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Siskel: Smart And Tart 'Siege'

CBS This Morning Contributor Gene Siskel is calling The Siege an "exciting, thoughtful picture."

The new movie stars Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis, and Annette Bening. But Siskel also had high praise for director Edward Zwick and the script, written by Zwick, Lawrence Wright, and Menno Meyjes.

"If the issue of solving terrorism on U.S. soil troubles you, The Siege will not offer any comfort. But it will entertain you," says Siskel.

In The Siege, the three stars play characters who represent three branches of the American security system who join forces to battle terrorism in New York City. They are FBI agent Washington, CIA operative Bening, and Army General Willis.

While moviegoers have been down terrorist streets before, says Siskel, the material has never seemed this compelling before. The story actually has some ideas in it and does not back away from presenting the fervor of Muslim zealots, or the trickiness of deciding just how many civil liberties we might have to give up in a crisis.

Siskel also praises director Zwick for endowing the physical production with a sense of authenticity.

There is a good balance between the characters played by Washington and Bening. "Denzel Washington's FBI agent is quick to anger," says Siskel. "But his testosterone rush is blunted by Bening, who exudes confidence and intelligence."

Siskel likes the movie's energy, and the fact that it is thought-provoking.

"It did allow me to spend a couple of hours thinking seriously about the terrorist threat and, frankly, what a difficult - if not unsolvable - problem it is. And that's more than enough to recommend this exciting, thoughtful picture."

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