Abduction is a 2011 American action thriller film directed by John Singleton and starring 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 People" website.[4] The film was released by Lionsgate on September 23, 2011.[5 ][1]

[2] Theatrical release poster
215px-Abduction Poster
Directed by John Singleton
Produced by Doug Davison

Ellen Goldsmith-Vein Lee Stollman Roy Lee Dan Lautner Patrick Crowley

Written by Shawn Christensen
Starring Taylor Lautner

Lily Collins Alfred Molina Jason Isaacs Maria Bello Sigourney Weaver Michael Nyqvist Dermot Mulroney

Music by Edward Shearmur
Cinematography Peter Menzies Jr.
Editing by Bruce Cannon
Studio Vertigo Entertainment

Quick Six Entertainment

Distributed by Lionsgate
Release date(s) *September 23, 2011
Running time 106 minutes [1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $35 million[2]
Box office $82,087,155 [3]



Nathan Harper (Taylor Lautner) is an 18-year old who lives with his "parents", Kevin (Jason Isaacs) and Mara (Maria Bello). He has been having recurring nightmares throughout most of his youth, and was recommended by his school counselor to consult psychiatrist Dr. Geraldine "Geri" Bennett (Sigourney Weaver), to discover why.

During sociology class one morning, Nathan is partnered with his next-door neighbor and longtime friend Karen Murphy (Lily Collins) for a school assignment about missing children.

While doing the homework together, Karen finds a website that, through age-progression technology, shows what children would look like as they got older. Nathan discovers that a boy named Steven Price, aged approximately 3 years when photographed 15 years ago, would look exactly like him in the present day.

He goes to the basement, where his childhood items are kept and also finds the same shirt that 4-year-old Steven in the picture is wearing. With the confirmation of a particular stain on that shirt's sleeve, he suddenly realizes that he and Steven are the same person.

Very curious and interested now, Nathan contacts the website's operator, unaware that the operator is actually a Serbian terrorist. The man reports the call back to his commander, Nikola Kozlow (Michael Nyqvist), who deploys two agents to Nathan's house. They attack Nathan's parents, who yell at him to run, before being murdered themselves. During the attack process, the house is destroyed by a bomb and Nathan and Karen escape the blast by jumping into the pool. They attempt to call the police, but the call is intercepted by CIA operative Frank Burton (Alfred Molina), who tells Nathan that he's in danger. Frank then immediately sends a team to hunt him down.

But before that team arrives, "Psychiatrist" Dr. Bennett appears and tells Nathan that agent Burton cannot be trusted and advises Nathan to go with her instead. During the car trip, she reveals that Nathan's biological father, Martin (Dermot Mulroney) (whose face we never actually get to see in totality), is an ex-CIA agent who stole a list from Kozlow with the names of corrupt CIA operatives and agents. Kozlow had purposely created the website in order to locate Nathan and use him as a bargaining chip to force Martin to return that list.

Having intercepted Nathan's call, Kozlow's men now appear on the scene. Dr. Bennett tells Nathan to memorize a safe-house address in Arlington, Virginia and to make a dash for it. Before they leave, Dr. Bennett warns him that he can only trust his father and another man named Paul Rasmus. The two fugitives jump out of Dr. Bennett's moving car and, to facilitate their escape as well as her own, the psychiatrist creates a diversion for the Serbian pursuers by causing several fuel drums to blow up at a road-construction site.

Nathan and Karen arrive at the safe house where Nathan finds his (real) father's cellphone, including a photo and an address of his biological mother, Lorna Price (Elisabeth Röhm). The two youths discover that she is dead. They then proceed to visit her grave and Karen notices that fresh flowers had been placed at her tombstone. So together the couple go to nearby caretaker's office, where Karen plies her feminine charms and asks about any recent cemetery visitors. Mollified, the caretaker reveals that the last visitor was a Paul Rasmus from Nebraska. Nathan and Karen then elatedly purchase a train ticket and head to Nebraska.

But Kozlow's right-hand man follows them by also boarding the same train, armed with a roll of duct tape in his pocket. When Karen leaves to get food, he kidnaps her, ties her up and goes back to their cabin to engage Nathan in a fight. Nathan eventually overpowers the Serbian and throws the man off the train. But not before he grabs his phone.

