For Kidnapping Thriller Movies, there is no limit to the films who explored this feeling. Here are 25 of our favorites.
From Christopher Nolan, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Elliot Page, Ken Watanabe
Inception is a science fiction action adventure film directed by Christopher Nolan. The film follows Dom Cobb, a skilled thief who specializes in extracting information from corporate targets using a special form of corporate espionage known as "inception". When Cobb is offered a chance to regain his old life, he must assemble a team of experts to help him pull off the nearly impossible task of performing an inception on a corporate target. Through a series of dream levels, the team must plant an idea in the target's mind that will alter his perception of reality. As they make their way through the dream world, they must battle the forces of time, reality, and their own subconscious to complete the mission before they are trapped in an endless dream state.
From Jonathan Demme, starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney, Kasi Lemmons
The Silence of the Lambs is a psychological horror-thriller film directed by Jonathan Demme. The movie tells the story of FBI trainee Clarice Starling, who is tasked with the job of tracking down the serial killer known as “Buffalo Bill”. To do this, she seeks the help of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a genius psychiatrist-turned-cannibalistic serial killer. The two of them form an unlikely bond, as Clarice tries to gain insights into Buffalo Bill’s psychology and motives. As the investigation continues, Clarice discovers more about her own identity and inner strength. In the end, Clarice is able to save the life of one of Buffalo Bill’s victims and stop the killer. The Silence of the Lambs is a thrilling and suspenseful movie that has been praised for its performances, direction, and screenplay. It won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
From Park Chan-wook, starring Choi Min-sik, Yoo Ji-tae, Kang Hye-jeong, Kim Byeong-Ok
Oldboy is a 2003 South Korean neo-noir action thriller film directed by Park Chan-wook. It tells the story of Oh Dae-su, a man who is inexplicably kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years without explanation. After being released, he embarks on a journey to find his captor and seek revenge. Along the way, he discovers dark secrets from his past that will change his life forever. The film was critically acclaimed for its intense violence and unique visual style, and won the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.
From James McTeigue, starring Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, Rupert Graves, Stephen Rea
V for Vendetta is a dystopian political thriller film set in a future dystopian United Kingdom. The film follows the story of V (played by Hugo Weaving) a mysterious revolutionary who seeks to overthrow the totalitarian government and restore freedom and justice to the people of England. V carries out a campaign of terrorism and civil disobedience, while simultaneously becoming a symbol of hope and inspiration to the people of London. Along the way, V forms a strong bond with Evey Hammond (played by Natalie Portman), an innocent bystander whose life he saves. With Evey's help, V hopes to bring about a revolution and overthrow the oppressive government. At the same time, the government is attempting to hunt down and eliminate V, before his plans can come to fruition. In the end, V succeeds in his mission and the people of London are freed from their oppressive government.
From Denis Villeneuve, starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Melissa Leo
Prisoners tells the story of two families whose lives are turned upside down when their young children are kidnapped. Desperate to find their children, the fathers take matters into their own hands and embark on a frantic search to locate the missing kids. As their search intensifies, the two men find themselves pitted against an equally determined detective who is determined to solve the case. As the mystery deepens and the stakes increase, it becomes clear that the only way to get the children back is to unravel the secrets of the abductor.
From Lenny Abrahamson, starring Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Sean Bridgers, Wendy Crewson
Room is a 2015 drama film directed by Lenny Abrahamson and starring Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, and Joan Allen. The film follows a mother (Larson) and her five-year-old son (Tremblay) who are living in an enclosed space, referred to as "Room". The mother has been held captive since her abduction seven years prior, and has been forced to raise her son in this small space. As the son grows older, he begins to understand their situation, and the mother must find a way to escape and create a better life for them both. The film follows their journey of discovery, hope, and ultimately freedom.
