The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009)



Critic Consensus: Despite a strong cast, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 suffers under the excesses of Tony Scott's frantic direction, and fails to measure up to the 1974 original.

Movie Info

The ordinary day of New York City subway dispatcher Walter Garber is thrown into chaos by an audacious crime: the hijacking of a subway train. Ryder, the criminal mastermind who leads the highly-armed gang of four hijackers, 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?more
Rating: R (for violence and pervasive language)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: Brian Helgeland
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 3, 2009
Box Office: $65.5M
Sony/Columbia Pictures - Official Site


Denzel Washington
as Walter Garber
John Turturro
as Camonetti
Luis Guzman
as Phil Ramos
Michael Rispoli
as John Johnson
John Benjamin Hickey
as Deputy Mayor LaSalle
Gary Basaraba
as Jerry Pollard (Motor...
Tonye Patano
as Regina (Conductor)
Aunjanue Ellis
as Therese (Garber's Wi...
Anthony Annarumma
as 'Q' Train Motorman
Víctor Cruz
as Maintainer Three
Alice Kremelberg
as George's Girlfriend
Todd Susman
as Supervisor
J. Bernard Calloway
as Officer Moran/NYPD L...
Glen Tortorella
as Maintenance Worker
Bobby Bojorklund
as Maintenance Worker
Lee Shepherd
as Dr. Weiss
Sean Meehan
as Undercover Cop
Jasmin Tavarez
as Puerto Rican Girl
Chip Brookes
as Zealous Aide
Zach Poole
as LaSalle's Aide
Ty Jones
as Sniper
Frank Wood
as Police Commissioner ...
Brian Haley
as Police Captain Hill ...
Chance Kelly
as ESU Captain
Nick Loren
as Tunnel Commander
Daniel Stewart Sherm...
as ESU Lieutenant Stale...
Jonathan Rau
as Federal Reserve Supe...
Mike Houston
as Money Car Driver
René Ifrah
as Money Car Shotgun
Maria Bartiromo
as Financial Reporter
John Lavelle
as Team Member (NYPD)
Peter Bucossi
as SUV Driver
John Keiser
as MTA Worker
Jordan Gelber
as Commuter
Joe Forbrich
as ESU Guy
Billy Devlin
as ESU Guy
Mike Mihm
as ESU Desk Officer
Kenneth Natal
as Motorman
Robert Perry
as Motorman
Laurie Cole
as Reporter at 42nd St....
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

Critic Reviews for The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

All Critics (220) | Top Critics (47)

It's funny how Scott's trademark blurry quick-cutting - once considered so cutting edge - feels so dated now.

Full Review… | June 22, 2013

A professionally mounted genre exercise which tries to please both thriller and social drama crowds, and suffers mightily as a result.

Full Review… | May 15, 2012
Shared Darkness

You're so busy enjoying the sound and picture quality that you're inclined to forgive the film's missteps.

Full Review… | February 11, 2012
Movie Metropolis

Thunderous, metallic, ominous, screeching sound effects add to the sensory perception that you're watching a megaton monster barreling toward a dramatic showdown.

Full Review… | September 29, 2011
American Profile

Veteran directorial fireball-hurler Tony Scott (Deja Vu, Top Gun) messes it up, as usual.

Full Review… | August 26, 2011
East Bay Express

This sort of thing by design devolves into two guys talking on a phone, which if it's got any chance of working requires strong actors to bring their characters to life. Which is probably where Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 succeeds best.

Full Review… | March 21, 2011

Audience Reviews for The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

Im not sure how good the original wsa but this was a different take on your normal terrorist/criminal hostage movie. Decent acting, ok action. It was what it was.

John Manard

Super Reviewer

A group of hijackers negotiate with a subway dispatcher.
Tony Scott's over-direction, which occasionally worked in >True Romance and Crimson Tide, makes this film almost unwatchable. Quick cuts, sharp pans, and an ever-moving circle around characters, Scott allows no subtlety in performance or presentation.
Denzel Washington does his best, and John Travolta can play unhinged, but their performances aren't enough to keep the film engaging.
The story falls apart as many of the plotlines remain undeveloped and unresolved. James Gandolfini's mayor is set up to be spurious, but this story goes nowhere, and the ending of Ryder and Garber is predictable and improbable.
Overall, Washington is a great actor, but this shouldn't go in his highlight reel.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

I've never seen the original so I can't make a comparison there, but I felt the movie stood alone on its own very well. Denzel was Denzel (great as always), even playing a more relaxed role as a control room operator. I thought John Travolta was very good and convincing, especially after not having seen him in films for a while. All in all, I thought the film was great and "at least" average; the scores on RT don't do it any justice....they should be higher.

Eric Alvarez
Eric Alvarez

Super Reviewer

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 Quotes

Ryder: She was an ass model.
– Submitted by Eddie R (4 years ago)
Ryder: You're my god damn hero.
– Submitted by Jossan F (4 years ago)
Phil Ramos: I can't get it out of my head. I'm gonna die today.
– Submitted by Chris P (5 years ago)
Ryder: Life is simple now. They just have to do what I say.
– Submitted by Chris P (5 years ago)

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