6.4/10
177,110
320 user 277 critic

The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)

Trailer
2:34 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Tony Scott

Writers:

Brian Helgeland (screenplay), John Godey (novel)
Reviews
Popularity
3,732 ( 700)
1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Unstoppable (2010)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

With an unmanned, half-mile-long freight train barreling toward a city, a veteran engineer and a young conductor race against the clock to prevent a catastrophe.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson
Safe House (2012)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young CIA agent is tasked with looking after a fugitive in a safe house. But when the safe house is attacked, he finds himself on the run with his charge.

Director: Daniel Espinosa
Stars: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Robert Patrick
Deja Vu (2006)
Action | Crime | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After a ferry is bombed in New Orleans, an A.T.F. agent joins a unique investigation using experimental surveillance technology to find the bomber, but soon finds himself becoming obsessed with one of the victims.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Jim Caviezel
Flight I (2012)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An airline pilot saves almost all his passengers on his malfunctioning airliner which eventually crashed, but an investigation into the accident reveals something troubling.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Denzel Washington, Nadine Velazquez, Don Cheadle
Man on Fire (2004)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In Mexico City, a former CIA operative swears vengeance on those who committed an unspeakable act against the family he was hired to protect.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, Christopher Walken, Dakota Fanning
2 Guns (2013)
Action | Comedy | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two hardened criminals get into trouble with the US border patrol after meeting with a Mexican drug lord, and then revelations start to unfold.

Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Stars: Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton
The Equalizer (2014)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A man believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life, before he meets a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters and can't stand idly by.

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloë Grace Moretz
Training Day (2001)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

On his first day on the job as a Los Angeles narcotics officer, a rookie cop goes beyond a full work day in training within the narcotics division of the L.A.P.D. with a rogue detective who isn't what he appears to be.

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Scott Glenn
Inside Man (2006)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A police detective, a bank robber, and a high-power broker enter high-stakes negotiations after the criminal's brilliant heist spirals into a hostage situation.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind.

Directors: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes
Stars: Denzel Washington, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A quadriplegic ex-homicide detective and his female partner try to track down a serial killer who is terrorizing New York City.

Director: Phillip Noyce
Stars: Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie, Queen Latifah
John Q (2002)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

John Quincy Archibald takes a hospital emergency room hostage when his insurance won't cover his son's heart transplant.

Director: Nick Cassavetes
Stars: Denzel Washington, Robert Duvall, Gabriela Oltean
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denzel Washington ... Walter Garber
John Travolta ... Ryder
Luis Guzmán ... Phil Ramos (as Luis Guzman)
Victor Gojcaj Victor Gojcaj ... Bashkin
Robert Vataj Robert Vataj ... Emri
John Turturro ... Camonetti
Michael Rispoli ... John Johnson
Ramon Rodriguez ... Delgado
James Gandolfini ... Mayor
John Benjamin Hickey ... Deputy Mayor LaSalle
Alex Kaluzhsky ... George
Gbenga Akinnagbe ... Wallace
Katherine Sigismund ... Mom
Jake Siciliano ... 8-Year-Old Boy
Jason Butler Harner ... Mr. Thomas
Edit

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 (117) »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | Ukrainian

Release Date:

12 June 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Taking of Pelham 123 See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,373,102, 14 June 2009

Gross USA:

$65,452,312

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$150,166,126
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Salon owner and hair stylist Danny Moumdjian is the subject of one of the bonus features of the DVD release. Moumdjian died of a drug overdose four years later. See more »

Goofs

Many times during the picture, the horns from Amtrak trains are heard - horns which could never be heard on a subway system. See more »

Quotes

Ryder: [last lines, to Garber] You're my goddamn hero.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film starts with the picture way in the distance and it slowly approaches, making it appear as if the audience is in a subway tunnel. See more »


Soundtracks

Funklab Bass Problem
Written by William Hanford Lee (as William Hanford Lee Jr.)
Performed by Papalee
Courtesy of BJP Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

So-so thriller but swooshing cameras do not cover for lack of spark and tension in the material
22 November 2009 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

It has been the best part of a decade since I saw the original film version of this story but I still remember it being pretty enjoyable with a dark edge of comedy. From the opening seconds of the remake it is clear that the focus here is going to be on the action. Jay-Z's 99 Problems kicks things off while the camera swooshes and zooms round as all the main players move into position – within minutes subway car Pelham 123 has been taken and a race to save the hostages begins. The rest of the film is meant to be exciting and tense and we know this because the camera is constantly swooshing and throwing in slow-motion bits here and there to let us know that the stakes are high, lives are on the line and that we should all be tense.

Sadly, while the cinematographer is keen to make sure we know this, nobody else seems that bothered because the film does nothing to justify the sweeping camera movements and pumping soundtrack. In terms of physical "money up there on the screen" action, there is very little and what there is just seems thrown in for the sake of having some action (the car crashes trying to get the money in on time) rather than being part of the film. This in itself is not a problem by any means, because the nature of the plot did always suggest that the spark would be in the dialogue and the interplay between the two stars. Sadly this is lacking as well. It isn't "bad" though, but it just lacks spark, impact and tension. The problem is mainly with the script but director Scott doesn't seem to know what to do with it all anyway and seems desperate for characters to get shot or for things to crash into something just for the sake of having action. Travolta appears to be happy just to ham it up with a simplistic performance that matches the basic feel of the film. Washington had the harder job and suggests he could have done it with better material and direction – instead he is thrown into forced dialogue and unlikely semi-action sequences towards the end. The supporting cast is pretty good through with a handful of HBO faces in there (Sopranos' Gandolfini, Generation Kill's Kelly and The Wire's Akinnagbe). Gandolfini, Guzman and Turturro all do the good work you would expect from them, although again all are limited by the material.

It is not an awful film, so if you are looking for a glossy but basic thriller with stars and a big budget then this will just about be good enough to pass the time. The lack of spark and tension is the killer though and this the film cannot compensate for no matter how many time the camera swooshes around or the editor makes quick cuts – the failure is deeper than that and nobody appeared to be able to address it to make this film better than it was.


17 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 320 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed