The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3


The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

Critics 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.



Total Count: 227


Audience Score

User Ratings: 662,558
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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?


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
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Critic Reviews for The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

All Critics (227) | Top Critics (53) | Fresh (116) | Rotten (111)

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

    Jan 17, 2018 | Full Review…

    Ed Koch

    The Atlantic
    Top Critic
  • 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.

    Aug 27, 2009 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Mechanical and unspirited, this is just another goddam remake, as they might say in the Big Apple.

    Aug 26, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • 'The Taking of Pelham 123' is not a bad film: it's ponderous and shallow, but always watchable. But what it crucially fails to do, especially in the light of its illustrious predecessor, is justify its own existence.

    Jul 31, 2009 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 is not a disaster by any means. For most of its running time, it's a slick, well-crafted piece of entertainment. But you can't help wondering just how good it might have been in the hands of a less self-advertising director.

    Jul 31, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Toby Young

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Head-bangingly hyperactive as ever, action maestro Tony Scott appears to have upped his caffeine intake for this unexpectedly entertaining remake.

    Jul 31, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

  • Sep 15, 2019
    Travolta is obviously miscast but its not as distracting as I feared. Overall its a solid remake that, while not as good, still updates the original in interesting ways.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 20, 2016
    Having never even seen or even heard of the original I can't really compare it, But the film itself is very good, A strong cast put in a good performance, But John Travolta was great and a very good villain, Denzel Washington was great but he always is, Some great action and some good car stunts too, The story has been done before but a few clever differences make this film stand out, Very gripping and very entertaining.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 19, 2013
    I can not remember I was ever bored watching a Movie with Denzel Washington. This was a one great Thriller.
    NaWie M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 14, 2013
    A group of hijackers negotiate with a subway dispatcher. Tony Scott's over-direction, which occasionally worked in <i>>True Romance</i> and <i>Crimson Tide</i>, 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 H Super Reviewer

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