Cleveland Abduction (TV Movie 2015) Poster

(2015 TV Movie)

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7/10
Tragic but true story of three women held captive for ten years
Ed-Shullivan5 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This drama is based on actual events that occurred over a period of more than ten (10) years. The actual perpetrator Ariel Castro was 42 when he first abducted Michelle Knight on August 21, 2002. Michelle was in the process of trying to regain custody of her son from the state when she was abducted. Michelle had agreed to get in to Ariel Castro's truck as she knew Ariel's daughter so she failed to see any danger in getting in to Ariel's truck at that time.

Subsequent to Michelle Knight's kidnapping Ariel then kidnapped Amanda Berry on April 21, 2003 and Gina DeJesus on April 02, 2004. The film focuses mainly on the relationship between the dominant kidnapper Ariel Castro (played by Raymond Cruz) and his first victim Michelle Knight (played by Taryn Manning). The film does more than an adequate job in the 90 minutes made available to capture the imprisonment of the three young girls and how Ariel Castro first physically and then mentally subjected his kidnapping victims to torture to the point that they knew if they even attempted to escape they would receive a beating.

Fortunately for the films viewers we were spared any vivid graphic violence and rape of the three girls. Actor Raymond Cruz recently starred in the multi Emmy winning series Breaking Bad as drug kingpin Tuco Salamanca. For those of you who have watched Breaking Bad you will be familiar with Tuco's violent and crazy side so when I first heard that Raymond Cruz was playing the role of the vile Ariel Castro I was a bit concerned that the film may include some gratuitous violence as it was in Raymond Cruz's capacity as an actor to emulate this scum of the earth kidnapper Ariel Castro. Fortunately the director Alex Kalymnios chose to maintain a factual film theme and limit the depiction of the hundreds of rapes and beatings that Ariel Castro subjected his victims to.

This 90 minute film also does a good job of encapsulating the friendship and feeling of family the three girls shared which most likely made it a bit more bearable under the circumstances of being chained, beaten and repeatedly raped. As in the actual events we get to see how Amanda Berry gave birth to Ariel Castro's daughter with the assistance of Michelle Knight who was threatened with death if she did not succeed in ensuring Amanda's baby lived.

It is sad to realize that Castro's first victim, Michelle Knight was considered a runaway and very little was done to look for her as she was 21 years old at the time of her abduction. The press and police had communicated publicly that she most likely chose on her own accord to disappear as she had lost custody of her son to the state. Taryn Manning who played Michelle Knight made the audience feel how a kidnapped victim may have despaired as the years progressed and the abuse continued. In fact the film also depicts how Ariel Castro beat Michelle up when he felt she was pregnant with his child and so he ensured Michelle would abort the fetus by hitting her in the stomach with a barbell and kicking her in the stomach.

This is both a film about hopelessness, family by circumstances, and the evil of men with no conscience. Castro was arrested on May 06, 2013, more than 10 years and 8 months since he first abducted Michelle Knight. As mentioned earlier the films run time was only approximately 90 minutes and maybe the producers could have provided more in depth of the psyche of both the perpetrator Ariel Castro and the victims at the time of their abduction who were Michelle Knight (21), Amanda Berry (she turned 17 the day after her abduction) and the youngest and last of his victims Gina Dejesus (14) had the film been produced as a 4 or 6 hour mini-series.

I felt the producers did a very good job in providing the facts of this 11 year case history. Remember when Castro was arrested on May 06, 2013, CNN news carried the story almost exclusively for the next two weeks, 24 hours a day. No one could believe that not one but "THREE" young girls who were missing and presumed dead for years were being held prisoners less than 3 miles from their own homes. By the end of the film it leaves us with the question if Ariel Castro deliberately wanted to get caught and so he neglected to lock the front door because he was behind on his mortgage payments, could not afford to feed his 3 captors and his child, and after close to eleven years of maintaining a prison in his home he had just had enough of the lies, beatings and rapes that he had been responsible for.

