20 films about the capture and release of hostages

The best hostage-taking films are full of drive and explosive feelings. The plot – kidnapping or holding people by criminals of various stripes – always keeps you in suspense. These can be crazy psychopaths who have lost touch with reality, and prudent gangsters in pursuit of monetary gain, or teenagers who dream of revenge on their hated classmates. Sometimes these films are based on real events, and sometimes they are fiction with cranberries and hard nuts inside.

Run Hide Hit (2020)

17-year-old Zoe was brought up by a stern father who taught her daughter from childhood to hunt, survive and be independent. She is not like other girls, so she became an outsider among her peers. One day, a group of armed youths seizes the school , and Zoya’s close friend is forced by the criminals to stream what is happening on the Internet. The heroine first tries to escape, but then decides to fight back the invaders and save her fellow students. The novelty of the movie raises an interesting theme of the transformation of the victim into a hunter and an executioner and reveals it brilliantly.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
Run Hide Fight

Genre:
Action, Thriller

Actors:
Isabelle May, Thomas Jane, Radha Mitchell…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.8, IMDb – 6.5

Age Limits :
16+


Scam of the Century (2020)

“Scam of the Century” is a new film about a hostage-taking in a bank. In the story, five criminals decide to seize the famous bank Rio de Acassuso, located in the suburbs of Buenos Aires. The calculation was such that the police , who had arrived on a call, could be distracted by negotiations on the release of the captives. Well, the brave gentlemen of fortune, meanwhile, will quietly leave the building. The goal of the takeover operation is to steal $15 million. The plot is based on the real-life robbery of Rio De Acassuso in 2006.

Original title:
El robo del siglo

Genre:
Action, drama, comedy, crime, biography

Actors:
Guillermo Francella, Diego Peretti, Luis Luque…

Country:
Argentina

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 7.2

Age restrictions:
12+


Fifteen Minutes of War (2019)

The film about terrorists and hostages tells the story of a real incident that occurred in 1975 in Djibouti. Rebellious opponents of the colonial regime hijack a bus with French schoolchildren and a teacher, and then head to the border with Somalia. Special forces captain André Gerval, as part of an elite sniper squad , leads the operation to rescue the captured people. The action movie is especially notable for the spectacular scene of the release of the hostages, which looks in one breath.

Original title:
L’Intervention

Genre:
Action, drama, military, history

Actors:
Alban Lenoir, Olga Kurylenko, Sebastian Lalanne …

Country:
France, Belgium

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 6.3

Age restrictions:
16+


Operation Thunderball (2018)

A drama about revolutionaries who hijack a plane flying from Israel to France. The purpose of the capture is to exchange the Jewish hostages for the comrades-in-arms imprisoned. Criminals land a plane at Entebbe Airport in Uganda and make their demands. The Israeli government hesitates for a week, meanwhile comes up with a cunning plan to save people. Thriller based on a true story with inserts from the documentary takes on the theme of terrorism and revolution in an unexpected new way in this hostage-taking movie.

Original title:
Entebbe

Genre:
Action, thriller

Actors:
Rosamund Pike, Daniel Brühl, Lior Ashkenazi…

Country:
UK, USA, France, Malta

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.7, IMDb – 5.8

Age restrictions:
16+


Once Upon a Time in Stockholm (2018)

The list of the best films about hostages continues with the Canadian comedy-drama Once Upon a Time in Stockholm, based on real events. In 1973, a man disguised as a cowboy hijacks staff and customers at a Swedish bank. His motive is to free his friend and accomplice from prison . Thanks to this real historical event, the famous term “Stockholm Syndrome” was born. The hostages developed feelings for the criminals, refused to testify against them, and even raised money to defend them in court.

Original title:
Stockholm

Genre:
Drama, comedy, crime, biography, history

Actors:
Ethan Hawke, Noomi Rapace, Mark Strong …

Country:
Canada, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 6.1

Age restrictions:
18+


Last Test (2018)

The sequel to the sensational Russian film “Teacher”. Now the action is transferred to the cultural center “Mir”, where the premiere of the musical “Romeo and Juliet” takes place. Suddenly, right during the show, terrorists burst into the hall. Until the police sent riot police, the school teacher Alla Nikolaevna decides to start negotiations with the bandits. People who were taken hostage during the seizure of the theater on Dubrovka in Moscow took part in the filming of the drama.

