A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No real positive messages.
Positive Role Models
No real positive role models.
Violence & Scariness
Movie centers on the abduction of a woman off the street by two men who take her to an abandoned apartment building and tie her to a bed in a soundproof bedroom, gagged except for when they give her water or food. One of the assailants takes a bolt cutter to her finger and threatens to cut it off while making a video to the father of the kidnaped woman. Characters shot and killed. Fighting with punches and kicks. One of the kidnappers sits in her bed and moves his hands close to her body as if he's considering fondling her breasts.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief nonsexual nudity, female buttocks.
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Infrequent profanity. "F--k," "a--hole," "bulls--t," "s--t," "goddamn."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cigarette smoking. Some beer drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Kidnapping Stella is a 2019 German thriller in which two men abduct a wealthy young woman off the street and hold her for ransom. For much of the movie, the woman, Stella, is tied to a bed and gagged. When first tied to the bed, the men who kidnapped her snip off her clothes with scissors while she screams, before putting her in a red tracksuit. One of the assailants, while making a video to be sent to Stella's father, uses bolt cutters and threatens to cut off Stella's finger if he doesn't pay the ransom. In another scene, one of the assailants sits in her bed and silently moves his hands as if he's going to fondle her breasts. Characters shot and killed. Fighting with punches and kicks. Brief, nonsexual nudity: female buttocks. Infrequent profanity, including "f--k" and "s--t." Cigarette smoking. This is a remake of the 2009 British thriller The Disappearance of Alice Creed. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is an engaging thriller, even as you have the feeling that so much of this has been done before. Kidnapping Stella begins with the shopworn montage of the bad guys buying then installing all the equipment they need to pull off their crime. Then, a step-by-step of how the abduction of the titular character is undertaken. There's the "alpha" bad guy and the bad guy who seems like he's getting cold feet. The severing, or threat of severing -- in this case, with bolt cutters -- of a body part in order to prove to the rich person being extorted that the bad guys mean business. The expected problems that poke holes in the seemingly foolproof plan.
And yet, there are some twists to the story that work. The film's basic minimalist structure of three characters and sparse dialogue heightens what suspense emerges out of all these thriller tropes. The acting of the three performers reveals a nuance that grows in complexity as more information is revealed about their relationships and back stories. It doesn't break any new ground, but the film's final moments are completely riveting. Overall, Kidnapping Stella is a decent, if not particularly original, thriller.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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