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The 14 Best Kidnapping Movies, According to Reddit


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“Best Kidnapping Movies” Kidnapping is a terrifying and traumatic experience that no one would ever want to go through. However, it is also a standard plot device in many movies, as it creates suspense, drama, and emotional stakes for the characters and the audience. Whether it is a thriller, a horror, or a comedy, kidnapping movies can keep us on the edge of our seats and make us root for the victims to escape their captors. But what are the best kidnapping movies of all time? To answer this question, we turned to Reddit, where users have shared their opinions and recommendations on this topic. According to Reddit, here are some of the most popular and acclaimed kidnapping movies.

Best Kidnapping Movies Taken (2008)

Image via EuropaCorp

One of the most iconic action movies of the 21st century, Taken stars Liam Neeson as a retired CIA agent who uses his skills to rescue his daughter from human traffickers in Paris. The movie features memorable lines, such as “I will find you and I will kill you,” and showcases Neeson’s badassery and determination. Taken spawned two sequels, but Reddit users agree that the first one is the best.

The Black Phone (2021)

Image via Universal Pictures

This horror thriller is based on a short story by Joe Hill, the son of Stephen King. It follows a 13-year-old boy kidnapped by a child killer and locked in a basement. There, he receives calls from a disconnected phone from the killer’s previous victims, who try to help him escape. The movie stars Ethan Hawke as the villain and is directed by Scott Derrickson, who previously helmed Doctor Strange.

Prisoners (2013)

Image via Warner Bros.

Directed by Denis Villeneuve, Prisoners is a dark and gripping mystery about two families whose daughters go missing on Thanksgiving. Hugh Jackman plays a desperate father who takes matters into his own hands and tortures a suspect, while Jake Gyllenhaal plays a detective who tries to solve the case. The movie explores themes of morality, justice, and faith and features stellar performances from the cast.

Room (2015)

Image via A24

Based on a novel by Emma Donoghue, Room tells the story of a young woman who has been held captive in a small shed for seven years by a man who kidnapped her and fathered her son. The movie focuses on the bond between the mother and the son, who has never seen the outside world. Brie Larson won an Oscar for her role as the mother, while Jacob Tremblay impressed critics and audiences with his portrayal of the son.

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

Image via Paramount Pictures

A spiritual successor to Cloverfield, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a sci-fi thriller about a woman who wakes up in an underground bunker after a car accident. She is told by the bunker’s owner that the world outside has been devastated by a chemical attack and that she cannot leave. However, she soon doubts his claims and tries to find the truth. The movie stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, and John Gallagher Jr. and keeps the audience guessing until the end.

The King of Comedy (1982)

Image via 20th Century Fox

A dark comedy directed by Martin Scorsese, The King of Comedy stars Robert De Niro as an aspiring stand-up comedian obsessed with a famous talk show host played by Jerry Lewis. He kidnaps and forces him to give him a spot on his show. The movie satirizes the cult of celebrity and the media industry and features one of De Niro’s best performances4

The Disappearance of Alice Creed (2009)

Image via Cinemax

A British thriller with only three characters, The Disappearance of Alice Creed follows two men who kidnap a young woman and hold her for ransom. However, things go differently than planned, as secrets and twists are revealed along the way. The movie is tense, unpredictable, and well-acted by Gemma Arterton, Eddie Marsan, and Martin Compston.

Split (2016)

Image via Universal Pictures

Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, Split is a psychological horror that introduces James McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb, a man with 23 different personalities who kidnaps three teenage girls. The movie explores his various personas and their interactions with each other and his captives. The movie also connects to Shyamalan’s previous film, Unbreakable, and sets up the sequel Glass5

High and Low (1963)

Image via Toho

A classic crime drama by Akira Kurosawa, High and Low, is based on a novel by Ed McBain. It centers on a wealthy businessman who is blackmailed by a kidnapper who claims to have abducted his son. However, he soon realizes that the kidnapper has made a mistake and has taken his chauffeur’s son instead. The movie examines the social and moral implications of the situation and features a brilliant performance by Toshiro Mifune.

Three Fugitives (1989)

Image via Touchstone Pictures

A comedy directed by Francis Veber, Three Fugitives stars Nick Nolte as a bank robber who is released from prison and is immediately taken hostage by a clumsy novice criminal played by Martin Short. The two end up on the run from the police, along with Short’s daughter, who suffers from mutism. The movie is a remake of Veber’s French film Les Fugitives, full of hilarious situations and heartwarming moments.

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

Image via Paramount Pictures

A remake of his 1934 film, The Man Who Knew Too Much, is a thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock. It stars James Stewart and Doris Day as an American couple who witness the murder of a spy in Morocco. The assassins then contact them, who have kidnapped their son, and threaten to kill him if they reveal what they know. The movie features one of Hitchcock’s most famous scenes, involving an assassination attempt at the Royal Albert Hall.

Running Scared (2006)

Image via New Line Cinema

A gritty and violent action thriller, Running Scared stars Paul Walker as a low-level mobster tasked with disposing of a gun used in a police shooting. However, he loses the gun when his son’s friend steals it and uses it to shoot his abusive stepfather. He has to find the gun and save the boy from various dangers, including a pair of sadistic kidnappers. The movie is fast-paced, stylish, and unpredictable.

Man on Fire (2004)

Image via 20th Century Fox

A remake of a 1987 film based on a novel by A.J. Quinnell, Man on Fire stars Denzel Washington as a former CIA operative who becomes the bodyguard of a young girl played by Dakota Fanning in Mexico City. He develops a close bond with her, but when a criminal organization kidnaps her, he goes on a rampage to rescue her and exact revenge. Tony Scott directs the movie and features his trademark visual flair and action sequences.

Oldboy (2003)

Image via Show East

One of the most acclaimed and controversial films of the 21st century, Oldboy is a South Korean neo-noir thriller directed by Park Chan-wook. It follows a man kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years without explanation. He is then released and given five days to discover why he was held captive and who did it. The movie contains shocking twists, brutal violence, and unforgettable scenes like the famous hallway fight sequence.

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)

Image via CJ Entertainment

The first film in Park Chan-wook’s Vengeance Trilogy, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, is a dark and tragic story about two men whose lives are intertwined by fate and violence. One is a deaf factory worker who needs money for his sister’s kidney transplant. The other is a wealthy businessman whose daughter is kidnapped by the worker and his girlfriend. The movie explores the themes of revenge, guilt, and morality and features some of Park’s signature style and imagery. Lorena Bobbitt Net Worth

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