This is a tragic but true story that covers a lot of abuse and actual events that the kidnapper Ariel Castro was able to hide from his own children, his band mates who actually practiced as a band in his home, and his two brothers who were initially also arrested under the assumption that they had to have known about the kidnappings and 10 year imprisonment when in fact Ariel was able to keep everyone fooled including his own family by keeping locks on the basement door as well as the upstairs bedrooms and by sealed windows.

I hope the victims benefit financially from this film and if so I recommend the film to parents and children alike to ensure one of the films messages is clear. That message being if you are getting in to someone's vehicle make sure your family knows where you are going and with whom you are going. I give this true story a 7 out of 10 rating.
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8/10
The Cruel Story of a Monster and His Victims
claudio_carvalho23 September 2015
In 2002, the single mother Michelle Knight (Taryn Manning) is walking to the court for the custody case of her five year-old son Joey, of whom she had lost custody. She realizes that she is late and accepts the ride from her acquaintance Ariel Castro (Raymond Cruz), who is the father of a schoolmate. He lures Michelle telling that his dog delivered several puppies and he would like to give one to her for Joey. Once inside his house, he imprisons her with chains in a dark room. For eleven years, Michelle is beaten and submitted to sexual abuse and abortion. In 2003 and 2004, Ariel also kidnaps and abuses of Amanda Berry (Samantha Droke), who has a child with him, and Gina DeJesus (Katie Sarife). In 2013, Amanda succeeds in escaping from the house and the police arrive and release the women.

"Cleveland Abduction" is a great TV movie that tells the cruel story of a monster and his victims. The direction and performances are impressive for a movie made for television. I still recall this notorious case in the Brazilian news and it is very sad to see how cruel a human being can be. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Sequestro em Cleveland" ("Cleveland Abduction")
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6/10
Half-hearted storytelling lacking depth and conviction
areatw25 November 2018
I'm always keen to learn about real-life crime stories and the Ariel Castro kidnappings particularly interested me. The 'Cleveland Abduction' TV film is certainly an interesting watch, though that is down almost entirely to the subject it is covering and not the actual merits of the film. At best, 'Cleveland Abduction' is a solid portrayal of kidnappings, but in reality it could have and probably should have been at lot better.

The film seems to cover the bare minimum of the story, covering all the main events but without going into any real detail and with very little character development. It all feels very half-hearted and even the events the film does cover are portrayed without any real conviction and are less than convincing. 'Cleveland Abduction' is a fascinating watch, but almost entirely because of the story. The film itself is average at best, covering the minimum but lacking in depth and conviction.
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6/10
A Rather Distant Feel To A Real Life Horror Story
Theo Robertson12 May 2015
The Cleveland abductions ? You remember that don't you ? No ? Let me refresh your memory . , A couple of years ago police in Cleveland Ohio raided a house belonging to one Ariel Castro who as it turned out kept three young women as captives . One of whom Michelle Knight had been held prisoner for eleven years . You remember it now and it'd be impossible to forget this true life horror story and this TVM tells of Michelle's ordeal

Now to be fair having the story told through a television film via the Lifetime Channel is both a blessing and a curse . A blessing that we're not going to be subjected to extreme exploitation that's going to keep us awake for nights on end due to the disturbing subject material but at the same time a curse that the restrain of a TVM really doesn't do the story justice . In this medium it's a rather uneasy mix but doesn't stop an opening caption that "Contains distressing scenes . Viewer discretion advised" . The constant rapes and beatings of Michelle are thankfully left mainly to the imagination but at the same time you're left thinking that this isn't due to any cerebral reason except that you're not allowed to show that type of stuff on the channel . In other words the story is shaped by outside criteria that have got absolutely nothing to do with the story and everything to do with outside factors . Another irritant is that you never get to feel much in the way of Michelle's hopes of ever being rescued being dashed time and again which I'm sure must have constantly happened . None of this is helped by the feeling of time passing being conspicuous by its absence and much of this TVM feels like it has taken place in 90 minutes rather than the eleven years of Michelle's real time imprisonment . There's not enough foundations for the audience to emotionally invest enough in to Michelle's ordeal which is terrible but at the same time abstract which means despite the compelling subject matter the characters remain entirely distant
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7/10
Raymond Cruz is good but the story is mainly from one victim's POV
phd_travel17 July 2015
Raymond Cruz is a most effective actor. For those who watched 'Breaking Bad', Tuco Salamanca is one of the all time great TV villains thanks to Raymond's convincing intense performance. Here he is pretty scary as Ariel Castro. The real Ariel Castro looked more benign than him. Raymond is a bit too scary to be the wolf in sheep's clothing that Ariel was.

