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The Best Thriller Movies with a Hostage

Updated May 12, 2020 609 votes 79 voters 5.5k views29 items

List RulesVote 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
    John Q
    25
    10

    John Q

    Denzel Washington, Robert Duvall

    Released2002

    Directed byNick Cassavetes

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  • 2
    Breaking In
    24
    10

    Breaking In

    Gabrielle Union, Billy Burke

    Released2018

    Directed byJames McTeigue

    Breaking In is a 2018 thriller film directed by James McTeigue. After the sudden death of her... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Taken
    24
    15

    Taken

    Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen

    Released2008

    Directed byPierre Morel

    Taken is a 2008 French action thriller film directed by Pierre Morel. A former CIA operative... more on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    From Dusk till Dawn
    24
    18

    From Dusk till Dawn

    Salma Hayek, George Clooney

    Released1996

    Directed byRobert Rodriguez, Sarah Kelly

    From Dusk till Dawn is a 1996 American horror-crime thriller film directed by Robert Rodriguez... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    Speed
    18
    10

    Speed

    Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves

    Released1994

    Directed byJan de Bont

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  • 6
    The Purge
    15
    6

    The Purge

    Lena Headey, Ethan Hawke

    Released2013

    Directed byJames DeMonaco

    The Purge is a 2013 American social science fiction action horror film written and directed by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    Inside Man
    15
    9

    Inside Man

    Jodie Foster, Denzel Washington

    Released2006

    Directed bySpike Lee

    Inside Man is a 2006 American thriller film directed by Spike Lee, and written by Russell... more on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    Room
    15
    9

    Room

    Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay

    Released2015

    Directed byLenny Abrahamson

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  • 9
    Trespass
    15
    10

    Trespass

    Nicole Kidman, Nicolas Cage

    Released2011

    Directed byJoel Schumacher

    Trespass is a 2011 American thriller film directed by Joel Schumacher. The film stars Nicolas... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    The Silence of the Lambs
    25
    24

    The Silence of the Lambs

    Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins

    Released1991

    Directed byJonathan Demme

    The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    The Taking of Pelham 123
    11
    8

    The Taking of Pelham 123

    John Travolta, Denzel Washington

    Released2009

    Directed byTony Scott

    The Taking of Pelham 123 is a 2009 American thriller film directed by Tony Scott, and starring... more on Wikipedia

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  • 12
    Die Hard
    22
    23

    Die Hard

    Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman

    Released1988

    Directed byJohn McTiernan

    Die Hard is a 1988 American action film directed by John McTiernan and written by Steven E. de... more on Wikipedia

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  • 13
    Dog Day Afternoon
    10
    7

    Dog Day Afternoon

    Al Pacino, Carol Kane

    Released1975

    Directed bySidney Lumet

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  • 14
    Vivarium
    2
    2

    Vivarium

    Jesse Eisenberg, Imogen Poots

    Released2020

    Directed byLorcan Finnegan

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  • 15
    Split
    11
    10

    Split

    James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy
  • 16
    Captain Phillips
    10
    11

    Captain Phillips

    Tom Hanks, Catherine Keener

    Released2013

    Directed byPaul Greengrass

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  • 17
    Collateral
    10
    11

    Collateral

    Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx

    Released2004

    Directed byMichael Mann

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  • 18
    Close
    4
    2

    Close

    Noomi Rapace, Sophie Nélisse

    Released2019

    Directed byVicky Jewson

    Close is a 2019 British-American action thriller film directed by Vicky Jewson. To protect an... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Extraction
    1
    1

    Extraction

    Chris Hemsworth, David Harbour

    Released2020

    Directed bySam Hargrave

    Extraction (a.k.a. Out of the Fire) is a 2020 American action thriller film directed by Sam... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Bad Samaritan
    5
    6

    Bad Samaritan

    David Tennant, Robert Sheehan

    Released2018

    Directed byDean Devlin

    Bad Samaritan is a 2018 American horror-thriller film directed by Dean Devlin. A valet (Robert... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Kiss the Girls
    6
    8

    Kiss the Girls

    Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd

    Released1997

    Directed byGary Fleder

    Kiss the Girls is a 1997 American psychological thriller film directed by Gary Fleder and... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Ransom
    6
    10

    Ransom

    Mel Gibson, Liev Schreiber

    Released1996

    Directed byRon Howard

    Ransom is a 1996 American thriller film written by Richard Price & Alexander Ignon and... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Trapped
    4
    7

    Trapped

    Charlize Theron, Courtney Love

    Released2002

    Directed byLuis Mandoki

    edTrapped is a 2002 American-German crime thriller film starring Charlize Theron, Courtney... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Sudden Death
    4
    9

    Sudden Death

    Jean-Claude Van Damme, Markus Näslund

    Released1995

    Directed byPeter Hyams

    Sudden Death is a 1995 American action film directed by Peter Hyams, and starring Jean-Claude... more on Wikipedia

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  • 25
    Hostage
    4
    10

    Hostage

    Bruce Willis, Rumer Willis

    Released2005

    Directed byFlorent Emilio Siri

    Hostage is a 2005 American action thriller drama film starring Bruce Willis and directed by... more on Wikipedia