[box cover]

The Siege

When a group of Arab terrorist cells launches a series of attacks in New York City, FBI agents Anthony Hubbard (Denzel Washington) and Frank Haddad (Tony Shaloub) start tracking leads, only to find that inscrutable CIA agent Sharon Bridger (Annette Benning) is somehow mixed up in the conspiracy. When the three fail to completely destroy the terrorist cells, the president — facing unprecedented public fear in New York — imposes martial law in the city, under the auspices of U.S. Army Gen. William Devereaux (Bruce Willis). This complex outing from producer/director Edward Zwick (Glory, Legends of the Fall) moves at brisk pace, and it shows courage by its willingness to address some of the sorer points of contemporary American culture, including the issue of prejudice against immigrants, and particularly Arab-Americans. And while Zwick commendably presents much of Arab-American culture in a positive light, in the end, the need to have a conveniently plotted Hollywood thriller with a tidy ending makes the sum of the parts somewhat lesser than the whole. Nevertheless, Washington delivers a powerful performance, and the many action sequences are engrossing and well done. The second DVD release of The Siege from Fox features an excellent anamorphic transfer (2.35:1) with audio in DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 or Dolby 2.0 Surround. Trailer, keep-case.

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