30 kidnapping movies that will keep you on the edge of your seat
No sane human enjoys inflicting pain on others. But there is always an adrenaline rush that comes with watching kidnapping movies. They make you experience what you may never experience in real life. Most of them are horrifying, but they are also entertaining to watch.
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Kidnapping is a horrific crime it punishable in many countries. It involves torturing someone for days, weeks, or years. Or worse, as in many cases with these films, using the captured person as a hostage.
Best kidnapping movies to watch
Have you ever thought about what might happen if you are kidnapped in the most unfortunate incident? Here are some terrifying movies about kidnapping you can watch at home.
1. Prisoners (2013)
IMDb rating: 8.1/10
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The plot of this film revolves around the kidnapping of two young girls in Pennsylvania and the subsequent police search for the suspected abductor. After police arrest and release a young suspect, the father of one of the daughters takes matters into his own hands.
2. Man on Fire (2004)
IMDb rating: 7.7/10
In the action thriller Man on Fire, John Creasy, an ex-CIA agent who has given up on life after years of heavy drinking, is hired as Pita Ramos' bodyguard.
Creasy gradually starts to recapture some of his soul, but his raging hatred is finally loose when Pita is abducted. He embarks on a dangerous, retribution-fueled rescue expedition to save her.
3. Saw (2004)
IMDb rating: 7.6/10
The film tells a nonlinear story centred on the mystery of the Jigsaw Killer, who puts his victims through deadly "games" to survive. The story follows Jigsaw's most recent victims, Whannell and Elwes, who awaken in a large dilapidated bathroom, with one being told to kill the other to save his own family.
4. The Collector (1965)
IMDb rating: 7.5/10
The Collector is a psychological horror film about Freddie Clegg, a wealthy but lonely man who lives alone in an old Tudor-style mansion in the countryside. His hobby is collecting and mounting butterflies.
One day, he decides to apply what he knows about butterflies to the world of romance and proceeds to kidnap a girl and hold her hostage just for the pleasure of having her there. The woman fights the young man to be set free.
5. Trade (2007)
IMDb rating: 7.3/10
Trade is a film about human trafficking. In this case, a 13-year-old Mexican girl is kidnapped and taken to New Jersey, where her v*rginity will be auctioned off on the internet for an estimated $50,000. Her criminal 17-year-old brother goes on the hunt for her. He seeks assistance from a cop across the border in Texas.
6. An American Crime (2007)
IMDb rating: 7.2/10
An American Crime is based on a true story that shocked the nation of suburban housewife Gertrude Baniszewski, who kept a teenage girl locked in the basement of her Indiana home during the 1960s.
Sylvia and Jennie Fae Likens, the two daughters of travelling carnival workers, are left at the Indianapolis home of single mother Gertrude Baniszewski and her six children for an extended stay. Times are tough, and Gertrude's financial needs force her to make tough choices.
7. Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
IMDb rating: 7.1/10
In the film, NYPD Detective John McClane tries to stop a cyber-terrorist who hacks into government and commercial computers across the country.
The terrorist main goal is to start a "fire sale" that would disable critical elements of the nation's infrastructure. While trying to help out McClane's estranged daughter, Lucy is kidnapped.
8. Gardens of the Night (2008)
IMDb rating: 6.8/10
The film's plot revolves around an eight-year-old girl named Leslie Whitehead, who Alex and Frank kidnap. They track the young girl down after school and entice her into their car by telling her that her father is in trouble, then drug her and drive her to their house.
9. The Transporter (2002)
IMDb rating: 6.8/10
The film's plot revolves around ex-special forces operator Frank Martin, who appears to live a quiet life along the French Mediterranean. He offers mercenary transportation services.
Frank is hired to transport various goods, including humans, and breaks his three rules: never change the deal, no names, and never open the package.
