While we condemn the crimes of kidnapping and abduction, we can’t deny how they also seem to be used as a plot device in action and adventure movies. The act gives the protagonist a goal to achieve and drives the film’s plot forward.
Here are 10 of the best kidnapping movies of all time.
Top 10 Best Kidnapping Movies of All Time
Most memorable for its iconic line, “I will look for you, I will find you and I will kill you”, Taken (2008) is a thrilling ride about a father played by Liam Neeson on the hunt to retrieve his daughter from the people who kidnapped her.
Watch this former government agent put his training to good use as he scours Europe to find his daughter before she is auctioned off as a sex slave — the worst nightmare we’re sure every father has. Taken is one of the best movies about kidnapping of all time.
Captain Phillips (2013)
You may recognize this film from the popular meme ‘I’m the Captain Now’, so why not figure out how the meme was born and watch Captain Phillips (2013)?
Based on the real-life hijacking of a US container ship by Somali pirates, the film stars Tom Hanks as the titular Captain Phillips who was kidnapped and taken hostage by the pirates after robbing the ship he’s on. They will eventually be at the mercy of events outside their control. Captain Phillips is one of the best kidnapping movies based on true stories.
The film is most notable for Tom Hanks complex portrayal of the real-life captain.
Ah, the film that started the gore film craze of the 2000s. People often forget that Saw (2004) and its sequels are essentially kidnapping movies. because of the more shocking factor of its characters’ increasingly gory deaths.
The story goes. Jigsaw, a mysterious but powerful man, kidnaps a group of strangers, places them in an isolated and trap-ridden place to make them fight their way out of captivity. While the sequels offer more creative death scenes and characters, nothing can beat the original film where two strangers find themselves shackled in a room with a ‘dead’ body.
Gone Baby Gone (2007)
Before Ben Affleck starred in Gone Girl, he directed Gone Baby Gone (2007) an adaptation of a Dennis Lehane novel with the same name.
It stars his brother Casey Affleck as a private investigator tasked to solve the mystery of a girl’s apparent kidnapping. Although apprehensive at first, the investigator takes on the case with his partner played by Michelle Monaghan. In their search, they uncover Boston’s seedy web of corruption which would eventually challenge their partnership.
Critics were impressed by Affleck’s directorial skills which they say is better than his acting.
Next on our list of the Best Kidnapping Movies is Prisoners (2013), stars Hugh Jackman as a father who takes justice into his own hands after the police force lets go of the primary suspect in the abduction of his young daughter and her friend. Showing every parent’s worst nightmare, the film sought to answer the question: how far can you go for the safety of your children?
The film also features Jake Gyllenhaal as the police officer assigned to the case and Paul Dano as the suspect who was commended for their great performance in the film.
Oh boy, if you don’t know this film’s story yet, stop reading this now and save yourself the misery of knowing its twisted, well, twist.
By the way, we’re talking about the original Oldboy directed by Park Chan Wook and not its disappointing American remake.
Oh Dae Su, a loving father, and husband, finds himself mysteriously detained in an unknown location for no reason. He spends years in this situation with only a small television for entertainment and some dumplings for food. After 15 years in captivity, he is released onto the streets where a bum hands him a phone and some money. He then goes on a mission to unravel his kidnapping and what happened to his family.
High and Low (1963)
Here is another film from an excellent Asian director. This time it’s Akira Kurosawa’s High and Low (1963).
The film noir revolves around a rich industrialist, played by Toshiro Mifune, whose family is under threat of a ruthless kidnapper.
It is praised by critics for providing a biting critique of the Japanese modern society while also delivering a thrilling adaptation of a detective novel.
Blue Velvet (1986)
David Lynch directs Blue Velvet (1986) a mystery thriller film about a young man who finds a mysterious severed ear in a field. Getting no help from the police, he teams up with a detective’s daughter to solve the case. Together, they encounter a beautiful singer who they believe is involved in the mystery. But instead unraveling the mystery, the young man becomes entangled in the singer’s dark and twisted world where he meets a psychopath.
Not to be mistaken with the comedy series of the same name, Fargo is a mystery thriller starring, Frances McDormand as a pregnant police chief investigating a car accident which resulted from a failed kidnapping attempt by two criminals who were hired by a local businessman to kidnap his wife.
The Coen brothers film proved to be a success among critics receiving luminous reviews and numerous award nominations. It has also been chosen for preservation in the United State National Film Registry.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Although the film is most memorable for its lead character and central antagonist, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the film has another strange yet interesting character.
The kidnapper in this film is the serial killer Buffalo Bill who detains his victims in the bottom of a well where he insists they put on lotion for him.
With the FBI hitting a wall to solve his case, Agent Clarice Starling is forced to work with the psychopath Hannibal Lecter in an attempt to see into the twisted minds of serial killers and unravel how they work and operate.
What’s your favorite kidnapping movie? Don’t hesitate to tell us in the comments below.