Samuel L. Jackson is Danny Roman, a hot shot police negotiator and the man of the hour in the police department. One day he wakes up to find that he has been set up, and now the police are after him. In his panic, he takes control of a building. Knowing all the rules of negotiation, Danny asks for the only negotiator he can trust - Chris Sabian (Kevin Spacey). When the police get itchy trigger fingers and want to go into the building shooting, Sabian finds that the only way he can save Danny Roman's life is to go in there and become his partner. Now the police have to deal with both of them.