Taken

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 551 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 62 out of 551
Watch On

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Jan 24, 2013
    6
    Could have been a lot better. The first half is really engaging but the movie loses steam going into the second half. The ending could have been more rewarding, too.
  2. BKM
    Jan 13, 2013
    5
    Liam Neesen makes a convincing action hero with a "particular set of skills" in this wisp on an action film. Things move along at a rapid pace and the outcome is never in doubt which makes for a tidy movie going experience. Still, a little bit of complexity and a touch of emotional depth would have helped to keep this meager revenge fantasy from fading almost instantaneously from memory.
  3. Mar 4, 2012
    6
    First of all, the drawbacks. I know I hate to do this, but there was a few things wrong with the film. For one thing, it was slightly predictable because I didn't think this film would end with something bad happening. Everything's good until the ending, it just sort of fizzles out. Next, it would be pretty exaggerated that someone would be able to rescue someone from a human traffickingFirst of all, the drawbacks. I know I hate to do this, but there was a few things wrong with the film. For one thing, it was slightly predictable because I didn't think this film would end with something bad happening. Everything's good until the ending, it just sort of fizzles out. Next, it would be pretty exaggerated that someone would be able to rescue someone from a human trafficking group in only a few days. The pacing was a bit thin on the ground, and I also think the girls were portrayed as screechy, weepy, able to believe anything anyone says and blab everything to someone they've just met. Now that's over and done with, there's a few good points I'd like to say. It tackled a very important issue, and, even if it were over exaggerated, that does happen in the world, so it was quite brave to tackle this kind of issue. I think the violence was the least of my problems, and it was thrilling to see Liam Neeson do a bit of ****-kicking because he definitely looked suited for the role. I loved the relationship of his daughter and him, which made me hate the step-father and mother more (what an **** hole and a **** Generally it was a entertaining film, it just needs a bit more work to fix the predictable and confusingly paced storyline, although I think the critics have been a little harsh on what I call an OK film. Expand
  4. Oct 15, 2012
    5
    It's got all the attributes of a guilty pleasure - excitement, some undeniably enjoyable scenes and the absence of what it needs to be more memorable and more substantial.
  5. Nov 16, 2013
    5
    Taken doesn't bring much to the table.
    The movie is paced well, the story if fine, and the action is lackluster. It mainly is plagued with an extremely simple plot combined with a very predictable outcome. An okay action flick.
  6. 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?
  7. Jan 10, 2011
    5
    It's a cross between Frantic and the Bourne movies, but by the Transporter Team.
    I suppose there's some appeal in seeing kidnapping scumbags get their come-uppence, but there's no real tension or intrigue. He goes to France, he follows the trail with improbable ease, he kills EVERYONE, often with just a quick flick of the wrist. He gets knocked on the head and captured once...3 minutes
    It's a cross between Frantic and the Bourne movies, but by the Transporter Team.
    I suppose there's some appeal in seeing kidnapping scumbags get their come-uppence, but there's no real tension or intrigue. He goes to France, he follows the trail with improbable ease, he kills EVERYONE, often with just a quick flick of the wrist. He gets knocked on the head and captured once...3 minutes later he kills them all too.
    Entertaining enough guff, but it's nothing more than a very daft action movie with some nasty scenes and a reasonably respectable lead actor.
    Expand
  8. ricosalsa
    Feb 1, 2009
    5
    Influenced by the Bourne films, but unlike those, fails to make sense of the way a professional would handle himself in the given situation. Neesons character dives suicidally head-first into problems which would require thinking and calculation, and instant gratification follows. You would expect more from such quality actors and writers. (The personal issue at hand can't excuse the Influenced by the Bourne films, but unlike those, fails to make sense of the way a professional would handle himself in the given situation. Neesons character dives suicidally head-first into problems which would require thinking and calculation, and instant gratification follows. You would expect more from such quality actors and writers. (The personal issue at hand can't excuse the total lack of sensible behavior. If that were the case, the movie would negate itself). If you replace Neeson with Steven Seagal, it would accentuate what this movie really is: A mediocre action-flick. Expand
  9. DQSlotkins
    Feb 1, 2009
    6
    It's one of those. And a mediocre one at that. The genre wears thin. Maybe 2 or 3 surprises, but if that's all it has to offer beside Liam Neeson then it's not enough for me.
  10. PhilE.
    Feb 5, 2009
    5
    A lot of action, but not much for excitement. Can't hold a candle to any of the "Bourne" movies, although it's shot in that style. Neeson is good, his character is invincible, and he tracks down the bad guys in unbelievable fashion. That is all to easy to be believed. A dismal movie, with plenty of action...
  11. kgm.
    Jan 31, 2009
    4
    The most shocking thing in this movie is how it
  12. ChadS.
    Jan 31, 2009
    6
    On what was supposed to be a routine detail assignment, Bryan Mills(Liam Neeson), recently emasculated by a bout of birthday present one-upmanship, gets one ball back after he successfully defends a pop diva from her would-be assassin. He gets the other ball back when Kim(Maggie Grace) is kidnapped by a sex-trafficking ring, in which this former spy, to his good fortune, gets to reassert On what was supposed to be a routine detail assignment, Bryan Mills(Liam Neeson), recently emasculated by a bout of birthday present one-upmanship, gets one ball back after he successfully defends a pop diva from her would-be assassin. He gets the other ball back when Kim(Maggie Grace) is kidnapped by a sex-trafficking ring, in which this former spy, to his good fortune, gets to reassert himself as the alpha male in his daughter's eyes, should he afford her the opportunity to ride the horse that trumped the karaoke machine. Jokingly referred to as Rambo by a friend, the name not only suits his one-man army stronghold tactics, but the filmic context in which he does battle, as well. There's a war in France, a war against the sex industry, that surreptitously makes reference to the Indochina War, in which France and Vietnam are forever intertwined. As Ted Kotcheff's "First Blood" was a wish-fulfillment movie about saving POWs, "Taken" also serves the same function, since the filmmaker, like the men who helmed the Rambo franchise, puts things into order by means of reductionism. In stark contrast to "Taken", there is Lukas Moodyson's fatalistic worldview of the same topical issue, the sobering "Lilya 4-Ever", where a Polish girl gets sexually exploited with no hope for a familial savior to emancipate her. For all its slick pacing and snappy action; in other words, its entertainment value, there's a distinctly unpleasant air to this whole enterprise, since "Taken" seems to be predicated on the father getting his ego back, in deference to the pain and humiliation of indentured women. His daughter's kidnapping rejuvenates him; his sac is restored to full capacity. Bryan now seems ready to f*** the horse Kim's stepfather rode on. "Taken" is a revenge fantasy against ex-wives who remarry richer, more accomplished men. Kim's mom(read:"the bitch") is punished for letting their daughter go globe-trotting in Europe. Expand
  13. TylerM
    Feb 26, 2009
    5
    "I'll tear down the Eifle Tower if I have to!" Not as thrilling as the commercial, but still enjoyable. Unintentionally funny, it's entertaining for a forgiving audience. http://www.criticalmass.fcpmainline.com
  14. JamesM
    May 11, 2009
    5
    I thought this movie was pretty fun to watch. Neeson's character is very inspirational.
  15. DavidH
    Feb 17, 2009
    6
    It's always entertaining to watch scumbags have justice served on them in an abrupt fashion, rather than have them surf through a dysfunctional legal system. Liam Neeson is a good choice for this part and plays it well. Sadly, this movie starts out strong but dwindles to a shoddy plot finish. It's as though the writers had a great idea to start but ran out of time and scratched It's always entertaining to watch scumbags have justice served on them in an abrupt fashion, rather than have them surf through a dysfunctional legal system. Liam Neeson is a good choice for this part and plays it well. Sadly, this movie starts out strong but dwindles to a shoddy plot finish. It's as though the writers had a great idea to start but ran out of time and scratched out the ending in the wee hours of one morning on a napkin. The low point is when Neeson's somewhat estranged and clueless daughter, after watching her father risk life, limb and everything to get her back, basically just gives him a hug and then goes back to her even more clueless mother and stepfather. Expand
  16. TonyB.
    Jul 27, 2009
    4
    You won't be bored for a minute, but you won't believe a minute of it.
  17. SebH
    Oct 30, 2009
    6
    I've always appreciated cringeworthy kitsch so long as it's self-consciously so. Taken is the kind of horribly over-acted, ridiculous, self-indulgent thriller that sort of defines cringeworthy kitsch, particularly Liam Neeson's frankly awful script and delivery thereof. We all know he's a talented actor, so why did he stoop to this low? Easy money? That said I love the I've always appreciated cringeworthy kitsch so long as it's self-consciously so. Taken is the kind of horribly over-acted, ridiculous, self-indulgent thriller that sort of defines cringeworthy kitsch, particularly Liam Neeson's frankly awful script and delivery thereof. We all know he's a talented actor, so why did he stoop to this low? Easy money? That said I love the insipidness of the plot, and the fact that it knows that it's awful. The dramatic tone change, however, makes me think that the overall mood of this one is more than a little confused - the impending doom hangs over the considerably lighter first half hour, but was it really necessary to beat the life out of it with the dispassionate performances? The characters are cartoony and unbelievable. As a b-movie, it suffices as a nice little kitschy distraction, but sometimes I wondered how serious it was really trying to be, and that's what stagnated it. Not a disaster, but pretty damn average and confused with lots of cliché heaped atop the lowest-common-denominator nature of its inception. Expand
  18. ImanM
    Aug 6, 2009
    6
    He is like Max Payne face to face with Mafia just with one pistol in the end his ex-wife said just thank you.
  19. ChadA
    Jan 21, 2010
    4
    A typical basic action movie Basic plot(predictable) and basic scenes(car chases, gun fights) The action scenes are too weak and boring This film is just typical and will suit the typical person and the typical action junkie Too bad my tastes are too high
  20. RobbyZ.
    Apr 6, 2010
    6
    A unique plot without realism.
  21. Jakek
    Feb 17, 2009
    4
    Slick production. Pretty to look at. Otherwise, illogical plot and action, terrible script [what happened to Neeson's team of pros], unbearable female lead [Maggie Grace], and cardboard actors and actresses. Final analysis: stupid movie.
  22. syzygy
    Feb 8, 2009
    5
    This is a tired formula but with a few high points towards the middle when Liam Neeson is working his instincts and his old CIA network to recover his daughter. Once he gets through the core baddies and is forced to literally run to catch up to his kid, the audience will more tired than him and desperate for mercifully quick ending.
  23. JayH
    Mar 28, 2009
    6
    A fast paced thriller that starts out excellent, but as it develops it becomes and too far fetched. It seems there is nothing Liam Neeson's character can't do! His cleverness is unconvincing. Exciting but shallow.
  24. Mar 20, 2015
    4
    Taken shows Liam Nesson as a bad-ass, intelligent killing machine. While seeing Liam Nesson use his super skills to track down his daughter while killing lots of people may be enough to dazzle some it wasn’t enough for me. Even with the action flowing along with the way it did, there were wasn’t enough reason for me to care. The characters are never fleshed out and the fact that thisTaken shows Liam Nesson as a bad-ass, intelligent killing machine. While seeing Liam Nesson use his super skills to track down his daughter while killing lots of people may be enough to dazzle some it wasn’t enough for me. Even with the action flowing along with the way it did, there were wasn’t enough reason for me to care. The characters are never fleshed out and the fact that this conflict was started due to the generic father daughter argument cliché we’ve seen a million times, although this time as opposed to films like The Little Mermaid he’s actually right, along with the dumb blonde cliché, which what do you think is going to happen. The score is nothing memorable and its hard to enjoy the action due to the rapid cuts in editing and shaky cam which makes it hard for any sort of spatial continuity to be established so I never know whose fighting what. Action movies can be fun but due to failures in story, characters, and filming action scenes I didn’t care. Liam Nesson being smart and killing people can only do so much. Expand
  25. Sep 2, 2014
    6
    Each year, we are unfortunately gifted with tired and overdone action films with no real purpose or entertainment. Taken rises above those others--partly due from a solid plot-line and our charismatic lead, Liam Neeson.
  26. May 28, 2013
    4
    The initial idea was good, a father who does everything to save her daughter, but in practice the film becomes more of a blogbuster summer with cliches mostruosos the Bourne trilogy, and an excess of unnecessary violence.
  27. Jul 10, 2015
    5
    Typical Liam Neeson action thriller, though not without suspense. But it lacks much character development and it's dramatic points are perhaps stunted. It's not without merit, the beginning started off with an interesting premise, but as the film progressed, it became less and less interesting. It just isn't something to be in awe about. I don't expect much from it, and I wasn't disappointed.
  28. Mar 20, 2015
    6
    The way screenwriter Luc Besson writes scripts for poor action films is at a fifty-fifty, he does have talent but sometimes he sucks. We know he loves the action genre way too much, he loves doing revenge films a lot also having heroine female characters. But in Taken things get interesting! Liam Neeson plays a bad ass dad, who try to save his daughter from the Russia's prosecution. WeThe way screenwriter Luc Besson writes scripts for poor action films is at a fifty-fifty, he does have talent but sometimes he sucks. We know he loves the action genre way too much, he loves doing revenge films a lot also having heroine female characters. But in Taken things get interesting! Liam Neeson plays a bad ass dad, who try to save his daughter from the Russia's prosecution. We all know that Maggie Grace can't act basically she's like Megan Fox. Grade B- Expand
  29. Jan 16, 2015
    6
    Ok, so how do I start this? Uh, I thought "Taken" was good... but after a much needed re-watch, I can pretty much say to you (people who are reading this review) that Taken is just another mediocre entry in Liam Neeson's track record. Ok, there you go, I said it. I really like him but saying that one actor makes a film enjoyable is just laughably inane. He's good in this movie butOk, so how do I start this? Uh, I thought "Taken" was good... but after a much needed re-watch, I can pretty much say to you (people who are reading this review) that Taken is just another mediocre entry in Liam Neeson's track record. Ok, there you go, I said it. I really like him but saying that one actor makes a film enjoyable is just laughably inane. He's good in this movie but everything else is questionable at best.

