Kidnapping and Hostage Movies That Will Make You Want to Stay Indoors

Movies are well-known to depict real-life situations in a reel-life style that doesn’t just tell you a story but also entertains you. And we all know how crime is a favorite story for filmmakers to tell and retell in their own different ways. Some like to add a lot more drama to it. Some like to pepper it with loads of action. And others even try to play with your psyche by twisting and turning the plot so that you are forced to get involved and even feel the things that are happening to the protagonists of the movie. Well, and as far as plotlines go, kidnappings are indeed a favorite with filmmakers. A kidnapping is terrifying! You don’t know who has kidnapped you, you don’t know what they want as ransom, and you don’t know if you would even make it out alive! And if all this isn’t enough, there are other twists to invent too! So in this list of Kidnapping and Hostage Movies That Will Make You Want to Stay Indoors, we thought we’d bring to you some movies that give you some of the best

A kidnapping drama that is thrilling yet not action-packed, and riveting yet not fast-paced in any way, Prisoners is one of those movies that is not just well-written but held together by a brilliant cast too, which is why this is one kidnapping movie that takes you as close to a kidnapping situation as possible. And the almost-real sequences in the movie are more than enough to have you hooked. Based on the kidnapping of two little girls in Pennsylvania, the movie revolves around how the parents of the girls react to the abduction, how one of them goes beyond the law enforcement agencies at work to find his daughter, and how, one man’s determined and almost crazy and relentless efforts prove to be more than just a harried father’s instincts. Led by a star cast consisting of Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Terrence Howard, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Melissa Leo, and Paul Dano, Prisoners is considered one of the best kidnapping thrillers ever, and the nominations and wins that came its way will tell you just as much!


Based on the Emma Donaghue novel by the same name, Room is one of those kidnapping dramas that leaves you with a lot more than just the incidents surrounding the kidnapping, It takes you beyond the drama of it all and helps you peek into the psyche of the victim, bringing to you a subtle understanding of how some adverse circumstances have the capability to change you forever, even when you have been rescued from the situation and are now safe. It all begins with a single room, a room where a single mother Joy “Ma” Newsome is living with her young son Jack Newsome. Played by Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay, the film slowly reveals how the two seem to have been kidnapped, with the plot later revealing that the mother was kidnapped years ago and gave birth to her son in captivity. What follows is a successful attempt to escape. But just when you think everything is fine, you realize that the mother, now living with her family, has suffered permanent damage to her mental health, and soon enough, this begins to wreak havoc in her own life and that of her son and family. Heartbreaking in many ways, Room takes you through a journey that seems way too real for a Hollywood movie.


The creative ones among us are responsible for breathing life into an otherwise methodical and monotonous world, and often, these are the people who only seek to follow their yearnings with minimal interference from others, even if it means a lack of accolades for their work. So, one can only imagine what the consequences for such as person could be when he is not only forced to make changes to his creative work but is even held in captivity to make sure that this turn of events does indeed take place, and all in a fictional novel too! Narrating the obsession of a fan who abducts and holds captive a famous author only so she can force him to rewrite a novel in line with her preferences, Misery is a movie that goes beyond the usual, and showcases just how fragile yet forceful the human mind can be. With brilliant performances from James Caan as the author Paul Sheldon and Kathy Bates as Annie Wilkes, the fan who turns rogue, Misery is indeed a refreshing departure from regular storylines, giving audiences a psychological jolt that thrills and chills.


The Taken Series

When a franchise has the word “taken” in it, you know you’re in for a slew of hostage situations that spell thrill and action, and that’s exactly what the Taken franchise is all about. Taken, Taken 2, and Taken 3, are all films that revolve around the main protagonist Bryan Mills, played by the dashing Liam Neeson, and storylines that involve escaping hostage situations or tackling ones that have already been created by antagonists. With all three films doing extremely well at the box office, raking in a total of more than $900 million at the worldwide box office against the total production cost of $118 million, the franchise is quite the hit, although the sequels have been welcomed with less and less critical acclaim. Nevertheless, the line that Liam Neeson utters in the film remains an immortal one, and we’re sure you have heard it more than once already! If you haven’t here you go! “I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for a ransom I can tell you I don’t have money, but what I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a long career. Skills that made me a nightmare for people like you…” — and that’s just about all you need to get hooked to the Taken franchise!

Captain Phillips

Inspired by the real-life story of Captain Richard Phillips and based on his book A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea, the film Captain Phillips is a hostage drama that plays out on the high seas, and when you have Tom Hanks leading the way, you already know you’re in for a treat. With Tom playing the role of Captain Phillips and Barkhad Abdi leading the team of pirates whose mission is to hold the MV Maersk Alabama and its crew hostage so that they can demand a ransom that runs into millions from the insurance companies. The high-voltage hostage drama was well-received by audiences and critics alike and thanks to a brilliant performance by Tom as well as Barkhad, Captain Phillips, apart from raking in almost four times the production amount at the box office, also received dozens of nominations across several awards platforms, including the Academy Awards. Especially impactful in the film is the captain’s commitment to protecting his crew from danger, even if it means giving himself up to the dangers of abduction.

