An interesting French action pic fights gallantly for dominance over a bulging, American-style shoot-'em-up.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
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.
Stephen Holden - New York Times
It can never quite make that final leap over its formula.
Mike Clark - USA Today
Stephen Hunter - Washington Post
It doesn't satisfy in the way a good thriller ought to.
Michael O'Sullivan - Washington Post
By the time Willis's character saves this considerably long day, it's filmgoers who will no doubt feel like prisoners.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
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.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
A steaming pile of siege cliches and screaming unlikelihoods.
Jessica Winter - Village Voice
Beyond the cliches, there's something deeply offensive about the way Hostage exploits our empathy for children in peril.
Jack Mathews - New York Daily News
Doug Richardson's script is as riddled with plot holes as Pollak's house is with bullets.
Bruce Westbrook - Houston Chronicle
Inevitably, the action has to take over, and the film devolves into a frenzy of fireballs and automatic gunfire.
Tom Maurstad - Dallas Morning News
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.
Michael Booth - Denver Post
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.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Explosions, gunfights and suspense may keep you awake for a while, but not if the movie assaults logic and holds common sense hostage.
Michael Wilmington - Chicago Tribune
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.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
You might feel that the title applies to you.
Jeff Strickler - Minneapolis Star Tribune
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.
Tom Long - Detroit News
The film doesn't follow its own rules.
Bill Muller - Arizona Republic
Visually stylish but highly improbable.
Andrew Sarris - New York Observer
Hostage is all the pulp thriller Bruce Willis movies you've seen before.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
As the story further ramps up the complications, poor plot mechanics run pic off the road.
Robert Koehler - Variety
The film quickly collapses into incoherence with a barrage of bullets, Molotov cocktails and the arrival of a SWAT team.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
If it doesn't wholly succeed, at least it fails in an interesting way.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
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.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
The subplots are stacked up and nesting into each other like so many Russian dolls, and seeming every bit as precious.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
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.
David Edelstein - Slate
Accept Hostage for what it is, and a flawed-but-enjoyable ride awaits. I never once glanced at my watch.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Director Siri's heavily stylized visual approach translates successfully, at least before everything reaches an overly operatic third-act crescendo.
Michael Rechtshaffen - Hollywood Reporter
A tired formula.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Made with energetic flair and no small dose of violence, mercifully handled with discretion, Hostage exemplifies taut, confident filmmaking.
Kevin Thomas - Los Angeles Times
you've seen this movie before
John A. Nesbit - Old School Reviews
Very violent hostage drama.
Nell Minow - Common Sense Media
This is one movie that would be incomplete without a soda, some popcorn, and a box of chocolate covered something.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
Reasonably competent and breathlessly paced.
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
Mostly a nerve jangling thriller, but you know there's something not quite right about a movie when you're wondering more about why such a plush mansion on fire doesn't have a better sprinkler system.
Prairie Miller - Long Island Press
It revels in a sort of operatic vulgarity. And once the story exhausts its over-the-top cheesiness, there are still a few loose ends to tie up, and so the film drags on.
Peter T. Chattaway - Christianity Today
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Dean Essner - Empire Magazine
Dean Essner - Time Out
It's about as meaningful as a pile of cliches.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Dean Essner - Film Threat
Estamos ante una historia interesante, en la que los personajes dejan de ser las caricaturas habituales de siempre para convertirse en seres humanos reales.
Jorge Avila Andrade - Moviola
Dean Essner - AV Club
Dean Essner - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Dean Essner - Bullz-Eye.com
chaotic and cliched
David Levine - Filmcritic.com
Willis manages to be the best thing in the picture, and largely because of him I was willing to overlook the plot's ridiculous loopholes and exaggerations.
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
Dean Essner - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Dean Essner - Sydney Morning Herald
O tipo de filme que deveria ter sido estrelado por Steven Seagal ou Dolph Lundgren e lancado diretamente em video e DVD.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
Much like Jeff Talley himself, Hostage badly needed a shave.
Shay Casey - FilmFocus
Movies can be smart movies, masquerading as stupid ones - this may be the smartest stupid movie you see all year. Either way, it's just what you're looking for.
Karina Montgomery - Cinerina
If you enjoyed the die-hard films of earlier years, this should be a big winner for you.
Vince Koehler - Entertainment Spectrum
While not high art by any stretch of the imagination Siri, Willis and company create a better movie than the premise deserves and create an entertaining B-movie.