The story shows things from mainly one victim's point of view. Might have been better to show things from all three victims points of view. There was enough time to show how each was kidnapped and the background of each briefly so it's strange they didn't. In this sense the story could have been better written. The TV movie does not make it that clear how one of them couldn't run out while Ariel Castro was sleeping or something for such a long time.

Overall watch this for a TV version of the terrible crime.
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2/10
Rubbish
aldstewart29 July 2015
From the start it was clear that this TV movie was based on Michelle Knight's story and not that of Amanda Berry & Gina Dejesus'.It felt like only half of the story was being told, and not even truthfully told (the tying up and hoisting of Michelle) There was no way the makers of this film could ever have portrayed the tense,traumatic, life threatening ordeal that spanned 10 years into a movie of around 113 minutes. It started quite promisingly but rapidly descended into a rushed, lazy account with mediocre acting and what I can only assume is artistic license, why else would they stray from the actual story written by the actual person abducted! I'm sure this will not be the only movie made about such a horrific and truly astonishing event, my only hope is that it is made with more depth, thought, accuracy,and better acting. Get a decent director on board, one who cares about the delicate subject at hand.
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3/10
Superficial treatment of a horrendous tragedy
spotifeyeball6 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Vapid, bland acting on the part of the lead who plays Michelle Knight, does not look like her, act like her, talk like her, I cannot understand why this untalented woman was cast as this part. She showed the least emotion of the three female actresses and I was wincing more for how bad her acting was than how horribly Michelle Knight was treated. I read Michelle's book and have studied this case and watched her interviews, this lead was horribly miscast. The male lead was not much better, he was way too good-looking to be that demon-man monster, he was too nice and not psychopathic enough at all. It was way too much of a story to cram into 90 minutes, I am not sure any movie or documentary or book will ever do justice to what happened to these girls and the daughter produced in captivity. The actresses who played Gina and Amanda were far better cast and were credible actors. As far as the storyline, it was superficial and glossed over so many important issues, like how the police ignored this man-- a man who had beaten his common-law wife to a pulp years before kidnapping these girls, how the police came to the home when there were reports of screams and noises and did not attempt to enter; how somehow this man was not considered a suspect in the circle of at least Gina's world when he had a violent history and knew her by way of his own daughter. I am stunned the police were this blind, how this man was literally hiding in plain sight for so long. My best wishes for these four victims in that home is that that their futures are filled with every good thing that they would like from now on, that they will find love and appreciation and healing and fulfillment. But if you do not know the story do not rely on this cheeseball Lifetime show. Read Michelle's book, read Amanda and Gina's book, watch their interviews. This was a waste of time and did not do them justice in any way. Someone out there make a better movie than this about what happened for 11 years in Cleveland!
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4/10
Too Rushed
pscbkhan11 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Overall, the film certainly was enthralling. However, the reason for this is the fascinating and truly disturbing nature of this heinous, cold, brutal and unfathomable crime, not the quality of the script or screenplay.

I understand Michelle's reasons for wanting to authorise and contribute to the making of this film, but sadly that doesn't change the fact that the finished product is rushed and does no justice to the sheer despair and pain these girls felt captive in that place. This case shocked me at the time, but when recently I was reminded of it after watching a Fritzl documentary, I became really intrigued by many things about this case. Castro as a person, his deceiving ways of luring the victims, that house, the street, Cleveland as a place. I've seen the interviews and news coverage, Castro's statement in court etc. As a sociologist, its truly mind boggling that these women made it through such a distressing, frightening and brutal situation. How did it go unnoticed? How is it possible with people visiting that house? In some parallel American universe, boarded up windows on a residential house is somehow inconspicuous, and the fact that the police ignored reports of screams is diabolical on their behalf. If that was England, the previous two points I made would undoubtedly prompted more of a reaction by the Police.

All this movie did for me was shed more light on what went on in the house and Ariel's relationship with the girls, so for that I can't fault it much. But some of the acting and the way the scenes play out doesn't in any way capture the extent of the suffering that took place and the effects it could have on someone. Amanda Berry being apparently alone all the time in another room and having a child with him deserved more airtime than she received, as well as Gina being so so very young, naive and scared too. What i'm saying is that this story needs a better director, around 200 minutes minimum, a much bigger budget and a plot that delves deeper into the circumstances around each kidnapping and the effects on each victim, individually.

May all three of these women have the rest of their lives filled with joy and may they be able to move past this hell and be loved like they deserved, along with Amanda's child.
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9/10
Her son will come to her one day and we will wait for that day with her
heidi_s-962219 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
First of all, I do not like shows of this nature and the happenings of what goes on with woman or men in nature. I do not believe these girls were giving much justice in this movie. Michael knights mother never looked for her, put up posters. If in fact someone seen this young lady in the Doller store talking to this man, and she did in fact wave to this no good of a mans neighbor before going in his house then this young lady should have been saved. The fact the the lady they show talking to the cop that she heard screams from houses nearby and then it stopped. Did the cop not check houses knowing that 2 girls were missing in the area. That part is so really, really sad. We will never know how these girls felt, never being in their situation. I believe cops could have put a end to this and Michaels mother could have also. You can not go back in time. It is still a shame that 10 years of these girls lives were taken. I do believe that her son will know who she is one day. Kids eventually know that they are adopted. I do not know, they just do. She has always said his name. You have to commend her for putting herself in the position to wait so that she does not disrupt his life. What he is probably 16 now. She will wait and it will be worth it. We all know that. She could have gotten him back because she did not sign papers to have him adopted. He will find out who she is and we will all wait with her. We will watch in years to come the reunion that the two of them encounter.
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7/10
Emotionally haunting and eerily close to home
quincytheodore11 August 2015
Cleveland Abduction is very identical to case documentary or event reenactment, and it's highly effective. It doesn't present too much glossy cinematography to make it as authentic as possible, though still with enough restriction for the delicate subject. Acting from Taryn Manning and Raymond Cruz, the captor and captive, are brazenly intimidating to highlight the gruesome struggle.

It follows the event of actual kidnapping where a man, Ariel Castro (Raymond Cruz) abducts three women for eleven years. The movie depicts this horrendous act with superior acting and true to life visual. It occasionally looks devoid of color, grainy and dirty, while some of the outdoor scenery seems refreshing with cool ambiance. This presents the urban location in accurate perspective along with its darker shade.

Much of its better moments are from the good performance by the actors. It has surprisingly tender and sorrowful moments, all of which look genuine. This is not a well-orchestrated crime, yet it's incredibly shocking that the real person can maintain the act for so long. Raymond Cruz is a good cast for the role, he's often sickeningly brutal and easily becomes the fitting antagonist.

However, it does have some flaws. Several of the scenes try to depict the abuse, but they might feel heavy-handed in the approach. The camera is sometimes out of focus, it's probably intentional to induce realism, though it's a bit comfortable at times. The pace tends to screech a bit towards the second half despite the good intention of showing the aftermath or restrain for more gory moments. These don't take away the venerable effort to convey its message though.

Keeping the story grounded, it manages to tell the abusive story and its ramification with equal poise and intimate outlook.
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3/10
Poor Even for TV Standards
jenniferconleykc26 February 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I want to start off my review by stating that the victims, Michelle Knight (Now Lily Rose Lee), Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus deserve all respect and dignity for the atrocities they went through.

This film does not give them that, especially Amanda and Gina.

We can disregard the bad taste in making a film about a horror. The point of such films should be about informing people of what happened and how such horror should be watched out for and how people can help in these situations. It shouldn't be about entertainment.

