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The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009)

 -  Action | Crime | Thriller  -  12 June 2009 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 121,270 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 278 user | 258 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.

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Title: The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Robert Vataj ...
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Mom
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8-Year-Old Boy (as Jake Siciliano)
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Storyline

In early afternoon, four armed men hijack a subway train in Manhattan. They stop on a slight incline, decoupling the first car to let the rest of the train coast back. Their leader is Ryder; he connects by phone with Walter Garber, the dispatcher watching that line. Garber is a supervisor temporarily demoted while being investigated for bribery. Ryder demands $10 million within an hour, or he'll start shooting hostages. He'll deal only with Garber. The mayor okays the payoff, the news of the hostage situation sends the stock market tumbling, and it's unclear what Ryder really wants or if Garber is part of the deal. Will hostages, kidnappers, and negotiators live through this? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

train | hostage | subway | hijack | ransom | See All (114) »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and pervasive language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

12 June 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Taking of Pelham 123  »

Box Office

Budget:

$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,784,719 (UK) (31 July 2009)

Gross:

£4,720,832 (UK) (21 August 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shipped to theaters under the code name "Watch Your Step". See more »

Goofs

When the train is going really fast, you see a quick shot of Shea Stadium (blue facade showing a gate). Shea Stadium was located in Queens (it was demolished before the film's release), and the 6 line does not enter Queens at any point along the line. You also see a quick shot of it passing a 7 train which is the Flushing Line train that runs to Shea Stadium. See more »

Quotes

Ryder: I talked to God.
Walter Garber: That's good, what did he say?
Ryder: He said I should trust in Him, all others pay cash. How soon can you get it down here?
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the opening credits, the director's name, Tony Scott, "follows" the train into the tunnel. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Richard Roeper & the Movies: Unstoppable (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

99 Problems
Written by Leslie West (as Leslie Weinstein), John Ventura, Norman Smart (as Norman Landsberg), Felix Pappalardi, Billy Squier, Ice-T (as Ice T), Alphonso Henderson and George Clinton (as George Clinton, Jr.)
Performed by Jay-Z
Courtesy of Roc-A-Fella Records/The Island Def Jam Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
Contains a sample of "Long Red"
Performed by Mountain
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment
Also contains a sample of "The Big Beat"
Performed by Billy Squier
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Pelham Offers Quite a Ride!
12 June 2009 | by (Alexandria, VA) – See all my reviews

The new Tony Scott movie gives one helluva ride, but don't sit and analyze the plot for credibility during the closing credits, this is not that kind of movie. Four sleazy thugs, who could be spotted as bad guys by a blind man, hijack a Lexington Avenue subway and take passengers as hostages. A ransom-for-hostages negotiation begins via radio between the driver's compartment on the train and the central control center for the New York City subway system. The premise is hardly new territory, and, for those who have seen the Walter-Matthau-Robert-Shaw version of the John Godey novel, the film is even less original.

However, for audiences that want a night out at the movies with a rousing action flick, "The Taking of Pelham 123" will fill the bill nicely. The editing is often frenetic, and the camera moves even during dialog-heavy scenes. The chases are fast paced, the car crashes are over the top, and the bloody scenes are properly bloody. While all of this is enough for some mindless entertainment, four excellent performances enhance the proceedings and make the film seem better than it is. John Travolta pulls out the stops as Ryder, the head hijacker, and, in his full wacko persona, steals his every scene. As the man on the other end of the phone, bespectacled Denzel Washington, dressed down in everyman frumpy, is quiet and assured, although nothing quite suggests that the character of Walter Garber will or could rise to his climactic actions. James Gandolfini plays the mayor with a sly sense of fun, and John Turturro is a hard-to-gauge hostage negotiator. "Pelham" is a man's movie, and the women are relegated to small, peripheral roles as wives, conductors, and hostages. How refreshing the film might have been if Scott had cast a female in one of the four main roles.

However, whatever the movie's flaws, and there are many, "The Taking of Pelham 123" does what it sets out to do: entertain and engage the audience for two hours. Don't expect more, and you won't be disappointed, and, in a summer movie, "Pelham's" assets are exactly what most of us are looking for anyway.


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