10. Panic Room (2002)
IMDb rating: 6.8/10
Panic Room tells the story of a mother, Meg and her daughter Sarah whose new home is broken into by three burglars. Meg and Sarah make a move to the panic room to seek refuge. Unfortunately, the criminals know where they are, and what they require the most in the house is in that very room.
11. Kiss the Girls (1997)
IMDb rating: 6.6/10
The storyline of the film is about Alex Cross, a Washington DC cop who finds out that her niece is missing without a trace.
Cross goes to North Carolina, where her niece is said to have been missing. He finds out that the police suspect that his niece is among the victims of a serial kidnapper who kidnaps young girls and kills them, dubbing himself the Cassanova.
12. Hostage (2005)
IMDb rating: 6.5/10
Bruce Willis stars in the American action thriller Hostage. The plot revolves around former L.A. SWAT officer Jeff Talley, who works as a hostage negotiator in Los Angeles.
When a family is kidnapped, Talley arrives on the scene to negotiate. Unfortunately, his family is being held hostage. Talley is now torn between saving a stranger's family and his own.
13. Funny Games (2007)
IMDb rating: 6.5/10
Funny Games film follows a middle-class family as they are captured and tortured by two young criminals on vacation. Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt, and Brady Corbet star in the main roles.
14. The Missing (2003)
IMDb rating: 6.5/10
The Missing is a 1996 American Western film based on the novel The Last Ride by Thomas Eidson. El Brujo and his gangs murder settlers and kidnaps young women and girls to sell into s*x slavery in Mexico.
Maggie's eldest daughter, Lilly, is among those kidnapped. Maggie secures her father's release from prison, and the two decide to go after the kidnapped girls.
15. The Cell (2000)
IMDb rating: 6.4/10
Catharine Deane, a psychotherapist, is part of a revolutionary new treatment program that allows her mind to enter the minds of her patients.
Catherine must race against the clock to investigate the twisted mind of the killer, whose method of operation is to kidnap women one at a time and place them in a secret area where they are kept for about forty hours before being slowly drowned.
16. Along Came a Spider (2001)
IMDb rating: 6.4/10
The film's plot revolves around Washington, D.C. detective, forensic psychologist, and author Alex Cross, who retires from the force after losing control of a sting operation, resulting in the death of his partner.
When Megan Rose, the daughter of a United States senator, is kidnapped from her exclusive private school by Gary Sonej, a computer science teacher, he is drawn back to police work. Special Agent Jezzie Flannigan, held responsible for the security breach, joins forces with Cross to find the missing girl.
17. A Lonely Place to Die (2011)
IMDb rating: 6.2/10
A Lonely Place to Die is a 2011 British action thriller film about a group of mountaineers who meet for a climbing and hiking trip in the Scottish Highlands.
While taking a lunch break, they discover Anna, a young girl buried alive in a small chamber in the wilderness. As they try to get the girl to safety, they get caught up in a terrifying game of cat and mouse with the kidnappers.
18. The Cottage (2008)
IMDb rating: 6.1/10
The film's plot revolves around a tough, cute woman kidnapped for ransom and taken to a rural English cottage. Unfortunately, the kidnapping becomes a living nightmare for the four central characters when they cross paths with a psychopathic farmer.
19. After.Life (2009)
IMDb rating: 5.9/10
After.Life is an American psychological horror-thriller film. The storyline is about a girl named Ann who wakes up after a terrible car accident and discovers Eliot Deacon, the town funeral director, preparing her for her funeral.
Anna is confused, afraid, and feels very much alive. She is compelled to accept her death because she is trapped within the funeral house and has no one to turn to but Eliot.
20. The Betrayed (2008)
IMDb rating: 5.9/10
The film's plot follows a young woman as she undergoes a psychological journey at the hands of a mysterious figure who suspects her husband of stealing millions from a criminal syndicate. It stars Melissa George, Oded Fehr, and Christian Campbell, among others.
