Movie Review: Taken (2008)

There’s a new action star in town and it isn’t anyone you would immediately suspect. Does the name Liam Neeson ring a bell? Yes, the same guys who has primarily played the nondescript role for the majority of his career has found his John McClane as Bryan in the French action, quasi-thriller Taken.

Surprisingly, it isn’t as bad as you may think . . .

Neeson is a retired CIA operative trying to piece together his broken family. After his intense career, his wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) has left him and remarried and he’s all but a stranger to his 17 year-old daughter Kim (Maggie Grace). He finds the only way to reconnect with her and make peace with his ex-wife is to go against his better judgment and allow for Kim to travel to France with her girlfriends. He should have stood his ground though, because shortly after landing in the City of Lights, Kim and her friend are kidnapped by Albanians and sold as sexual playthings to the fabulously rich and the insanely powerful.

What follows next is a nice change of pace (the broken family man shtick gets old quick) as Bryan hauls ass to Paris to begin his hunt for the abductors. He dons his Sherlock Holmes hat and cape, and conducts some impressive detective work (which is sprinkled with some extreme luck). First, he goes to the kidnapping location and gets led to the man responsible for setting the girls up. Next, using his contacts in the French police he makes his way to a sex camp which in turn leads to a holding/drug house which leads to another link in the chain which invariably leads to another link (I don’t want to give it all away). What’s important is at each stop Bryan beats the living shit out of everyone within reach. Some of it is completely far-fetched (fighting a roomful of thugs armed with semi-automatic weapons unarmed) and some of it is pain-wretchingly real (anyone care for some home-brewed electrocution?).

Neeson does an admirable job as Taken‘s human battering ram (undoubtedly some of his skill comes from what he learned on the set of Batman Begins). I must say, he carries himself well for a 56 year-old man. His moves are not as precise or as crisp as what I’d expect from the ass-kicking hero, but they’re good enough to get by with. Everyone else in the film is a throwaway napkin. Director Pierre Morel could have switched them around or substituted monkeys in their place without causing much of a problem since, aside from from the beginning of the movie, there is very little interaction between characters. The only thing missing was the wise-cracking remarks that are staples in the “kick ass and ask questions later” type of movie. But while they were notably absent, I can’t say I missed them a whole lot (probably due to the fact that these “witty” one-liners have steadily gotten worse and worse).

So its no Die Hard. So what – nothing is. It’s no James Bond flick either. What Taken is, is a good middle of the road action movie, that is on par with the likes of Seagal’s and Snipe’s finest (i.e., Under Siege and Passenger 57). It also proves to the rest of us (mostly me) that there is more to France than fine wines, croissants and surrender flags.

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
3 Star Rating: Average


Movie Review: The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Movie Review: The X Files: I Want to Believe (2008)

The Critical Movie Critics

I'm an old, miserable fart set in his ways. Some of the things that bring a smile to my face are (in no particular order): Teenage back acne, the rain on my face, long walks on the beach and redneck women named Francis. Oh yeah, I like to watch and criticize movies.

'Movie Review: Taken (2008)' have 108 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 31, 2008 @ 12:29 pm Atomic Popcorn

    Now how did you see this already? And are you able to post up a review prior to the launch. If so contact me I want in hehe. My rules are day of launch of the film.

  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 31, 2008 @ 7:07 pm General Disdain

    Movie was released a few months ago actually. It just hasn’t opened on any screens in the states yet.

  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 13, 2008 @ 7:01 am ARt

    LOL! Classic way to end a movie review. :D

  4. The Critical Movie Critics

    September 22, 2008 @ 11:36 am Robert

    Is this a joke????!!!!!!!

    This movie rocks… the only weak point is the job from the girl that makes te daugther of Liam Nesson that tottally sucks… I have to say it.. this review really sucks

  5. The Critical Movie Critics

    September 23, 2008 @ 2:44 pm General Disdain

    I have to say it.. this review really sucks

    Why exactly does this review really suck?

