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Parents' Guide to

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Remake of '70s thriller is riveting but violent and intense.

Movie R 2009 106 minutes
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 9 parent reviews

age 16+
the taking of pelham 1 2 3 is a good movie only for your older teens and parents you need to know that this movie has intense violence and a lot of strong language used.
age 12+

good movie

good action movie worth watching some violence and some language some F##K words worth watching 12 and over

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (9 ):
Kids say (20 ):

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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