Meanwhile, Karen manages to free herself, using glass shards to cut the sticky duct tape from her mouth. She then runs back to the cabin to reunite with Nathan. Nathan pulls the train's emergency braking system. The train comes to a halt. They step off the train and run into the forest, with the train's protesting officials in a half-hearted pursuit.

Agent Burton and his men come across the Serbian's ejected body at the railroad tracks, and initiate a chase for the two young fugitives who he says couldn't have gotten too far away. The CIA agents manage to catch up with the two in the woods and agent Burton convinces them that the CIA just wants to help. He coaxes the two by inviting them for a burger and a shake at a nearby diner. At the restaurant, Burton reveals to Nathan about the meaning of the encrypted list on his father's phone and which he had taken with him from the safe house in Virginia.

Nathan now furtively checks the phone and sees the encrypted list scroll by on the screen. (The list also happens to contain CIA agent Burton's name.) But before Burton can react, Kozlow's men attack the diner with a barrage of bullets from assault rifles, killing several of Burton's men.

During the melee, Burton and his partner, Agent Burns (Antonique Smith) fire back and kill all of Kozlow's men, and Nathan and Karen happen to escape. Now the cellphone of Kozlow's partner-in-crime rings. Nathan answers it. Kozlow threatens that he plans to kidnap Karen's parents and will kill them if Nathan doesn't give him the list. Nathan agrees, but says that he will choose the time and place of the exchange himself. Kozlow agrees.

By this time, Nathan realizes that his nightmares had been due to repressed memories of his mother Lorna being murdered by Kozlow, while she was trying to protect him. (The murder scene at the beginning of the movie, with him hiding under the bed at the age of 3, witnessing it all -- now becomes clear to him.)

Nathan's plan is to give Kozlow the list at a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game, but he tells Karen that he actually intends to kill Kozlow with the gun he had found in the same drawer as his mother's photo. But now he suddenly receives a call from his real father, Martin, who is also at the stadium. Martin warns him not to give Kozlow the list under any circumstances. But Nathan ignores his advice, and reaches for the gun to shoot Kozlow. However, the Serbian had outwitted Nathan by stealing Nathan's gun and now forces Nathan to hand over the list.

Nathan eludes Kozlow and escapes by sliding down a glass escalator's roof, with Kozlow in heavy pursuit. But Martin calls Nathan on his cell and tells him to lure Kozlow to an open area outside the stadium. Nathan does so, and at the very moment when Kozlow prepares to kill Nathan, Martin kills Kozlow with a precise sniper shot through the heart, fired from a nearby parking garage.

Agent Burton's men appear on the scene and surround Nathan. Burton tells his boss that he will hand over the list after it has been decrypted at CIA headquarters. But his superior reveals that Martin has warned them that Burton would attempt that very thing in order to remove his own name. They detain Burton for a thorough "debriefing".

Martin then calls Nathan one last time and apologizes for not having been around to be a true "Dad" to him, but that he will always be watching over Nathan. Nathan reunites with Karen and Dr. Bennett, who tells him that she has arranged for him to live with her until he graduates. After that, he can move out to attend college or follow any of his other dreams. Nathan thanks her and finally leaves with Karen for a long-overdue actual date. The story ends with the two of them sitting inside an empty stadium which they now have all to themselves.




Lionsgate 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 $35million ,[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]


Abduction OST
Soundtrack album by various artists
Released September 20, 2011
Label Epic
  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. Edward Shearmur – "Abduction Suite"


Critical responseEdit

Abduction was universally panned by film critics; review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 4% of 96 critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average 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 19 reviews.[14]

Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly 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."[15] 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."[16] Andrew Barker of Variety called the film "a haggardly slapdash Bourne Identity knockoff, never rising above the level of basic competence."[17] 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."[18] 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."[19]

Box officeEdit

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.[20] The film received two nominations for the upcoming Teen Choice Awards with Choice Action Movie and Choice Action Actor for Taylor Lautner.[21]

Home mediaEdit

Abduction was released on North American DVD and Blu-ray on January 17, 2012.[22]