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Ransom

Director:Ron Howard
Writers: Richard Price and Alexander Ignon
Director of Photography:Piotr Sobocinski
Editors:Dan Hanley and Mike Hill
Music: James Horner and Billy Corgan
Production Designer: Michael Corenblith
Producers: Scott Rudin, Brian Grazer and B. Kipling Hagopian
Touchstone; R; 119 minutes
Release: 11/96
Cast: Mel Gibson, Rene Russo, Brawley Nolte, Gary Sinise, Delroy Lindo, Lili Taylor, Liev Schreiber, Donnie Wahlberg and Evan Handler

Howard has crafted an intelligent, fast-moving nail-biter that brims with white-knuckle suspense until the closing credits roll. Superb, if unusual, casting (indie queen Taylor and box-office babe Russo on the same bill?) and crisp dialogue provide a welcome freshness that never goes stale. His 9-year-old son (Nolte) kidnapped, multimillionaire airline tycoon Tom Mullen (Gibson) is willing to do anything or pay any price for his son's safe return. He follows the advice of FBI agent Lonnie Hawkins (Lindo) and jumps at every instruction of the kidnappers until he realizes they have no intention of returning his son alive. In a last-minute decision, Mullen refuses to pay the $2-million ransom and instead offers the money as a bounty on the kidnapper's head. Russo, still hot after Get Shorty and Tin Cup, gives a strong, emotional performance without overacting.


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