  6. The Critical Movie Critics

    September 29, 2008 @ 1:48 am Bardha

    i think the movie is great… but just to let u audiences know that albanians arent cold hearted the way they pictuerd them to be in the movie…. and were also not that desperate for money or … either than giving us albanians a bad name and makin this movie box officee hit in serbia its a good movie…

  7. The Critical Movie Critics

    September 29, 2008 @ 5:45 pm Sammy

    Do the French have police? With so much public violence I should think a police officer or two would show up on the scene. I don’t recall even hearing a siren!

  8. The Critical Movie Critics

    October 1, 2008 @ 6:26 am Chris McCrory.



  9. The Critical Movie Critics

    October 3, 2008 @ 7:41 am General Disdain

    @ Bardha

    Albanians arent cold hearted? ;D

    @ Sammy

    I think there were some cops in a few scenes; just not very many of them.

    @ Chris McCrory

    What does my lack of European knowledge have to do with my review? And no, Liam Neeson does not deserve an Oscar.

  10. The Critical Movie Critics

    October 5, 2008 @ 1:25 pm mel

    this movie was actually really good, however it did potray albanians in a very bad way. In actual fact we are NOT like that at all, and you have to take in to account that this is how hollywood makes the “bad guys” seem.
    We are anything but cold hearted.

  11. The Critical Movie Critics

    October 12, 2008 @ 4:49 pm mlee

    Great movie, very nice script. I agree Liam Neeson’s duaghter inthe movie was the worse part. Her acting was not good. She acted very childish for a seventeen year old.

  12. The Critical Movie Critics

    October 13, 2008 @ 4:37 am marius

    How in the world was this movie good? Did you see it at least?
    Is like Steven Seagal on steroids..Too bad for Liam Neeson. I used to consider him a serious actor.

  13. The Critical Movie Critics

    October 14, 2008 @ 8:10 am Bekim

    i just sow thif film and its looks cool,

    as you are right all who makes this kaind of movies for albanians.

    becouse we dont have goverment to put all of you in the court.

    and we are kaind of poor as a goverment.

    as we are the people we cant do nothing,

    you can do more and more about albanian and make a bad name becouse its all the albanian goverment foult.

  14. The Critical Movie Critics

    October 16, 2008 @ 10:09 pm Gloria Nielsen

    I agree with the reviewer who said those who did not rate this film highly have no understanding of the reality of life in Europe. This movie portrayed a very realistic account of what happens to girls who are innocently caught up in the sex slave trade. It could happen to anyone including young boys. Unfortunately, whilst I am certain that not all Albanians are “bad”, it is the Albanians who are renowned for this type of recruitment, and whilst all Arabs are not “bad” either, sadly, it is the ultra rich Arabs who are predominately on the market for this kind of sex trade. What the movie did not portray was what happens to these girls after they have passed their “üse-by” date, if they have not succumbed to drug overdose. Many are never heard of again. This movie is a must see for our young people heading overseas – only the chase and action scenes were overplayed, and the girl being fortunate enough to have a father who rescued her – the rest was spot on.

  15. The Critical Movie Critics

    October 18, 2008 @ 4:14 am Bardha

    Its actualy isnt the albanians governments fault for any of this… im 99.9% sure dat da director or writer is or has a friend thats serbian for this wouldnt be all based on albanians… and it doesnt just happen in Europe it happends very wea around the world… IM albanian so i dont want movies like this disgracing my culture and country… this movies good but its not just albanians who do stuff like this, so dont judge albanians by this movie….

  16. The Critical Movie Critics

    October 20, 2008 @ 4:03 pm Gareth

    I agree with you robert is this review a joke? The film isnt just a middle of the road action thriller how can you call yourself a reviewer maybe a complete fool yes definately. I have been to see this film twice now as i think its one of the best films to come out for ages. It doesnt just cruise through the film with violence, it brings up some good points which people need to know about our world like trafficing girls, its bloody disgusting and at least this film touches on this subject. I agree die hard it isnt but then die hard doesnt really have any morallistic views does it FOOL!!!

