Abduction

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Abduction Movie Poster Image
Underwhelming action thriller has deaths, violence.
  • PG-13
  • 2011
  • 106 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 33 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive messages

The only positive message in the movie is when Nathan's birth father says "I may be your father, but I'm not your dad," indicating that the couple who raised him are Nathan's true mother and father.

Positive role models & representations

Nathan and Karen stick together, even when it would be easier for him to go off on his own, and they're courageously willing to put themselves in harm's way for each other. Nathan comes to understand why his parents demanded that he know how to defend himself and why they kept his true identity a secret.

Violence

Suspense and action-movie violence featuring hand-to-hand brawls and weapons (mostly guns, but there's also a bomb). Nathan and his father have an extended "sparring" scene that bruises them both up and makes a hungover Nathan vomit. Although many characters are killed -- people are shot both execution style and from a sniper's distance, beaten mercilessly, thrown off a train, and blown up in an explosion -- there's very little blood. One of the most upsetting scenes is when a young girl is forced into a room and punched and terrorized by a hit man.

Sex

Parents are especially affectionate and do a touchy-feely slow dance that their son sees. A guy keeps staring intently at a girl and vice-versa. At a pool party, some girls are shown in bikinis. Nathan is shirtless in a few scenes. After an intense couple of days of hand holding and near-death experiences, Nathan and Karen share a passionate kiss that ends up with her straddling him and his hands creeping up the back of her shirt.

Language

One "f--k," plus regular use of words including "bulls--t," "s--t," "ass," "d--k," "hell," "freak," "Jesus" (as an exclamation) and "damn."

Consumerism

An Apple laptop makes a few close-up appearances, as do an Amtrak train, an Audi, a Mustang, a BMW, and a Lexus. Major League Baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates must have cooperated with the film, because a game is part of a climactic sequence; PNC Park, Pirates paraphernalia, and the stadium's famous Roberto Clemente statue are all on full display, and Nathan wears a Clemente jersey.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

In the opening sequence, a bunch of high-schoolers drink at a weekend party. Nathan gets drunk and wakes up shirtless on the hostess' lawn. He later vomits after being forced to spar with his father.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this action thriller stars Twilight hunk Taylor Lautner and rising star Lily Collins, so it's sure to attract teens. But there's a fair bit of violence, language, and intrigue that might make it too mature for tween members of Team Jacob. The more intense sequences include several character deaths, execution-style shootings, sniper kills, and a couple of brutal beatings, one of which results in a man being chucked out of a speeding train. Even the teen girl is terrorized and beaten. (All of that said, there's not a lot of blood here.) Swearing includes "s--t," "ass," and one "f--k"); sexuality is mostly flirting, hand holding, and slow dancing -- plus one heated make-out session between teens. An early scene shows teens drinking, including the main character, who gets very drunk.

User Reviews

Adult Written byjoshua martinez January 17, 2012

14 and up.

Abduction is a great action movie stars with Taylor lautner from the movie twilight but parents you need to know that Abduction has some intense violence some s... Continue reading
Parent of a 13 and 16 year old Written byparent_of_2g January 21, 2012

The trailer was better than the movie

A story line that could have been good if aimed at an adult audience was dumbed down in a failed attempt to make it suitable for teens. The acting was weak and... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bylittlemisshannahxxx September 24, 2011

a MUST see for teens and parents- especially Lautner Lovers!

i LOVED this movie!!!!! The only scene that I would be concerned about letting younger kids see is the main kissing scene. Nathan and Karen start out just with... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bypandasrule208 February 22, 2012

Review about Abduction

I reallly like this movie! I just saw this movie yesturday and it is very good! i dont think kids under 11 should see this because it has a lot of violence, cou... Continue reading

What's the story?

Nathan (Taylor Lautner) is a high school wrestling champ with attentive, affectionate parents and a few close friends. After he's paired up in class with his neighbor, the crush-worthy Karen (Lily Collins), the two start researching a sociology project about missing children ... only to discover a photo of a boy who looks a lot like Nathan. Curious about the uncanny similarities, Nathan contacts the website's chatline, which is actually maintained by a nefarious foreign baddie. Before Nathan can fully confront his mom (Maria Bello) and dad (Jason Isaacs), hit men strike the house, sending Nathan and Karen on the run. Reeling with grief and confusion, Nathan and Karen are advised by his therapist, Dr. Bennett (Sigourney Weaver), not to trust the CIA and are left on their own to evade both government and international operatives trying to track them down.

Is it any good?

The best part of this John Singleton production is the sheer number of excellent actors who pop up as supporting players. In addition to Bello and Isaacs -- who have more chemistry in a couple of scenes than Collins and Lautner in the entire film -- there's Weaver, Swedish star Michael Nyqvist (of the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Alfred Molina, who plays a squirrelly CIA agent in charge of the mission to rescue Nathan. It makes perfect sense that Singleton recruited a cast of acclaimed actors to bolster Lautner's leading-man debut, but sadly he's not up to the task yet. If anything, he should find an ensemble where he lends support to actors like his co-stars.

As Twilight heartthrob Jacob, Lautner's intensity makes him downright irresistible -- especially if you're only paying attention to his shirtless scenes. But the truth is that as adorable as Lautner may be -- and as gifted with the physicality necessary for an action career -- he lacks the acting range to carry a movie's emotional center. The scenes of Nathan crying are painful to watch, because you can tell how difficult they were for Lautner. And the screenplay doesn't do him any favors; it has him speaking and acting in a completely unbelievable manner for a guy who's just lost his parents. Collins is cute enough, but aside from one admittedly steamy kissing scene, the two don't conjure any heat.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the amount of violence in the film. Is it cartoonish and unbelievable or realistic and disturbing? How does that affect its impact?

  • What are some other movies that feature the "hidden identity" theme? Why do audiences respond to orphaned characters? Name some other famous pop-culture orphans.

  • How does the movie portray teen drinking? Does it have realistic consequences?

Movie details

For kids who love action thrillers

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