“Director Angel Vivas Knows How To Ratchet Up The Tension But The Thriller Lacks Sharp Dialogue”
- New York Times
Starting as a coldly realistic thriller, this film eventually loses its bearings as the director Miguel Angel Vivas succumbs to a fit of nihilism, transforming "Kidnapped" into gruesome tit-for-tat torture porn.
Stephen Holden - New York Times
As most of Kidnapped is devoted to watching people in extreme duress, leaving room for little else, it follows that the film exists solely to be "intense."
Nick Pinkerton - Village Voice
Survival horror has rarely been approached so sparingly and yet, for all there is to admire... the initial sense of potential suspense gives way to the creeping contempt of familiarity.
William Goss - Film.com
My eyes never left the screen and my attention never wandered; in a restricted, technical sense of the term, "Kidnapped" is a masterpiece.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
Gripping but grueling, this Spanish debut feature scores on technical prowess but its nihilistic viciousness is hard to take.
David Rooney - Hollywood Reporter
Laura Kern - Film Comment Magazine
If you need to challenge your personal threshold for watching realistic human suffering, then look no further than this nihilistic Spanish home invasion thriller.
John Gholson - Cinematical
this is the horror of hopelessness and nihilism made thrillingly visceral, without any of the distancing buffers of monsters or the supernatural.
Anton Bitel - Little White Lies
Kidnapped is a middling film, although it does have some impressive elements.
Thomas Caldwell - Cinema Autopsy
Plenty diverting from a stylistic perspective, but the story behind the flair is positively stone-age.
Shaun Munro - What Culture
Vivas, by generally refusing to cut, imbues Kidnapped with more gory details than the average thriller. The narrative cost at which this verisimilitude comes, however, seems a touch too high.
Jeremy Heilman - MovieMartyr.com
More a grim, crafty exercise rather than anything deeper, but it still delivers the desired impact.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
Kidnapped proves to be the rule and the exception as writer/director Miguel Angel Vivas has a few tricks up his sleeves on the fringes of the same old ones.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
While Kidnapped doesn't add anything substantially new to the tradition, Vivas hits his marks with ruthless efficiency.
Noel Murray - AV Club
Truthfully, the picture is punishment, often stumbling into superfluous rage, but there's plenty of slick filmmaking mischief here to examine when the movie gets sloppy with harsh acts of shock value.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
Some kind of napping for sure...
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out New York
Relies on the nerve-wracking effect of women's screams and hysterical sobbing for tension...an exercise in audience torture more than anything else.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
Whereas Vivas's aesthetic is initially intimate, a raft of split-screens and circuitous tracking shots soon call undue attention to themselves.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
There's likely an audience for this sort of paranoid simulated snuff where enjoying the pain of others is key. But in a world now where gleeful heads of state boast giddily how they've bombed or executed anonymous victims into oblivion, is it any wonder.
Prairie Miller - NewsBlaze
The company knows how to ratchet up the tension but the thriller lacks Michael Haneke-style clever dialogue.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve