"Trapped" (2002) is listed by John Grant as a neo-noir. This is a crime melodrama, the crime being kidnapping. It has a big, open-air and smashing ending as in some thrillers, but mostly it's a story told in close and confined quarters. It's a female in distress story as Charlize Theron is trapped by Kevin Bacon who wants not only ransom but also to "party" with her through the night. Theron's married to a doctor, Stuart Townsend, who is off at a conference.
Their kidnapped daughter, Dakota Fanning, is also distressed because she has asthma. She's being detained by Bacon's partner, the scary Pruitt Taylor Vince. His retarded character is very interesting and well-portrayed by Vince. He obeys Bacon but only with repeated instruction and persuasion. He seems gentle. He inherits the Lon Chaney, Jr. chair from "Of Mice and Men", except that he'll kill Fanning unless Bacon calls punctually every 30 minutes. Mix in a little Robert Middleton from "The Desperate Hours".
The third partner in the kidnap gang is Courtney Love, who is Bacon's coarse wife. They've been through 4 successful kidnappings, and their scheme is indeed clever. Her character is interesting too, being off-key and under Bacon's intimidating and physically violent control.
The movie opens before the credits with a great sequence that shows the tail end of the previous kidnapping. This is done using overexposure through the windows of a car that creates total whiteness outside, while inside we see Bacon's face and that of the anxious mother, partly in shadow, partly also in overexposed white as they talk about the uncertain life of the victim. There is also a bluish tinge to it all. Bacon is playing god and devil in one. The effect is scary and chaotic, a knife-edge situation in which you don't know which way the tormenting Bacon will go.
Bacon, who has matured into an extremely strong actor, gives a terrific rendition of a man who is totally in command and enjoying it, while hiding his motivation. Theron is flawless.
This movie received rather low ratings like 42% at Metacritic. Its 6.2 on IMDb is more on target. I think it's quite well done, a real nail-biter in spots, benefiting from a good script and acting, which mean 7/10.