film Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked  

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5.7k votes 1k voters 87k views 76 items

List Rules Vote for what you think are the best kidnapping and hostage movies.

If you’re looking for an adrenaline-filled adventure, the best kidnapping movies and hostage movies below have you covered. The kidnapping and hostage genre has been around for decades and stories in that genre have been done in a variety of ways. Some tell the story from the perspective of the kidnapped while others cast the hostage takers as the protagonists.

When you think about kidnapping and hostage movies, what genre do you usually associate with them? If you’re thinking action, you wouldn’t be wrong, but they span so many more. For instance, there are horror movies about kidnapping as well as abduction thriller films. There have even been comedy movies about hostage taking and kidnapping. Apparently, abducting someone against their will can be funny, who knew?

To find out which is the best kidnapping or hostage movie of all time, movie fans have voted for their favorites below, regardless of genre. If you’re looking to see where a particular kidnapping movie is ranked, you can use the search function at the top of the list. Don’t see it? Then add it so that others may vote on it. After all, this is supposed to be a comprehensive list of the best hostage and kidnapping movies.

list ordered by

1
487 122
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Taken Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace Taken is a 2008 French action thriller film directed by Pierre Morel, written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, and starring Leland Orser, Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Jon Gries, David ...more

2
260 72
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The Silence of the Lambs Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Isaak The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. Directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Scott ...more

3
295 103
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Prisoners Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Maria Bello Prisoners is a 2013 crime drama thriller film written by Aaron Guzikowski and directed by Denis Villeneuve.

4
231 79
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Die Hard Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia Die Hard is a 1988 American action film directed by John McTiernan and written by Steven E. de Souza and Jeb Stuart. It is based on the 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever, by Roderick Thorp. Die ...more

5
183 74
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Speed Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper Speed is a 1994 American action film directed by Jan de Bont in his feature film directorial debut. The film stars Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, Joe Morton, and Jeff Daniels. A ...more

6
198 71
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Panic Room Kristen Stewart, Nicole Kidman, Jodie Foster Panic Room is a 2002 American thriller film directed by David Fincher and written by David Koepp. The film stars Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart as a mother and daughter whose new home is ...more

7
342 92
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The Call Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin, Morris Chestnut The Hive is a 2013 thriller film written by Richard D'Ovidio and directed by Brad Anderson.

8
175 52
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Misery Lauren Bacall, Kathy Bates, James Caan Misery is a 1990 American psychological thriller film based on Stephen King's 1987 novel of the same name and starring James Caan, Kathy Bates, Lauren Bacall, Richard Farnsworth, and Frances ...more

9
177 63
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Man on Fire Mickey Rourke, Denzel Washington, Dakota Fanning Man on Fire is a 2004 American thriller film and the second adaptation of A. J. Quinnell's 1980 novel of the same name; the first film based on the novel was released in 1987. The 2004 film ...more

10
175 66
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Ransom Mel Gibson, Liev Schreiber, Rene Russo Ransom is a 1996 American crime thriller film written by Richard Price & Alexander Ignon and directed by Ron Howard. The film stars Mel Gibson, Rene Russo, Brawley Nolte, Gary Sinise, Delroy ...more

11
134 58
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Captain Phillips Tom Hanks, Catherine Keener, Max Martini Captain Phillips is a 2013 American biographical thriller film directed by Paul Greengrass and starring Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi. The film is inspired by the true story of the 2009 Maersk ...more

12
142 64
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White House Down Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal White House Down is a 2013 American political action-thriller film directed by Roland Emmerich about an assault on the White House by a paramilitary group and the Capitol Police Officer who ...more

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123 56
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Inside Man Jodie Foster, Denzel Washington, Willem Dafoe Inside Man is a 2006 American crime thriller film directed by Spike Lee, and written by Russell Gewirtz. The film centers on an elaborate bank heist on Wall Street over a 24-hour period. It ...more

14
113 44
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Air Force One Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close Air Force One is a 1997 American political action thriller film written by Andrew W. Marlowe and directed and co-produced by Wolfgang Petersen. It is about a group of Russian terrorists that ...more

15
121 60
Red Eye is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Red Eye Rachel McAdams, Cillian Murphy, Brian Cox Red Eye is a 2005 American thriller film directed by Wes Craven and starring Rachel McAdams as a hotel manager ensnared in an assassination plot by a terrorist while aboard a red-eye flight to ...more

