Ransom Reviews

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.
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
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
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
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.
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
September 7, 2011
Gibson has always had a mesmerizing dark side (remember his vengefulness in Mad Max?), and when his rage catches fire, so does Ransom.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
July 6, 2010
A crackerjack thriller with some unusually tasty plot twists, Ransom pays plenty of entertaining dividends.
Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
February 9, 2006
Howard pushes and probes this rich tension with expert casting, restless camerawork and a fractured editing style.
Top Critic
Janet Maslin
New York Times
May 20, 2003
Mr. Howard has made ''Ransom'' in the same clean, swift, logical style that sent his ''Apollo 13'' into orbit, resulting in a spellbinding crime tale that delivers surprises right down to the wire.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Edward Guthmann
San Francisco Chronicle
June 18, 2002
A noxious, nerve-splitting invitation to vigilante rage.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
May 12, 2001
Here's a tension-packed thriller that will shake your head and rattle your brain.
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
February 14, 2001
A persuasive thriller for most of its length, it stumbles in its attempt to become an upscale version of Death Wish and other vigilante dramas and ends up derailing with a soft thud.
Top Critic
Rita Kempley
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
A competent nail-biter that ably exploits a parent's worst nightmare.
Top Critic
Susan Wloszczyna
USA Today
January 1, 2000
This is a blueprint for mainstream moviegoing, but be forewarned that the finale is surprisingly down-and-dirty. In this case, though, the violence blisteringly redeems what has been a merely OK thriller.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Susan Stark
Detroit News
January 1, 2000
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
Gibson gives an interesting performance, showing a man trying to think his way out of a crisis, and Sinise makes a good foil: Here are two smart men playing a game with deadly stakes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Charles Taylor
Salon.com
January 1, 2000
"Ransom" is dark and risky in a way that's become almost unthinkable for mainstream movies in the '90s.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
January 1, 2000
Strong acting, smart dialogue, and a couple of neat twists counterbalance many of Ransom's weaknesses.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4