F. Gary Gray directed this suspenseful action thriller based on a real case experienced by police in St. Louis. The James DeMonaco/Kevin Fox screenplay follows an accused man who is forced to commit crimes in order to prove himself innocent of murder. After Chicago police hostage negotiator Danny Roman (Samuel L. Jackson) succeeds in rescuing a little girl menaced by her gun-wielding dad, he's praised by both the police department and the media, and he returns to his usual cop routines with his longtime partner, promising his new wife Karen (Regina Taylor) he'll make it home for dinner every night. Then his partner, who had evidence of embezzlement within the police department, is killed. Since Danny arrives at the crime scene only seconds later, he's the main suspect, and Chief Al Travis (John Spencer) asks him to turn in his gun and badge. Danny invades the Chicago Internal Affairs Division headquarters and tries to get the truth from Inspector Terence Niebaum (J.T. Walsh) while holding two assistants and Commander Frost (Ron Rifkin) as hostages. He then calls for an outsider from another precinct, hostage negotiator Chris Sabian (Kevin Spacey). When Sabian arrives, the two compete for control, while Danny attempts to prove to him that he's been falsely accused. The film is dedicated to J.T. Walsh, who died not long after the production wrapped.