The 9 Most Scathing Critical Responses to Abduction

It's here! And... it stinks. In fact, the Taylor Lautner action "thriller" Abduction was rocking that all-too-rare, Bucky Larson-esque 0-percent Rotten Tomatoes ranking ("Its Tomato score got abducted!", a witty reader advised me last night) Thursday night before a couple so-and-so's from a recklessly forgiving enterprise called "Urban Cinefile" give it a thumbs-up. But there remains plenty of bile to drizzle over your breakfast -- and the likes of Roger Ebert haven't even chimed in yet. In Movieline's grand, Friday-morning tradition, let's have a taste!

9. "Child-abduction stories are the stuff of parents' nightmares. But the new Abduction comes with a twist, when a teenage boy sees his own face on one of those missing-children web sites -- and realizes his parents are not his parents. And goes in search of his roots. Given that the boy is played by Taylor Lautner, the slightly dazed weretoy of the Twilight series, I knew he was a changeling from the start. Just judging by his abs and acting, it's clear he's the product of a couple of wooden washboards." -- Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger

8. "Abduction may very well be the most mainstream, calculated and personality-less Hollywood motion picture this year. In the world of Abduction, every single teenager is in shape, attractive, has access to all the latest Apple products, and, with the exception of one black sidekick character who, naturally, knows how to jack a car, get hold of a gun and makes 'the best fake ID's in town,' is very, very white." -- Tom Clift, Cut Print Review

7. "Tech specs are generally mediocre, and Edward Shearmur's turgid heavy-rock score only accentuates the film's straight-to-video style." -- Andrew Barker, Variety

6. "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." -- Kyle Smith, NY Post

5. "[T]his may be the first film I've even seen where when an actor goes to put his hand thoughtfully on his chin, it's so awkward I became afraid he'd somehow miss and poke himself in the eye." -- Alison Willmore, Movieline

4. "Abduction's screenplay, by Shawn Christensen (otherwise known as stellastarr*'s lead singer), was secured by Lionsgate for $1m in one of those mythical bidding-war spec sales. Christensen is from Brooklyn, so it's more than possible that Abduction is a hipster's practical joke; 'Let's write a terrible action movie and see if anyone buys it.'" -- Clem Bastow, The Vine

3. "This kid can't carry a movie any more than Abigail Breslin can carry a refrigerator. He's got the look, yes, but even close-ups on that face are cause for laughs. What we have here is a movie that takes itself incredibly seriously, with a star who can't be taken seriously for a second. Lautner's actorly technique consists of a small handful of tricks in steady rotation, including heavy breathing through the nostrils, accentuating T's and gooing up inflections to boost his mildly effete, cool-guy drawl, and getting nasty with those bushy, furrowed eyebrows like a humorless Zoolander." -- R. Kurt Osenlund, Slant Magazine

2. "Abduction is a sloppy, exploitative act of star worship created (if that's the right word for cynical hackwork) around Mr. Lautner, the pouty 19-year-old heartthrob of the Twilight franchise. The camera swoons around him as if he were a priceless sculpture, often moving in for extreme close-ups. The movie stops in its tracks long enough to ogle an extended smooch whose slurping seems scientifically calculated to take things to the brink of an R rating." -- Stephen Holden, NY Times

1. "Abduction may be one of the most patently incompetent action-thrillers we've seen in some time, and its teenage target audience should rightfully be insulted that the filmmakers actually thought they were making a movie specifically for them." -- Edward Douglas, Coming Soon


  • J K says:

    Stellastarr*’s lead singer wrote this? Why can't I get a film written by Interpol frontman Paul Banks? That would be so much more broodier.

  • Edward Douglas says:

    Thanks for the shoutout, Stu! I can't tell you how annoyedI am that those two Fresh reviews are actually ONE Fresh review posted by two different authors with two different quotes from the same review. Must be Taylor Lautner fans.

  • Andrew says:

    Percentage aside, it's actually much worse reviewed than Bucky Larson. Bucky Larson only had 32 negative reviews, Abduction currently has 51 negatives and the 2 positives from Urban Cinefile which do not read like positives at all unless "Meh...won't kill you...I guess" can be considered positive.

  • Lydia says:

    I took the teenage grandkids to see Abduction last night (ages 10 - 18, 2 girls 3 boys). They loved it. And it's the same bunch that hated "The Last Airbender" so give them a little credit, please. They thought the Facebook comment was a hoot - in the right way of course, and one of them even whispered "turn around!" at the screen during the "I'm your real father" phone call at the end.
    As for me, I read Allison Willmore's Movieline review before we went and I was waiting for the chin touch moment with a sort of sick glee didn't happen. It was in the trailer, but not the actual film. At that point I realized I was actually enjoying the movie more than I thought I would. But then, I actually watched the movie. Lautner was no worse than Statham or Stallone and his motionless brows and squinty eyes remind me of Charles Bronson - a bit. The karate was excellent, tires squealed - oh look, Sigourney Weaver! - and, most importantly, the kids were having fun. That makes all the difference, of course.
    So why the stunningly massive critical pile-on towards Lautner? It seems unusual. A product of all the hype I guess. Lautner certainly worked hard to promote the shit out of it, even appearing on 106 & Park. It's a teen flick, yes? I'm guessing that the reviewers just don't fully comprehend the appeal of a movie 'bout a kid with cool, rich parents, his own motorcycle, an awesome room and the coolest shrink on the planet who has it all go Boom in an instant.
    Yeah, I said it. Reviewers just don't understand. Well grandmother's do. So I did something that I have never done before in my life - I went on Rotten Tomatoes and gave it 3.5 stars - just like 75% of the others that said they liked it. I mean really, I didn't go in expecting the Shawshank Redemption so what's the problem?
    BTW, my 15 and 18 yr old grandsons (yes, sons) thought the Breaking Dawn trailer was "the shit" (that means they liked it, fellow old-heads). Especially how young Mr Lautner says....whatever it was he said in an angry voice. Much talk of werewolves was had on the ride home. Looks like we'll be back in November.

  • Guest says:

    When will Roger Ebert watch the film? I've needed a good laugh for a while now.