Genre:
Drama, action

Actors:
Irina Kupchenko, Irina Alferova, Andrey Merzlikin …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.0, IMDb – 4.1

Age restrictions:
16+


Hostages (2017)

The top films about the release of hostages are continued by the Georgian action movie “Hostages”, based on real events that took place in 1983. A group of young Georgians from the families of high-ranking officials dream of leaving the USSR, drawing attention to themselves in the foreign press, and are planning to hijack the plane. On board the liner, six young men and one girl arrange shooting, killing innocent people. At Kinotavr, the film received awards for best director and best cinematography.

Genre:
Drama, thriller, biography, history

Actors:
Irakli Kvirikadze, Tinatin Dalakishvili, Giga Datiashvili …

Country:
Russia, Georgia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.8, IMDb – 6.1

Age restrictions:
16+


Neerja (2016)

A Bollywood historical drama about a plane hijacking in Pakistan based on real events. Neerja Phanot is a flight attendant on a Boeing 747 that took off from Bombay. When the airliner makes a temporary landing in Pakistan, members of the Abu Nidali terrorist organization are on board. A brave girl decides to save people. The Indian film won five awards at the Filmfare Awards and has a high rating on Knopoisk and IMBd.

Original title:
Neerja

Genre:
Biography, drama, thriller

Actors:
Sonam Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Yogendra Tikku …

Country:
India

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Speed: Bus 657 (2015)

Among action films about hostages, the American film “Speed” stands out with a brilliant cast. Robert De Niro as the owner of a criminal casino and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who brilliantly played a desperate father. Luke Vaughn’s daughter develops cancer, and he decides to take an unprecedented step – to rob the casino of his boss, Francis “Pope” Silva. But everything does not go according to plan, and the unfortunate robber has to steal a bus with hostages.

Original title:
Heist

Genre:
Bevic, thriller, drama, crime

Actors:
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Robert De Niro, Kate Bosworth …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.5, IMDb – 6.1

Age restrictions:
16+


Teacher (2015)

Alla Nikolaevna, a high school history teacher, does not understand and does not accept the modern world of youth. Driven to the brink by family problems, the attitude of school management and her own students, a woman in a state of passion takes an entire class hostage. Her former student, now a special forces colonel, Kadyshev, decides to personally intervene in the situation. An interesting fact: the filming took place at the school where Andrei Merzlykin, who played Kadyshev, studied as a child.

Genre:
Drama, Action, Crime

Actors:
Irina Kupchenko, Anna Churina, Roza Khairullina …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.8, IMDb – 5.6

Age Limits :
12+


Hostages (2012)

Foreign film “Hostages” about the pirate seizure of the ship is one of the most successful thrillers about hostages. Somali pirates attacked the Danish ship “Rosen”, drifting in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Extortionists demand 15 million dollars, otherwise the hostages will be finished. The president of the shipping company, Peter Ludwegson, personally negotiates with the bandits. However, they drag on for long weeks, and the chances of saving the prisoners are less and less. The film received many awards and nominations at various festivals: for the best film, the best supporting actor, the audience award.

Original title:
Kapringen

Genre:
Thriller, drama

Actors:
Pilu Asbek, Soren Malling, Dar Salim…

Country:
Denmark

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 7.2

Age restrictions:
18+


Operation Argo (2012)

The film is based on real events. In 1979, an Islamist revolution rages in Iran. Religious radicals stormed the US embassy in Tehran and captured 52 Americans. Four embassy employees managed to escape and hid in the home of the Canadian ambassador. CIA agent Tony Mendez comes up with a brilliant and extremely daring plan to save the Americans. The scriptwriters of the film used video recordings and archival data when writing the script, as well as secret materials of a real military operation.

Original title:
Argo

Genre:
Thriller, drama

Actors:
Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin…

Country:
USA, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 7.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Dangerous Passengers of Train 123 (2009)

A film about the rescue of hostages in the New York subway, which is a remake of the 1974 film of the same name. Subway dispatcher Walter Garber witnesses a train being hijacked. The eccentric bandit leader Bernard Ryder wants to receive 10 million dollars from the city authorities, otherwise the passengers will be killed. And it is Garber Ryder chooses as a negotiator. The film is interesting for its bright cast. Denzel Washington and John Travolta, as always, will please the audience with an inimitable game.

