A matter of negotiation

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German title A matter of negotiation
Original title The negotiator
A matter of negotiation (film) Logo.png
Country of production Germany
original language English
Publishing year 1998
length 134 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
Director F. Gary Gray
script James DeMonaco
Kevin Fox
production David Hoberman
Arnon Milchan
music Graeme Revell
camera Russell Carpenter
cut Christian Wagner

The Negotiator (Original: The Negotiator ) is an action thriller by F. Gary Gray from 1998 with Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Spacey in the lead roles.


Lieutenant Danny Roman is a successful Chicago police officer and hostage negotiator. However, he uncovered a conspiracy in his department. Several officials have personally enriched themselves in fund transactions through corruption . When Romans' investigating partner - Nathan Roenick - is murdered, Roman himself comes under suspicion of corruption and murder. In a preliminary meeting, the responsible public prosecutor made it unmistakably clear that he did not believe in his innocence. In this situation, Roman sees only one way out of avoiding his imprisonment and solving the murder: He himself takes two police officers and two civilians hostage. He holed up in a police office in Building 77 West Wacker Drive , a 49-story skyscraper in Chicago. Among the hostages is Police Inspector Niebaum, whom Danny believes is corrupt and is behind the murder of his partner. Since he does not trust anyone in his district, he demands the foreign negotiator Lt. Chris Sabian, who should bring the truth to light with him.

Sabian and Roman play tough negotiation poker that is repeatedly disturbed by some of the corrupt police officers. During the second attempt by these to storm the office, Niebaum is targeted and shot. Roman ties up one of the attackers and flees in his outfit before the third attack.

Roman escapes from the building, Sabian brings him to the house of the killed Niebaum, where Roman suspects hidden evidence. However, no evidence can be found. When the corrupt police officers come into the house, Sabian shoots Roman, who falls to the floor bleeding. He negotiates with the head of the conspirators, who is Commander Grant Frost, and claims to have found evidence of the crime. Sabian demands a share in the money stolen from a fund.

The hearing is transmitted to the outside world by a radio that Roman is holding in his hand; the police officers from the special forces stationed in front of the house listen. The corrupt police officers are arrested. It turns out that Roman was only injured by Sabian.

It is implied that Roman will be acquitted of all charges and put back into service.


"Exciting thriller, which suffers from its overly bombastic visual effects, but thanks to the excellent performance of the leading actors solidly entertains."

"A brilliant exchange of blows between the actors - here every word says more than a thousand pictures."

“The thriller offers more than daring stunts and action; The duel between the two Hollywood stars Jackson and Spacey is particularly exciting. "

- Rhein-Zeitung of September 29, 1999

"Those who chew fingernails have to pull themselves together: This film is pure suspense!"

- TV Today (issue 20/1999)


The film is dedicated to JT Walsh , who died a few months before its release.

The building that houses the IAD office in the film is 77 West Wacker Drive .


The film was nominated for the Saturn Award in 1999 for Best Action Film / Thriller . Samuel L. Jackson was nominated for the 1999 Blockbuster Entertainment Award, the Black Film Award and the Image Award. Director F. Gary Gray and the film for Best Picture won the Black Film Award in 1999. The film was nominated for the Motion Picture Sound Editors Award in 1999 in two categories.

The German Film and Media Assessment FBW in Wiesbaden awarded the film the rating "valuable".

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for the matter to be negotiated . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , March 2009 (PDF; test number: 82 807 V / DVD / UMD).
  2. ↑ A matter of negotiation. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  3. ^ A matter of negotiation on tvspielfilm.de
  4. A matter of negotiation on fbw-filmbassy.com