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

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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 comedy movies about it. Yes, 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

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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

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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.

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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

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254 53
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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.

5
118 39
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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
119 31
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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

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143 44
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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

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119 38
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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

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112 32
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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

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91 30
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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

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89 23
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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

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98 29
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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

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97 34
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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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89 27
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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

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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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Red Eye is listed (or ranked) 16 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

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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

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67 23
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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

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66 22
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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

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57 20
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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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70 27
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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

22
59 28
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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

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53 27
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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

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60 27
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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

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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

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30 18
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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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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

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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

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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

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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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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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30 18
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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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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

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12 Years a Slave Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch 12 Years a Slave is a 2013 period drama film and an adaptation of the 1853 slave narrative memoir Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, a New York State-born free African-American man who was ...more

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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

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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

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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

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21 18
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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

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42 28
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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.

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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

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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

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25 16
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Trespass Nicole Kidman, Nicolas Cage, Cam Gigandet Trespass is a 2011 American thriller film directed by Joel Schumacher. The film stars Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman as a married couple taken hostage by extortionists. Shooting on the project ...more

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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.

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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.

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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

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Bandits Bruce Willis, Cate Blanchett, January Jones Bandits is a 2001 American crime-comedy romantic drama film directed by Barry Levinson. It stars Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, and Cate Blanchett. Filming began in October 2000 and ended in ...more

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Proof of Life Meg Ryan, Russell Crowe, David Morse Proof of Life is a 2000 American kidnap action thriller film directed by Taylor Hackford. The title refers to a phrase commonly used to indicate proof that a kidnap victim is still alive. The ...more

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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

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The Missing Cate Blanchett, Evan Rachel Wood, Val Kilmer The Missing is a 2003 American Revisionist Western thriller film directed by Ron Howard, based on Thomas Eidson's 1996 novel The Last Ride. The film is set in 1885 New Mexico Territory is ...more

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17 14
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12 Rounds John Cena, Taylor Cole, Ashley Scott 12 Rounds is a 2009 American action film directed by Renny Harlin and produced by WWE Studios. The cast is led by John Cena, alongside Steve Harris, Gonzalo Menendez, Aidan Gillen, Brian J. ...more