    Seventeen year-old Kim is the pride and joy of her father Bryan Mills. Bryan is a retired agent who left the Central Intelligence Agency to be near Kim in California. Kim lives with her mother Lenore and her wealthy stepfather Stuart. Kim manages to convince her reluctant father to allow her to travel to Paris with her friend Amanda. When the girls arrive in Paris they share a cab with a stranger named Peter, and Amanda lets it slip that they are alone in Paris. Using this information an Albanian gang of human traffickers kidnaps the girls. Kim barely has time to call her father and give him information. Her father gets to speak briefly to one of the kidnappers and he promises to kill the kidnappers if they do not let his daughter go free. The kidnapper wishes him "good luck," so Bryan Mills travels to Paris to search for his daughter and her friend.

    The movie's main problem couldn't possibly be the action. The fights, which mostly is people shooting at each other, are addictive and imposingly choreographed. Liam Neeson kicks so much ass in this film, especially in the scene where Bryan finds the guys who kidnapp his little girl. The tension between them rises when he says to Marko: "I told you I would find you", and he just friggin' starts killing thugs with his bare hands, like he picks a gun, kills a guy and 1 second later he kills 3 of them. It's really THAT entertaining. The problem with the movie is that the story --although captivating-- is completely illogical and mindless, and its pacing is unnecessarily swift. Not just that but Pierre Morel's directing is simply not that good. From the quick cuts and questionable shots, to the horrible cinematography is just plain middling.

