The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 Reviews

  • 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.

    Lisa Schwarzbaum — Entertainment Weekly

  • 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.

    A.O. Scott — New York Times

  • Head-bangingly hyperactive as ever, action maestro Tony Scott appears to have upped his caffeine intake for this unexpectedly entertaining remake.

    Peter Bradshaw — Guardian [UK]

  • The new Pelham takes the chilling original premise and modifies it for an era steeped in technology, making for an energetic and engrossing adaptation.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • 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?

    Philip Kennicott — Washington Post

  • 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.

    Ty Burr — Boston Globe

  • Scott's redo comes up short in almost every regard against the '74 model.

    Jim Ridley — Village Voice

  • 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.

    Joe Neumaier — New York Daily News

  • Most of the film's energy is generated by flamboyant cinematography and music-video cutting, and much of that energy is false.

    Joe Morgenstern — Wall Street Journal

  • At first it's exciting, but as the film progresses, that quick-cut, never-stop pacing seems increasingly desperate.

    Tom Maurstad — Dallas Morning News

  • Kinetic director Tony Scott balances his need for speed and flash with fleshed-out drama, making Pelham the best of his recent outings.

    Lisa Kennedy — Denver Post

  • Travolta's high-tech 21st-century scheme turns out to be not just preposterous but superfluous, demented.

    David Edelstein — New York Magazine

  • Can a director be arrested for the attempted hijack of our emotions?

    Anthony Lane — New Yorker

  • 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.

    Roger Ebert — Chicago Sun-Times

  • 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.

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • 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.

    J. R. Jones — Chicago Reader

  • 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.

    Steven Rea — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • Set in a nightmare New York City, the subway hostage thriller batters our nerves like a tom-tom.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • 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.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

  • There's fun to be had in Pelham, at least for a while, but nothing more than that.

    Bill Goodykoontz — Arizona Republic

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