Abduction is a 2011 American action thriller film directed by John Singleton and stars Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, Sigourney Weaver, Maria Bello, Jason Isaacs, Michael Nyqvist, and Alfred Molina. The film is about a teenager who discovers that the father and mother he has been living with throughout his youth are not his real parents when he sees his baby picture on a missing persons website.[4] The film was released by Lionsgate Films on September 23, 2011.[5] It marked the first time Singleton directed a film with all white stars, in contrast to the early films he made with black film stars.


Nathan Harper (Taylor Lautner) is an 18-year old living in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his parents Kevin (Jason Isaacs) and Mara (Maria Bello). He has been troubled by recurring nightmares, and has been seeing psychiatrist Dr. Geraldine "Geri" Bennett (Sigourney Weaver) to diagnose them.

Nathan is teamed with Karen Murphy (Lily Collins) for a school research project on missing children. Nathan discovers he looks very much like an age-progression photo of a missing child, Steven Price. He investigates further, and finds other clues that suggest his parents are not his real mom and dad. When he approaches Mara about this, she reveals that he was adopted.

Two men claiming to be from the FBI arrive at Nathan's home in the evening. Mara is suspicious and attacks the two, but is shot and killed by the intruders. Kevin is also killed, but not before subduing one agent, and yells to Nathan to run. Nathan runs but returns for Karen, who is now captured by the remaining agent. Nathan overpowers the agent and rescues Karen, and attempts to find out who the man is, but is forced out of the house quickly because a bomb in the house is about to detonate.

The blast injures Karen, so Nathan takes her to the hospital, and attempts to contact the police. Instead, his call is intercepted by CIA operative Frank Burton (Alfred Molina), who tells Nathan he is in danger and will send two men to collect him. As Nathan waits, Dr. Bennett appears and helps him and Karen to escape. While driving away, Dr. Bennett explains that Nathan's biological father, Martin (Dermot Mulroney), stole an encrypted list of 25 corrupt CIA operatives from the Serbian terrorist Nikola Kozlow (Michael Nyqvist); Kozlow now plans on abducting Nathan to coerce Martin to hand over the list. Nathan had been given to his adoptive parents to protect him, Kozlow used the website to claim Nathan as missing child Steven Price to find him. Dr. Bennett gives Nathan an address to a safe house in Arlington, Virginia, and tells him to trust only his biological father, Martin, and a man named Paul Rasmus. Kozlow's men follow them, but Bennett is able to help them escape. Meanwhile, Burton is warned by his superior to end the situation as soon as possible once he learns of Bennett, a former CIA operative, being involved.

Arriving at the safehouse, the two obtain money, a gun, a photo of Nathan's biological mother Lorna Price (Elisabeth Röhm), and a cell phone. Karen tries to call her family, but her call is intercepted by Burton and the CIA, forcing them to flee. Finding the address for his mother, the pair discover the address is a cemetery and that Lorna has died. Nathan and Karen visit her grave, and find fresh flowers there. According to the graveyard attendant, the sender is Paul Rasmus, who lives in Nebraska. The two take an Amtrak passenger train to get there (using fake IDs provided by their friend Gilly (Denzel Whitaker)) and confess their feelings for each other, followed by a passionate kiss. They are unaware they are followed by Kozlow's right-hand man. He tries to abduct Karen, but Nathan saves her and after the train stops and the two make a run for it. Burton's team finds Kozlow's henchman, and track them down.

Burton explains the data that Martin had stolen, and Nathan realizes that the phone from the safehouse contains that data; he also further surmises that Burton's name is on that list. As Burton tries to play that off, the agents are attacked by Kozlow's snipers. Nathan and Karen take off in a car before they can be caught. As they flee, the cell phone from Kozlow's man rings. The caller is Kozlow, and he threatens to kill Karen's parents if Nathan does not hand over the data. Nathan gets Kozlow to agree to make the transaction at a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game at their home stadium, the PNC Park.