    *Sighs*

    So, Final Score to Taken: 6/10 (If I'm being generous). This is definitely nowhere near a bad movie. Liam Neeson rules it for the most part, and some chunks of it are pretty enjoyable, but "Taken" ultimately suffers from its problematic pace and mediocre direction. If this one wasn't that good, imagine what the unnecessary sequel of the unnecessary sequel could be. Be afraid, be very afraid...
    Expand
  30. Oct 26, 2014
    6
    Taken: 6 out of 10: Taken comes this close to being great. It had an admittedly rocky start with Liam Neeson is trying to reconnect with his virginal 17 year-old teenage daughter in a way that seems just on this side of creepy. (Dude get your own girlfriend... really) Speaking of which; swarthy bad guys, who clearly have never heard of Nancy Grace, are kidnapping Rich American Girls andTaken: 6 out of 10: Taken comes this close to being great. It had an admittedly rocky start with Liam Neeson is trying to reconnect with his virginal 17 year-old teenage daughter in a way that seems just on this side of creepy. (Dude get your own girlfriend... really) Speaking of which; swarthy bad guys, who clearly have never heard of Nancy Grace, are kidnapping Rich American Girls and making them drugged out street walkers or selling them for millions to Arab Sheiks based on whether they are virgins or not? So ex-CIA estranged father Liam Neeson has 96 hours to find his daughter before she is “gone forever” deflowered and then burkaized apparently. “A Fate Worse than Death” you can almost hear the characters thinking.

    It’s as if Charles Bronson was guest starring in an Ilsa the Wicked Warden film located in George C Scott’s Hardcore and the entire enterprise was PG-13. And yet the film still works two thirds through. Liam Neeson is more than fine. He is kicking ass on all cylinders. It’s the bad guys that drop the ball.

    First a rich French guy starts quoting the Godfather. “It’s not personal it’s business” For starters the quote isn’t even in context. He might as well have told the gun toting Liam Neeson “may the force be with you” for all the sense it makes. Second of all you can’t quote the Godfather without referencing the fact that you are quoting it in the first place. Any screenwriter who does that should be sleeping with the fishes.

    The second slap to the head is an Arab Sheik character that looked like he stepped out of a 1940’s Bugs Bunny cartoon. Honestly I don’t know where to begin on this silly stereotype. Why is he the film? Why does he have a knife to the white virgin’s throat? Who would Oscar Schindler shoot???? The last point seems important since the Arab is basically a Juden in a dress. Same large noses, same aversion to pork, same living in ghettos in Europe (Or/and having all the money), same secret organizations paying off French politicians, same affinity to despoiling white Aryan virgins... The more things change the more the stay the same I guess. (They didn’t have the Arab cook and eat a baby. I guess they are holding that back for the sequel) Overt French xenophobia aside, Taken is a fun ride for most of the trip. (The dinner with his French policeman friend and Frenchman's wife was a particular highlight) And as I did mention Liam Neeson kicks ass.
    Expand
  31. Nov 11, 2014
    5
    Despite being an implausible brainless ride throughout, Taken is a slightly above par action thriller made better from a solid performance by Liam Neeson.
  32. Apr 22, 2015
    4
    The risible thriller Taken has a message for overprotective fathers everywhere: Don't let your teenage daughter go overseas. She's almost certain to be abducted by Albanian sex traffickers. After reluctantly agreeing to allow his spoiled 17-year-old (Maggie Grace) to spend the summer in Paris with a friend, ex-spy and estranged single father Liam Neeson braces himself for the inevitableThe risible thriller Taken has a message for overprotective fathers everywhere: Don't let your teenage daughter go overseas. She's almost certain to be abducted by Albanian sex traffickers. After reluctantly agreeing to allow his spoiled 17-year-old (Maggie Grace) to spend the summer in Paris with a friend, ex-spy and estranged single father Liam Neeson braces himself for the inevitable the moment she passes through airport security. (He even takes a photo for posterity, knowing it could be the last time he ever sees her.) Back at his apartment, he waits and waits and waits for her to call. When she finally does, in distress over three men invading her Paris flat, Neeson is right there with a briefcase full of high-tech recording equipment, giving her instructions. Apparently, he's been keeping the case around as his personal "Break Glass In Case Of Emergency Involving Albanian Sex Traffickers" safeguard.

