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The Taking Of Pelham 123 (2009)

Released on 11 January 2010

Featuring: Denzel Washington, John Travolta & Luis Guzman

Format: DVD | Rating: 15 years & over

4.0 out of 5 (39 customer reviews) | Write a review

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Tony Scott's re-make of the 1978 classic thriller.

Walter Garber (Denzel Washington) is a New York City subway dispatcher whose ordinary day is thrown into chaos by an audacious crime: the hijacking of a subway train. Ryder (John Travolta), the criminal mastermind behind the hijacking and leader of a highly-armed gang of four, 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?


  • Commentary with Director Tony Scott
  • Commentary with Writer Brian Helgeland and Producer Todd Black
  • No Time to Lose: The Making of Pelham 123
  • The Third Rail: New York Underground
  • Marketing Pelham
  • From the Top Down: Stylizing Character

customer Reviews

 Average rating (39 reviews)

 This film is going to give my wallet a run for its money!

| | See all 8Matty8's reviews (35)

This film is overall very entertaining. The storyline is simple, but keeps you enticed. Tony Scott should be very proud of itself, i'm confused why this film didnt do great at the box office.

I have never seen the original, so cannot comment on how different or similar they both are. However, having seen this one, i see no reason to see the original. I would be extremely shocked if the original was better.

Incredible acting from both John Travolta and Denzel Washington. Both actors play their characters with ease. Travolta suits being the villain, whereas Washington suits being the hero. Even though Travolta is the villain, the audience still sort of like him as a character. I believe this was done on purpose. The other actors performances were also brilliant from the likes of: John Turturro, Luis Guzman and James Gandolfini.

The films entertainment mainly comes from the action and suspense. There are some great scenes when the police are trying to transfer ransom money, from one side of New York, to the other.

There are a few reasons why this film doesnt get a 5 star review in my mind.

Firstly, at time John Travolta reminds me of a school boy bully. He throws childish insults at Walter Garber, New York's mayor and Camonetti. I know John Travolta's character (Ryder) isnt always supposed to be taken too seriously. However, too many childish insults makes you wonder how this man had the brain power to put together a fantastic plan to makes millions of dolllars.

Also, the film isnt very realistic. There are many things that the NYPD could have done better to stop Ryder much easier. You will realise this when you watch.

Overall, this in entertaining for anyone who enjoys actions/thrillers with great acting. Which is almost everyone!

 Average Action Thriller

| | See all Rambo456's reviews (1259)

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Good Story, well directed and competently acted.
Was expecting a bit more from the director of Man on Fire, Spy Game, Crimson Tide and so on,
Especially with his fave actor Denzel on board, and with the bonus of Travolta on Bad Guy duties.
Just about hit all the right buttons, but didnt bring anything new to the game.
Travolta was class, Washington was good as usual in a less showy role.
Like others have said, perfect Friday night fodder

 "..SMART THRILLER.."

| | See all sdx800's reviews (1725)

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THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123

The master of thrillers is back in business, Tony Scott can make some pretty awesome films and this one is one of them! Very good casting as usual as both lead actors are top of their game, brilliant story with some interesting developments, you certainly never get bored watching this as the pace of the film is good and always on the move (considering they are stuck in a tunnel) Certainly worth a watch if you like a smart slick thriller with a cool cast.

 A SOLID BY THE NUMBERS THRILL RIDE!

| | See all MovieAddict's reviews (1336)

Top 10  Reviewer Top 10 DVD Reviewer

I was always a fan of the original 1974 thriller, but after rewatching the movie seemed very dated. This was a film that screamed to be remade. It's good to see they got the right man for the job, Director Tony Scott (Crimson Tide, Top Gun, True Romance, The Last Boy Scout) delivers a very tight thriller, and just like the original has a great leading cast, this time with the always excellent Denzel Washington and a back on form John Travolta doing what he does best and relishing the bad guy role. The tension in the film is well sustained, and the action reliant final third is very well staged. It's good to see that no CGI has been used and most of the scenes are filmed in real locations and not on a sound stage, giving the film a gritty realistic edge that really pays homage to the thrillers shot in the 1970's. Unlike most summer Block Busters this movie is not bloated and has a smart swift running time of 100 minutes.
This movie is refreshing as it is not flashy and delivers in what it sets out to do.
A very entertaining suspenseful thriller.

 A SOLID BY THE NUMBERS THRILL RIDE!

| | See all SECTION8's reviews (1336)

Top 10  Reviewer Top 10 DVD Reviewer

I was always a fan of the original 1974 thriller, but after rewatching the movie seemed very dated. This was a film that screamed to be remade. It's good to see they got the right man for the job, Director Tony Scott (Crimson Tide, Top Gun, True Romance, The Last Boy Scout) delivers a very tight thriller, and just like the original has a great leading cast, this time with the always excellent Denzel Washington and a back on form John Travolta doing what he does best and relishing the bad guy role. The tension in the film is well sustained, and the action reliant final third is very well staged. It's good to see that no CGI has been used and most of the scenes are filmed in real locations and not on a sound stage, giving the film a gritty realistic edge that really pays homage to the thrillers shot in the 1970's. Unlike most summer Block Busters this movie is not bloated and has a smart swift running time of 100 minutes.
This movie is refreshing as it is not flashy and delivers in what it sets out to do.
A very entertaining suspenseful thriller.

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ActorsDenzel Washington, John Travolta, Luis Guzman, Victor Gojcaj, Gbenga Akinnagbe, John Turturro, James Gandolfini, Jason Butler Harner, Michael Rispoli, Ramon Rodriguez, Chance Kelly, Brian Haley, Jason Cerbone & John Benjamin Hickey
DirectorTony Scott
Certificate15 years and over
Year2009
ScreenWidescreen 2.40:1 Anamorphic
LanguagesEnglish - Dolby Digital (5.1)
Additional LanguagesItalian
SubtitlesDanish ; English (UK) ; Finnish ; Hindi ; Italian ; Norwegian ; Swedish
Closed CaptionsYes
Duration1 hour and 42 minutes (approx)
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.