Metascore
50

Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 31
  2. Negative: 6 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Patrick Parker
    88
    The beginning is a little slow, but after Neeson starts his hunt and does his best wrath-of-God impression, it doesn’t skip a beat.
  2. Reviewed by: Josh Rosenblatt
    78
    Taken moves so fast and with such single-minded, vindictive energy, there's no time for moral ambivalence.
  3. Reviewed by: Christopher Borrelli
    75
    There is no mythology, no irony, no real soul--just a Charles Bronson simplicity about the whole affair.
  4. 75
    Taken is nonsense, but it's terrifically entertaining nonsense.
  5. There's a xenophobic element to Taken's premise, to be sure - the idea that travel, even to Western Europe, isn't safe for Americans, and that foreigners (Albanians, Arabs) are by nature shifty and sinister.
  6. I won't tell you Taken is great, but it's great fun.
  7. 70
    The delirious and sometimes nasty little pleasures that Taken offers don't hinge as much on surprise as they do on the action (which is crisp and fast, with a minimum of computer enhancement) and on the story's unabashedly sentimental underpinnings.
  8. Taken--in the hands of director Pierre Morel (District B13), with Neeson in nearly every shot--works like gangbusters. The Frenchies have made the filet mignon of meathead vigilante movies.
  9. Reviewed by: Dan Kois
    70
    A satisfying thriller as grimly professional as its efficient hero.
  10. If you find the film's xenophobic undercurrents distasteful, take solace in this: Taken was co-written and directed by the Frenchmen responsible for "District B13," so at least the xenophobia is imported.
  11. Reviewed by: Travis Nichols
    67
    Accomplished if misguided thriller.
  12. 63
    Taken shows Mills as a one-man rescue squad, a master of every skill, a laser-eyed, sharpshooting, pursuit-driving, pocket-picking, impersonating, knife-fighting, torturing, karate-fighting killing machine who can cleverly turn over a petrol tank with one pass in his car and strategically ignite it with another.
  13. Reviewed by: Jeremy Wheeler
    63
    Not one to overstay its welcome, this suspenseful tale is an economic exercise in delivering the goods for those who are interested in a two-fisted Liam Neeson vehicle to soak up, bask in, and then leave behind as soon as it's over.
  14. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    Taken does have a few things going for it. At the top of that short list is Liam Neeson in the starring role.
  15. 63
    If there are any "24" fans who have wondered what the TV series might be like if Liam Neeson replaced Kiefer Sutherland, Taken provides an opportunity to have that question answered.
  16. Reviewed by: Scott Mendelson
    60
    In the post-Columbine age, far too many cops' partners have gone un-murdered. And too many unsuspecting daughters have freely traveled abroad, unmolested by foreign fiends. Leave it to the French to give Americans what we didn't realize we were missing.
  17. A brisk and violent action programmer that can't help being unintentionally silly at times.
  18. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    60
    Neeson growls his way through the functional dialogue as an unstoppable killing machine in impressive, cold-eyed style.
  19. Propulsively outandish thriller.
  20. Reviewed by: Bernard Besserglik
    50
    Might do good business at home and abroad among audiences unconcerned with the finer points of characterization or psychological insight.
  21. Reviewed by: Tim Grierson
    50
    Neeson's tormented weariness lends an air of dignity to the film's pulpy, grubby nastiness, but as striking as he is in action-hero mode, the truth is that Taken doesn't need dignity.
  22. 42
    Taken's subject matter is too serious for an escapist chop-socky movie, and the sleazy, exploitative tone undercuts the thrills.
  23. Neeson's better than this. You can't watch him here without thinking, Geez, every fight-choreography session could have funded "Love, Actually." This bash-the-door-down action scene likely took as long to film as "Kinsey." That gunfight required more stunts than all of "Schindler's List."
  24. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    40
    The film promises so much more than it delivers that, by the end, I felt like registering a complaint with the Obama Administration's Consumer Protection squad.
  25. 40
    You do wonder how this commanding actor (Neeson)--who carries so much more conviction than the plot--felt about delivering the line "I'll tear down the Eiffel Tower if I have to."
  26. 38
    This film isn't an enjoyable martial-arts extravaganza like "District B-13" or the "Transporter" films.
  27. Taken starts in low gear and almost immediately stalls out.
  28. Cowriters Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen (Gladiator) saddle Neeson with indigestible dialogue and preposterous situations.
  29. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    25
    Don't be taken in by Taken.
  30. 12
    A Liam Neeson thriller so lacking in ambition they should have called it "Paycheck."
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 421 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 186
  1. Feb 16, 2011
    8
    Surprisingly well done, and very intense. Liam Neesen does and excellent job playing the role of the action hero. The James Bond franchise should look at this movie and take some pointers. Full Review »
  2. Sep 25, 2011
    5
    The movie is surprisingly good if you look at decent standards. However if you think harder, you would suspect that the movie's a kinda bit... shallow? Full Review »
  3. Oct 4, 2012
    1
    Taken represents a wierd oblique encouragement for western authorities to 'take the gloves off' when dealing with middle eastern threats, represented here by Albanian slave traders with a crescent moon tattoos. The other enemies, of course are the corrupt, and decadent French, who for some sin or other are characterised as ammoral devils who would turn a blind eye on western girls being sold into sexual servitude for just a few Euros. Somewhat wierd for a movie that cites a Frenchman in its production. Sadly fact is usually more amazing than fantasy and this movie is no exception. Something based on the real plight of Eastern European women being sold into forced prostitution could have been far more compelling. This movie soon degenerates into a sadistic tirade of the hero beating up and killing dozens of run-of-the mill bad guys. The movie has no pauses, no moments of realisation, nothing interesting or scary. No good dialogue, nothing but the celebration of the killing prowess of a professional killer. Liam Neesen dials in a very unenthusiastic performance looking very much like an actor who lost his wife in a skiing accident, with no interest in the slightest in making a movie glorifying murder, going through the motions because he will get a paycheck so that he can go back and spend quality time trying to live as happily as he can in the shadow of his loss. As far as I can see the whole thing is some kind of propaganda effort trying to reinforce negative stereotypes. The action is the same crap you see in almost every American movie these days. Fight scenes where the hero is good at ramming random household objects up the noses and into the brains of certified 100% guaranteed 'bad guys' who deserved to die. The audience is thus invited to relish and glorify a whole bunch of romantically enhanced butchery, and feel great when the good duy inevitably walks into the sunset, without even bruised knuckles. Since practically everything made in America is made to exactly the same recipe, taken is your standard contemporary American garbage with a Frenchman embarrassing himself in the credits. I'm sure Albanian slave traders are very nasty indeed. A movie that dealt into the hows and whys of that would have been much better than this crap. Don't movie makers understand that incessant violence dilutes the dramatic power of violence. The fear of death is worse than death. There are a thousand creative cliches that advice film makers on what constitutes narrative power. All yellow and red reviews indicate signs of intelligence. Green constitute the mob. Fools all. Full Review »