16
129 58
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Hostage Bruce Willis, Rumer Willis, Ben Foster Hostage is a 2005 American action thriller drama film starring Bruce Willis and directed by Florent Emilio Siri. The film was based on a novel by Robert Crais, and was adapted for the screen by ...more

17
128 57
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Phone Booth Katie Holmes, Colin Farrell, Jared Leto Phone Booth is a 2002 American psychological thriller film about a man who is held hostage in a telephone booth by a sniper. It stars Colin Farrell, Forest Whitaker, Katie Holmes, Radha Mitchell ...more

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119 43
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Kiss the Girls Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Mena Suvari Kiss the Girls is a 1997 American psychological thriller film directed by Gary Fleder and starring Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, and Cary Elwes. The screenplay by David Klass is based on the ...more

19
114 45
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Olympus Has Fallen Morgan Freeman, Gerard Butler, Ashley Judd Olympus Has Fallen is a 2013 American action thriller film. Directed by Antoine Fuqua, it stars Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, and Morgan Freeman, with Angela Bassett, Robert Forster, Cole ...more

20
110 52
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John Q Denzel Washington, Robert Duvall, Bill Maher John Q is a 2002 American thriller film directed by Nick Cassavetes. The film follows John Quincy Archibald, a father and husband whose son is diagnosed with an enlarged heart and then finds out ...more

21
98 37
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Along Came a Spider Morgan Freeman, Monica Potter, Anton Yelchin Along Came a Spider is a 2001 American psychological thriller film directed by Lee Tamahori. It is a sequel to the 1997 film Kiss the Girls. The screenplay by Marc Moss was adapted from the 1993 ...more

22
89 45
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The Transporter Jason Statham, Shu Qi, François Berléand The Transporter is a 2002 French action thriller film directed by Louis Leterrier and Corey Yuen and written by Luc Besson, who was inspired by BMW Films' The Hire series. The film stars Jason ...more

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93 51
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Gone Baby Gone Morgan Freeman, Michelle Monaghan, Ed Harris Gone Baby Gone is a 2007 American neo-noir mystery film directed by Ben Affleck and starring his brother Casey Affleck. The screenplay by Ben Affleck and Aaron Stockard is based on the novel of ...more

24
82 49
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The Negotiator Kevin Spacey, Samuel L. Jackson, Paul Giamatti The Negotiator is a 1998 action thriller film directed by F. Gary Gray, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Spacey. It takes place in Chicago and was released on July 29, 1998. The original ...more

25
66 42
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Fargo Steve Buscemi, William H. Macy, Frances McDormand Fargo is a 1996 American neo-noir dark comedy crime film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It stars Frances McDormand as a pregnant Minnesota police chief who ...more

26
81 55
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Cellular Jessica Biel, Kim Basinger, Chris Evans Cellular is a 2004 American action crime thriller film directed by David R. Ellis and starring Kim Basinger, Chris Evans, Jason Statham, and William H. Macy. The screenplay was written by Chris ...more

27
65 43
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Die Hard 2 Bruce Willis, John Leguizamo, Dennis Franz Die Hard 2 is a 1990 American action film and the second in the Die Hard film series. It was released on July 4, 1990. The film was directed by Renny Harlin, and stars Bruce Willis as John ...more

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34 14
Split is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Lswood added Split James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley Split is a 2016 American psychological horror thriller film directed and written by M. Night Shyamalan. After a wholesome teen birthday party, three girls are kidnapped in broad daylight: ...more

29
64 47
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The Taking of Pelham 123 John Travolta, Denzel Washington, James Gandolfini The Taking of Pelham 123 is a 2009 American thriller film directed by Tony Scott, and starring Denzel Washington and John Travolta. It is a film adaptation of the novel by Morton Freedgood, and ...more

30
56 22
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Taken 2 Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace Taken 2 is a 2012 Action Crime Drama Thriller film written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen and directed by Olivier Megaton.

31
77 52
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Saw Danny Glover, Monica Potter, Shawnee Smith Saw is a 2004 horror film written by Leigh Whannell and directed by James Wan.