  17. The Critical Movie Critics

    October 20, 2008 @ 4:36 pm marius

    gareth: no offense dude, but I would have banned your ass after such a language
    also u are missing the point: this movie wasn’t suppose to be a documentary on human traffic and the reviews on this blog are more about the movies and the actors. Got it?

  18. The Critical Movie Critics

    October 20, 2008 @ 6:10 pm General Disdain

    @ Gloria

    My lack of knowledge for European life had no bearing on how I rated the film. I based my review on the merits of it being a good action movie.

    @ Bekim & Bardha

    Stereotypes are everywhere. Yours apparently coincides with the sex trade.

    @ Gareth

    I’m a fool for thinking the movie was good but not great? Guess that’s why they say opinions are like assholes…

  19. The Critical Movie Critics

    October 21, 2008 @ 7:29 am Il Voce

    How can anyone call this film realistic? Middle-class white American girls do not get trafficked. Besides, by the time Neeson’s character gets to his daughter, she would have been passed around like currency. I didn’t see that happen.

  20. The Critical Movie Critics

    October 21, 2008 @ 2:53 pm Dianne


    Did you not understand that the girl was not “passed around like currency” because she was a virgin – and virgins were kept for being auctioned off to the highest bidder. Also, did you not hear the comment earlier in the movie, where they explained that whereas the trafficking used to be (and still is)tricking Eastern European girls into believing they were being hired into legitimate work, it has become easier and less costly to target innocent girls hopping of a plane, or train etc. from anywhere in the world.

  21. The Critical Movie Critics

    October 22, 2008 @ 10:00 am Logan

    For me TAKEN is one of the best films of the year, simple fact. The action was amazing and it just doesn’t let up for one second. The coldness and calmness under pressure that Liam Neeson exhibits is truly breathtaking. The film doesn’t indulge in long winded fight scenes that go on and on, instead they were short, quick and deadly. The speedy solutions that Neeson’s character uses time and time again were truly film gold and should be respected by all who see it.
    No rocket launchers or stupid car jumps here, he takes out more adversaries here with chops to the throat and broken arms than I could count and the film has realism and real life situations by the bucket load.
    There are some corny moments in the beginning and right at the end, but from the moment the action starts to the moment it ends you will be impressed and on the edge of your seat, guaranteed. It raises issues about prostitution and people trafficking but it isn’t a documentary and doesn’t pretend to be. This really is a great film and I would give it a full 5 stars. Go and see it and make up your own mind.

  22. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 6, 2008 @ 7:53 pm Mobo

    I really can’t stand the stereotypical i-don’t-get-a-scratch-on-me-but-if-i-do-i-just-get-even-better kinda kick-ass, karate, Jean “Rambo” Seagull muslegay shit! But.. For once it was a non-stereotype actor, Mr. Neeson, doing some (quite surprisingly) very delightful, well-deserved, neck-breaking, scum-killing ass kicking. So, I for one found this movie quite entertaining. Liam is THE punisher in this flic! Agreed, he has some ridiculously lucky, very well timed moments.. And yeah, it’s overrated at IMDB.. And yes, it does have some errors (She’s a virgin?! Errm, police? He can just leave the country, no questions asked? A virgin, really?).. Well I didn’t really care, I was cheering for him all the way “you go get those Albanian mofo’s, yeah!” :D

  23. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 7, 2008 @ 3:19 am bruno

    just saw this movie. Thought it was pretty good. Lots of action, why tha fuck do you need dialogue in action movies? it was action packed, and Lian was awesome, very scary and ruthless;

    ” I have gained a set of skills that would make me a nightmare for a man like you” awesome, I knew just from that short line that he was going to kick some ass.

    good review overall.

  24. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 8, 2008 @ 7:04 am General Disdain

    why tha fuck do you need dialogue in action movies?

    You don’t!