    Neeson's readiness for worst-case scenarios—and screenwriters Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen's proficiency in queuing them up—fuels the high-octane lunacy of Taken, which is a little like Paul Schrader's Hardcore retooled as a Steven Seagal vehicle. Having a thespian of Neeson's caliber chopping down burly henchmen with his bare hands creates a pleasant cognitive dissonance for a while, but the film is unworthy of him. Director Pierre Morel also collaborated with Besson on the far more entertaining District B13, but Taken's subject matter is too serious for an escapist chop-socky movie, and the sleazy, exploitative tone undercuts the thrills. Where Hardcore muddied the waters by questioning how far George C. Scott would take his odyssey into the porn underworld, and at what cost to his soul—Taken never doubts Neeson's righteousness, even when he's torturing a bad guy with electrical wire or clipping a perfectly innocent woman in the arm just to get information. He's a thug, and though it takes some time to see past the sensitive Neeson of Schindler's List or Husbands And Wives, he slips all too easily into the role.
    Expand
  33. Apr 28, 2015
    4
    The risible thriller Taken has a message for overprotective fathers everywhere: Don't let your teenage daughter go overseas. She's almost certain to be abducted by Albanian sex traffickers. After reluctantly agreeing to allow his spoiled 17-year-old (Maggie Grace) to spend the summer in Paris with a friend, ex-spy and estranged single father Liam Neeson braces himself for the inevitableThe risible thriller Taken has a message for overprotective fathers everywhere: Don't let your teenage daughter go overseas. She's almost certain to be abducted by Albanian sex traffickers. After reluctantly agreeing to allow his spoiled 17-year-old (Maggie Grace) to spend the summer in Paris with a friend, ex-spy and estranged single father Liam Neeson braces himself for the inevitable the moment she passes through airport security. (He even takes a photo for posterity, knowing it could be the last time he ever sees her.) Back at his apartment, he waits and waits and waits for her to call. When she finally does, in distress over three men invading her Paris flat, Neeson is right there with a briefcase full of high-tech recording equipment, giving her instructions. Apparently, he's been keeping the case around as his personal "Break Glass In Case Of Emergency Involving Albanian Sex Traffickers" safeguard.

    Neeson's readiness for worst-case scenarios—and screenwriters Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen's proficiency in queuing them up—fuels the high-octane lunacy of Taken, which is a little like Paul Schrader's Hardcore retooled as a Steven Seagal vehicle. Having a thespian of Neeson's caliber chopping down burly henchmen with his bare hands creates a pleasant cognitive dissonance for a while, but the film is unworthy of him. Director Pierre Morel also collaborated with Besson on the far more entertaining District B13, but Taken's subject matter is too serious for an escapist chop-socky movie, and the sleazy, exploitative tone undercuts the thrills. Where Hardcore muddied the waters by questioning how far George C. Scott would take his odyssey into the porn underworld, and at what cost to his soul—Taken never doubts Neeson's righteousness, even when he's torturing a bad guy with electrical wire or clipping a perfectly innocent woman in the arm just to get information. He's a thug, and though it takes some time to see past the sensitive Neeson of Schindler's List or Husbands And Wives, he slips all too easily into the role.
    Expand
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: Bernard Besserglik
    50
    Might do good business at home and abroad among audiences unconcerned with the finer points of characterization or psychological insight.
  2. 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."
  3. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    60
    Neeson growls his way through the functional dialogue as an unstoppable killing machine in impressive, cold-eyed style.