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Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

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6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 135 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: In The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, New York City subway dispatcher, Walter Garber's, day is thrown into chaos by an audacious crime: the hijacking of a subway train. Ryder, the criminal mastermind who, as leader of a highly-armed gang of four, threatens to execute the train’s passengers unless a large ransom is paid within one hour. As the tension mounts beneath his feet, Garber employs his vast knowledge of the subway system in a battle to outwit Ryder and save the hostages. But there’s one riddle Garber can't solve: even if the thieves get the money, how can they possibly escape? (Sony Pictures) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 34
  2. Negative: 4 out of 34
  1. 88
    It's a first-class ride. All aboard.
  2. 80
    Even at a distance from each other (Washington/Travolta), they conduct a tag-team master class in old-style movie star technique, barreling through every cliché and nugget of corn the script has to offer with verve and conviction. Even when you don't really believe them, they're always a lot of fun to watch.
  3. Has all the usual virtues of a good action suspense drama, but it lacks that extra something - that context, that vital interchange - that made the original "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3" such a memorable experience in 1974.
  4. Washington offers another of his rock-steady performances, playing a career civil servant with a couple of secrets of his own, but confident, diligent, ready to go the distance for the city he loves.
  5. Reviewed by: Jim Ridley
    50
    Scott's redo comes up short in almost every regard against the '74 model--against David Shire's knuckled-brass score, against its mugs' gallery of '70s New York character actors, against Peter Stone's serrated script, and certainly against its wordless punchline.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 55
  2. Negative: 12 out of 55
  1. LoganH
    Nov 3, 2009
    10
    Actors in this movie seem like they were given a lot of freedom in this movie and just have fun. Denzel and Travolta are amazing in this movie.
  2. ChrisP.
    Aug 17, 2009
    9
    Denzel was really good one more time.I just love his movies. the movie has a lot of action and and a powerful plot.of course also mentionable must be the amazing song of jigga "99 problems"!!! Expand
  3. CarlosS
    Dec 5, 2009
    8
    No waiting around for action in the movie. John is awesome as a bad guy in this movie. From begining to end this movie is great.
  4. Fantasy
    Jun 14, 2009
    6
    Fast pace hostage thriller with John Travolta as the BAD guy and Denzel Washington the GOOD guy. Many plot holes in the story as it would have been nice to have character development to see why they became who they were? In the end, the movie loses its credibility as Denzel reverts from ordinary Joe Citizen to action hero. The whole premise was ridiculous in the first place. Not a bad movie but not a good one either. A nice way to spend a rainy afternoon. Expand
  5. Feb 1, 2011
    5
    I'm a fan of the book and '74 film starring Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw. When I saw it it was a great idea of updating the setting to post-9/11 New York. The acting from Denzel Washington and John Travolta is good and the film is like a ticking clock film. The biggest problem is that while the first 2 acts are strong, the third and final act turns into a cliche action movie with loses all the momentum. If they chose and final act similar to the book and original film it would of been a lot better. Expand
  6. Jan 6, 2011
    4
    This movie could use some work, it seems as though it was made in a space a 1hr... because it's tripe... but with some advantages... NO further discussion... so 4! Expand
  7. Robert
    Jun 17, 2009
    1
    The movie was good to start and then fell apart completely. Whoever writes this crap should be arrested for impersonating a writer. Let me ask a question? Would someone just released from prison use his own name and invest millions but never consummate the trade to lock up a profit? And would that person risk his own life instead of hiring thugs to pull off his masterplan for chump change? Would a mild mannered transit worker who rides the trains to and from work suddenly learn how to shoot a gun and drive thru the streets of NY like Evil Knievel? And if a black man ran around the streets of NY waving a gun do you think that somewhere someone may have called a policeman? And if a subway train is roaring out of control on elevated tracks do you think that one of the passengers might dial 911 on their cell to advise that there is no motorman? And there's an open computer the entire time. There were more plot holes in this movie than swiss cheese. After the movie is over you start thinking and nothing makes any sense. Just awful. Expand

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