Movies about kidnapping can be anything from thrilling to funny. Let’s face it, though, the best ones tend to make you afraid for days after you watch. Because of the amount of scenarios that this kind of movie can encompass, there are quite a few of them out there. It makes for great movie watching, especially since many of them have been critically acclaimed.
Despite this, it can be difficult to pick out the best ones. Here we will outline the 20 best movies about kidnapping and how you can easily stream them from your couch.
1. The Silence of the Lambs
Based on the famous novel, The Silence of the Lambs follows Clarice (Jodie Foster) as she attempts to solve a kidnapping case. She believes that she can gain some insight into the perpetrators mind by interviewing the notorious murderer and cannibal, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Featuring career defining performances from both Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal, this is a must see kidnapping movie.
You can stream The Silence of the Lambs for free on Tubi, Pluto TV, and the Roku Channel. It’s also available with a premium subscription on Amazon Prime.
From one of the greatest directors of the present day, Denis Villeneuve, this is a dark and chilling movie that centers on the kidnapping of a young girl. Jake Gyllenhaal plays detective Loki, who follows a lead that points to a strange local man (Paul Dano) and his motorhome. After a lack of evidence, the suspect is released and the father of the girl (Hugh Jackman) decides to take matters into his own hands.
As one of the best movies about kidnapping, Prisoners is conveniently on Netflix, Prime Video, and Apple TV.
Jamie Foxx plays an LA taxi driver who is just about to finish his shift when a well-dressed man named Vincent (Tom Cruise) offers him $600 for one last job driving just five stops. It turns out that Vincent is a hitman killing a different person at each stop and he essentially kidnaps the taxi driver to help him finish this job.
A couple of strangers awaken to discover that they are chained up in a dilapidated bathroom. They have been kidnapped by a mysterious killer named Jigsaw, who has them participate in twisted and violent games in order to escape.
5. Dog Day Afternoon
A young criminal (played by Al Pacino) attempts a bank robbery in New York City and it quickly goes awry, resulting in him and his accomplice taking hostages. The situation escalates and the pair are forced into a tense standoff with law enforcement.
After a car salesman finds himself in overwhelming debt, he hires two bumbling criminals to kidnap his own wife to elicit some ransom money from her rich father. Things take a turn when the pair shoot a state trooper, leading to a thorough investigation from a pregnant police officer (Frances Mcdormand).
7. 12 Years A Slave
A free black man from New York state (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South. He must endure over a decade of cruel treatment from multiple individuals, including his captor (Michael Fassbender).
You can stream this movie on HBO Max, Prime Video, and The Roku Channel.
8. Die Hard
This classic action movie stars Bruce Willis and can even be seen as a Christmas favorite. He plays a New York City police officer named John McClane who finds himself wrapped up in a heist of a high-rise building during a Christmas party. Everyone in the building ends up becoming a hostage and John must step up to resolve the situation.
9. Captain Phillips
Based on a true story, Captain Phillips follows the captain of a container ship (Tom Hanks). Despite his better judgment, the ship is routed past Somalia and is overtaken by a group of Somali pirates. With everybody on board becoming a hostage, Phillips must protect his crew and fend off the pirates until help arrives.
A creative terrorist is being pursued by Los Angeles police officers Jack (Keanu Reeves) and Howard (Dennis Hopper). He rigs a bomb to a bus filled with passengers that he claims will explode if the vehicle drops below 50 miles per hour. Teaming up with the plucky bus driver (Sandra Bullock), Jack and his partner Harry (Jeff Daniels) must find a way to save the passengers and catch the bomber.
You can rent Speed on Amazon Prime Video, or stream it from NBC, Disney+, or The Roku Channel.
11. Oldboy (2003)
A man is released on bail from prison and finds himself kidnapped by an unseen stranger. He wakes up in a room where he is held captive for 15 years. One day, he is released and taunted to track down his captor and uncover the reasons behind the abduction. Shocking, dark, and highly memorable, Oldboy is a movie that you should not read any more about before watching.
This movie is available on Google Play, iTunes, and Prime.
Three teenage girls are kidnapped and discover that their captor is a man named Kevin with 23 different personalities that he regularly switches between. One of them has dark intentions for the girls and the other personalities inside Kevin’s head.
A woman and her young son have been kidnapped and live in a small room for years, with no contact with the outside world. After they finally escape, the young boy can finally experience the wider world for the first time.
Room is streamable via HBO Max, Spectrum TV, or Apple TV.
14. 10 Cloverfield Lane
After being run off of the road, a woman named Michelle awakens to discover that she has been kidnapped by an imposing man named Howard. He claims that he has saved her from a chemical attack, which has made the outside environment unbreathable. Michelle must uncover Howard’s true intentions and discover the truth about the outside world.
Based on a Stephen King novel, Misery sees a novelist kidnapped by a retired nurse who claims to be his biggest fan. In a remote cabin, the novelist must endure her bizarre obsession and find a way to escape.
16. Alpha Dog
When a client refuses to pay, a drug dealer and his friends kidnap his younger brother in an effort to draw out their payment. After the police get wind of the abduction, things take a turn for the worse and the criminals must navigate their spiraling situation.
After a former government operative’s daughter is kidnapped, he uses his acquired black ops skills to track down and kill the abductors.
18. The Black Phone
After a series of kidnappings in a small town, a young boy finds himself abducted by a mysterious masked killer. Held in the killer’s basement, he finds a disconnected black phone on the wall, which begins to ring.
19. Gone Baby Gone
After a girl goes missing in Boston, a private detective is hired to track her down. Having lived his entire life in this neighborhood, he must uncover the truth for his community.
Gone Baby Gone is on HBO Max, The Roku Channel, and Apple TV.
20. You Were Never Really Here
When a teenage girl is kidnapped, a rugged mercenary enforcer named Joe (Joaquin Phoenix) is hired to track her down. Uncovering corruption and abuse along the way, Joe must use any means necessary to save the girl.
Lastly, You Were Never Really Here can be streamed on Amazon Prime. It can be rented or purchases via iTunes or Google Play.
Which Kidnapping Film Is the Best?
If you’re a thrill junkie, we recommend these 20 films as the best movies about kidnapping. Not only will they make you question everything about your safety, but the acting is really phenomenal to watch. The plot lines of all 20 films are pretty different, which keeps things interesting as a viewer. Keep this list next time you’re looking for something to watch as they are all easy to access online. The vote for the very best movie is now up to you.