The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 32009

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009)



Critic Consensus: Despite a strong cast, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 suffers under the excesses of Tony Scott's frantic direction, and fails to measure up to the 1974 original.

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 Videos

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 Photos

Movie Info

The ordinary day of New York City subway dispatcher Walter Garber is thrown into chaos by an audacious crime: the hijacking of a subway train. Ryder, the criminal mastermind who leads the highly-armed gang of four hijackers, threatens to execute the train's passengers, unless a large ransom is paid within one hour. As the tension mounts beneath his feet, Garber employs his vast knowledge of the subway system in a battle to outwit Ryder and save the hostages. But, there's one riddle Garber can't solve: even if the thieves get the money, how can they possibly escape?

Watch it now


Denzel Washington
as Walter Garber
John Turturro
as Camonetti
Luis Guzman
as Phil Ramos
Michael Rispoli
as John Johnson
John Benjamin Hickey
as Deputy Mayor LaSalle
Jake Richard Siciliano
as 8-Year-Old Boy
Gary Basaraba
as Jerry Pollard (Motorman)
Tonye Patano
as Regina (Conductor)
Aunjanue Ellis
as Therese (Garber's Wife)
Anthony Annarumma
as 'Q' Train Motorman
Víctor Cruz
as Maintainer Three
Alice Kremelberg
as George's Girlfriend
Todd Susman
as Supervisor
J. Bernard Calloway
as Officer Moran/NYPD Liaison
Glen Tortorella
as Maintenance Worker
Bobby Bojorklund
as Maintenance Worker
Lee Shepherd
as Dr. Weiss
Sean Meehan
as Undercover Cop
Saidah Arrika Ekulona
as Dispatcher One
Jasmin Tavarez
as Puerto Rican Girl
Chip Brookes
as Zealous Aide
Zach Poole
as LaSalle's Aide
Ty Jones
as Sniper
Frank Wood
as Police Commissioner Sterman
Brian Haley
as Police Captain Hill (MTA)
Chance Kelly
as ESU Captain
Nick Loren
as Tunnel Commander
Daniel Stewart Sherman
as ESU Lieutenant Staley
Jonathan Rau
as Federal Reserve Supervisor
Mike Houston
as Money Car Driver
René Ifrah
as Money Car Shotgun
Maria Bartiromo
as Financial Reporter
John Lavelle
as Team Member (NYPD)
Peter Bucossi
as SUV Driver
John Keiser
as MTA Worker
Jordan Gelber
as Commuter
Joe Forbrich
as ESU Guy
Billy Devlin
as ESU Guy
Mike Mihm
as ESU Desk Officer
Kenneth Natal
as Motorman
Robert Perry
as Motorman
Laurie Cole
as Reporter at 42nd St. and Vanderbilt
View All

News & Interviews for The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

Critic Reviews for The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

All Critics (232) | Top Critics (73)

This is pointless, redundant, irrelevant film remaking, in which nothing of weight is ever at stake, and no relationships are ever formed.

August 29, 2018 | Full Review…

The original film was far superior and will be remembered in years to come while the current remake will soon be forgotten.

January 17, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Overall a good movie, good performances, got your adrenaline going.

September 12, 2017 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

It would be impossible to make a completely dull film of Godey's story, but Scott has succeeded in reducing it to an empty, mechanical spectacle.

August 30, 2009 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

In yet another blander-than-bland remake of a classic film, flash-over-substance specialist Tony Scott takes Joseph Sargent's taut, 1974 action-thriller and processes it through the multiplex mulching machine.

August 27, 2009 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

If you've never seen the original, the new Taking of Pelham 123 will probably come across as an okay thriller, but if you have seen the original it's clear evidence as to why the movies aren't as good as they used to be.

August 26, 2009 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

A group of hijackers negotiate with a subway dispatcher. Tony Scott's over-direction, which occasionally worked in >True Romance and Crimson Tide, makes this film almost unwatchable. Quick cuts, sharp pans, and an ever-moving circle around characters, Scott allows no subtlety in performance or presentation. Denzel Washington does his best, and John Travolta can play unhinged, but their performances aren't enough to keep the film engaging. The story falls apart as many of the plotlines remain undeveloped and unresolved. James Gandolfini's mayor is set up to be spurious, but this story goes nowhere, and the ending of Ryder and Garber is predictable and improbable. Overall, Washington is a great actor, but this shouldn't go in his highlight reel.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

I've never seen the original so I can't make a comparison there, but I felt the movie stood alone on its own very well. Denzel was Denzel (great as always), even playing a more relaxed role as a control room operator. I thought John Travolta was very good and convincing, especially after not having seen him in films for a while. All in all, I thought the film was great and "at least" average; the scores on RT don't do it any justice....they should be higher.

Eric Alvarez
Eric Alvarez

Super Reviewer


[img][/img] Having nothing more than vague knowledge about the original, I watched this not knowing what i'd get from it, and considering it's a remake of a cult action thriller, I was preparing myself for the worst. But what really surprised me about The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3 is the amount of negative reactions it's actually recieved. It's not as bad as you might think. It's purely a simple, straight forward, above average thriller with a genius premise that gets executed decently, with enough unique traits to make it stand on it's own far enough from it's inspiration. It boasts several good performances, most notably Denzel Washington and John Travolta who aren't seen much on screen together but still share good hero and villian chemistry through out their time playing mind games with eachother over nothing more than a couple of measely microphones. I personally didn't find a problem with Tony Scott's fast paced direction. I think it added to the experience and was an interesting way to go trying to distance this version away from it's predecessors. In comparison to the original it's easily much louder and and by miles a lot quicker. The action is relentless, hard hitting and brutal and made me feel like I was in true, believable physical danger. That works remarkably well for it's isolated plot and even though there's a few problems such as it's lacks of character development it's a hell of a lot more stylish, ambitious and suspenseful than a lot of thrillers i've seen recently. I'd definetely say that this is one of the most easily enjoyable, and coolest suspense thriller vehicles that i've seen in a very long time.

Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 Quotes

News & Features