From Clint Eastwood, starring Clint Eastwood, Bee Vang, Christopher Carley, Ahney Her
Gran Torino is a 2008 American drama film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, who also portrays the protagonist, Walt Kowalski. In the film, Walt Kowalski is a widowed Korean War veteran whose family has moved away, leaving him alone with his prized possession: a 1972 Gran Torino he keeps in mint condition. His solitary existence is disturbed when a Hmong teenager, Thao Vang Lor, tries to steal his car, and Walt reluctantly forms a bond with him and his family. As Walt learns more about the hardships of the Vang Lor family, he begins to confront his own prejudices in order to protect them from the local gang. Through this process, Walt discovers a new purpose in life and ultimately saves the entire community.
From James Gunn, starring Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana
Guardians of the Galaxy is a 2014 American superhero film directed by James Gunn and based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. It follows a rag-tag team of space adventurers as they attempt to save the galaxy from an all-powerful being known as Ronan the Accuser. The Guardians, led by Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), team up with a vengeful assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana), a revenge-driven bounty hunter Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), a tree-like humanoid Groot (Vin Diesel), and a vengeance-seeking warrior Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista). Together, they must use their unique skills and abilities to stop Ronan and his plan to take control of an ancient cosmic weapon. Along the way, they find themselves in a battle against Ronan's forces as well as a mysterious figure known as the Collector. The Guardians must work together to save the galaxy and ultimately prove that they are more than just a group of criminals, outcasts, and misfits.
From Quentin Tarantino, starring Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins
The Hateful Eight is a 2015 western mystery film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Set six years after the end of the Civil War, the film follows a group of bounty hunters and criminals who take refuge in a stagecoach stopover, while they await a blizzard to pass. The group includes bounty hunter, John Ruth (Kurt Russell), his fugitive prisoner, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), ex-Confederate soldier, Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) and former Union soldier, Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins). As tensions between the group rise, they are forced to confront a series of betrayals and deception, as they attempt to unravel the mystery of who is behind the gruesome events that transpire.
From Pierre Morel, starring Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Leland Orser
Taken is a French action thriller directed by Pierre Morel and starring Liam Neeson and Maggie Grace. In the film, Bryan Mills (Neeson), a former CIA operative, is trying to reconnect with his daughter, Kim (Grace). However, Kim is kidnapped by a group of human traffickers and Bryan must race against time to find her and bring her back safely. With the help of a former colleague, Bryan tracks down the kidnappers and embarks on a mission to save his daughter. With his own set of skills and determination, Bryan takes on the ruthless criminals, who are much more powerful and dangerous than he is. In the end, Bryan manages to rescue Kim and bring her back home.
From Rob Reiner, starring James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth, Frances Sternhagen
Misery is a psychological horror film directed by Rob Reiner, released in 1990. The film stars Kathy Bates as Annie Wilkes, a former nurse who becomes obsessed with novelist Paul Sheldon (James Caan) after rescuing him from a car accident. She holds him captive in her remote home and forces him to write a novel for her, while subjecting him to increasingly sadistic torture. The film explores themes of obsession, fear, and loneliness as Annie’s behavior and mental state deteriorates. The film was a critical and commercial success, winning two Academy Awards and grossing over $61 million.
From Paul Greengrass, starring Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, Catherine Keener
Captain Phillips is a 2013 American biographical drama film directed by Paul Greengrass and starring Tom Hanks. The film is based on the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a group of Somali pirates. It follows the story of the Alabama‘s commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips, and the Somali pirate captain, Muse, who takes him hostage. Phillips and Muse are set on an unstoppable collision course when Muse and his crew target Phillips’ unarmed ship. As the situation escalates, both men find themselves increasingly in danger of being killed by the other. In a desperate attempt to survive, Phillips offers Muse a deal and it eventually leads to the safe rescue of all crew members by the U.S. Navy. Captain Phillips is a tense and gripping story of courage, sacrifice, and survival.
From Clint Eastwood, starring Angelina Jolie, Colm Feore, Amy Ryan, Gattlin Griffith
Changeling is a 2008 American drama film directed by Clint Eastwood. The film stars Angelina Jolie as Christine Collins, a single mother whose son, Walter, goes missing in 1928 Los Angeles. When the LAPD brings her a boy who they claim is Walter, Collins is convinced the boy is an impostor and fights to have her son returned to her. She is eventually committed to a psychiatric ward and it is only when a crusading pastor (John Malkovich) takes up her case that the truth is revealed. The film is based on the real-life story of Christine Collins and her search for her missing son. It is a powerful and gripping story of a woman determined to fight for justice in a society that chose not to believe her.
