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 … 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


as Walter Garber

as Camonetti

as Phil Ramos

as John Johnson

as Bashkin

as Deputy Mayor LaSalle

as Mr. Thomas

as Jerry Pollard (Motor...

as Regina (Conductor)

as Therese (Garber's Wi...

as 'Q' Train Motorman

as Maintainer Three

as George's Girlfriend

as Supervisor

as Officer Moran/NYPD L...

as Maintenance Worker

as Maintenance Worker

as Dr. Weiss

as Undercover Cop

as Dispatcher One

as Puerto Rican Girl

as Zealous Aide

as LaSalle's Aide

as Sniper

as Police Commissioner ...

as Police Captain Hill ...

as ESU Captain

as Tunnel Commander

as ESU Lieutenant Stale...

as Federal Reserve Supe...

as Money Car Driver

as Money Car Shotgun

as Financial Reporter

as Team Member (NYPD)

as SUV Driver

as MTA Worker

as Commuter

as ESU Guy

as ESU Guy

as ESU Guy

as ESU Desk Officer

as Motorman

as Motorman

as Reporter at 42nd St....
Show More Cast

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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

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– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)

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