The sin of this film is that it clearly is a message to entertain people and not on the truth.

This film focuses on one of the victims, Michelle, and that is probably one of the worst decisions made. It almost ignores the other two which is beyond frustrating. Why were their stories not worth being told? Why did we only see their families grief through the eyes of Michelle? Worse, the grief was shown for the purpose of highlighting the fact that Michelle had no one looking for her. Instead of feeling pain for Gina and Amanda's families, we were supposed to feel sadness that Michelle did not have that. Important moments like when Amanda learns of her mother's death from a news story were told strictly through Michelle's eyes when it would have been better served to have been told from the grieving daughter.

Michelle's story deserved to be told, but so did Amanda's and Gina's

Another problem is because this is a film meant to tell strictly Michelle's story and also with the guise to entertain instead of inform, the filmmakers made the decision to twist the truth to pull focus onto Michelle. This causes problems because in many instances it makes the other two victims appear worse. They present both Amanda and Gina as entirely subservient to Ariel and completely under his thumb from the beginning, both too afraid to even entertain the idea of escaping while Michelle is always looking for ways to get out. When reading the book written by both Amanda and Gina it is clear that both of them tried to find ways of getting out, including a moment where Amanda considered stealing the very van they were all abducted in. By trying to prop up Michelle as the "strong one" they make the other two look meek and ignore the bravery of ALL THREE of them.

But the example that bothers me the most is at the very end of the film. After the three of them are rescued it shows them all trying to move on. In a particularly tragic scene Gina informs Michelle she wants to stop talking to her for a while so she can move on. Its' sad because its supposed to highlight the fact that Michelle is alone again, no family, no son and now now help from the other two people she could share her story with.

The problem is that this simply is NOT true. The fact is it was Michelle who needed to separate herself from Gina and Amanda and told them both this, even though they are still in contact to this day. Gina and Amanda see each other every week and are in constant contact and in fact wrote a book together. Michelle needed to separate herself from them in order to heal, since she was older and went through some atrocities they did not (such as being forced to miscarry 5 times and losing custody of her son) it is certainly understandable that she would need space from her two fellow captors in order to heal

For the film to completely lie and try to paint Michelle as the one abandoned is a complete and utter disservice to Amanda and Gina. It is horrifying that they would decide to mute the voices of two of the victims.

I know this film was based on Michelle's book, but that doesn't mean it was right to almost ignore the stories of Gina and Amanda. All three of them deserve more than this piece of crap.
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8/10
Ashamed to be a man......
rbrb5 July 2016
This drama is apparently based on true events and I have no idea how accurate is the depiction in the film. But that said this movie is both compelling and heart wrenching.

A young woman is kidnapped by a lunatic and kept prisoner and tortured as are other young females. The brutal treatment of the victims is appalling. Both lead players give first rate performances as do the other performers though there are times in this picture I needed to look away due to the horrid nature of events.

Sometimes I really feel ashamed that men can be so wicked to females..

Despite the sordid content in this movie, its' realism gains it a vote of:

8/10.
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1/10
This is hands-down THE WORST movie I have ever seen!!
rknaak18 May 2015
This is hands-down THE WORST movie I have ever seen!! Everything about it is awful! The acting, the dialog, the storyline.... It is a large span of real-life time and tragedy jammed into a 90 minute made-for-TV movie, and all it leaves you with are questions, confusion, and wonder as to how anyone could think that this 90 minute run-of-events could be classified as a "story" and made into a movie. I realize that it is all based on true events, however the way the chosen events were written and portrayed in this movie do not compound together to make a storyline. It is a bunch of factual events thrown together and filmed. And very poorly done at that.
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9/10
Profound.
luke-723-9950014 May 2019
I knew nothing of the case before watching this movie so I found the events beyond shocking. I was gripped all the away through. I found the storytelling suspenseful and I believed the performances. The faith of the lead character was deeply inspiring and I was left feeling equally moved as I was haunted. There were some particularly difficult scenes to reconstruct in this movie and I felt the filmmakers did a brilliant job in tackling such a challenging and sensitive set of circumstances. I would recommend this as a must watch.
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8/10
Hooked me
poprok171 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I started off watching this movie knowing little to nothing about this horrific, true event. While watching it I was searching the internet looking up facts, videos, etc and was shocked I didn't know more. I think the movie, for lifetime and NOT HBO or cable did this story justice. To me, it was interesting enough that I went beyond and bought the books, looked up the videos and read all the articles.