32
62 28
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12 Years a Slave Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch 12 Years a Slave is a 2013 period drama film directed by Steve McQueen, based on the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free ...more

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60 41
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The Rock Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery, Ed Harris The Rock is a 1996 action film that primarily takes place on Alcatraz Island and in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was directed by Michael Bay, produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer and ...more

34
57 46
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Cape Fear Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange Cape Fear is a 1991 American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and a remake of the 1962 film of the same name. It stars Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange and ...more

35
41 37
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Alpha Dog Olivia Wilde, Amanda Seyfried, Amber Heard Alpha Dog is a 2006 American crime drama film written and directed by Nick Cassavetes, first screened at the Sundance Film Festival on January 27, 2006, with a wide release the following year on ...more

36
61 43
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Don't Say a Word Famke Janssen, Michael Douglas, Brittany Murphy Don't Say a Word is a 2001 psychological thriller film starring Michael Douglas, Brittany Murphy and Sean Bean based on the novel of the same title by Andrew Klavan. Don't Say a Word was ...more

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41 39
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Nick of Time Johnny Depp, Christopher Walken, Charles S. Dutton Nick of Time, starring Johnny Depp, Christopher Walken, Charles S. Dutton and Courtney Chase, is a 1995 political thriller film. It was directed by John Badham. It is noteworthy for taking place ...more

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48 33
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The River Wild Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon, John C. Reilly The River Wild is a 1994 adventure crime-thriller film directed by Curtis Hanson and starring Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon, David Strathairn, John C. Reilly, Benjamin Bratt and Joseph Mazzello as ...more

39
39 33
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Savages Salma Hayek, Blake Lively, John Travolta Savages is a 2012 American crime thriller film directed by Oliver Stone. It is based on the novel of the same name by Don Winslow. The screenplay was written by Shane Salerno, Winslow and Stone. ...more

40
44 47
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Collateral Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jason Statham Collateral is a 2004 American neo-noir crime film directed by Michael Mann from a screenplay written by Stuart Beattie, and starring Tom Cruise as a contract killer and Jamie Foxx as a taxi ...more

41
49 37
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Gone Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Carpenter, Sebastian Stan Gone is a 2012 thriller film written by Allison Burnett and directed by Heitor Dhalia.

42
41 39
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Commando Arnold Schwarzenegger, Alyssa Milano, Bill Paxton Commando is a 1985 American action film directed by Mark L. Lester, and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rae Dawn Chong. The film was released in the United States on October 4, 1985. The film ...more

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32 38
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Dog Day Afternoon Al Pacino, Carol Kane, Charles Durning Dog Day Afternoon is a 1975 American crime drama film directed by Sidney Lumet, written by Frank Pierson, and produced by Martin Bregman and Martin Elfand. The film stars Al Pacino, John Cazale, ...more

44
38 32
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The Collector Terence Stamp, Kenneth More, Samantha Eggar The Collector is a 1965 American psychological thriller film based on the 1963 novel The Collector by John Fowles and filmed at various locations in England. The film was adapted by Stanley Mann ...more

45
42 26
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Taken 3 Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace Taken 3 is a 2014 French action thriller film directed by Olivier Megaton and written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen. It is the third and final installment in the Taken trilogy, and the ...more

46
21 16
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Lswood added Get Out Daniel Kaluuya, Catherine Keener, Allison Williams Get Out is a 2017 satirical horror film written and directed by Jordan Peele. A young African American man visits his white girlfriend's family estate where he learns that many of its residents, ...more

47
39 38
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Assault on Precinct 13 Austin Stoker, Charles Cyphers, Tony Burton Assault on Precinct 13 is a 1976 American action thriller film written, directed, scored and edited by John Carpenter. It stars Austin Stoker as a police officer who defends a defunct precinct ...more

48
25 28
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Passenger 57 Elizabeth Hurley, Wesley Snipes, Tom Sizemore Passenger 57 is a 1992 American action film directed by Kevin Hooks. The film stars Wesley Snipes and Bruce Payne. The film's success made Snipes a popular action hero icon. It also introduced ...more

49
34 24
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AvaMarriott added House at the End of the Street Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Shue, Max Thieriot House at the End of the Street is a 2012 horror film directed by Mark Tonderai and written by David Loucka and Eduardo Gordon.

50
26 28
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Executive Decision Halle Berry, Steven Seagal, Kurt Russell Executive Decision is a 1996 American action film directed by Stuart Baird in his directorial debut. The film stars Kurt Russell, Steven Seagal, Halle Berry, Oliver Platt and John Leguizamo. The ...more