Watching movies takes us into a different world. It allows us to explore dimensions and encounter experiences before which we have never set our eyes. How much more when it is a kidnapping movie? A unique and different type of vibe is formed when we see people being abducted and subjected to torture.
Indeed, our adrenaline rush when we are watching violent and crime-related movies. You may find yourself rooting for the victim to survive the wicked events. And at last, we wanted the good forces to win over the bad ones.
Or sometimes, we enjoy the iconic scenes that satisfy our playful minds. We’ve gone through eggshells from mystery, thrillers, crime, and even documentaries to find excellent kidnapping films.
So, are you ready to dive into mind-blowing movie scenes? Hold your horses! Here are the 12 Best Kidnapping Movies that are worth the shot.
1. The Kindergarten Teacher (2018)
English 1h 36m IMDb
Director: Sara Colangelo
Stars: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gael García BernalAto, Blankson-Wood
A one-of-a-kind original Netflix Film, The Kindergarten Teacher, centers the story on Lisa Spinelli (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a teacher who became obsessed with her child prodigy student. The five-year-old kid shows an extraordinary gift in poetry writing that left Lisa fascinated.
While on the other hand, the kid’s father is not even concerned about his son’s artistic abilities. Lisa believes that she needs to do something. The wind changes its course, and Lisa kidnaps Kimmy. She risks her all: her family and freedom to cultivate her talent of Jimmy.
This kidnapping thriller film, a remake of the Israeli movie “The Kindergarten Teacher, portrays the thin line between obsession and nurturing.
With her special acting skills in this movie, Maggie Gyllenhaal captures the character of a teacher who goes to absurd lengths for her student. She was awarded the Best Actress in the American Film Award in 2019.
This Netflix film, directed by Sara Colangelo, gained 6.7/10 ratings on IMDB and a striking 90% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
2. The Frozen Ground (2013)
English 1h 45m IMDb
Director: Scott Walker
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Vanessa Hudgens, John Cusack
Next in our movie write-up is an abduction film that will shatter your mind with suspenseful, iconic scenes. Based on the actual events of an Alaskan serial killer and rapist, The Frozen Ground follows a man who kidnaps, tortures, and rapes women before killing them.
An Alaskan trooper played by Nicolas Cage suspects Hansen (John Cusack). Still, there was no available evidence to back up his claim. The movie’s highlight happens when a victim, Cindy Paulsen (Vanessa Hudgens), manages to survive Hansen’s ruthless and wicked hands.
With no hint of survival and a chance for revenge and justice, Hansen has been abducting, raping, and killing women. This masterpiece will take you to the great heights of an authentic and thrilling vibe.
Released on February 1, 2013, in Brazil, with a run time of 1h and 45 mins, we assure you that this kidnapping film will not let you get away in your seat.
3. Fargo (1996)
English 1h 38m IMDb
Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen(uncredited)
Stars: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi
A critically praised and award-winning thriller, Fargo has been awarded the Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and nominated for seven Oscars awards. This murder story revolves around Jerry, who has found himself in a massive pile of financial problems.
Coming up with various ways to solve the dilemma, Jerry tried to find money as soon as possible. However, all else fails. As his last resort, he set to kidnap her wife to get ransom from her wealthy father.
Jerry didn’t plan the kidnapping affair to have any bloodshed. But since the moment of the kidnapping, everything has not been going well. Drastic Violence. Blood shedding. Murder.
A black comic thriller that is beautifully captured, Fargo is a crime story that will surely get on your nerves. Are you able to handle it? Grab your popcorn, and don’t close your eyes.
4. Olympus Has Fallen (2013)
English 1h 59m IMDb
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman
Do you want to see hostage and kidnapping scenes in the White House? Another action-packed kidnapping film, Olympus Has Fallen, is about a hostage and kidnapping plot against no other than the United States President.
Mike Banning (starring Gerard Butler) plays the role of a secret service agent who is trapped in the White House.
He faces a terrorist attack and is responsible for rescuing the President from kidnappers. Filled with gun battles and combat actions, Olympus Has Fallen is a chilling and aggressive kidnapping film on another level.
While some critics claimed that the film lacked an exciting storyline with a great plot, this film is enough to pass some of your time on a weekend night. Antoine Fuqua directed this kidnapping movie with five nominations, one win, and a 6.5 IMDB score.
A political thriller, this film has a great plot that is sharp and will keep you from start to finish.
5. Taken (2008)
English 1h 30m IMDb
Director: Pierre Morel
Stars: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen
No list of kidnapping and hostage films would be complete without putting Taken on the top list. With a Liam Neeson screen presence, Taken is a briskly placed film that centers around a retired C.I.A. agent.
With her young daughter’s life on the line, Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) traveled through Europe on the quest to rescue his daughter, who sex traffickers abducted.
A hostage film directed by Pierre Morel, Taken is about a father’s unconditional love who will do whatever it takes, even killing, for his daughter. This kidnapping movie was released on January 20, 2009, producing a sequel in 2012: Taken 2.
A blend of thriller, action, and crime, Taken is a movie that will drop your jaw with its iconic sequence and fighting choreography. So, take a mental note, and watch this movie in your free time.
6. An American Crime (2007)
English 1h 38m IMDb
Director: Tommy O’Haver
Stars: Elliot Page, Hayley McFarland, Nick Searcy
Nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards in 2008, this kidnapping film is enough to chill your bones and wrack your nerves. Narrated based on an actual story that kept the nation shocked during the 1960s, An American Crime recounts one of the most heinous crimes committed on a single victim.
Horrific and mind-blowing, the film portrays a story of kidnapping and forced house arrest in the history of the Hollywood industry. It follows the story of a 16-year-old Sylvia Likens (played by Elliot Page), tortured to death by her nanny and babysitter, Gertrude (Catherine Keener).