Nathan works with Gilly to obtain tickets and secures a gun to one of the seats with the intent to kill Kozlow. Martin calls Nathan and warns him off, but Nathan refuses to listen. When Kozlow arrives, Karen takes Kozlow's photo so Nathan can recognize Kozlow. The two meet, and Kozlow tells Nathan how he killed his mother when Nathan was 3 after she refused to give up Martin's location. Kozlow grabs the gun from Nathan and demands the list. Nathan bolts, Kozlow gives chase, and the CIA sees them in the crowd. Nathan is able to escape, and Kozlow is killed by Martin. Burton, his superior, and his agents arrive. Burton asks for the cell phone, promising to give the decrypted results to his superior. However, Martin had warned his superior about Burton's corruption, and takes the phone himself while Burton is taken into custody. Martin calls Nathan, apologizing for not being the father he should have been. Nathan asks him to show himself but Martin refuses. Bennett arrives with Karen, and says she has arranged for Nathan to live with her until he decides what to pursue in his life. As the movie ends, Nathan and Karen go on a date in the empty PNC Park.


Volodik Bayatyan



Lionsgate Films bought screenwriter Shawn Christensen's spec script for Abduction in February 2010, with actor Taylor Lautner attached to the film.[6] The studio won a bidding war for the screenplay, acquiring it for $1 million.[7] Gotham Group and Vertigo Entertainment had developed the script, based on a story idea by Gotham's Jeremy Bell.[8]

Lionsgate rushed to start principal photography in July, due to Lautner's schedule to begin work on the last two Twilight films for Summit Entertainment. Writer Jeffrey Nachmanoff was hired to work on the screenplay, and John Singleton signed on to direct in March.[6] Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Lee Stollman, Roy Lee, and Doug Davison produced the film, and Jeremy Bell and Gabriel Mason executive produced.[8] Lautner's father, Dan Lautner, also produced, the first film from their Tailor Made Entertainment label.[9]


On a budget of $35 million,[2] principal photography began on July 12, 2010 in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area.[4] Lionsgate returned to the region due to tax benefits from Pennsylvania's tax credit program, after filming My Bloody Valentine 3D, Warrior, and The Next Three Days there in 2008 and 2009.[10] An open casting call for extras held at Carnegie Mellon University drew over 900 people in June, many of whom were teenage fans of the Twilight film series.[11]

Many of the film's scenes were shot in suburban Mount Lebanon, and some others in Forward Township.[4] Scenes were shot at Hampton High School in Hampton Township, a suburb north of Pittsburgh. The school's name and mascot, the Talbot, appeared in the film, as did real students, cheerleaders, and the marching band. Production continued in Pittsburgh, Mount Lebanon, Greensburg and Hampton Township, and lasted into September 2010.[12]


  1. Train – "To Be Loved"
  2. Lenny Kravitz – "Come On Get It"
  3. Raphael Saadiq – "Heart Attack"
  4. Oh Land – "Twist"
  5. Hot Bodies in Motion – "Under My Skin"
  6. Black Stone Cherry – "Blame It on the Boom Boom"
  7. Blaqk Audio – "The Witness"
  8. Cobra Starship – "#1Nite (One Night)"
  9. Alexis Jordan – "Good Girl"
  10. Matthew Koma – "Novocaine Lips"
  11. Superstar Shyra – "DJ Love Song"
  12. Donora – "The Chorus"
  13. Andrew Allen – "Loving You Tonight"
  14. Bryan Ferry – "Slave to Love"


Critical response

Abduction was universally panned by film critics. Critics review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 4% of 102 critics have given "Abduction" a positive review, with an average rating of 3.3 out of 10. The website's consensus is, "a soulless and incompetent action/thriller that not even a veteran lead actor could save, let alone Taylor Lautner."[13] Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, gives the film a score of 25 based on 20 reviews.[14]

Kyle Smith of the New York Post said that "actual abduction may be preferable to the movie of the same name, but only if your kidnappers don't torture you by forcing you to watch it", adding that Lautner "has the acting chops of Bert from Sesame Street."[15] R. Kurt Oselund of Slate Magazine was also critical of Lautner, saying that he "can't carry a movie any more than Abigail Breslin can carry a refrigerator."[16] James Berardinelli gave the film one out of four stars, saying, "For those who are indifferent to Lautner or who don't like him, the only way to survive Abduction is under the influence of a controlled substance, and even that may not be enough."[17] Catherine Brown of Filmink also gave the film a scathing review, saying that "Singleton is poorly equipped to handle teenage angst, a fact made far worse by cringe-worthy dialogue and a wooden leading man who proves that he has not yet developed the skills required to carry a film."[18]