21. Abducted: Fugitive for Love (2007)
IMDb rating: 5.7/10
This is one of the abduction movies that revolves around Jack, who was wrongfully convicted of murder. He is sent to a prison run by an unscrupulous warden with political ambitions. The warden uses his wife, his political adviser, the prisoners, and the voters to his advantage.
After noticing Jack's interest in his neglected wife Melanie, the warden forces him to abduct her, causing him to be pursued by police across the state.
22. Stolen (2012)
IMDb rating: 5.5/10
Will Montgomery, a notorious bank thief and family man, steals $10 million with his partners in the film Stolen.
Will receives a phone call from Vincent, who is presumed dead, informing him that he has kidnapped Alison and plans to kill her unless he receives the $10 million from the previous robbery. Will now has twelve hours to find a way to save his daughter.
23. Do*key Punch (2008)
IMDb rating: 5.2/10
Do*key Punch is a 2008 British horror thriller film about a group of English holidaymakers who end up fighting for their lives in Spain.
The seven young adults decide to continue their celebrations on a luxury yacht in the middle of the ocean. But, when one of them is killed in a freak accident, the others disagree about what to do, resulting in a ruthless fight for survival.
24. Abduction (2011)
IMDb rating: 5.1/10
Abduction is a 2011 American action thriller film that stars Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, and Alfred Molina. The plot revolves around Nathan, an 18-year-old high school senior who discovers he was adopted after seeing his baby picture and details on a lost person's website.
His parents are then murdered just as he prepares to confront them. Nathan is now on the run from unknown men who are hunting him down. This suspenseful film will keep you glued to your seat for 1 hour and 46 minutes.
25. And Soon the Darkness (2010)
IMDb rating: 5.1/10
The film's plot is about two young American women, Stephanie and Ellie, who are backpacking through South America. After a contentious disagreement, the two are split apart, and Ellie is taken hostage.
Michael, an American who claims to be hunting for his long-lost girlfriend, joins Stephanie as she anxiously seeks her friend.
26. Held Hostage (2009)
IMDb rating: 4.9/10
Held Hostage is based on the true story of Michelle Renee Ramskill-Estey. Michelle, a single mother, is kidnapped and held hostage by three masked men until she is forced to rob a bank to save her only child's life while they are both wired to explode. This is one of the best kidnapping movies based on true stories you can watch.
27. 12 Hours to Live (2006)
IMDb rating: 4.8/10
12 Hours to Live is about a wanted criminal, John Carl Lowman, who runs out of gas in a remote area, carjacks a couple's car, and kidnaps the diabetic teen Amy Kennedy. Megan Saunders, an FBI agent whose partner and lover was killed by Lowman in a bank robbery a few years ago, takes over the investigation.
28. The Marine (2006)
IMDb rating: 4.7/10
The Marine is an American action film that stars professional wrestler John Cena. The plot revolves around John Triton, a brave Marine who returns home after being discharged from the Iraq War against his will.
When a group of murderous diamond thieves on the run led by a merciless criminal named Rome kidnaps his wife and sends him on a chase through the South Carolina wilderness, he finds himself back in action.
29. Blind Heat (2001)
IMDb rating: 4.1
This is a film that follows the story of a wealthy computer magnate who is kidnapped and held ransom. A top hostage negotiator is called in, but the husband seems ambivalent about getting his wife back, and the negotiator is intent on finishing his job.
30. 365 Days (2020)
IMDb rating: 3.3/10
365 Days is one of the best kidnapping movies on Netflix, whose storyline is about Massimo Torricelli, a young boss of a Sicilian Mafia family who is forced to take over after his father.
He kidnaps Laura, a sales director in a posh hotel in Warsaw, who is on a trip to Sicily with her boyfriend, Martin, and some other friends. Massimo gives her a 365-day grace period to fall in love with him.
Movies are well-known for depicting real-life situations in a creative style that doesn't just tell you a story but also entertains you. The above movies are among the best kidnapping and hostage movies that will make you want to stay indoors.
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