Produced by Killer Films and First Look International, this kidnapping movie shows the most horrific crime in the State of Indiana. Suppose you’re into crime documentaries and thrillers based on a true story. In that case, this is an excellent film that will satisfy your playful mind.
7. A Perfect World (1993)
English 2h 18m IMDb
Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Kevin CostnerClint EastwoodLaura Dern
Some might say that this kidnapping movie is an irony. A Perfect World is an abduction movie and a heartfelt tale at the same time. This film is even considered a gem that bagged the most satisfying and touching storyline.
This film introduces its viewers to the concept of Stockholm Syndrome. A Perfect World is about an unusual friendship between an escaped convict Robert Haynes (Kevin Costner), and a young boy (T.J. Lowther). The movie starts when Haynes kidnaps Philip and flees to Texas.
Traveling together, the abductor formed a friendship with the kid, who taught him the value of life and relationships.
The movie approaches a soft-core take on a kidnapping with the abductor placing upon himself the responsibility to bring the child back home. If you’re into drama with a touch of thriller, drama, and action, watch A Perfect World.
A Perfect Place, a blockbuster film, was awarded one of the Top 10 Film Awards in 1993 with a run time of 2h & 18m and a 7.5/10 IMDB score.
8. Alpha Dog (2006)
English 2h 2m IMDb
Director: Nick Cassavetes
Stars: Emile Hirsch, Justin Timberlake, Anton Yelchin
Inspired by actual incidents of kidnapping Nicholas Markowitz, Alpha Dog is a crime thriller American film released on January 12, 2007. The film’s cast comprises picture stars such as Sharon Stone, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, Amanda Seyfried, Anton Yelchin, and Bruce Willis.
Produced by Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, the setting of Alpha Dog begins when Zack (Anton Yelchin) is kidnapped by Johnny (Emil Hirsch). The abduction happens because of the unsettled debt of his brother Jake (Ben Foster) to the Alpha Dog.
Provocative, profound, and well-crafted, the film is one of the most powerful crime dramas. It is one of the kidnapping movies you can find based on true stories. Alpha Dog is a worth-watching movie with its good direction and heart-breaking climax.
9. The Disappearance of Alice Creed (2009)
English 2h 2m IMDb
Director: J Blakeson
Stars: Gemma Arterton, Eddie Marsan, Martin Compston
Internationally recognized for its dark and twisted narrative, the plot of this British film is written by a thriller genius J Blackson. The three main actors in the movie (Gemma Arterton, Eddie Marsan, & Martin Compston) performed excellent acting skills that make the film looks real.
This kidnapping film is worth your time with its unpredictable but enjoyable direction. It follows the story of a young girl Alice Creed who is subjected to torture by her two ex-convict abductors. The nail-biting events and mystery will make you drawn more into this film.
This film also further enhances and brings to life the acting skills of Gemma Arterton. Her role as Alice Creed has been recognized as one of her best-ever performances.
Released on April 30, 2010, with its running time of 1 hour and 40 minutes, the filming locations of this movie’s iconic scenes were in Douglas, Isle of Man.
10. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
English 1h 58m IMDb
Director: Jonathan Demme
Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney
Sweeping the awards 0f 69 wins with 5 Oscars, The Silence of the Lambs is one of the best suspense and thriller films ever made. This hostage film bagged the Academy awards and showed the stellar performances of Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins.
It follows the story of a young F.B.I Cadet who receives assistance from another manipulative cannibal killer. Together, they must chase a madman and serial killer who skins his victims alive.
The film combines crime, thriller, and drama. This kidnapping movie is one of the top-rated movies, with an 8.6/10 IMDB rating, 85 Metascore, and a 95% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
11. Greta (2018)
English 1h 38m IMDb
Director: Neil Jordan
Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Chloë Grace Moretz, Maika Monroe
Greta deserves to be on the list of best kidnapping movies with its exciting concept and creepy scenes. A 2018 American Film, this thriller film revolves around a lonely widow with a dark and mysterious past.
This suspense thriller, directed by Neil Jordan, an Academy Award Winner, focuses on stalking, kidnapping, and obsession. Isabelle Huppert (Greta) is recognized for her chilling performance, which leaves the viewers wanting more.
A psycho-thriller, Greta explores misery, betrayal, and fatal attraction. Filmed in Dublin, Ireland, Greta garnered one of the most terrifying and horror-moments that is worth a shot on your must-watch movie list.
12. Abducted in Plain Sight (2017)
English 1h 31m IMDb
Director: Skye Borgman
Stars: Jan Broberg, Bob Broberg, Mary Ann Broberg
A crime documentary directed by Skye Borgman, Abducted in Plain Sight, is a film that reveals a story of a 12-year-old girl named Jan Broberg in 1974. It all started when this young girl was kidnapped from a small town in Idaho. Five weeks later, she returns to her home with her parents assuring them that nothing happens.
The middle part of this kidnapping film focuses on Jan’s second abduction, leading to years of emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse. The movie is highly criticized for its bizarre events and mind-blowing twists.
However, the movie was challenging to watch. This documentary portrays heinous crimes committed against an Idaho preteen. She was raped, kidnapped, and abused by a pedophile.
As strange as it may sound, the film is an unforgettable story of a survivor. Overall, Abducted in Plain Sight gained a 6.8/10 IMDB Score and a 75% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Bottom Line
Have you fallen into the charisma of these kidnapping films? Many of the movies that make it to our list are based on true stories. And they are more than enough to keep your mind awake on the weekend, Saturday movie night.
You can even think of these as stalker and hostage movies. So, if you’re into an action-packed thriller, adventure waits for you. Add these 12 best kidnapping movies to your list. Watch them the next time you are the front of your big T.V. screen.