The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 Reviews

Top Critic
Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out
November 18, 2011
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
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Tom Huddlestone
Time Out
July 31, 2009
'The Taking of Pelham 123' is not a bad film: it's ponderous and shallow, but always watchable. But what it crucially fails to do, especially in the light of its illustrious predecessor, is justify its own existence.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
June 15, 2009
Can a director be arrested for the attempted hijack of our emotions?
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Ben Mankiewicz
At the Movies
June 15, 2009
Washington demonstrates his really remarkable ability to make us forget he's a movie star and completely believe he's a flawed but noble civil servant.
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Ben Lyons
At the Movies
June 15, 2009
I was really disappointed by this.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
June 12, 2009
Whereas the original, directed by Joseph Sargent, was essentially a well-oiled B movie, the new incarnation, directed by Tony Scott, is bristling with high-tech gimcrackery and over-the-top camera flourishes.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
June 12, 2009
Set in a nightmare New York City, the subway hostage thriller batters our nerves like a tom-tom.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
June 12, 2009
The film does what a good hostage negotiator does: It distracts us from what's going wrong and pulls us into the story.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
June 12, 2009
The new Pelham, although no classic, is a lot of fun if you're in the right mood.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
June 12, 2009
We've been waiting too long for a sharp little urban thriller with a couple of tense scenes and one fine, bold performance. Given the time, we'll grab this express train, happily.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
June 12, 2009
Helgeland's story is so formulaic and the characters so stock that we're just sitting there waiting for these guys to perform like circus animals.
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
June 12, 2009
Most disappointing is the new film's reluctance to even attempt to match the ingenuity of the original movie's celebrated one-two punch ending.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
June 12, 2009
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 has all the usual virtues of a good action suspense drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Christopher Orr
The New Republic
June 12, 2009
Pelham is not merely a film that may induce seizures in those who are susceptible; it is a film that seems engineered to approximate the experience of a seizure for those who are not.
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
June 12, 2009
It ticks along as efficiently as a new clock. The performances are smooth, the car-crash effects remarkable, the pace never flagging.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
June 12, 2009
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 is a near-perfect summer entertainment thriller that shows good story, good director and good actors trump gaudy special effects any day.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
June 12, 2009
Kinetic director Tony Scott balances his need for speed and flash with fleshed-out drama, making Pelham the best of his recent outings.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Maurstad
Dallas Morning News
June 12, 2009
At first it's exciting, but as the film progresses, that quick-cut, never-stop pacing seems increasingly desperate.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
June 12, 2009
Against all odds and better advice, director Tony Scott, screenwriter Brian Helgeland and main protagonists Denzel Washington and John Travolta take a much-loved genre classic and arguably make it better.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
June 12, 2009
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, an energetic updating of the 1974 mass transit thriller, takes account of how much the character of New York has changed.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
June 12, 2009
Most of the film's energy is generated by flamboyant cinematography and music-video cutting, and much of that energy is false.
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
June 12, 2009
Crisp supporting turns by John Turturro (as a hostage negotiator) and James Gandolfini (as the mayor) combine with plenty of vehicular mayhem to make this a superior diversion.
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Philip Kennicott
Washington Post
June 12, 2009
Like most of Scott's recent films, this one ends in self-indulgent silliness. You end up asking yourself, how do the few fun bits of the film manage to survive in the midst of so much lousy filmmaking?
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Eric D. Snider
Film.com
June 11, 2009
Not a bad way to pass a couple hours, as long as you don't sit too close to the screen and are inured to a steady barrage of loud dialogue that doesn't bother to be clever.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
June 11, 2009
The new Pelham takes the chilling original premise and modifies it for an era steeped in technology, making for an energetic and engrossing adaptation.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 11, 2009
As Ryder's motives begin to reveal themselves, The Taking of Pelham 123 loses its aura of post-9/11 dread, replaced by a muddled commentary on Wall Street greed in these days of raging financial crises.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
June 11, 2009
Hiring Tony Scott to direct The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 is like hiring Michael Bay to direct My Dinner With Andre: A colossal mismatch of director and material.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
June 11, 2009
It is remarkable how, with all of the advances in technology over the years, a story like this can remain largely unchanged despite a 35 year gap between tellings. By allowing the movie to unfold in real time, Scott enhances the level of suspense.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
June 11, 2009
This movie hits you like 600 volts from a sparking third rail. Damn straight it's electrifying.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
June 11, 2009
Like the subway itself, things move by connections, craziness and clockwork in The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, a fast and relentless hostage thriller that never stops.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
June 11, 2009
Denzel Washington is that valuable paradox, the relatable supernova. [But] it's too bad the movie around him isn't better -- the '74 edition, propelled by David Shire's incredibly badass theme music, kicks the remake's behind all the way to Coney Island.
Top Critic
June 11, 2009
It's easy to imagine why Pelham's producers wouldn't want Scott's professional but dull picture to be compared with the 1974 classic.
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
June 11, 2009
The new Pelham is a solid, suspenseful tale all over again, so long as it stays in the subway tunnels and airless offices of the transit department.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Nathan Rabin
AV Club
June 11, 2009
John Travolta's wildly successful post-comeback crusade to become synonymous with crap continues with The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3, Tony Scott's bracingly awful remake/desecration of the classic '70s thriller.
Full Review | Original Score: D
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Calvin Wilson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
June 11, 2009
Scott keeps things tense while allowing for the occasional blast of humor.
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
June 11, 2009
Director Tony Scott may not suffer from attention-deficit disorder, but he is convinced you do.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
June 11, 2009
There's not much wrong with Tony Scott's The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, except that there's not much really right about it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Scott Von Doviak
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
June 11, 2009
I can think of worse ways to while away a hot, sticky summer afternoon than ducking into the air-conditioned comfort of the multiplex for a couple of hours worth of jacked-up, seat-rattling, subway-heisting action.
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
June 10, 2009
It's a movie that gives you little to ponder and one that's more easily quoted than felt.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
June 10, 2009
There's fun to be had in Pelham, at least for a while, but nothing more than that.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
June 10, 2009
An open-hydrant whoooosh of an action thriller about a hijacked NYC subway train with passengers held as hostages -- a caffeinated update of a 1974 city-on-fire cult classic that cracked wise with a cynical, now nostalgia-inducing, graffiti-era veracity.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Jim Ridley
Village Voice
June 10, 2009
Scott's redo comes up short in almost every regard against the '74 model.
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
June 9, 2009
The prevalence of technology also makes the crime itself seem rather archaic. This is the way a criminal mastermind steals millions of dollars today, by hijacking a subway train?
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
June 8, 2009
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 is an efficiently reworked version of a tense, ticking-clock suspense story.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
June 8, 2009
Travolta's high-tech 21st-century scheme turns out to be not just preposterous but superfluous, demented.
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Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
June 5, 2009
Despite the ever-energetic Tony Scott at the throttle, the sleek new edition isn't as transporting as it should have been.