A less critical review came from Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly, who gave the film a C, commenting that Lautner is "not a terrible actor, but if he wants a career after the Twilight fades, he'll pick better films."[19] Likewise, Roger Moore of the Chicago Tribune gave the film two out of four stars, saying it "falls in the same corner of the youth market as the Twilight movies. Some moments and many lines feel cribbed from that series."[20] Andrew Barker of Variety called the film "a haggardly slapdash Bourne Identity knockoff, never rising above the level of basic competence."[21]

Box office

After an unexpected weak opening, the film became a moderate box office success. Abduction only grossed $28 million domestically but did slightly better around the world with over $54 million to a total of $82 million worldwide.[3]


Taylor Lautner was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor for his role in the film (also for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1), but lost to Adam Sandler for both Jack and Jill and Just Go with It.[22] The film received two nominations for the Teen Choice Awards with Choice Action Movie and Choice Action Actor for Taylor Lautner and subsequently won both.[23]

Home media

Abduction was released on North American DVD and Blu-ray on January 17, 2012.[24]

See also


  1. ABDUCTION (12A). British Board of Film Classification (2011-08-23). Retrieved on 2011-08-23.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Kaufman, Amy (September 22, 2011). "Movie Projector: Brad Pitt vs. 'Lion King,' 'Dolphin Tale' for No.1". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 22, 2011. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Abduction (2011). Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on November 28, 2011.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Buckley, Chris (July 13, 2010). "Teen heartthrob Taylor Lautner filming 'Abduction' in the valley". Valley Independent. Archived from the original on 21 July 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  5. Abduction. Archived from the original on 22 September 2010. Retrieved on October 17, 2010.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Fernandez, Jay A. (April 26, 2010). "Writer Jeffrey Nachmanoff re-planning ‘Abduction’". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 15, 2010. [dead link]
  7. Ward, Kate (February 26, 2010). "What $1 Million Buys in Hollywood". Entertainment Weekly.,,20346839,00.html. Retrieved July 16, 2010. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 McNary, Dave (March 25, 2010). "Singleton to direct Lionsgate's 'Abduction'". Variety. Archived from the original on 10 July 2010. Retrieved July 16, 2010. 
  9. Serba, John (December 21, 2009). "Another action-movie role for 'Twilight Saga: New Moon' star Taylor Lautner, who forms production company with his father". The Grand Rapids Press. Retrieved July 16, 2010. 
  10. Vancheri, Barbara (March 31, 2010). "'Twilight' star Lautner will come to Pittsburgh for 'Abduction'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved July 16, 2010. 
  11. "Film Fans Make Their Move For 'Twilight' Star's New Pittsburgh Flick". WTAE-TV. June 30, 2010. Archived from the original on 3 July 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  12. Fera, Jessica (July 13, 2010). Taylor Lautner Surprises Fans At Hampton High School. WPXI. Retrieved on July 13, 2010.
  13. Abduction (2011). Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved on 2011-09-26.
  14. Abduction Reviews. Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved on 2011-09-25.
  15. Kyle Smith (21 September 2011). Needs less kid, more napping. New York Post. Retrieved on 27 September 2012.
  16. R. Kurt Oselund (22 September 2011). Abduction. Slate Magazine. Retrieved on 27 September 2012.
  17. Berardinelli, James (2011-09-24). Reelviews Movie Review: Abduction. Reelviews. Retrieved on 2011-09-29.
  18. Brown, Catherine (2011-09-20). Abduction - Filmink Review. Filmink. Retrieved on 2011-09-22.
  19. Gleiberman, Owen (2011-09-28). "Abduction Review". Entertainment Weekly.,,20518290,00.html. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  20. Moore, Roger (2011-09-23). "Lautner keeps human form as a teen on the run in Abduction". Chicago Tribune.,0,5325670.story. Retrieved 2011-09-23. 
  21. Barker, Andrew (2011-09-22). "Abduction". Variety. Retrieved 2011-09-23. 
  22. Kellogg, Jane. "Razzie Awards Nominees Include Adam Sandler and 'Twilight's" Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  23. Teen Choice Award Nominees 2012. The Huffington Post (May 18, 2012). Retrieved on May 19, 2012.

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