Tara Manning is the main actress, the review I read earlier on this is way off in saying she can't act. She was chosen because of her supreme acting in the recent "orange is the new black" netflix show. I thought she did a good job. It's pretty impossible to find actress's that look and talk like normal everyday women. After watching all the footage, all three girls did a great job, I feel.

Also these women lived through horrific crimes that no one should ever have to endure. If you want the real story, of course read their books. If you want 90 minutes of entertainment then watch this movie. I don't think any Lifetime movie claims to be scene by scene the actual real life story. The scenes with the bar bell, killing the dog, rape etc. were hard enough to watch, how much did you really want to see (this is for the review on here claiming it's not "real" enough)? This movie brought to light a horrible situation in 90 minutes of what these girls dealt with for 10 YEARS! That's a pretty impossible feat for any movie, let alone Lifetime. So, I say watch this movie with your hand over your eyes on some parts and then read their books, to get the full story.

These women are brave and amazing and more people should know about them.
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5/10
My Review
wrightiswright19 June 2019
Films like this are why I never take too seriously the reviews on Amazon for movies, when something as mediocre as this can get an average of four and a half stars.

Basically, it's a retelling of the real life incident in America where three young females where kidnapped and held in a man's house for close to a decade, even raising a daughter together when one of the abused captives fell pregnant with his baby.

Despite all the elements being present for a riveting 'Based On A True Story' drama, you don't really get much of a passage of time here, nor due you really see any explicit scenes of the awful torture the girls must have gone through.

Basically, Cleveland Abduction is too fast-paced for us to develop an emotional connection with the victims, and too censored in it's approach to highlighting their horrendous treatment whilst imprisoned.

The actors play their parts well and from what I understand, the screenplay sticks mostly to the facts, but ultimately I can't help but feel a far more comprehensive mini-series was the way to go to document this modern tragedy.

Maybe we'll get one in the future, that'll tell us a lot more. I wait in hope... 5/10
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1/10
Well done movie
mkaykrempel3 May 2019
I raised a family just outside Cleveland. No store or restraunt here took down the fliers until the women were rescued. I lasted 10 minutes with this movie, it totally sickened me and made me cry. NO one who does such a horrible things should achieve celebrity status! Remember the names Michelle, Amanda, and Gina! As for the criminal, his name should be FORGOTTEN!
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7/10
A summary of a story.
jayjaymacca-17-78963012 September 2018
Trying to squeeze over a decade of horrific events into under 90 minutes was always going to be a challenge regardless of budget and cast. Nonetheless the film is very well made and does not dissapoint. I have never seen Taryn Manning in a leading role and I must say she really done a superb job. It's hard to believe that you are you watching events that these women actually went through and someone could be so evil to put them through it which makes it hard to watch at times, but its a story that needed to be told.
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8/10
Very painful
MeiSsLman3 July 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Fight for your son and then you be kidnapped, raped and tortured for many years . very sad after being freed you have to sacrifice the most cherished possessions (your son)

Many sad moments in this Movie I really enjoyed it
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7/10
brutal true story
SnoopyStyle6 July 2016
It's 2002 Cleveland. Michelle Knight (Taryn Manning) is a struggling single mother. Her mother is unreliable. Social services is trying to take away her son. While walking to court to get him back, she is kidnapped by acquaintance Ariel Castro (Raymond Cruz). She is kept as a sex slave for 11 years during which he also kidnaps Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus. They finally escape in 2013.

It's a Lifetime movie. The brutal true story is told in a straight forward manner. Taryn Manning makes this more compelling than simply the material. The brutality is kept at a certain level since it's a Lifetime movie. It's a harrowing story. A couple of scenes after the rescue are actually quite heart-breaking.
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10/10
Cleveland Abduction
a_baron23 July 2016
Once upon a time there was a wicked ogre named Ariel Castro who snatched three girls off the street and held them captive in secret in a residential area for over a decade. Imagine if that story had come down to us from ancient Greece, or even a much more recent era.

