Sunday, November 14, 2010


I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. It was much better than I had anticipated. It follows a runaway train across Pennsylvania. Denzel Washington and Chris Pine end up on a collision course with the out of control train, but after narrowly escaping death, they follow after the other train to try and stop it from the back.

The movie is incredibly suspenseful. I was biting my nails almost the whole time. There is a slight subplot involving Will (Pine) and his wife and son, but other than that it was all constant action and suspense.

Speaking of the subplot, it kind of bothered me. First of all, we find out early on that Will's wife has a restraining order against him. Later, he tells Frank (Washington) that she was texting someone and he grabbed the phone from her. That escalated into him confronting one of her friends with a gun, who he claims has always liked his wife, and who also happens to be a police officer. But seriously? All this over TEXTING? Are they 15? The other thing that bothered me was his son. His son showed zero emotion throughout the entire film. I don't know if they hired a terrible kid actor or it was just terrible direction, but it was really distracting to me. The kid sees his dad's face on TV and...nothing. Doesn't even ask why his dad is on TV or even acknowledge that it is his dad. And the kid is shown walking to school earlier on, so we know he is old enough to talk and sort of realize what is going on. It was just really odd.

I loved Rosario Dawson in this. I think she stole the show as Connie, the Rail Control Supervisor. I've always like Rosario Dawson as an actress and she definitely does an amazing job here considering her part is fairly minimal.

Overall, it was a pretty good way to spend a Saturday afternoon. My husband loved it. He loves trains and he's from Pennsylvania, so he was really into it.

4/5 stars.


  1. Okay, I liked the movie, just not as much as you. My three big problems (SPOILER WARNING TO THOSE WHO HAVEN'T SEEN IT!!), starting with the least bothersome and ending with the most bothersome.

    3) Why did they have to keep putting "SOUTHERN PENNSYLVANIA" on the bottom of the screen. I got it - there was never a place that WASN'T southern PA.

    2) The kids on the other train - that storyline was pathetic. It was meant for suspense, yet they never carried it out. They didn't even show the kids getting off to safety. They just mentioned it in passing.

    1) My biggest complaint - the ending. Why in the heck did they not just do what they did to stop the train in the first place. They were ready to derail the thing and nobody thought to speed up next to it and get on? It seemed so unrealistic.

    Those were my problems, but it was suspenseful and entertaining.

  2. I think the reason for the "Southern PA" (and "Northern PA" and "Central PA" were also used) was to show when one train was coming from north to south and another from south to with the school kids and the other train with the two guys that almost hit the runaway train.

    But I completely agree with your other two points. I think this is one of the times that you kinda have to just realize that there would be no movie if they just hopped one early. That always really bugged me about the old Jonathan Taylor Thomas movie, "I'll Be Home For Christmas". Some guys drop him out in the desert in CA and he has to get home by Christmas in NY. I don't get why he tries to hitchhike all the way across the country instead of just hitchhiking back to his dorm room in Los Angeles and getting his stupid plane ticket and/or car. But if he did that, there'd be no movie...but it still annoyed me.

  3. Yeah, I know - there wouldn't have been a movie...unless....they should have said there wasn't enough parallel road to make the jump until after the pass. That way, they would have had to try the other methods. I know I'm over-analyzing, but when you tout your "based on true events" left and right, it gives viewers the opportunity to look at it from a 'more than just fiction' standpoint.