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The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage 

Ranker Film
Updated January 22, 2019 403 votes 71 voters 5.1k views 27 items

List Rules Vote up the best movies that feature a kidnapped hostage.

Once a hostage enters the picture the stakes of any situation go up exponentially. The best hostage thriller movies feature brave lead characters who risk their lives to save innocent victims. This is a list of the top hostage thriller movies including everything from The Silence of the Lambs to From Dusk Till Dawn to Captain Phillips.

What films will you find on this list of great hostage thrillers? You won't be surprised to find Die Hard here. The staff at the Nakatomi Corporation were held hostage by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) and his gang of thieves until John McClane (Bruce Willis) enlisted the help of local police and sheer nerve to save the day. Dog Day Afternoon is another thrilling film featuring a hostage situation. Retired CIA field operative Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) would stop at nothing to retrieve his daughter in the 2008 thriller Taken. Other top thrillers with a hostage that appear on this list include John Q, Kiss the Girls, and Inside Man.

Do you have a favorite hostage thriller? Give the best movies a thumbs up and get in on the conversation in the comments section.

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1
Taken is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage
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

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2
Room is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage
Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen

Released: 2015

Directed by: Lenny Abrahamson

Room is a 2015 independent drama film directed by Lenny Abrahamson, based on the novel by Emma Donoghue. After being held captive for seven years, a woman (Brie Larson) and her son (Jacob ...more

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3
Speed is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage
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

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4
The Silence of the Lambs... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage
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

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5
The Purge is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage
Lena Headey, Ethan Hawke, Adelaide Kane

Released: 2013

Directed by: James DeMonaco

The Purge is a 2013 American social science fiction action horror film written and directed by James DeMonaco. It stars Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Adelaide Kane and Max Burkholder. It is the ...more

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6
Inside Man is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage
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

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7
John Q is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage
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

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8
Breaking In is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage
Gabrielle Union, Billy Burke, Richard Cabral

Released: 2018

Directed by: James McTeigue

Breaking In is a 2018 thriller film directed by James McTeigue. After the sudden death of her father, Shaun (Gabrielle Union) taker her two kids to her father's Malibu mansion to settle his ...more
9
Split is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage
Split James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson
10
Die Hard is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage
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

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11
The Taking of Pelham 123... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage
John Travolta, Denzel Washington, James Gandolfini

Released: 2009

Directed by: Tony Scott

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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12
Dog Day Afternoon is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage
Al Pacino, Carol Kane, Charles Durning

Released: 1975

Directed by: Sidney Lumet

Dog Day Afternoon is a 1975 American 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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13
Captain Phillips is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage
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

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14
Close is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage
Noomi Rapace, Sophie Nélisse, Eoin Macken

Released: 2019

Directed by: Vicky Jewson

Close is a 2019 British-American action thriller film directed by Vicky Jewson. To protect an heiress (Sophie Nélisse) from highly trained kidnappers, a lone security expert (Noomi ...more
15
Trespass is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage
Nicole Kidman, Nicolas Cage, Cam Gigandet

Released: 2011

Directed by: Joel Schumacher

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
16
From Dusk till Dawn is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage
Salma Hayek, George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino

Released: 1996

Directed by: Robert Rodriguez, Sarah Kelly

From Dusk till Dawn is a 1996 American horror-crime thriller film directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by Quentin Tarantino. It stars George Clooney, Tarantino, Harvey Keitel and Juliette ...more

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17
Collateral is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage
Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jason Statham

Released: 2004

Directed by: Michael Mann

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18
Bel Canto is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage
Julianne Moore, Christopher Lambert, Ken Watanabe

Released: 2018

Directed by: Paul Weitz

Bel Canto is a 2018 hostage drama film directed by Paul Weitz, based on the novel by Ann Patchett. A world-renown opera singer (Julianne Moore) becomes trapped in a hostage situation when she's ...more
19
Bad Samaritan is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage
David Tennant, Robert Sheehan, Kerry Condon

Released: 2018

Directed by: Dean Devlin

Bad Samaritan is a 2018 American horror-thriller film directed by Dean Devlin. A valet (Robert Sheehan) who burglarizes the houses of the people he services discovers a woman (Kerry Condon) ...more
20
Kiss the Girls is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage
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

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21
Sudden Death is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage
Sudden Death Jean-Claude Van Damme, Markus Näslund, Luc Robitaille

Released: 1995

Directed by: Peter Hyams

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22
Trapped is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage
Trapped Charlize Theron, Courtney Love, Dakota Fanning

Released: 2002

Directed by: Luis Mandoki

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23
Ransom is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage
Mel Gibson, Liev Schreiber, Rene Russo

Released: 1996

Directed by: Ron Howard

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24
The Ref is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage
Kevin Spacey, J.K. Simmons, Denis Leary

Released: 1994

Directed by: Ted Demme

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25
Funny Games is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage
Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt

Released: 2007

Directed by: Michael Haneke

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