There isn’t much to a good kidnapping. Things you must purchase include: one nondescript van lined with plastic, a shady, out-of-the-way apartment, a mattress dressed in handcuffs, one blindfold, your accomplice who is (hopefully) competent in the ways of illegal activity, two guns equipped with bullets and the gall to choose your rich girlfriend as the victim. Got it? Good.

Otherwise, leave it to the professional, Vic (Eddie Marsan), and the rookie, Danny (Martin Compston), who spend the first 13 minutes of The Disappearance of Alice Creed in utter silence as they methodically prepare the transit van, staple boards over the windows of the hideaway apartment and shop for the rest of the aforementioned necessary equipment. Meticulous, focused and unwavering, the men have planned for and risked everything, hoping to profit to the tune of millions.

The first sign that anyone will speak in this film comes from our female protagonist, Alice Creed (played by the incredibly talented Gemma Arterton), who screams bloody kidnap as the two ex-cons thrust her into their getaway car and bring her back to the prison cell they have fastidiously designed and personally decorated.

The only thing they didn’t account for after her disappearance was the tenacity and nerve of Alice, who is humiliatingly forced to twiddle her imprisoned thumbs as she spends her days naked, blindfolded and handcuffed. Vic is the 40-something convict who has the experience and know-how that 20-something Danny does not, which ultimately becomes their demise. Alice cunningly discovers that her boyfriend Danny is using her to nab her father’s dough, supposedly so they can run away together. Trust broken, relationship over and guns still loaded, the kidnap of the Creed girl turns into a battle of wit and cunning that inevitably must end in a tragedy.

Written and directed by J Blakeson, the film sets a steady pace that finds gradual speed by gallivanting off with our expectations and subduing our sense of control. Each scene, particularly the first sequence of silent preparation, is artfully designed to keep us seated tight and cozy with this supremely engrossing tale of kidnap and redemption. The three actors, like their character counterparts, continually deceive the audience with subtle twists of plot that, through fearful tears and moments of pure adrenaline-pumping insanity, keep us wanting more.

Grade: A-

The Disappearance of Alice Creed releases in select theaters Aug. 6.