July 6, 2023

If You Liked That, You’ll Love This: The Negotiator (1998)

If you enjoyed watching Wesley Snipes run and fight to prove his innocence to Tommy Lee Jones and his cadre of investigators, then what about Samuel L. Jackson taking hostages in order to prove his innocence to Kevin Spacey? Jackson gives one of his best dramatic performances in 1998’s The Negotiator, showcasing his ability to be a relatable, personable authority figure while also demonstrating his crazed determination when necessary.

F. Gary Gray, famed director of hit movies like Friday and Straight Outta Compton, hasn’t received as much recognition for The Negotiator. But where U.S. Marshals–and by extension, The Fugitive–succeeds is in being a tense whodunit where the audience is never quite sure if the protagonist is actually innocent or guilty, or if the antagonist will actually follow through on their plans to arrest their counterpart. Pair that with a well-paced drip of information to the audience about the cover-up, and you have an excellent action-thriller.

Tommy Lee Jones’ swagger and charm are missing in this movie, absolutely. But if you a fan of Jackson’s work, then you know that his personality can make up for any missing emotions with his own brand of bravado. The Negotiator deserves to be seen by any fan of this genre.

Leave a Reply