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Dear Halle,

Blink twice if you were held against your will to make Kidnap because, honestly, I cannot imagine any sane actress choosing to star in this film.

Now, listen, I get the fact that you’re most likely paying off Oliver Martinez after your 2016 divorce and that you’re potentially still paying off your divorce from Eric Benet and child support for your baby daddy, Gabriel Aubry, but that still doesn’t excuse you for choosing a movie THIS bad. I mean, you’re an Academy Award winner! In fact, you’re the only African-American woman to ever win the Best Actress award. And how do you thank your fans and the Academy? By accepting this role and this script?! Did you not learn anything from Catwoman?

I also recognize the fact that Hollywood is not kind to women, let alone aging women (Meg Ryan, I am talking to you), but you’re HALLE FRICKIN’ BERRY. You still look half the age of women your age and you can ACT! So, once again, please blink twice if it was you that was kidnapped so that we can accept the disaster that KIDNAP is and move on to your next role.

A Concerned Fan

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare: one moment you’re playing outside with your child, your cell phone rings so you step away for just a moment, and when you turn back, your child is gone. Many of us would like to think we would never do such a thing, but in a very sobering fact, every year, 800,000 children in the U.S. are reported missing. So, under the premise of actually witnessing your child get kidnapped, the film KIDNAP wants moviegoers to ask themselves to what lengths would they go to save their own child?

Children being kidnapped has served as the premise in movies such as Ransom and, while not kidnapped by a stranger, most recently in the outstanding Midnight Special; what we have not seen is a kidnapping movie from the perspective of the mother. And, as everyone knows, you don’t get between a mama bear and her cub. Unfortunately, this is a film where you simply hope the mama bear will be shot and put out of her misery. KIDNAP is more of a train wreck than a car wreck. A film so bad that I think it would have been an insult to video on demand to release it that way.

While Berry will be remembered best (or is it worst?!) for this putrid film, the blame really belongs to Director, Luis Prieto, and Writer, Knate Lee, both serving in these roles for the first time for a theaterical release. Giving Prieto some leeway, perhaps he recognized the awful script and purposely chose to spend way too much time on shots from the sky? Either that or he just purchased a drone and figured he would use it as often as possible to get his money’s worth. And perhaps Prieto believed he was auditioning for a car commercial with the vast number of wide-angle shots from the side and from behind Berry’s minivan?

Based on the number of times the filmgoer is forced to view the speedometer, one pictures Lee trying to fill the pages of his script and simply choosing to type “the camera provides a close-up of the speedometer”. In a movie that is based upon a race against time, Prieto appears to have taken the lazy man approach with nearly all speedometer close-up shots being the same shot and only finding Berry speed up from 40 to 60. It is a safe bet that if your child was abducted, you would be punching the gas pedal until you nearly ran over the abductor’s vehicle. Nope, not here!

The absurdity of it all is simply too much for any viewer to endure. Tis true that viewers may accept Halle Berry as a waitress at a diner, that she conveniently drops and breaks her cell phone while running to her minivan to chase the abductors, and that kidnappers truly expect to receive a $10,000 ransom from a diner waitress. What viewers will not accept is a constant insult to their intelligence. Leaving aside that Berry still has a Baby on Board sign on her vehicle despite her child being six years old, that she keeps a picture of her son when he was a baby above her visor, and that spends over half of the movie talking to herself with cheesy lines like, “As long as my son is in that car, I will not stop. Wherever you go, I will be right behind you. No matter what”, in what reality would a parent allow one of the abductors into their car, not run over the other abductor when he exits the vehicle leaving their child alone in the car, encounter a police force that treats a kidnapping as if someone’s cat was lost, and think that locking the car door when someone has a gun pointed at you is going to keep you safe?!

KIDNAP is the most preposterous and boring kidnapping thriller ever produced and the hilarity of it all starts to make sense when looking at Writer Knate Lee’s other credits which include two Jackass movies and Bad Grandpa as Associate Producer. Seems like Lee needs to stay in his lane whereas Halle Berry should have swerved to avoid this accident.

Kidnap is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Mark Eaton
Mark is an entertainment junkie, spending much of his leisure time watching movies, TV, or listening to any and all genres of music. Most evenings, after finishing a day of work and hanging with his wife and kids, Mark can be found in an eternal battle with his DVR, trying to clear it before another 5-6 hours of shows are recorded the next day. Still reeling from his unpaid gig for the Detroit News where he was fired for being too cruel with his American Idol recaps, Mark is thrilled to be sharing his wicked sense of humor with Movie Reelists.

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