Okay, let's try another approach, imagine this was a novel or a film script, would it get past the slush pile or anywhere near a studio? Of course not. Sadly, this well-documented tale of sexual sadism and just plain sadism is not only more outrageous than any such legendary or fictional offering, it is 100% true. "Cleveland Abduction" has been given a semi-documentary format, seen mostly through the eyes of Michelle Knight, Castro's first victim, and the one who suffered most.

We follow the tale from Michelle's abduction as far as her victim impact statement at his trial. Sadly or otherwise, Castro avoided a living hell by committing suicide a mere month into his life sentence. Doubtless he will have gone to the real one where he will occupy a place or torment only slightly less hot than Ted Bundy.

This film is well acted by all the players. How could he have got away with it for so long? We can all ask that question, but wisdom is hindsight is a wonderful thing.
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10/10
****
edwagreen16 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Everything seemed to be going wrong for our heroine, a high school dropout with a child, and an uncaring mother. It just seems that there is one misfortune after another and eventually the loss of her young son to the courts and her inability to get to the court on time forces her to take what will be the most memorable ride in her life.

Bound and sadistically tortured by someone she trusted, this is basically a story of survival.

Our demented man tries to start a family by kidnapping two other girls and impregnating one of them.

The story is also poignant since once freedom is achieved, we see how our young unfortunate had to work her way back into life,after she had experienced rejection and no one missed her during her 10 years of captivity.

A harrowing, tragic experience that altered the lives of its victims.
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9/10
Outstanding
melissamcdaid6 September 2015
Taryn Manning plays a tremendous part in this true story. While I understand many viewers frustration at the focus being mostly on Michelle's character, I believe that it is important to remember that the film is based mostly on Michelle's book which helped steer the story in that direction. Although difficult to watch at times due to the implied brutality, I was unable to take my eyes from the screen the entire movie. Depicts the story of these 3 young girls (and not forgetting the daughter) excellently while allowing an understanding as to why the girls were never able to escape. This would have been an 8 star review if not for the performance of Taryn Manning, which bumps it up to 9 stars.
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10/10
I Cried, I Got Mad, But I'm Glad I Watched This.
arenburns23 August 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I finally watched this because I wanted to know more of what these 3 poor women went thru. By the end I was in tears, they go thru so much but what Michelle Knight (the single mother) went thru is followed by even more, incredibly sad. She went thru 11 years of absolute hell, thinking of nothing but being free and seeing here sweet son again who was only 3 at the time, just to be told that bc she was kidnapped and didnt show he was up for adoption and his adopted family didn't want them to have any contact. That's when I lost it. I bawled my eyes out of the thought of her situation. Trying to get a job, moving out of her alcoholic mother's home and trying to make all these changes just to get her son back just for it to be ripped from her bc the monster used giving her a ride to the courthouse as a trap. Then remembering his birthday every single year, praying, singing, dreaming and thinking of seeing him again despite her captor constantly bringing her down in every way every chance he could. The 1st thing she did once she was free was look up and say she was gonna see her son again. It was all she talked about at the hospital and simply the only thing she needed. Yet the absolutely heartless new family refused to let her see even a picture of him or know if they even kept his name?! Absolutely cold. All that pain just for heartbreak and having to move on and start completely over.
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7/10
Nice
spieringsm30 November 2015
I true story that has to. Be told so the victims can live on. I like the movie even its a horrible story. And I'm glad the women are saved en can live there life's even it most be hard for them. I hope the are happy now with there lives as good as it gets. And i also hope the men who did this will never leave jail. Somebody like him does not deserve the live his life ever in freedom he's a animal no worser than a animal. It was a difficult movie to watch but i am glad i did. I saw one of the women by the Doctor phill show i have real respect for this women that she told her story and still after all she come true have the power to go on with her life. Respect it most be hard.
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