Greg Bellavia - Film Threat
...harrowing and brutal, and, as a result, extremely tense.
Luke Y. Thompson - New Times
An agonizingly heated crime drama.
Audrey Rock-Richardson - Tooele Transcript-Bulletin (Utah)
It's easy to mistake Hostage for a plausible adult thriller that loses its way after the first act. But if you pay attention, it's ridiculous from the get-go.
Mark Palermo - Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
The premise is overstuffed with unlikely plot twists and absurdities, but it works as an effective thriller despite the flaws ...
Lori Hoffman - Atlantic City Weekly
It's continually exciting, but also exhausting...and filled with moral ugliness.
Andy Klein - Los Angeles CityBeat
Crais created human beings whose natural actions modulated into an ascending, out-of-control vortex of danger and conflict. The adapters lapsed into familiar stereotypes.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
Willis co-produced this movie, so we should take it as a sign of his desire to step back into these crime-fighter roles. But without a bigger infusion of originality, the effort is going to die hard.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
Dean Essner - Boston Phoenix
The attention shifts from individual character detail and psychological chess matches to outlandish developments and ludicrous resolutions.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
We've had Die Hard and Die Harder, so why not Die Hardest?
Thomas Delapa - Boulder Weekly
A lurid, exploitative actioner.
Steve Schneider - Orlando Weekly
"Hostage" holds the audience prisoner in its implausible, frenzied, blood-soaked melodrama.
Susan Granger - Modamag.com
The cliches are flying faster than the bullets.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Hostage rumbles on as aimlessly as an incoherent ransom note written with a streaking crayon...banally boisterous and over-the-top
Frank Ochieng - Movie Eye
Caffeine, testosterone, adrenaline, gasoline, and a lot of blood add up to one big headache
Marty Mapes - Movie Habit
Hostage asks us to consider what we would do in the exact same situation, and that is what effective filmmaking is all about.
Peter Debruge - Premiere Magazine
Even with one ending too many, this popcorn-movie delivers tension-filled entertainment.
Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone - TheMovieChicks.com
just as ridiculous as most other action movies, but at least it's one with a few ideas in its head
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
At its best Hostage is a nasty, ridiculously involving white-knuckle B-Movie --acted with pure conviction by the eternally underrated Bruce Willis.
Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly
A step up from 'The Whole Ten Yards' if that means anything.
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
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.
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
Ticking-clock thriller takes borrowed parts, gives them a glossy coat of new blood and delivers a clenched-fist bundle of jolts and surprises.
James Rocchi - Netflix
...a dark, violent thriller whose main goal is to keep you glued to your seat.
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
The best Willis films treat his heroics with good-natured disbelief, but all that's left [here] are his increasingly weary action moves.
Daniel Eagan - Film Journal International
What might have been a nice little potboiler... is done in by director Florent Siri's bloodthirsty glee at exploiting the movie's child characters.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
Snatches the sadistic content of a rabble-rousing exploitation film and stashes it within the overblown blockbuster pretensions of a Bruce Willis action vehicle...
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
The end, which manages to rip off Aliens as well as every other cheesy crime drama ever made, was just too much for me.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
"Hostage" blends "Mercury Rising" with "Die Hard" to create an average, well, Bruce Willis movie
Linda Cook - KWQC-TV (Iowa)
Starts out with a lot of promise, but suffers from a silly plot that gets sillier as it goes along.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
This is the action-movie machine, whereby special effects become the story rather than a logical result of the story.
Mark Collette - Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)
...we have seen it all before in better more original films. ...the quality of the action seems dated; this would have been perfect in the mid-1990s.
Jonathan W. Hickman - Entertainment Insiders
Bruce One-Ups the Genre He Helped to Pefect. Sadly, No one Came Along.
Jimmy O - Film Snobs
The Bruce Willis vehicle Hostage starts nicely, only to shed IQ points at alarming speed.
Mark Keizer - Boxoffice Magazine
I was a nervous wreck by the end of this suspenseful movie.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Anton Bitel - Movie Gazette
Bombastic, audacious and slick, yes -- but in this genre, those are often good attributes.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
It's just unfortunate that the film doesn't give [Willis] that much to actually do, at least until the ridiculous climax, when video-game director Siri goes all out with slow-mo, pseudo-religious imagery and lots of impressive fire effects.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Lots of thrills and chills.
