Ransom

"Excellent"

Ransom Review


Ransom is a smarter than your average thriller about a hostage situation. It contains intelligent characters who constantly try to outwit each other. The film doesn't take a lot of risks, but it packs surprise after surprise, and the strong central character and his performance keeps the movie above water... even if it could have been better.

The ever-popular Mel Gibson stars as a wealthy airline owner named Tom Mullen, who lives with his wife, Kate (Rene Russo), and son, Sean (Brawly Nolte), in Central Park. Kate and Tom take Sean to a science fair where several money hungry thieves kidnap him. The villains are not terrorists, not psychopaths, not serial killers, but rather three-dimensional, ordinary people. The movie gives the bad guys a lot of color and screen time; and we eventually care about their fate as well as the fate of the Mullen family.

The movie doesn't attempt to keep the identity of the kidnapper a secret. He's Jimmy, a New York City cop (they always work for the government) played by Gary Sinise. Jimmy stages his crew at a local shack where they blindfold Sean and tie him to a bed. His crew consists of his girlfriend, Maris (Lili Taylor), who once worked for Tom, a computer hacker (Evan Handler), and two lowlife bothers (Liev Schreiber and Donnie Wahlberg), who have various feelings about their role in the kidnapping.

The FBI becomes involved with the case, of course. An expert in kidnapping (Delroy Lindo) tells Tom to pay the ransom of two million bucks -- a small sum of money compared to Tom's fortune. Tom becomes convinced that the kidnappers will kill his child anyway. He changes the ransom money into a reward for the person who turns the enemy into the police.

The star-studded cast members provide their characters with stellar performances. Gibson brings the tension of the situation to life. The movie takes advantage of Russo, whose part as the wife is often underused in similar thrillers. Gary Sinise paints a vivid, taut portrait of the organized mastermind, and Lili Taylor contributes an emotional touch to the action-packed story.

Screenwriters Richard Price and Alexander Ignon create the situation with a strong understanding of their story. This movie offers a good twist on the genre. The tension grows, the stakes continually increase, the suspense rises. It ends like a trooper, a little quick, but the conclusion gets the job done.

A handful of deleted scenes and commentary by Ron Howard can be found on the new special edition DVD along with a behind the scenes featurette.

The wait is on.



Ransom

Facts and Figures

Run time: 121 mins

In Theaters: Friday 8th November 1996

Box Office Worldwide: $309.5M

Budget: $80M

Production compaines: Touchstone Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Fresh: 52 Rotten: 17

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Tom Mullen, as Det. Jimmy Shaker, as Agent Lonnie Hawkins, as Katherine Mullon, as Maris, as Sean Mullen, as Clark Barnes, as Cubby Barnes, as Miles Roberts, Nancy Ticotin as Agent Kimba Welch, as Agent Jack Sickler, Kevin Neil McCready as Agent Paul Rhodes, as David Torres, as Dan Hedaya, Allen Bernstein as Bob Stone, as Wallace, Iraida Polanco as Fatima

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.