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