Hostage 2005

Critics score:
35 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: 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. Read more

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: The movie doesn't spend much time on details or characterization, especially of its nonessential female characters (which is to say all of them). Read more

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: Explosions, gunfights and suspense may keep you awake for a while, but not if the movie assaults logic and holds common sense hostage. Read more

Tom Keogh, Seattle Times: A well-intended but perfunctorily overblown feature produced by and starring Bruce Willis, whose emotionally raw performance is the film's saving grace. Read more

David Edelstein, Slate: 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. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: 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. Read more

Bob Longino, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Entertainment by force of will, moviemaking by sledgehammer. Read more

AV Club: Read more

Bill Muller, Arizona Republic: The film doesn't follow its own rules. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: 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. Read more

Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times: Made with energetic flair and no small dose of violence, mercifully handled with discretion, Hostage exemplifies taut, confident filmmaking. Read more

Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle: Doug Richardson's script is as riddled with plot holes as Pollak's house is with bullets. Read more

Michael Booth, Denver Post: 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. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: An interesting French action pic fights gallantly for dominance over a bulging, American-style shoot-'em-up. Read more

Tom Maurstad, Dallas Morning News: Inevitably, the action has to take over, and the film devolves into a frenzy of fireballs and automatic gunfire. Read more

Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly: A visceral, sleazily self-assured B movie. Read more

Gene Seymour, Newsday: 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. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: The writing and direction are simplistic. Read more

Jack Mathews, New York Daily News: Beyond the cliches, there's something deeply offensive about the way Hostage exploits our empathy for children in peril. Read more

Stephen Holden, New York Times: 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. Read more

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer: Visually stylish but highly improbable. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: Hostage is all the pulp thriller Bruce Willis movies you've seen before. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: If it doesn't wholly succeed, at least it fails in an interesting way. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Accept Hostage for what it is, and a flawed-but-enjoyable ride awaits. I never once glanced at my watch. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: 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. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: Willis plays a man with a past whose nightmare returns when a hostage drama reopens old wounds, blah, blah, blah... Read more

Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune: You might feel that the title applies to you. Read more

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: The subplots are stacked up and nesting into each other like so many Russian dolls, and seeming every bit as precious. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: 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. Read more

Time Out: Read more

Mike Clark, USA Today: It can never quite make that final leap over its formula. Read more

Robert Koehler, Variety: As the story further ramps up the complications, poor plot mechanics run pic off the road. Read more

Jessica Winter, Village Voice: A steaming pile of siege cliches and screaming unlikelihoods. Read more

Stephen Hunter, Washington Post: Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: By the time Willis's character saves this considerably long day, it's filmgoers who will no doubt feel like prisoners. Read more

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: It doesn't satisfy in the way a good thriller ought to. Read more