From Jordan Peele, starring Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener
Get Out is a horror/thriller film written and directed by Jordan Peele. The movie follows Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya), a young African-American photographer, as he visits the family of his white girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams). While initially welcomed by the family, Chris soon begins to discover a sinister agenda underneath their hospitality. With the help of his friend, Rod (Lil Rel Howery), Chris must uncover the truth and escape before it’s too late. Get Out is a modern horror-thriller that offers insight into the racial and class tensions of modern American society.
From Tony Scott, starring Denzel Washington, Christopher Walken, Dakota Fanning, Radha Mitchell
Man on Fire is a 2004 action thriller directed by Tony Scott and starring Denzel Washington. The film follows a former U.S. intelligence operative-turned-mercenary, known as "Creasy" (Washington), who is hired to protect a young girl named Pita Ramos (played by Dakota Fanning) from the horrors of the Mexican crime world. After a failed attempt to kidnap Pita, Creasy is determined to protect her at all costs and takes on a personal mission to seek revenge against those responsible. This leads him to a trail of corruption and violence that threatens to consume him. Along the way, Creasy discovers a new purpose as he protects Pita and forms a bond with the young girl and her family. Together they fight to survive.
From James Gunn, starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel
"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" is the 2017 sequel to the popular 2014 Marvel movie, "Guardians of the Galaxy." The movie follows the Guardians of the Galaxy—Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), and Baby Groot (Vin Diesel)—as they continue their adventures across the cosmos. While on a mission to protect some valuable batteries, the Guardians run into Peter's long-lost father, Ego (Kurt Russell). Though Ego claims to want to get to know his son, the Guardians soon realize that his true intentions are sinister and they must fight to save the universe from Ego's plans. Along the way, they make new allies and find out more about their own mysterious pasts. The movie culminates in an epic battle between the Guardians and Ego, with the fate of the universe hanging in the balance.
From Ben Affleck, starring Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan
Gone Baby Gone is a 2007 mystery-thriller film directed by Ben Affleck. The film follows two private investigators, Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro, as they are hired to locate the missing four year old daughter of a drug addict single mother. As the investigation progresses, Patrick and Angie uncover a web of corruption and abuse that could compromise their investigation. With the help of the police, the two detectives brave life-threatening situations to save the missing girl and reveal the truth behind her disappearance. The film is a dark and complex exploration of morality and justice, and ultimately shows the importance of doing what is right regardless of the consequences.
From Spike Lee, starring Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer
Inside Man is a 2006 crime-thriller film directed by Spike Lee and starring Denzel Washington, Clive Owen and Jodie Foster. The film follows an elaborate bank heist on Wall Street by a criminal mastermind (Owen) and the NYPD's efforts to stop him. Washington plays Detective Keith Frazier, the police negotiator trying to talk the robbers into releasing the hostages. After a tense day-long standoff, the bank robbers manage to get away with millions of dollars in stolen money. However, Frazier eventually discovers that the heist was only a cover for a much bigger scheme. Through a series of twists, turns and double-crosses, it is revealed that the mastermind had been working with the bank's director to use the heist to cover up a massive fraud. The film ends with the mastermind getting away with the money and Frazier helping the hostages to safety, but with the promise of more to come.
From James Wan, starring Cary Elwes, Leigh Whannell, Danny Glover, Ken Leung
Saw is a 2004 horror film directed by James Wan. It follows the story of two men who wake up in a strange bathroom and find themselves chained to pipes. They realize that they are part of a sadistic game orchestrated by an unknown person known as the "Jigsaw Killer," who puts them through a series of tests and challenges in order to try to make them appreciate their life. In the end, one of the men manages to escape, while the other is killed in the process. The film's themes of morality, justice and redemption have been widely discussed in popular culture, and the franchise has since spawned six sequels.
