys, one morally ambiguous hostage, and a negotiator primarily concerned with his own family. You know it'll have to end badly for someone. The film itself, however, works out pretty well.



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