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Extortion (2017)

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When a Caribbean family vacation takes a disastrous turn, a father finds himself at the mercy of a cold-blooded fisherman, and a desperate race against the clock to save his wife and son.


Phil Volken


Phil Volken



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Eion Bailey ... Kevin Riley
Bethany Joy Lenz ... Julie Riley
Mauricio Alemañy Mauricio Alemañy ... Andy Riley (as Mauricio E. Alemañy)
Barkhad Abdi ... Miguel Kaba
Danny Glover ... Detective Constable Haagen
Tim Griffin ... Chief of Mission Sweeney
Jack Wallace ... Lucas
Jorge Cabrera Jorge Cabrera ... Jorge (Horhay)
Elid Barrios Elid Barrios ... Miguel's Wife (as Elid M. Barrios)
Génesis Castro Díaz Génesis Castro Díaz ... Miguel's Older Daughter (as Genesis Castro)
Stephanie Baez Stephanie Baez ... Miguel's Younger Daughter
Marilinda Rivera ... Doctor Bethel
James Gordon Jennings ... CAPT Gerald, USCG (as James Jennings)
Rafael Perez Martinez Rafael Perez Martinez ... Harbor Master Clerk
Welmo Romero Welmo Romero ... Roger


When a Caribbean family vacation takes a disastrous turn, a father finds himself at the mercy of a cold-blooded fisherman, and a desperate race against the clock to save his wife and son.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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USA | Philippines | Puerto Rico



Release Date:

27 July 2017 (Portugal) See more »

Also Known As:

Erpressung See more »

Filming Locations:

Puerto Rico See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


On the second day on the island Kevin tells Julie that he has been trying to start the engine all morning and now the battery is dead, however the engine is a pull to start type and does not require a battery for it to start. See more »


No Money
Performed by DJ Lantan
Published by Phoenix Cloak Sounds (BMI)
Courtesy of AudioSparx
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User Reviews

A world where the normal and expected rules don't apply
5 April 2019 | by Movie-Scene-by-TemoSee all my reviews

In Extortion, a fisherman, Kaba, comes across the Riley family-husband, wife and 6-year-old son-stranded on an Island in the Caribbean while on holiday. They'd hired a boat for three hours to go sailing, decided to explore a small, unoccupied island on the way out, but ran into engine trouble and couldn't get back to the main island where they are staying. When Kaba happens upon the family several days later, they are barely conscious.

Kaba can rescue them for $1 million, after all he reasons, Riley is a doctor. The man has no option but to agree and although he doesn't have it, will do his best to get it. So leaving wife and son on the island, they set off to the main island to get the ransom money. The doctor manages to collect slightly less than $200,000 (Kshs. 20,000,000) transfer it to the off-shore account given and they set off back to pick up his family, but the intention is actually to kill him at sea. He survives but now the race is on to find his family before they die of dehydration, as he also faces the scrutiny and investigation of the local Detective. There are hundreds of possible islands where mother and child might be, a search will take weeks to complete.

Kaba is played by Barkhad Abdi, Somali-born, refugee in Yemen and now U.S. resident. A former limousine driver, Abdi showed up for a casting call, got the part and history was made when he scored the role of Abduwali Muse, Somali pirate in 'Captain Phillips' (2013). For his role he received the Bafta award for Best Supporting Actor, a Black Reel Award, was nominated for a SAG and Golden Globe award and as cast-member, was nominated for six Academy Awards among others.

Previous to his acting career Abdi had several brushes with the law for drug possession and credit card fraud, and at one time was briefly imprisoned at the Black Hawk County Jail (see historical drama movie 'Black Hawk Down' (2001)). Abdi's life-story would make a great movie; in this role of the stone-cold extortionist he is very believable.

Established Hollywood actor Danny Glover (Beyond the Lights, Dirty Grandpa, Lethal Weapon), a veteran actor, producer and director, much awarded and recognized as a political and humanitarian activist is the skeptical Detective Constable Haagen. We've seen him as a detective before in Lethal Weapon, and here again he plays a man who's heard it all, but will give the main suspect the benefit of the doubt-for now. Eion Bailey (Band of Brothers (TV), Ray Donovan (TV), Law and Order (TV)) plays the father, Kevin Riley, realistically: we understand his frustration as he finds himself in a world where the normal and expected rules don't apply.

Director Phil Volken (Garbage), better known for comedy projects, takes on the adventure, crime genre with a good eye for timing, camera angle and beautiful use of the island scenery. Yes, ugly crime does take place in idyllic paradise, and the two are well juxtaposed. Mostly expertly scripted, there is a confusion of language when Kaba speaks to his accomplice, a fellow fisherman, however the viewer is not left in doubt as to the meaning of the words. An entertaining movie, full of adventure, beautiful sights and suspense.

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