User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 534 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 61 out of 534

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  1. 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.
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  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Nov 30, 2013
    3
    I saw it last year and I still don't see the hype with this film. A father trying to find his daughter somehow turns into an action epic. Reallly???????????? Don't even get me started on 2
  5. 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.
  6. May 20, 2013
    1
    It's horrible, too unrealistic. Weak guys are always dumb, die stupid. Protagonist always wins the battle easily. I hate it.
  7. 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 beingTaken 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. Expand
  8. Sep 26, 2012
    1
    This movie was long and drawn out, Taken's plot used several cliches and had several awkward moments. Taken was painful to watch.The movie is boring and doesn't get engaging until the end.
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.