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The Taking of Pelham 123

HD   R Closed Captioning

Tony Scott

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About the Movie

In "The Taking of Pelham 123," Denzel Washington stars as New York City subway dispatcher Walter Garber, whose ordinary day is thrown into chaos by an audacious crime: the hijacking of a subway train. John Travolta stars as 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?

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 221
  • Fresh: 113
  • Rotten: 108
  • Average Rating: 5.4/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: In the post 9-11 New York City, it's a patently ludicrous suggestion that four machine-gun toting, sinister looking individuals can walk freely about the most heavily-guarded subway system in the world. – Simon Foster,, Aug 9, 2010

Rotten: It would be impossible to make a completely dull film of Godey's story, but Scott has succeeded in reducing it to an empty, mechanical spectacle. – Evan Williams, The Australian, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: If you're not feeling too cerebral Tony Scott's action movie set pieces are pretty good -- also silly sometimes -- but they're more than enough to fill in time between the lines of cliched dialogue. – Jason Di Rosso, MovieTime, ABC Radio National, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: If you've never seen the original, the new Taking of Pelham 123 will probably come across as an okay thriller, but if you have seen the original it's clear evidence as to why the movies aren't as good as they used to be. – David Stratton, At the Movies (Australia), Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Go Steady.

Pelham 123 is a fast paced movie in which its key players--Travolta and Washington--give great performances that will hold your attention. Their conversations and confrontations are as humorous as they are intriguing; Washington plays the "man in the wrong place at the wrong time", whereas Travolta plays the terrorist with an unknown motive. The movie unfolds, trying to figure out Travoltas motive, while, at the same time, Washington plays a normal man who must negotiate with Travolta to ensure that nobody gets hurt. Lack of cooperation leads to chaos. And any misstep leads to death. The police action in the movie is believable and the pace gets us to the point right away. The movie itself really is good for one viewing, but after that there's really no point in watching it again. It ends on a strange note, not really ever justifying its point for existing, and it's really just a movie about a negation with a terrorist and how it all ends. There's no more to the movie than that... So expect nothing more. And expect no intense action scenes. It's mainly just all-talk, quite literally, and police trying to figure out what to do. But I must admit though that it's pretty entertaining.

Fair to Middlin'

This movie features a good cast, but unfortunately their performance in this film is subpar - which I think is due to the script more than anything else. The story is so straight forward, when the end credits rolled I kept asking myself 'this is it? that's all? WTH?' I guess what I'm trying to say is the story is hakneyed, and presents the audience with nothing that has't been seen before - the criminal and the tarnished nobleman looking to regain himself. The film does nothing to help us truly understand the motivation behind either character (Travolta's or Denzel's) and so we can't really get behind them and cheer them either way. This is too bad, as I was really looking forward to this film's video release.


The whole movie I kept on getting angry and I found myself asking, "Really? They really had that in the movie?". Ugggggghhhhhh, there were so many convenient little plotholes in the movie. It's as if someone who didn't understand how anything works tried to make a poor quality suspense movie that has already been done so many times before.