Ransom (1996) - Rotten Tomatoes


Ransom (1996)



Critic Consensus: Directed with propulsive intensity by Ron Howard, Ransom is a fiery thriller packed with hot-blooded performances and jolting twists.

Ransom Photos

Movie Info

Ron Howard directed this thriller which stars Mel Gibson as Tom Mullen, a former fighter pilot who built a ramshackle one-plane airline into a major multinational service fleet. Mullen has a multi-million dollar fortune, a beautiful wife, Kate (Rene Russo) and a nine-year-old son, Sean (Brawley Nolte) that he dotes on. However, Mullen's life comes crashing down around him when Sean is kidnapped. The FBI are called in, but Mullen is wary -- he was the recent target of an FBI investigation in which he was found to have bribed union officials while negotiating a contract. FBI Agent Hawkins (Delroy Lindo) advises Mullen to make the $2 million dollar drop to pay the kidnappers, which will make it easier to track the criminals, but when the tradeoff goes wrong, Mullen takes a new tactic -- he goes on television and offers a $2 million bounty for the heads of the people who kidnapped his child. Meanwhile, it becomes clear the kidnappers include Maris Connor (Lili Taylor), who once worked for the Mullens, and Jimmy Shaker (Gary Sinise), one of the cops who investigated Mullen for bribery. This remake of the 1956 Glenn Ford vehicle of the same name was scripted by Richard Price, who has a bit part as a police detective.

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Mel Gibson
as Tom Mullen
Rene Russo
as Kate Mullen
Gary Sinise
as Jimmy Shaker
Delroy Lindo
as Agent Lonnie Hawkins
Lili Taylor
as Maris Connor
Liev Schreiber
as Clark Barnes
Evan Handler
as Miles Roberts
Donnie Wahlberg
as Cubby Barnes
Brawley Nolte
as Sean Mullen
Dan Hedaya
as Jackie Brown
Michael Gaston
as Agent Jack Sickler
José Zúñiga
as David Torres
Nancy Ticotin
as Agent Kimba Welch
Kevin Neil McCready
as Agent Paul Rhodes
Allen Bernstein
as Bob Stone
John Ortiz
as Roberto
Mike Hodge
as Man at Party
Paul Geier
as Mayor Barresi
Louisa Marie
as Woman at Party
Edward Francis Joseph
as Guest at Party
A.J. Benza
as Reporter Guest
Tony Hoty
as Doorman
Daniel May Wong
as Agent Sam
John Short
as Agent Dewey
Ed Jupp Jr.
as Technician
Stephen Oates
Gene Harrison
as FBI/SWAT Leader
Mick O'Rourke
Roy Farfel
Lex D. Geddings
as FBI/SWAT Sniper
Donna Hanover
as News Reporter
Rosanna Scotto
as News Anchor
Tony Potts
as News Anchor
Todd Hallowell
as Don Campbell
Joe Bacino
as Cop No. 1
Carl S. Redding
as Cop No. 2
David Vadim
as Cop No. 5
Judy Hudson
as Reporter
Mitzie Pratt
as Reporter
Lynne Redding
as Reporter
Michael Countryman
as Bank Manager
Chris Lopata
as Agent Levin
John Richard Hartmann
as Agent Lambert
Richard Price
as Detective No. 1
Joseph Badalucco Jr.
as Liquor Store Cop
Dell Maara
as Liquor Store Perp
Tommy Allen
as Detective at Kidnap House
John Dorish
as Paramedic
Vincent Burns
as Detective Doran
Brad Brewer
as Crowtation
Darren Brown
as Crowtation
Marvin Brown
as Crowtation
Glenn King
as Crowtation
Cheryl Howard
as Science Fair Coordinator
James Ritz
as Science Fair Judge
Anna Marie Wieder
as Woman at Science Fair
Joan D. Lowry
as Mayor's Wife
Teodorina Bello
as Woman on Street No. 1
Jane Jenkins
as Woman on Street No. 2
Lori Tan Chinn
as Woman on Street No. 3
Carl Don
as Man on Street No. 1
Nathaniel Freeman
as Man on Street No. 2
Phil Parolisi
as Man on Street No. 3
Rafael Osorio
as Man on Street No. 4
Leslie Devlin
as Newscaster
Lewis Dodley
as Newscaster
John Brian Rogers
as ND Cop No. 1
Jeffrey Kaufman
as ND Cop No. 2
Mark Smith
as Undercover Cop
Jim Whalen
as Detective
Kim Snyder
as Kate's Friend
Panicker Upendran
as Store Owner
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News & Interviews for Ransom

Critic Reviews for Ransom

All Critics (72) | Top Critics (23)

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

Audience Reviews for Ransom

I don't recommend Mel Gibson films. This one's just average.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

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 White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Mel Gibson gives a good performance, showing a man trying to think his way out of a crisis,when his son is kidnapped holding him for ransom. Intrigue is established early and tension never lets up all the way,in this film, until the very final shot. It's only in the final scene that the story starts to bite off more than it can chew in a bloody showdown !!!

 ♥Robyn  M♥
♥Robyn M♥

Super Reviewer

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