New on DVD: Install a seatbelt on the couch for these two thrillers

'Déjà Vu' sends Denzel Washington back in time; 'Kidnapped' concludes NBC's cancelled miniseries.

Déjà Vu (PG-13)

It's déjà vu, alright, when Denzel Washington (r.) turns up in his umpteenth role as a law-enforcement agent in this effective time-travel thriller. Washington, a consummate pro possessed with a natural gravitas that Walter Cronkite might envy, never seems as if he's slumming it in his performance as Doug Carlin, an ATF investigator confronted with the aftermath of the bombing of a New Orleans ferry. Carlin is soon co-opted by a task force that has invented a device able to bend time so that they look into the past – and maybe even enter it. In a boisterous commentary track, director Tony Scott says he shot the film in washed-out earth tones to attain a fairly realistic tone as a counterbalance to the story's fanciful elements. The DVD extras are ingenious. Borrowing the conceit of the story, one can watch the movie so that it's periodically interrupted with featurettes looking back at how the next scene was filmed. Grade: B
– Stephen Humphries

Kidnapped (not rated)

Despite good reviews, this taut, 13-part thriller about the kidnapping of a wealthy man's teenage son was yanked early by NBC. Timothy Hutton and Dana Delaney are in fine form as the desperate parents who work with an FBI agent (Delroy Lindo) and also an extraction specialist who now works outside the law (Jeremy Sisto). Following the trend of primetime crime dramas, the show takes a number of violent, occasionally gory turns. But for those who tuned in and were left hanging, this collection delivers a satisfying resolution, emotionally and dramatically. The featurettes include a routine "making of" short. However, the pilot episode is outstanding on its own. Grade: B+
– Gloria Goodale

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