From Pedro Almodóvar, starring Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Jan Cornet, Marisa Paredes
The Skin I Live In is a psychological thriller directed by Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar. The film tells the story of a plastic surgeon named Robert Ledgard (Antonio Banderas) who has been experimenting on a synthetic skin that he has developed in order to treat his wife who was burned in a car accident. In the meantime, he has taken in a mysterious young woman, named Vera (Elena Anaya), whom he keeps in captivity in his mansion. As the story progresses, it is revealed that Vera is actually the daughter of Robert's dead wife who has been surgically altered and kept as a guinea pig for the doctor's experiments. Throughout the film, there are themes of revenge, obsession, and betrayal as Robert attempts to unravel the mystery of Vera’s identity. The film is a suspenseful and gripping exploration of identity and the lengths one will go to protect and avenge what they love.
From Steven Soderbergh, starring Michael Douglas, Benicio Del Toro, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jacob Vargas
Traffic (2000) is a groundbreaking crime drama directed by Steven Soderbergh. It tells the complex and interwoven stories of an international drug cartel, the police officers and politicians fighting them, and the drug addicts caught in the middle. Through its multiple storylines, the film examines the moral complexities of the drug war and its effect on all sides. The ensemble cast includes Benicio del Toro, Michael Douglas, Don Cheadle, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. The film was a critical and commercial success, winning four Academy Awards, including Best Director for Soderbergh.
Joel Coen, starring Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Hailee Steinfeld, Josh Brolin
True Grit is a remake of the 1969 classic of the same name. It tells the story of 14-year-old Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld), who sets out to avenge her father's death at the hands of the notorious outlaw Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin). Along the way, she enlists the help of a hard-drinking U.S. marshal (Jeff Bridges) and a Texas Ranger (Matt Damon) to track down Chaney. Mattie is determined to make Chaney pay for his crimes, no matter the cost. As the trio journeys through the treacherous terrain of the Wild West, they must contend with dangerous outlaws, fierce Native American tribes, and Mattie's own inner demons in order to get justice for her father.
From Michael Haneke, starring Susanne Lothar, Ulrich Mühe, Arno Frisch, Frank Giering
Rated Not Rated
Funny Games is a 1997 psychological horror film written and directed by Michael Haneke. The film follows a family of three, Anna, George, and Georgie, who are vacationing in their summer home when two young men, Peter and Paul, arrive. Initially, the men are polite and friendly, but it quickly becomes clear that they have sinister intentions. The men terrorize the family, using psychological and physical torture as part of their cruel game. The family must find a way to outsmart their captors, or risk succumbing to their twisted desires. The film is an exploration of violence, power, and control, and has been highly praised for its uncompromising and intense portrayal of the dark side of human nature.
From Park Chan-wook, starring Song Kang-ho, Shin Ha-kyun, Bae Doona, Ji-Eun Lim
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is a 2002 South Korean film directed by Park Chan-wook. It tells the story of Ryu, a deaf and mute young man, who desperately seeks a kidney transplant for his ailing sister. After being turned down by the hospital, Ryu turns to the black market and finds a willing donor, only to have the situation spiral out of control. Ryu and his former girlfriend, Cha Yeong-mi, are caught in a web of revenge, violence and betrayal as they become entangled in the lives of the people around them. The movie follows Ryu's journey as he seeks to protect his loved ones, while trying to cope with the tragic consequences of his actions.
From Clint Eastwood, starring Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, Laura Dern, T.J. Lowther
A Perfect World is a 1993 American crime drama film directed by Clint Eastwood, and starring Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, Laura Dern, and T.J. Lowther. The story follows Butch Haynes (Costner), an escaped convict on the run from the law, and Phillip Perdue (Lowther), a young boy he takes as a hostage. As Butch and Phillip embark on a journey across the Texan countryside, their bond deepens, and Phillip begins to see Butch as a father figure. Meanwhile, Texas Ranger Red Garnett (Eastwood) is tasked with bringing Butch to justice, and finds himself increasingly sympathetic toward the duo. As the chase continues, Red and Butch come to learn more about each other, and the limits of justice, and ultimately, what it takes to be a perfect world.