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Directed with propulsive intensity by Ron Howard, Ransom is a fiery thriller packed with hot-blooded performances and jolting twists. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Through a life of hard work, airline owner Tom Mullen (Mel Gibson) has amassed a great deal of wealth. When a group of criminals want a piece of his cash, they kidnap his son (Brawley Nolte) for a $2 million ransom. Encouraged by his wife (Rene Russo) and an FBI agent (Delroy Lindo), Tom prepares to pay the money, but the ransom drop goes awry. Enraged, Tom decides to turn the tables on the kidnappers by making the ransom a bounty on their heads -- which he announces on national television.

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Critic Reviews for Ransom

All Critics (72) | Top Critics (25) | Fresh (54) | Rotten (18)

  • 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.

    January 22, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    January 22, 2014 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    January 22, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • With a mechanical movie like this, filmmakers -- male or female -- can't take chances. Howard and company are hostages to their own conception.

    January 22, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Mel Gibson and Rene Russo put an edgy 1990s spin on the roles originally played by Glenn Ford and Donna Reed.

    January 22, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    January 22, 2014 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Ransom

  • Oct 27, 2012
    I don't recommend Mel Gibson films. This one's just average.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Dec 02, 2011
    Ransom is an intense thriller, but is also very predictable and has been done before. Everyone has seen this kind of film, where the kid is taken away and its up to the parent to get him back. We also know how ALL of these films end so our job as the viewer is to just enjoy the ride. The ride is very entertaining, I mean the performances are great, the story flows well, but it still ended exactly as I predicted. Ron Howard has made much better films, but here he still shows his talents and that he can make a good thriller. Mel Gibson really is believable and I had no complaints with his performance. Rene Russo is good, but really was nothing more than playing a concerned mother. Gary Sinise stole the show, I mean he just played the perfect villain and really was great when it came to being sinister. Ransom should have changed up the usual formula these films use, but other than that it is an enjoyable ride that keeps us wanting this boy to get back to his parents.
    Bradley W Super Reviewer
  • Aug 05, 2011
    Mel Gibson is incredible in the lead, with strong support by Lindo & the villainous Sinise. The film stretches credibility from a storyline perspective, but Howard has made a solid thriller. The story is quite strong from a narrative perspective and offers many twisting plot points, and that's why the film is strong. If you look at this from an outside perspective, this isn't anything special. It's the actors and the filmmaker that elevates this film into something special. This is just a high end thriller and it works and is above the standard thriller genre. This is why thrillers are so interesting in the market, and with some additional quality, they can offer something special every once in a while. The film is flawed, but it's not boring and offers some interesting twists on the standard story traits. It's predictable, but disguises this with the cast. This film hasn't aged badly and deserves another viewing. 12/12/2019
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Jun 02, 2011
    Ransom is an underrated thriller that has a great deal of top notch stars attached to it. Ron Howard is a good director and even though this isn't even close to his best movie, it is a good movie. I like all the major actors in this movie especially Gary Sinise. Mel Gibson and Rene Russo are good as the devastated parents to an abducted child. This delivers exactly what I wanted from it. It never grew boring or tiresome as some movies in this genre can. It was able to move smoothly through it's story with no lag that sometimes is accompanied by abduction films. Not one of the best movies out there, but definitely an entertaining one.
    Melvin W Super Reviewer

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