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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A man and his crew hijack a subway train for money and kill anyone who gets in the way. But another man tries to erase a wrongdoing by stepping up to the plate to help, and strangers aid each other in a time of crisis.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of very realistic threats and gunfire, with gory results. People are shot point-blank, their blood spattering everywhere.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A young woman flashes her bra to her boyfriend via Webcam.
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Lots of strong language throughout, including very frequent use of "f--k," as well as "s--t," "ass," "hell," "damn," "goddamn," "oh my God," and more.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this action-packed remake of the gritty, same-named 1970s thriller is intense and violent and not meant for young kids. The fast-paced story is accompanied by heaping doses of realistic, bloody (expect lots of gunplay ... and resulting gore spatters) and profanity (including lots of "s--t"s and "f--k"s). But on the up side, there's not much in the way of sex, product placement, or substance use/abuse. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
THE TAKING OF PELHAM 1 2 3 is successful, fancy filmmaking: It's efficient, gripping, and hits the right marks. But in this update of the 1974 classic, New York is no longer gritty. Busy, yes; rat-infested, yes. Tawdry like New York in the 1970s? No. That's not to say that a train hijacking could only happen in old New York. But a crime that takes place in the warren-like bowels of the city seems discordant when set against the slick, finance-driven backdrop depicted here, somewhat diminishing the intensity of this still-gripping thriller.
On the acting side, though there's little shading in his character as it's written, Washington tries hard, managing to add depth to the role. And Travolta turns in a believable performance, but it takes some time for him to establish his villainy. Menacing with his perma-scowl and tattoos, his voice is nevertheless too decent (even while uttering expletives). The rest of the supporting cast -- which includes James Gandolfini as a lame-duck mayor and John Turturro as a hostage negotiator -- is strong, elevating the film's artistry. The breakneck camerawork heightens the drama, but a few more lingering shots would have been nice. Without them, the characters feel like pawns in a glitzy game -- one that's entertaining but not a classic.
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Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate