The Disappearance of Alice Creed

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
The Disappearance of Alice Creed Movie Poster Image
Tense, thrilling kidnap story too violent for kids.
  • R
  • 2010
  • 100 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The entire movie is centered around a kidnapping, an act performed with violence for the illegal accumulation of wealth. The characters are greedy and cruel, but even further, they are often dishonest with one another, manipulating each other for selfish reasons. Some of the characters face consequences for their actions, but no lessons are learned.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There are only three characters here, but all of them are greedy, manipulative, selfish, violent, or dishonest. Each of the characters continues to behave in this fashion throughout the story, with the goal of surviving the ordeal, and hopefully collecting all the ransom money. No one learns any kind of lesson, though some of the characters pay a higher price.


Two men kidnap a woman, treating her roughly, threatening her, and occasionally slapping her. They strip her and dress her in a new set of clothes (a track suit). They inject her with sleeping drugs. There are also guns, and shots fired with spurts of blood, and a vomiting sequence.


Alice Creed's breasts are on view for a short time while the men change her clothes. They also change their clothes, and their naked buttocks are on view. There is a scene of seduction between a man and woman, and some sex talk having to do with two male partners.


"F--k" is used in just about every other sentence. Other words include "s--t" and "piss."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One character enjoys a beer, while another scolds him for it. The kidnappers inject their victim with a sleeping drug.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Disappearance of Alice Creed is a darkly violent kidnapping thriller that features some violence toward women (mostly slapping and rough handling), as well as guns and some spattering blood. There is some brief nudity (female frontal and male rear), and very frequent use of "f--k." Mature, older teens and parents will find some enjoyable thrills here, but younger folks should stay away.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byWaltCD January 25, 2011
I really, REALLY loved this movie. Tense thriller, with surprises and twists all the way around.. and HUMOR! Fantastic!

That all being said, Common Sense Media... Continue reading
Adult Written bykhan2705 December 7, 2010

extremely well directed and acted British thriller. great.

On a suburban street, two masked men seize a young woman. They bind and gag her and take her to an abandoned, soundproofed apartment. She is Alice Creed (Gemma... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bytomogutu100 October 19, 2014

Movies inteir Strong Themes, Violence and weird behavour sends iffy messages

This movie is a well done British movie that is targeted at adult audience. the first 10 minutes is pretty obvious that someone is going to be kidnapped, and th... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byOfficial Critic March 2, 2013

The Disappearance of Alice Creed Review

A grim, toxic, psychological British thriller, brimming with surprises, that always manages to be quite a bit more than it appears on the surface. But it runs i... Continue reading

What's the story?

Danny (Martin Compston) and Vic (Eddie Marsan) spend a good deal of time outfitting a room with soundproofing, locks, braces, and various other items. Then their plan begins: they kidnap Alice Creed (Gemma Arterton), tie her to a bed, and proceed to demand and collect their ransom money. It's a perfect plan, except for one thing: the victim has not been chosen randomly. More than that, the secret relationship between the two men will eventually complicate matters further. Once the power dynamic shifts between the three figures, what will keep the plan from toppling altogether?

Is it any good?

The Disappearance of Alice Creed is economical, surprising, and emotional. The movie had strong word-of-mouth, since first-time British director J. Blakeson was listed as one of Variety's 10 directors to watch in 2010. He makes his feature debut here, it's a strong one. With the exception of a few establishing shots, he confines the action to two or three rooms and some moody woods, with only three characters involved. The very strong screenplay keeps the drama building in interesting and surprising ways, revealing bits of information a little at a time. Most kidnapping movies follow the attempts to rescue the victim, and this one flips the genre on its side.

The movie benefits greatly from a trio of strong performances, by three actors (Arterton, Marsan, and Compston) who deserve to be better known after this. With very little physical movement during the bulk of the story -- the camera stays mostly inside the room -- the movie depends heavily on these characters. The gamble pays off, and we hang on their every word and movement. Intense and unflinching, it's not for the weak of stomach, however.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. Is it thrilling violence, or disturbing violence? Is there a difference? How does the movie achieve this effect?

  • This movie features violence toward women. How do these scenes make you feel? Do you like the male characters less when they treat the woman badly? How about when they treat her like another person, rather than as a victim?

  • How does this movie differ from other dark thrillers? Are the characters unique in any way? Do they embody stereotypes or challenge them?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrillers

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