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.
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  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. 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
  5. Feb 21, 2015
    8
    With Liam Neeson performing so well, you really wonder why he turned down the offer to play James Bond early in his career... A very refreshing action movie that offers more than your usual Sly/Arnie/Steven movie. This one actually has a plot, a decent level of acting and ultimately doesn't make you laugh at it's childishness. Liam Neeson is excellent and his catchphrase has made it's wayWith Liam Neeson performing so well, you really wonder why he turned down the offer to play James Bond early in his career... A very refreshing action movie that offers more than your usual Sly/Arnie/Steven movie. This one actually has a plot, a decent level of acting and ultimately doesn't make you laugh at it's childishness. Liam Neeson is excellent and his catchphrase has made it's way into popular culture, despite the movie being just six years old. It won't offer you a deep artistic insight, but a rush of adrenaline combined with a cleverly devised plot - that you can look forward to. Expand
  6. 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...
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  7. Jan 12, 2015
    10
    An amazingly well made film with a great concept. Keeps you captivated and excited all the way through! Liam Neeson is a bad ass! Definitely worth a watch!
  8. Jan 10, 2015
    8
    Taken is one of the better action films from the past decade. Liam Neeson shows some power as an action star (although he may be overstaying his welcome). Taken has a good amount of action but it also has a family side. Neeson has more motivation than any other action star in this plot and you are forced to cheer for him. Taken also doesn't drag on, it is as long as it needs to be at 90 minutes.
  9. Jan 6, 2015
    7
    Taken is a surprise in the fact that it's enjoyable on a lot of levels most notably in it's main character and it's action sequences which were both well done and Liam Neeson is really on top form for both. the film has excellent cinematography and the plot while engaging suffered from having a lot of aspects kind of rushed and not fully explored. i also think the film could have used aTaken is a surprise in the fact that it's enjoyable on a lot of levels most notably in it's main character and it's action sequences which were both well done and Liam Neeson is really on top form for both. the film has excellent cinematography and the plot while engaging suffered from having a lot of aspects kind of rushed and not fully explored. i also think the film could have used a more bond style villain to seem like a challenge to Bryan mills though that may have decreased the films realistic tone. that being said it was a film that is a great turn off you're brain and just enjoy feature and i would still place it as a possible recommendations over a lot of the large amounts of action films on offer nowerdays Expand
  10. Jan 5, 2015
    8
    Esto es lo que se llama una buena película de acción y punto. Es así, no hay que ser un poeta para criticar esta película. Puede que las escenas de acción sean las típicas, pero se disfrutan.
  11. Jan 4, 2015
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. One of the better movies that Liam Neeson has stared in. If you have ever heard the scene in where he says, "I will find you, and I will kill you.'' This is where its from. The best part of the movie is both the kidnapping of her daughter and all the suspense that kills you throughout this movie. Expand
  12. 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.
  13. Nov 6, 2014
    9
    The movie is definitely a lot better than what the ratings show. It is filled with action and this movie will definitely capture the audience watching it. The best part of it all, they are really people in the world that are trained to do this, so it has some truth behind it. It's definitely worth watching and owning. In some parts it leaves you hanging because things are so close, thenThe movie is definitely a lot better than what the ratings show. It is filled with action and this movie will definitely capture the audience watching it. The best part of it all, they are really people in the world that are trained to do this, so it has some truth behind it. It's definitely worth watching and owning. In some parts it leaves you hanging because things are so close, then bam a twist is thrown it, so it's a good story line as well. Expand
  14. 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.
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  15. Oct 23, 2014
    10
    The worst about Taken is that that is based on techniques that are still working and agents like Brian are still out there ready to do **** when it is needed. The best about Taken is this that they are at good side so unless you are Albanian, don't worry. I work with them and it is fudging scary.
  16. Sep 27, 2014
    9
    This was an excellent action thriller! I was hooked all the way to the end of the film. The stepfather really pissed me off and you will understand why after watching it. The action sequences and deaths were epic. The plot was simple but its okay because it wasn't essential to the type of movie this is. Overall, I highly recommend this and also Taken 2.
  17. 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.
  18. Jun 25, 2014
    7
    Taken is the kind of Neeson-esque action thriller that is impossible not to enjoy. The plot is simple and the characters are a bit cliché, but those are not the reasons to see Taken. It is a fun movie to watch, even if I didn't believe a damn minute of it.
  19. Feb 14, 2014
    7
    An edge of the seat thriller that I found enjoyable on every single level. The plot, dialogue, cast as well as the acting were very realistic and dramatic.
  20. Feb 10, 2014
    8
    If you thought the life of a retired spy was boring just wait until you see this amazing fast-paced action film.
    In this film Liam Neeson plays a retired spy called Brian who lets his daughter, Kim, (Maggie Grace) and her friend Amanda (Katie Cassidy) go on atrip to Paris. But shortly after arriving in Paris Kim and Amanda get kidnapped which makes Brian promise that he'll get his
    If you thought the life of a retired spy was boring just wait until you see this amazing fast-paced action film.
    In this film Liam Neeson plays a retired spy called Brian who lets his daughter, Kim, (Maggie Grace) and her friend Amanda (Katie Cassidy) go on atrip to Paris. But shortly after arriving in Paris Kim and Amanda get kidnapped which makes Brian promise that he'll get his daughter back. Will her live up to his promise or will he die trying? The film keeps the viewer wondering whether or not Brian will live up to this promise by emphasising over and over again that he only has a few hours before his daughter disappears forever.
    At the beginning of the film Brian is introduced as a man who loves his daughter, which shows that he will do anything to get her back. And when he arrives in Paris the viewer gets the impression that even though Brian is retired he hasn't forgotten the skills he learnt in hand to hand combat. I got this impression when Brian got ninvoled in a fight scene just moments after he arrived in Paris.
    At the beginning the film ropes you in with some light comedy and a very brutal fight scene. And in order to make sure you don't get bored of the light comedy the film also adds some suspense as soon as Kim arrives in Paris, and after this the action doesn't stop.
    My favourite scene in the movie has got to be when Brian tracks the man who took his daughter to a house in Paris.This is my favourite scene because even though it starts off calm it isn't long before Brian is involved in yet another gun-fight which also involves some brutal fighting which is sure to make the viewer say "Ouch that's gotta hurt!"
    As well as a lot of action this film also has a lot of gore which is shown in the intense fight scenes and in one very horrific torture scene.
    I would recommend this film to anyone who likes fast-paced action films and I would rate it 8/10.
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  21. Jan 18, 2014
    8
    I definitely think Taken deserves a 65 or even 70 instead of 50 ! The film is very touching, with Liam Neeson playing a loving father who is willing to do anything to rescue his daughter no matter how wrong and cruel those things are. That is what makes this movie unique, for it is just 30% an action movie in my opinion. The remaining 70% goes to the father's complicated yet determinedI definitely think Taken deserves a 65 or even 70 instead of 50 ! The film is very touching, with Liam Neeson playing a loving father who is willing to do anything to rescue his daughter no matter how wrong and cruel those things are. That is what makes this movie unique, for it is just 30% an action movie in my opinion. The remaining 70% goes to the father's complicated yet determined internal feelings as he is on the way to kill every bad guy responsible for his daughter's abduction. Expand
  22. 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
  23. 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.
  24. Nov 2, 2013
    10
    I love this movie!.It has the one liners I always remember. It`s about a father trying to have a better relationship with his daughter, she gets kidnapped and he has to save her.
  25. Sep 23, 2013
    8
    When Kim and her slutty friend Amanda get kidnapped in Paris, its up to her father to rescue them, while Kim's mother Lenore and her OK (but not better) stepfather watch.
    While Taken might not be the most realistic action film out there, it is still a good action film that benefits from having a great main lead: Liam Neeson! Liam Neeson is a excellent action actor, having starred in:
    When Kim and her slutty friend Amanda get kidnapped in Paris, its up to her father to rescue them, while Kim's mother Lenore and her OK (but not better) stepfather watch.
    While Taken might not be the most realistic action film out there, it is still a good action film that benefits from having a great main lead: Liam Neeson! Liam Neeson is a excellent action actor, having starred in: Taken, Taken 2, Unknown, Battleship, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight Rises and The A-Team, and is the perfect person to star in this movie as ex-CIA agent Bryan Mills. Exceptionally made, with solid-action, this is an awesome film. Another thing the film benefits from is having a lot of action, since it lets the audience forget the string of unlikely coincidences. One of my favorite scenes of all time is the "I will find You" scene. My only complaint was that there should've been more interaction between Bryan and Kim.

