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Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Hostage Movie Poster Image
Very violent hostage drama.
  • R
  • 2005
  • 113 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Extreme, intense, and graphic violence, many injuries and deaths.


Sexual references and threats are made.


Very strong language.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking and drug use.

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byjennbeau April 9, 2008


This movie took me by surprise it wasn't what I expected. But ended up being good, and I thought the ending was perfect!!! But that one character I never l... Continue reading
Adult Written byalexo21 April 9, 2008

I couldn't even watch the end of this movie

This movie does offer some suspense... but it's crap. Bruce Willis gives a mediocre performance, it's a pretty slow paced movie, and there's way... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old November 16, 2014

Good movie but has gore

If you like hostage movies great for you
Teen, 14 years old Written byStevie111 March 3, 2012

Very dark and intense crime thriller

Strong violence involving hostages. Some drug use. Graphic language. Terrific and entertaining movie

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Talley responded the way he did to the tragic outcome of the first hostage situation in the film. How can a negotiator gain the confidence of someone who may be disturbed or irrational?

Movie details

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