Gone Baby Gone

It’s always different when children are abducted. The level of anxiety and fear that one feels when a little one is kidnapped is indeed unfathomable and yet, Gone Baby Gone not only recreates the emotions that run when a little girl is kidnapped but also paints a picture of how not everything is always what it seems and sometimes, the narrative can indeed be different from the usual. Led by a cast consisting of Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, John Ashton, Amy Ryan, Amy Madigan, and Titus Welliver, this crime thriller directed by Ben Affleck was a hit with the critics and also did quite the round on the awards circuit, even bagging Amy Ryan an Academy Award nomination on the Best Supporting Actress category. Yet another Boston movie brought to audiences by the Affleck brothers, many from the audience who had also read the book on which the movie was based believed that this one was one of those rare cinematic depictions that were better than their literary counterparts.

Phone Booth

It’s one thing to be kidnapped in broad daylight, and another to be held within the confines of a phone booth in broad daylight! Phone Booth may seem like a film that doesn’t really fit this list but when you come to think of it, it is as good an abduction movie as any other! One, a person is being held against his will. Two, a person is being threatened with death, not just his, but also of those around if he does not do the antagonist’s bidding. And three, this person’s life is constantly in danger! The only difference is that while other abductors take their victims away from crowded places and hold them in a place where no one can find them, this one has the villain pinning down his victim in a phone booth on a crowded New York street, still doing the same things that other kidnappers would do, but in public view. A high-adrenaline film that keeps your attention riveted from the moment Colin Farrell enters the booth and picks up the phone as Stuart Shepard, Phone Booth is indeed a unique kidnapping thriller!


The life of a mother revolves around her child, so you can only imagine her plight when someone kidnaps her child. Well, while everyone reacts to situations differently, in Kidnap, you find Halle Berry playing the role of a mother who refuses to not just give up but even lose sight of her son when he is abducted in broad daylight. All the trouble she faces in her quest to get her son back to safety is no match for the determination she has, with even killing those who have wrangled her son out of her hands a ready option. As Karla Dyson, a working mother who is trying to make ends meet and spend time with her son while doing it, Halle Berry impresses us with her grit and bravery, showing us just how difficult it is to get a cub away from a tigress! The movie may have just about scraped through at the box office, making a profit of only over $13 million or so against the production cost of $21 million, and may have not scored very high on the scorecards of critics either, but the one thing that impresses you throughout the movie is the fast-paced action as well as the portrayal of a mother trying to do whatever she can to lot lose sight of her adducted son. For Halle’s acting prowess alone, Kidnap is more than worth it!

The Call

“It’s already done,” is a line that will haunt you for quite some time, thanks to the film The Call, and even if the line doesn’t, the plot that the movie revolves around is enough to give you the jitters. Yet another kidnapping drama led by Halle Berry, this one also has Abigail Breslin, Morris Chestnut, Michael Eklund, and Michael Imperioli adding their talents to the cast. The film’s storyline reveals itself in layers, beginning with a failed 911 situation that results in the murder of a young girl due to an error by the operator, followed by a second instance where the operator finds herself in a similar situation but this time around, goes beyond her line of duty to rescue the victim. The kidnapping, which wasn’t the first, by a ruthless man whose sickening attraction to blonde girls arises from his incestuous feelings for his dead sister, gives the antagonist nature of the film an even more disturbing aura. One of the most hard-hitting kidnapping dramas of the last decade, this one is indeed the psychological crime thriller that leaves you disturbed for a while.


One of Chris Evans’ earlier films, Cellular is perfect for the adrenaline junkie in you as it dishes out high-voltage sequences filled with drama and thrills to keep you at the edge of your seat at all times! Also starring Kim Basinger as the lady who has been abducted and wishes to save her family from being killed, Jason Statham, in one of his roles as the villain of the plot, Eric Christian Olsen, Noah Emmerich, and William H. Macy as the reluctant yet determined cop who is torn between planning for his retirement and taking on one last case, the film revolves around abduction and death, coupled with a random cellphone call that turns around the life of a young man in his pursuit of saving a woman in distress. Filled with the heroics of some brave protagonists, the twists and turns in Cellular are surely worth a watch.

Let’s Wrap Up This Kidnapping Spree Shall We!

That was quite the lineup of Kidnapping and Hostage Movies That Will Make You Want to Stay Indoors we managed to put together for you, and something tells us that you too have enjoyed this ride as much as we did. Of course, while movies delving into crime provide audiences with the perfect thrills, we sure hope and pray that no one falls prey to these deliberate acts of crime in real life and that we consciously move towards a world that is free of evil in all its forms. As for the storylines that unravel on-screen and are created only to entertain and thrill us, we are all for it!

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