Original title:
The Taking of Pelham 123

Genre:
Thriller, Action, Crime

Actors:
Denzel Washington, John Travolta, John Turturro …

Country:
USA, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 6.4

Age Limits :
16+


Last Lesson (2008)

Sonia Bergerac is a high school teacher forced to endure bullying from her students. At the next lesson, when the young thugs begin to brandish the gun they brought, Sonya unexpectedly takes possession of the weapon and takes her own class hostage. The actress who played Bergerac won the Cesar award. The film itself was nominated for an award in the category “Best Film” and “Best Screenplay”, and the positive feedback from the audience speaks for itself.

Original title:
La journée de la jupe

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Isabelle Adjani, Denis Podalides, Khalid Berkuz…

Country:
France, Belgium

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 6.9

Age restrictions:
16+


Lost Flight (2006)

The film follows the hostages aboard the infamous Flight 93 and their abduction by Islamic terrorists on September 11, 2001. After the plane is hijacked, the Islamists change the route and send it to Washington. Their target is the White House or the Capitol. The passengers realize that they are doomed and decide to fight back the bandits. This is the first feature film on the theme of “9/11”. The script was written on the basis of interviews taken from relatives of the victims.

Original title:
United 93

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, history

Actors:
J.J. Johnson, Gary Commock, Polly Adams…

Country:
USA, UK, France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Not caught – not a thief (2006)

In downtown New York, a major bank robbery is committed in broad daylight. The raiders go inside, disguised as painters, and immediately announce their intentions. Visitors and employees of the institution become hostages, and the bandits tell the police that a bomb has been planted in the building. However, an even more unexpected surprise awaits the servants of law and order. The film fully justifies the title of a detective and is able to stun the viewer with an unexpected denouement in the spirit of Agatha Christie or Conan Doyle.

Original title:
Inside Man

Genre:
Thriller, drama, crime, detective

Actors:
Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 7.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Hostage (2005)

Geoff Talley is a talented negotiator who saves the lives of hostages. After a failure that killed three people, he moves to the province and becomes an ordinary sheriff there. One day, a robbery occurs in Jeff’s ward territory. The bandits hide in a private house and take the family hostage. Now Talley must remember his old talent and overcome fear and guilt. The film was nominated for awards for special effects with fire and as “Best Film”.

Original title:
Hostage

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, crime

Actors:
Bruce Willis, Kevin Pollak, Ben Foster …

Country:
USA, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 6.6

Age restrictions:
16+


President’s Plane (1997)

In 1997, communist revolutionaries seize power in Kazakhstan. But the US intelligence agencies conduct an operation and catch their leader, General Radek. American President James Marshall flies to Moscow for talks on this issue, and when he returns, Radek’s associates rush into the plane. Their demand is the release of the dictator. The President has to personally confront the intruders. The film received two Oscar nominations for Best Editing and Best Music.

Original title:
Air Force One

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama

Actors:
Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close…

Country:
USA, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Speed ​​(dilogue, 1994 and 1997)

Action about transport, which “moves out of the coils.” In the first film, a terrorist plants a bomb on a regular bus. The bomb should explode if the speed of the bus falls below 80 km/h. In the second part, a crazed programmer takes revenge on a company that did not pay him money, and sends a radio-controlled cruise ship first to the tanker, and then to the beach. The first part of the dilogy has acquired the status of a cult among fans of the genre, the second film was not so successful, but still worth paying attention to.

Original title:
Speed

​​Genre :
Action, thriller, adventure

Actors:
Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Dennis Hopper…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 7.2

Age restrictions:
16+


Die Hard (dilogue, 1988 and 1990)

Rounding out the list of hostage rescue films is a cult classic. Any action movie fan knows the name of cop John McClane. In the first part, the bandits took hostages in a skyscraper, including the hero’s wife. John McClane single-handedly confronts the terrorists. In the fifth part, the brave policeman is already on the territory of Russia, fighting with opponents in the hotel “Ukraine” and on the streets of Moscow. Initially, the filmmakers wanted to cast the famous action star for the role of McClain, but in the end the choice fell on serial actor Bruce Willis. And they did not fail, because the image created by Willis is absolutely inimitable!

Original title:
Die Hard

Genre:
Action, thriller, crime

Actors:
Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.0, IMDb – 8.2

Age restrictions:
16+


Rating
( No ratings yet )
Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

Leave a Reply

My Release Date - schedule of all popular series
Support Ukraine