The Best Movies About Kidnapping
No one wants to be kidnapped, but everyone loves a good kidnapping movie. Human trafficking, a parent's fear that their kid could mysteriously disappear off the school playground one day, drug related kidnapping, news footage of a victim of a kidnapping finally returning home after being gone for two decades, seeing a group of friends, families and neighbors searching through the forest for a missing child – films about child abductions run the gamut, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats.
Some of the movies featured on this list involve a kidnapping story based on real life events where a child has gone missing, the emotional traumas they suffered, how many years it took for them to be found, and how it affected friends and families. Others create a fictional world in which a kidnapping occurs.
This list has the best kidnapping movies, including: Taken, Ransom, Man on Fire, Along Came a Spider, Misery, Kiss the Girls, Don’t Say a Word, Proof of Life, A Perfect World, The Missing, and Breakdown.
Vote up your favorite kidnapping capers, or add your favorite film below that isn't already on the list.
- Released: 2008
- Directed by: Pierre Morel
Liam Neeson stars in this intense thriller about a former CIA agent who must use his unique set of skills to rescue his abducted daughter from a sex trafficking ring in Paris. With a heart-pumping plot, expertly choreographed action scenes, and a standout performance from Neeson, Taken has become a classic in the kidnapping movie genre.
- Released: 1990
- Directed by: Rob Reiner
Kathy Bates delivers a memorable performance as Annie Wilkes, a crazed fan who abducts her favorite author, Paul Sheldon (James Caan), after he is injured in a car accident. As Paul struggles to escape from Annie’s clutches, he realizes he is fighting for his life.
- Released: 2004
- Directed by: Tony Scott
In this action-packed thriller, Denzel Washington stars as John Creasy, a former CIA agent who is hired to protect a young girl named Pita (Dakota Fanning) in Mexico City. When Pita is abducted, Creasy sets out to take revenge on those responsible, using all of his skills and resources to get her back.
- Released: 2013
- Directed by: Denis Villeneuve
Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal star in this intense thriller about a father who takes matters into his own hands after his daughter and her friend are abducted. As he searches for answers and becomes increasingly desperate, he must navigate a web of secrets and lies to uncover the truth.
- Released: 1997
- Directed by: Gary Fleder
Based on the novel by James Patterson, this psychological thriller stars Morgan Freeman as Alex Cross, a detective who is called in to help solve a string of abductions of young women. When his niece is also taken, Cross must race against time to track down the killer and bring him to justice.
- Released: 2001
- Directed by: Lee Tamahori
In this crime thriller, Morgan Freeman reprises his role as Alex Cross, who teams up with a Secret Service agent (Monica Potter) to track down a kidnapper who has abducted the daughter of a U.S. senator. As they follow the clues, they realize that nothing is as it seems.