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
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