'The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3' Critic Reviews

90%
MovieWeb:   9 reviews
50%
Rotten Tomatoes:   220 reviews
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum Entertainment Weekly (Top Critic)
    75
    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 » 6 years ago
  • A.O. Scott New York Times (Top Critic)
    70
    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.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Peter Bradshaw Guardian [UK] (Top Critic)
    60
    Head-bangingly hyperactive as ever, action maestro Tony Scott appears to have upped his caffeine intake for this unexpectedly entertaining remake.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Claudia Puig USA Today (Top Critic)
    75
    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 » 6 years ago
  • Philip Kennicott Washington Post (Top Critic)
    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?
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Ty Burr Boston Globe (Top Critic)
    63
    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 » 6 years ago
  • Jim Ridley Village Voice (Top Critic)
    Scott's redo comes up short in almost every regard against the '74 model.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Joe Neumaier New York Daily News (Top Critic)
    80
    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 » 6 years ago
  • Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal (Top Critic)
    Most of the film's energy is generated by flamboyant cinematography and music-video cutting, and much of that energy is false.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Tom Maurstad Dallas Morning News (Top Critic)
    60
    At first it's exciting, but as the film progresses, that quick-cut, never-stop pacing seems increasingly desperate.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Lisa Kennedy Denver Post (Top Critic)
    75
    Kinetic director Tony Scott balances his need for speed and flash with fleshed-out drama, making Pelham the best of his recent outings.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • David Edelstein New York Magazine (Top Critic)
    Travolta's high-tech 21st-century scheme turns out to be not just preposterous but superfluous, demented.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Anthony Lane New Yorker (Top Critic)
    Can a director be arrested for the attempted hijack of our emotions?
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times (Top Critic)
    63
    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 » 6 years ago
  • Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune (Top Critic)
    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.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • J. R. Jones Chicago Reader (Top Critic)
    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.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer (Top Critic)
    63
    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 » 6 years ago
  • Colin Covert Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top Critic)
    75
    Set in a nightmare New York City, the subway hostage thriller batters our nerves like a tom-tom.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Tom Long Detroit News (Top Critic)
    67
    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 » 6 years ago
  • Bill Goodykoontz Arizona Republic (Top Critic)
    60
    There's fun to be had in Pelham, at least for a while, but nothing more than that.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Todd McCarthy Variety (Top Critic)
    The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 is an efficiently reworked version of a tense, ticking-clock suspense story.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Lou Lumenick New York Post (Top Critic)
    75
    The new Pelham, although no classic, is a lot of fun if you're in the right mood.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Roger Moore Orlando Sentinel (Top Critic)
    60
    It's a movie that gives you little to ponder and one that's more easily quoted than felt.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Peter Howell Toronto Star (Top Critic)
    75
    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 » 6 years ago
  • Eric D. Snider Film.com (Top Critic)
    50
    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 » 6 years ago
AVG. RATING 3.7 GREAT
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