75

San Francisco Examiner

By Barbara Shulgasser
Ransom is every bit as taut and expertly directed, and it's another in the emergency genre, one in which Howard excels.
Full Review
75

TV Guide

By Maitland McDonagh
Until the disappointingly conventional ending, in which dad and the head baddie go it mano a mano on the streets, this dark drama -- based on a 1956 Glenn Ford picture of the same name -- negotiates its narrative twists and turns with professional aplomb, even daring to make the hero an arrogant schmuck.
Full Review
75

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
Slick thrills and the star's blue eyes are enough to make Ransom the fall's monster hit. Instead, Howard and Gibson stake out a Moclock side in all of us that won't be banished, not even by a happy ending. I'll be damned.
Full Review
75

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
The movie would have benefitted from a tight rewrite (it is too ambitious in including plot threads it doesn't have time to deal with), but Gibson's strong central performance speeds it along.
Full Review
75

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
Ransom isn't a bad thriller, it's just not a great one. There's a little too much pointless running around, a subplot that leads nowhere, and a certain creeping predictability that argues for a shorter running length.
Full Review
75

USA Today

By Mike Clark
This is a blueprint for mainstream moviegoing, but be forewarned that the finale is surprisingly down-and-dirty. In this case, though, the violence blisteringly redeems what has been a merely OK thriller. [8Nov1996 Pg.01.D]
Full Review
67

Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
Ransom has some clever and exciting moments, but in scene after scene it teases you with gamesmanship only to pummel you with contrivance.
Full Review
50

The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Rick Groen
Since "To pay or not to pay" is banal, the plot takes the popular path of excess to a brain-boggling twist (to be specific would be to ruin what fun there is), then spirals off in a series of ever more unlikely gyrations, until a heretofore decent picture has gone completely south into fantasy-land.
Full Review
25

San Francisco Chronicle

By Edward Guthmann
Beneath the handsome production values, the steady motor of Ron Howard's direction and the solid acting of Mel Gibson as a flashy airline tycoon whose son is abducted in Central Park, Ransom is pure poison: the kind of hang-'em-high rouser that feeds off our basest impulses and prods us into cheering the hero on as he commits grisly, retributive acts of violence.
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20

Austin Chronicle

By Steve Davis
A reprehensible movie from just about every perspective, Ransom tries to justify the behavior of its lead character as something grounded in principle, but make no mistake about it: This is the act of a man who can't bear the thought of losing, a man who will turn the tables on his enemy at the risk of a beloved's death.
Full Review
60 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.