Eric Lurio - Greenwich Village Gazette
Old action heroes die hard. Bruce Willis regains blazing glory in Hostage, an action-thriller with more twists and turns than Mulholland Drive.
Larry Ratliff - San Antonio Express-News
The very thing that makes Hostage so good is the very same thing that may likely kill its chances at the box office: this film goes to some dark places.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
The result is a tough but frightened guy -- someone who can kick down a door, then burst into tears when he finds a dead body inside. Willis isn't playing a hero; he's playing a man.
M.E. Russell - Oregonian
Hostage" plays so much to Willis' strengths that it could have been called Die Hard 4: Die Even Harder."
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
Naturally, there is no denial by good taste of grisly plot jolts.
David Elliott - San Diego Union-Tribune
This just represents one more notch down on Willis' foundering career.
Pam Grady - Reel.com
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.
Robert Denerstein - Denver Rocky Mountain News
James Verniere - Boston Herald
Returns again and again to the scenes built around the threat of a groped or abused child, and pulls still a third teen out of its hat for a gun-to-the-head finale.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
The movie is breathlessly paced, fiendishly constructed and generally involving.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
A well-intended but perfunctorily overblown feature produced by and starring Bruce Willis, whose emotionally raw performance is the film's saving grace.
Tom Keogh - Seattle Times
Director Florent Emilio Siri is so caught up in his florid stylings that "Hostage" is somewhat enjoyable on a cheesy level
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Gorgeous atmospherics and good performances with a convoluted and overstuffed plot.
Angela Baldassarre - Sympatico.ca
Tuned in to current politics, narrating the failure of isolationism, as the men imagine can lock themselves up apart from the world.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
Willis wears the character like an old glove; he's a decent, no-nonsense character torn by the threat to his family but prepared to get the job done.
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Although overplotted, too contrived, and seldom plausible, Hostage nevertheless succeeds as a taut, furiously paced and hard-edged variation of Desperate Hours.
Chuck O'Leary - Fantastica Daily
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.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
Takes a turn for the worse after its first half-hour, morphing into an overstuffed exercise in gore and stupidity that will leave your ears ringing and your eyes rubbed raw from disbelief.
Glenn Whipp - Los Angeles Daily News
Bruce Willis struggles valiantly to have us empathize with his character's effort to redeem himself in his own eyes, but he fails and can only gush tears.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
French director Florent Siri deserves good marks for ratcheting up the tension in parts, even if he goes cheesy with the overly dramatic music and too many slo-mo shots. Not bad, but hardly captivating.
Dean Essner - E! Online
Willis plays a man with a past whose nightmare returns when a hostage drama reopens old wounds, blah, blah, blah...
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
In a movie season that has Vin Diesel changing diapers and The Rock singing show tunes, it's nice to have Willis back in action.
Tyler Hanley - Palo Alto Weekly
It starts as a tensely twist-filled action thriller, but through some serious missteps in logic and cliched moments, it ends in a bloody mess.
Kit Bowen - Hollywood.com
It brings little new to the table, even by generic 'reluctant warrior' thriller standards.
Brent Simon - Now Playing Magazine
The grisly death scenes make sense considering Director Florent Emilio Siri's used to direct video games...Yes, video games have directors today. And antacids have calcium.
Mike Ward - Richmond.com
...a nerve-shredding yarn ... While the ending can't completely sabotage the movie, it certainly doesn't enhance it.
James Sanford - Kalamazoo Gazette
The movie doesn't spend much time on details or characterization, especially of its nonessential female characters (which is to say all of them).
Connie Ogle - Miami Herald
Dean Essner - Baltimore Sun
Ultimately comes down to that most tired of devices, a psychotic killer who can't be stopped by bullets, fire or a knife in the face. The big shootout is simply laughable.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
It's a mishmash of familiar themes.
Mary F. Pols - Contra Costa Times
It's a full-on adrenaline feature.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
The writing and direction are simplistic.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
Willis travels a well trodden road...screenwriter Doug Richardson...manufactures one obstacle after another for our hero
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
The amazing thing is how dull a movie crawling with gunfire, psycho tantrums and stuff blowing up can be when you just don't care what happens to anyone.
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Any potential is squandered by implausibilities and a stunning lack of originality.
Greg Maki - Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
A passable thriller with a lot of borrowed style.
Phoebe Flowers - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Hostage is a hit-and-miss action-thriller. When it is good, it crackles and pops with literally breathless, grip-your-armrest-style intensity.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
There's a gripping thriller between the gaps in logic. Director Florent Siri has a tough style and an unforgiving attitude, but it drowns in the queasy blood lust.
Sean Axmaker - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Contrast between impulsive, hot-headed amateurs and implacable, cold-blooded professionals takes this story above the usual guns and explosions multiplex fodder.
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
Willis earns his paycheck by sleepwalking through his role
John A. Nesbit - ToxicUniverse.com
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.
Gene Seymour - Newsday
A visceral, sleazily self-assured B movie.
Scott Foundas - L.A. Weekly
We hate to say it, but an episode of Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown featuring Bruce Willis and Kevin Pollak would have been waaay more entertaining.
Richard Horgan - FilmStew.com
Not that there's anything wrong with trying to inject some solemnity and sophistication into an action movie, but god help you if you don't do it right...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Entertainment by force of will, moviemaking by sledgehammer.
Bob Longino - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The last 30 minutes is a terribly busy bore, and does an excellent job of creating a bad taste to a film that isn't a complete washout and a decent genre exercise.
Brian Orndorf - FilmJerk.com
The action is dynamically filmed and Willis is at his best. Suspense is soon hijacked by outright gore and grisliness, though.
David Sterritt - Christian Science Monitor
It's a tossup whether the crying jags are inspired by this jumbled script or by the fact that Willis has made six dreadful movies in a row.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
...at least the movie has a tone, and a style, and enthusiasm.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
Holding back tears, Willis actually delivers the soon to be immortal line "Yeah, Tommy, Captain Wubba's gonna save Planet Xenon." Now, that sounds like a movie.
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
Typical Bruce Willis fare.
Tony Toscano - Talking Pictures (U.S.)
Takes a kitchen sink approach to the thriller genre, throwing in elements from all types of similar films.
Joshua Tyler - Charleston City Paper
The insanity bound for you in the final reel is a smorgasbord of brimstone and the ugliness of the most tasteless slasher films.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
As time capsules of our defeated, misanthropic age go, Hostage is pretty good. As cash grabs go, it's pretty despicable.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
This is a masterclass in how to come back after being flushed down the toilet for the umpteenth time
James Christopher - Times [UK]
Die Hard from the outside... Ben Foster can't not look like he's going to kill you... And [Willis] has got catch phrases again. Yay! ... I even loved the opening credits.
Fred Topel - About.com
Like the criminals it portrays, Hostage is a dangerous combination -- violence and no intelligence.
Sue Pierman - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The 7-year-old is far and away the smartest character, which is one sign Hostage is an implosion waiting to happen.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
It keeps you interested in the plot, it's easy to follow, and you get to see Bruce Willis kick some booty.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Every bit as riveting as The Negotiator, which wasn't at all riveting.
Jon Popick - Planet Sick-Boy
Hostage rehashes several films, rips off loads of visuals, dialogue, and plot points, but it also entertains on some level. Wait to rent it.
John Venable - Supercala.com
Siri has a good grip on the tingly tension, but he lets logical and logistical details slip through his fingers on his way toward a climax that goes into cliche overdrive.
Rob Blackwelder - SPLICEDWire
I'm the leader of the Convocation of Ridiculously Ugly Dreck (CRUD), and I've made Willis my monkey boy.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
By the film's conclusion, Willis grows tired of the holes in his plot and starts putting holes in the bad guys. This from a guy who swore off action movies.
Sean O'Connell - Flipside Movie Emporium
For all the gunshots, gore, and Willis' grimace, it's bland. The situations are pat, the characters cliche.
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
By piling coincidence upon coincidence, the picture, though quite slickly made, collapses under the weight of its accumulated cliches and improbabilities.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Aided by a sinister house, this is a terrific, tension-filled action movie, with character development unusual for the genre. Ben Foster creates a scary psychopathic villain.
Tony Medley - tonymedley.com
A Heaven Can Wait DVD figures prominently in Hostage, but there's more hellfire than wit or romance in Florent Siri's thriller.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
A brutal and suspenseful film noir.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
The makers of Hostage are clearly of the school of thought that believe any scene can be improved with dramatic, swelling music and slow motion action.
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
It's nasty, violent, artistically barren and kind of fun.
Paul Arendt - BBC