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Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked 

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Originally by Ranker Community
Updated March 6, 2020 11k votes 2k voters 172.9k views 90 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.

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list ordered by
1
Taken is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace

Released: 2008

Directed by: Pierre Morel

Taken is a 2008 French action thriller film directed by Pierre Morel. A former CIA operative (Liam Neeson) sets about tracking down his teenage daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) and her best friend ...more
2
Misery is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Lauren Bacall, Kathy Bates, James Caan

Released: 1990

Directed by: Rob Reiner

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
3
Prisoners is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Maria Bello

Released: 2013

Directed by: Denis Villeneuve

Prisoners is a 2013 American drama thriller film directed by Denis Villeneuve. Two young girls in Pennsylvania are kidnapped and the father of one of the girls, Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman), must ...more
4
The Silence of the Lambs... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Isaak

Released: 1991

Directed by: Jonathan Demme

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
5
Man on Fire is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Mickey Rourke, Denzel Washington, Dakota Fanning

Released: 2004

Directed by: Tony Scott

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
6
Die Hard is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia

Released: 1988

Directed by: John McTiernan

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
7
Speed is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper

Released: 1994

Directed by: Jan de Bont

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
8
Ransom is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Mel Gibson, Liev Schreiber, Rene Russo

Released: 1996

Directed by: Ron Howard

Ransom is a 1996 American 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
9
Air Force One is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close

Released: 1997

Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen

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
10
Captain Phillips is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Tom Hanks, Catherine Keener, Max Martini

Released: 2013

Directed by: Paul Greengrass

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
11
Along Came a Spider is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Morgan Freeman, Monica Potter, Anton Yelchin

Released: 2001

Directed by: Lee Tamahori

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
12
John Q is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Denzel Washington, Robert Duvall, Bill Maher

Released: 2002

Directed by: Nick Cassavetes

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
13
Panic Room is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Kristen Stewart, Nicole Kidman, Jodie Foster

Released: 2002

Directed by: David Fincher

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
14
Inside Man is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jodie Foster, Denzel Washington, Willem Dafoe

Released: 2006

Directed by: Spike Lee

Inside Man is a 2006 American thriller film directed by Spike Lee, and written by Russell Gewirtz. The film centers on an elaborate bank on Wall Street over a 24-hour period. It stars Denzel ...more
15
Kiss the Girls is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Mena Suvari

Released: 1997

Directed by: Gary Fleder

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
16
Split is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Lswood added James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley

Released: 2016

Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan

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 taken in broad daylight: friends ...more
17
Phone Booth is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Katie Holmes, Colin Farrell, Jared Leto

Released: 2002

Directed by: Joel Schumacher

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
18
Gone Baby Gone is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Morgan Freeman, Michelle Monaghan, Ed Harris

Released: 2007

Directed by: Ben Affleck

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
19
Hostage is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Bruce Willis, Rumer Willis, Ben Foster

Released: 2005

Directed by: Florent Emilio Siri

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
20
White House Down is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal

Released: 2013

Directed by: Roland Emmerich

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
21
Red Eye is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Rachel McAdams, Cillian Murphy, Brian Cox

Released: 2005

Directed by: Wes Craven

Red Eye is a 2005 American thriller film directed by Wes Craven and starring Rachel McAdams as a hotel manager ensnared in a plot by a terrorist while aboard a red-eye flight to Miami. The film ...more
22
Olympus Has Fallen is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Morgan Freeman, Gerard Butler, Ashley Judd

Released: 2013

Directed by: Antoine Fuqua

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
23
The Negotiator is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Kevin Spacey, Samuel L. Jackson, Paul Giamatti

Released: 1998

Directed by: F. Gary Gray

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
24
The Call is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin, Morris Chestnut

Released: 2013

Directed by: Brad Anderson

The Hive is a 2013 thriller film written by Richard D'Ovidio and directed by Brad Anderson.
25
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked
Steve Buscemi, William H. Macy, Frances McDormand

Released: 1996

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

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