The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Released 2009


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Movie Summary

Keely Christian
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 is the 2009 adaptation of Morton Freedgood's classic novel of the same name, starring Denzel Washington and John Travolta in a story about an intelligent and mysterious criminal mastermind who hijacks a New York City subway train, and the Metropolitan Transit Authority operator who becomes the city's only chance at stopping the deadly criminal. Washington plays Walter Garber, a man whose promising career with the MTA has come to a screeching halt following allegations that he took a bribe from a Japanese company interested in securing a contract to build subway cars for New York City. Travolta plays Ryder, the dangerously smart leader of a small gang that takes over a subway car. With a car full of hostages and complete control of the tunnel system, Ryder seems to hold all the chips in a negotiation with the city for a $10 million ransom fee. As the crime progresses, Ryder and Garber develop an adversarial relationship that leads to a mutual respect, although both men know they're putting their lives at stake. The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 is an action-packed thrill ride from director Tony Scott and co-starring Luis Guzman, James Gandolfini, and John Turturro.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 80

    The New York Times A.O. Scott

    Even at a distance from each other (Washington/Travolta), they conduct a tag-team master class in old-style movie star technique, barreling through every cliché and nugget of corn...

  • 80

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    More than anything a fascinating portrait of how much New York has changed in 35 years, the film delivers the goods in excitement and big-star charisma.

  • 70

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    So professionally done you rarely have the luxury of taking your eyes off the screen.

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Thrillers, Crime