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  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2002 1 Jan
from Film Forum, 10/03/02

Trapped was not shown to the press before it opened. Some reviewers mused about canceled press screenings, guessing that the recent spate of news stories about child abductions made the film's central storyline seem untimely. But now that they've seen it, critics are not saying the film is inappropriate so much as it is implausible.

Gerri Pare (Catholic News Service) says, "Trapped is an apt description of how viewers might feel as this kidnapping thriller grows increasingly ridiculous."

"The cast is uniformly decent," says Michael Elliott (Movie Parables), but he adds, "Director Luis Mandoki tries to distract us from the gaping holes in the plot by using hand held camera techniques. He succeeded to a degree. His choice of shaky, off-center camera shots was indeed distracting, but only in a negative sense."

Lisa Rice (Movieguide) says, "it jangles the nerves … as a good thriller should. The redeeming facets … include its accurate portrayal of the patterns of woundedness in the antagonist, as well as the positive portrayal of the overcoming power of a close family that is fully committed to fidelity. The offensive elements, however, far outweigh the good."

Holly McClure (Crosswalk) says, "Many parents have a fear about their children being kidnapped, and this movie clearly plays into that fear. If you're a fan of intense thrillers with interesting plot twists and lots of surprise action, you'll appreciate this intense story."

Mainstream critics were not as patient with the film. "The movie is a negligible work of manipulation, an exploitation piece doing its usual worst to guilt-trip parents," says Lisa Schwarzbaum (Entertainment Weekly).