    If you liked this review, read my other ones. If it was helpful, please mark it as helpful.

    And P.S, at least Amanda got laid in Paris like she wanted.
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  26. Aug 1, 2013
    7
    Anyone looking for a complex story is looking in the wrong place, 'Taken' is a pure action fare. Following the kidnapping of his daughter Bryan Mills, played by unexpected action star Liam Neeson, sets out to find her and punish those involved.

    This simple set up leads to all manner of well directed and genuinely exciting car chases and fight scenes (although typically the bad guys seem
    Anyone looking for a complex story is looking in the wrong place, 'Taken' is a pure action fare. Following the kidnapping of his daughter Bryan Mills, played by unexpected action star Liam Neeson, sets out to find her and punish those involved.

    This simple set up leads to all manner of well directed and genuinely exciting car chases and fight scenes (although typically the bad guys seem to have been to the stormtrooper school of firearms training) meaning that the hour and a half will fly by.
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  27. Jul 7, 2013
    8
    a thriller that mixes action good sentiment and guns !
    Liam Neeson is excellent in taken in furious father
    Paris is his game field
    a movie to see now
  28. Jun 25, 2013
    10
    The critics for this movie are unfair and unjust, this movie is epic with action/revenge sequences that blows up your mined, it also has some really clever/smart over the top scenes, with great and original story, and enchanting performances, this movie is epic.
  29. Jun 18, 2013
    8
    its a good action movie with a lot of action fun action with a good story that is posible to happen to oul of us around 18 it starts a litle slow but wen its the action is there ist cool but it seems like liam neesen is so strong nobody can do something about it he is untouseble but its a realy cool and fun action movie that you have to see
  30. Jun 10, 2013
    8
    Who knew that Liam Neesen could be this awesome. He single handedly makes this movie as good as it is. The villains aren't that important and the rest of the supporting cast are just there, but still a very entertaining film.
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.