Ransom Reviews

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Top Critic
Gene Siskel
Chicago Tribune
January 22, 2014
The special nature of this story is its many climaxes that border on false endings and also how Gibson's character responds to the ransom demand of $2 million.... it is Gibson who sells us on it and sells it well.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
January 22, 2014
There are more climaxes in here than in a Swedish blue movie. This is not to say you won't be thrilled, charged up and put through the ringer at times, but your intelligence will need to be shoved under your seat like warm, flat soda.
Stephen Hunter
Baltimore Sun
January 22, 2014
Howard directs for speed and force. The movie moves so quickly it yanks you by too many niggling doubts and the action scenes are so good that you wonder why Opie hasn't shown this much vicious pizazz before.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
January 22, 2014
That's interesting stuff, but it doesn't play out with a lot of smarts. And the opportunity to end Ransom on a creepy note of unpredictability is forsaken for the usual glass-shattering, bullets-flying finale.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
January 22, 2014
With a mechanical movie like this, filmmakers -- male or female -- can't take chances. Howard and company are hostages to their own conception.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor
January 22, 2014
Ron Howard has directed the action smoothly and efficiently, but be warned that there's a great deal of hard-hitting violence.
Leah Rozen
People Magazine
January 22, 2014
A slick, slam-bang thriller about a business tycoon's frenzied efforts to get back his kidnapped son, Ransom is meant to divert and entertain. It does.
Maitland McDonagh
TV Guide's Movie Guide
January 22, 2014
As is often the case, the scumbags are far more interesting than the good guys.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Rod Dreher
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
January 22, 2014
Ransom benefits handsomely from a story that remains compellingly believable, even as the plot twists become more baroque. Be warned, though, that Ransom is a violent film, with bloody shootouts that will not be easy to watch.
Top Critic
John Hartl
Seattle Times
January 22, 2014
Mel Gibson and Rene Russo put an edgy 1990s spin on the roles originally played by Glenn Ford and Donna Reed.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Gary Thompson
Philadelphia Daily News
January 22, 2014
Ransom is more cleverly conceived than most run-of-the-mill Hollywood exploitation thrillers, and for a while appears headed to a memorable, richly ironic conclusion.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Richard von Busack
MetroActive
January 22, 2014
Ron Howard leads the film dispassionately and unimaginatively, with too much faith in the merits of the talky script, although Ransom almost has a subject for a moment, flashing a little class conflict just like actresses used to flash a little stocking.

Film4
January 22, 2014
Considering Howard made his directorial name with such light-weight, sentimental fare as Splash and Cocoon, this is a remarkably mature film.
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
January 22, 2014
By the time Tom Mullen has turned into an action superhero in a clumsy climax, Ransom has run out of ideas, and we've lost track of what we felt about a father's frantic efforts to save his son.
Top Critic
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
January 22, 2014
Its major sin -- a certain ineluctable improbability -- is pretty much offset by the moments of winsome humanity Gibson finds for his freebooter; by the rich, nicely tuned portrayals of the other actors; and by director Ron Howard.
Top Critic
Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
January 22, 2014
A gripping, amoral kidnap thriller.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4

Total Film
January 22, 2014
Ransom won't be lighting the world's blue touchpaper, but it's a good, solid movie -- in other words, just what we've come to expect of the erstwhile Richie Cunningham.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Alan Jones
Radio Times
January 22, 2014
Lower your expectations and this overplayed urban combat drama will reward with a few tense moments.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Lisa Alspector
Chicago Reader
January 22, 2014
If Howard's direction were as stylized and self-aware as Corgan's music, Ransom might be something more than a shallow and unprovocative story of a vigilante with an Achilles' heel.
Top Critic
David Ansen
Newsweek
January 22, 2014
Slick and violent and reasonably tense, Ransom holds your attention without being the least bit interesting.
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