Kidnap (2017 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byLuis Prieto
Produced by
Screenplay byKnate Lee
Music byFederico Jusid
CinematographyFlavio Martinez Labiano
Edited byAvi Youabian
Distributed byAviron Pictures
Release date
  • July 31, 2017 (2017-07-31) (ArcLight Hollywood)
  • August 4, 2017 (2017-08-04) (United States)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$21 million[1]
Box office$34.8 million[2]

Kidnap is a 2017 American action thriller film[3] directed by Luis Prieto, written by Knate Lee and stars Halle Berry, Lew Temple, Sage Correa and Chris McGinn. The film follows Karla, a diner waitress, who doggedly pursues a car after her 6-year-old son is abducted from a park. The film is Berry's second abduction thriller following 2013's The Call. The film's development began in June 2009. Principal photography began on October 27, 2014, in New Orleans, with scenes also being filmed in Slidell. Filming was completed on December 7, 2014.

Kidnap premiered on July 31, 2017, at ArcLight Hollywood and was theatrically released in the United States on August 4, 2017, by Aviron Pictures, who purchased the rights to the film for $3 million after original producer Relativity Media filed for bankruptcy.[4] It has grossed $34 million worldwide and received mixed reviews from critics, with some calling it a "serviceable late-summer diversion" and praising Berry's performance, while others criticized the messy plot.[5]


Karla, a diner waitress, lives a mostly normal life as a single mother with her 6-year-old son, Frankie despite her involvement in a custody battle with her estranged husband.

One day, Karla takes Frankie to the local carnival. After temporarily leaving her son to take a phone call, she returns to find that her son is missing, having left his toy voice recorder behind. Frantically searching for her son, Karla spots a woman aggressively dragging Frankie into a green Ford Mustang with no license plate. As the car takes off, Karla desperately clings to the side of the car trying to stop them, losing her phone in the process. Karla then jumps into her minivan and races after the kidnappers.

Karla tries to get help from nearby motorist but her attempts are foiled by Frankie's abductors. Karla is then forced to take an exit ramp after the woman threatens to kill Frankie. Not giving up on rescuing her son, Karla resumes her pursuit.

Karla hears a voice from her son's toy voice recorder, revealing the abductor's name Margo. Karla then spots a police motorcycle behind her and sways her car from side to side, successfully gaining the police officer's attention. The kidnappers ram their car into Karla's, trapping the officer's motorcycle between both vehicles, where he is eventually thrown off onto the highway and killed.

Stopping in a grassy field, Karla confronts the male driver of the green car and demands the release of her son. However, Margo then gets out of the car and forces Karla to ride with her, demanding a ransom payment of $10,000 in exchange for her son's release. Margo orders Karla to follow her accomplice's car.

After entering a tunnel, Margo attacks Karla in the driver's seat but she successfully fights back and throws Margo out of the car during the ensuing struggle. Karla puts on Margo's sweater, fooling the second abductor temporarily as she exits the tunnel. After realizing that Margo is gone, the male kidnapper forces Karla to stop tailing him by threatening to drop Frankie onto the highway. After Karla loses them for several minutes, she spots a traffic jam, drives ahead of it, and finds the kidnappers' car abandoned after causing a collision. One of the motorists tells her he saw the man and the boy emerge from the car and Karla drives after them once again.

Karla stops at a police station to report the incident; however, after seeing posters of young children who have been missing for a decade, and fearing that her son will likewise disappear for good, she continues the chase on her own. Karla eventually spots Frankie's abductor - who has now stolen a black Volvo - and chases him until her vehicle runs out of fuel. Karla frantically stops a truck to hitch a ride to follow the kidnapper, but the truck is suddenly rammed by the Volvo, killing the driver and knocking her unconscious.

As she comes to, Karla discovers that her son is not in the Volvo. Eventually, the male kidnapper emerges from his car and shoots at Karla with a sawed-off shotgun. As he tries to attack her in the car, she slips her car into reverse into the woods where the man is fatally struck by a tree. Karla yells at him demanding to know where her son is, but he dies before she can get the answer. Karla finds his wallet, and learns his name, Terrence Vickey, and the address where her son might be.

Karla arrives at the Vickey's house at nightfall and eventually locates Frankie in the barn with two other kidnapped girls. Before that, she calls 911 on their landline as she hides from Margo, who leaves the house in search of Terrence. Karla successfully rescues Frankie, but when Margo comes back and realizes that Terrence has perished, Karla and her son run out of the barn before she can retrieve the two girls. Karla creates a diversion by sailing a skiff away while hiding underwater.

Margo discovers them hiding, but Karla manages to drag Margo into the water, drowning her. Returning to the barn, she is confronted by a man who claims to be the next-door neighbor and holds her at gunpoint. After hearing children's voices in the barn attic, he then offers to help Karla by getting the two girls down. Realizing that he is actually the ringleader of the kidnappings since he knew that two girls were there without looking, Karla kills him with a shovel to the head just before he is able to draw his gun.

