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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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"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."
‑ Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune
"With a mechanical movie like this, filmmakers -- male or female -- can't take chances. Howard and company are hostages to their own conception."
‑ Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel
"Howard directs for speed and force. The movie moves so quickly it yanks you by too many niggling doubts and the action scenes are so good that you wonder why Opie hasn't shown this much vicious pizazz before."
‑ Stephen Hunter, Baltimore Sun
"As is often the case, the scumbags are far more interesting than the good guys."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Ron Howard leads the film dispassionately and unimaginatively, with too much faith in the merits of the talky script, although Ransom almost has a subject for a moment, flashing a little class conflict just like actresses used to flash a little stocking."
‑ Richard von Busack, MetroActive
"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."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"Mel Gibson and Rene Russo put an edgy 1990s spin on the roles originally played by Glenn Ford and Donna Reed."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"Ron Howard has directed the action smoothly and efficiently, but be warned that there's a great deal of hard-hitting violence."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"Ransom benefits handsomely from a story that remains compellingly believable, even as the plot twists become more baroque. Be warned, though, that Ransom is a violent film, with bloody shootouts that will not be easy to watch."
‑ Rod Dreher, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"Considering Howard made his directorial name with such light-weight, sentimental fare as Splash and Cocoon, this is a remarkably mature film."
‑ , Film4
"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."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"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."
‑ Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
"A slick, slam-bang thriller about a business tycoon's frenzied efforts to get back his kidnapped son, Ransom is meant to divert and entertain. It does."
‑ Leah Rozen, People Magazine
"Ransom is more cleverly conceived than most run-of-the-mill Hollywood exploitation thrillers, and for a while appears headed to a memorable, richly ironic conclusion."
‑ Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Daily News
"Ransom won't be lighting the world's blue touchpaper, but it's a good, solid movie -- in other words, just what we've come to expect of the erstwhile Richie Cunningham."
‑ , Total Film
More reviews for Ransom on Rotten Tomatoes

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