A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is an exceptionally violent movie with extreme, intense, and graphic images and many kinds of weapons. Characters are in severe peril, including children and a young girl who is bound and threatened with rape. Many characters are wounded or killed. Characters drink and use drugs and use some very strong language. A strength of the movie is strong minority and female characters.
What's the story?
Three combustible forces come together in one fortress of a mansion in this bloodbath of a hostage drama. First is Jeff Talley (Bruce Willis), a former big-time hostage negotiator who was shattered by a tragic failure and gave it up to become a small-town police chief. Second is three strung-out teens who decide to steal an SUV but end up in the house when things get out of control, taking the owner and his two children hostage. Third is a group of ruthless professional bad guys who have no interest in the boys or the hostages but will do whatever it takes to retrieve a DVD with some very important files that is hidden inside the house, its location only known to a man who is unconscious.
Is it any good?
HOSTAGE has a nice set-up. The contrast between the impulsive, hot-headed amateurs and the implacable, cold-blooded professionals as they interact with the hostages and the increasingly compromised Talley take this story above the usual guns and explosions multiplex fodder.
The film also has some good performances, especially Ben Foster as the most volatile of the boys. It has a sensational opening credit sequence. But the dialogue is stock UPN-drama and a promising premise disintegrates quickly into standard guns and explosions fare.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.