Karla is rescued along with the 3 children as the police arrive. Media reports praise her for saving the children from the kidnappers, announcing that Karla's actions have led to police breaking up an international child abduction ring, with arrests being made in other parts of the United States and the world. The media hails Karla as a hero.


  • Halle Berry as Karla Dyson, Frankie's mother, who searches for her kidnapped child
  • Sage Correa as Frankie Dyson, Karla's son
  • Chris McGinn as Margo Vickey, a female kidnapper and Terrence's wife
  • Lew Temple as Terrence "Terry" Vickey, a male kidnapper and Margo's husband
  • Jason Winston George as David
  • Christopher Berry as Bearded Man, the ringleader of the kidnappers
  • Aaron Shiver as Bill
  • Kurtis Bedford as Del
  • Carmela Riley as Stephanie


Principal photography on the film began on October 27, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana.[6][7] In mid-November, filming was also taking place in Slidell.[8] Filming ended on December 7, 2014.[8]


The film was originally scheduled for release on October 9, 2015,[9] but in July 2015 Relativity Media pushed back the film from its original release date of October 9, 2015 to February 26, 2016, because the company was facing a financial crisis.[10] It was then again rescheduled from February 26, 2016 to May 13, 2016,[11] then from May 13, 2016 to December 2, 2016,[12] and pulled off the schedule altogether.[13] It was then pushed back from December 2, 2016 to March 10, 2017, but was delayed yet again after Relativity filed for bankruptcy, and producers had put the film back on the market, losing rights to it. Aviron Pictures, the new distributor, bought the rights for $3 million, and was then pushed back for a final time from March 10, 2017 to August 4, 2017, nearly three years after production began; they spent a total of $13 million on promotion.[14]


Box office[edit]

Kidnap grossed $30.7 million in the United States and Canada and $2 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $32.7 million, against a production budget of $21 million.[2]

In North America, Kidnap was released alongside the opening of The Dark Tower, and the wide expansion of Detroit, and was projected to gross around $8 million from 2,378 theaters in its opening weekend.[15] The film made $3.7 million on its first day (including $500,000 from Thursday previews) and $10 million over the weekend, finishing 5th at the box office.[4] It dropped 49.1% in its second week to $5.1 million, finishing 8th.[16]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 38% based on 88 reviews, and an average rating of 4.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Kidnap strays into poorly scripted exploitation too often to take advantage of its pulpy premise – or the still-impressive talents of its committed star."[17] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, to film has a score of 44 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[18] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave a 74% overall positive score and a 53% definite recommend.[4]

David Elrich of IndieWire gave the film a "D–" and called it the worst of the summer, saying: "The Emoji Movie might have been a boring and brazenly cynical piece of corporate propaganda, but at least it had the courtesy to be offensive. Kidnap, on the other hand, doesn’t have the courtesy to be much of anything."[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kidnap (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Kidnap (2017)". The Numbers. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  3. ^ "Kidnap (2017)". AllMovie. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "'The Dark Tower' Is Tall Enough For No. 1 With $19.5M During Sluggish Summer Weekend". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  5. ^ Giles, Jeff (August 3, 2017). "Dark Tower Condemned". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  6. ^ "Production Begins on Kidnap, Starring Halle Berry". October 27, 2014. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
  7. ^ Kay, Jeremy (October 27, 2014). "Kidnap begins New Orleans shoot". Retrieved October 28, 2014.
  8. ^ a b St Tamm, Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes are cited in the end credits."Halle Berry filming 'Kidnap' in New Orleans". November 20, 2014. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  9. ^ Sneider, Jeff (September 17, 2014). "Halle Berry, Kate Beckinsale Lead Relativity's Fall 2015 Release Slate". Retrieved October 28, 2014.
  10. ^ Lang, Brent (July 20, 2015). "Relativity Moving Release of 'Kidnap' With Halle Berry (EXCLUSIVE)". Retrieved July 22, 2015.
  11. ^ Pederson, Erik (December 4, 2015). "Relativity Dates Five Films For 2016 Including 'Kidnap' & 'Masterminds'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  12. ^ Corrigan, Tom. "Relativity Media Reveals New Film Schedule". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  13. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (November 8, 2016). "Halle Berry Thriller 'Kidnap' Moved Off Relativity Schedule". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 8, 2016.
  14. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 11, 2017). "David Dinerstein Launches Aviron Pictures With Halle Berry's 'Kidnap', Alec Baldwin-Salma Hayek Pic 'Drunk Parents' & More". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  15. ^ "Sony's long-awaited 'Dark Tower' may unseat 'Dunkirk' with $25-million box-office premiere". Los Angeles Times. August 2, 2017.
  16. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony. "New Line's Dollhouse Of Dough: 'Annabelle: Creation' Opening To $36M+". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  17. ^ "Kidnap (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  18. ^ "Kidnap reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  19. ^ Ehrlich, David (August 2, 2017). "Review: A Halle Berry Vehicle with Four Flat Tires, 'Kidnap' Is the Worst Movie of the Summer". IndieWire. Retrieved August 10, 2017.

External links[edit]