  25. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 11, 2008 @ 7:22 pm Sokol

    I’m Albanian and thoroughly enjoyed it. Great movie, action, broken necks, diy electrocution, love it.
    One thing, we all need some reality escaped once in a while, but i really wished that some of it happened for real. In other words, I quite like to see it live or some sort of documentary where pimps are tortured with medieval tools, like giant smoldering logs are stuffed up their asses, you know stuff like that. As far as national pride is concerned, a pimp is a pimp, the lowest of the lowest and deserve proper man agment,no mater where they’re from.
    Last line for General Disdain
    Your comment sir :Stereotypes are everywhere. Yours apparently coincides with the sex trade.’
    with all due respect, go get stuffed.

  26. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 11, 2008 @ 9:20 pm General Disdain

    @ Sokol

    Twas a joke, my friend.

  27. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 13, 2008 @ 4:45 pm MovieGoblin

    One of the BEST movie’s I have EVER seen. This reviewer is a joke for not rating it higher. Die Hard? ha! This blows Die Hard out of here.

  28. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 13, 2008 @ 5:33 pm General Disdain

    One of the BEST movie’s I have EVER seen.

    I guess it is safe to say you haven’t seen many movies then. By the way, Die Hard is a much better action movie.

  29. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 21, 2008 @ 9:38 am US

    This movie is really an eye opener for young generation heading to overseas. There is no doubt now that I would be careful dealing with Albanians in future. As someone mentioned before, not all Albanians are bad…but better safe than sorry.

  30. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 24, 2008 @ 10:46 pm Leaonidus4Glory

    Great movie. Must say a one of the better ones iv seen in a while. Just wierd how the release date is January 30 2009. Anypoop enjoyed the movie some good action and shit. Pretty sure the Albanians are all bad haha jk people.(there actually pretty nice) But talk about sick the old bastard being greedy and buying three. Sick.

  31. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 28, 2008 @ 4:58 am E

    I really liked the movie. One of the better movies I’ve seen in a while. Great action throughout the whole movie and Liam Neeson did a great job. If you like action, this movie is up there.

  32. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 29, 2008 @ 9:54 am Gareth

    Message for marius. Marius whoever you are my comment has got nothing to do with you i was having a dig at the reviewer so why dont you keep your big nose out. Have you ‘Got it’? now boy.

  33. The Critical Movie Critics

    December 1, 2008 @ 2:03 pm Alicia

    This is the great eye-opening movie for young women.

    Many affluent Americans & Canadians have no idea what “sex-trafficking” is even about before they see this movie. Yet it is “epidemic” in certain parts of Europe. Although it was common in Arabia and Eastern countries, now it is almost epidemic in European cities and has finally trickled into San Diego, Montreal and the state of Connecticut.

    Unfortunately, it will become more common & it will become more common in the news (Little Madeline McCann was taken from her apartment in Portugal and many experts believe it was a sex trafficking ring for pedophiles).

    My aunt saw hundreds these trafficked girls in public places in Arabia during the 1970s (with their Achilles tendons cut so they could not run away). Because it is such a lucrative business, the corruption with public officials is wide spread and well known.

  34. The Critical Movie Critics

    December 1, 2008 @ 4:12 pm Gloria

    Thank you Alicia for your intelligent comments on this movie. It is time more people became aware of this very sad situation. The movie portrayed a very realistic view of this.

  35. The Critical Movie Critics

    December 6, 2008 @ 4:40 pm greta

    In my opinion, the movie rocks it has a great storyline, a great history, and a great hero, but the girl(maggie grace) who plays liam neesen’s daughter did an awful job. she portrayed the 17-year ol girl as 10. she seamed really naiive and childish and irresponsible for her age since she kept on running around like a 3 year-old. sorry but a lousy choice for an actress.

  36. The Critical Movie Critics

    December 17, 2008 @ 6:09 pm nagui

    This is definitely the worst so-called action movie i have ever seen, my friends woke me up twice during the movie,liam neeson is mr. Know and do it all,a fake jack bauer, the director watched too much of 24(obviously when drunk),a good movie for 12 year olds.i could not believe xander berkeley would trade georges mason for THIS 2 LINE ROLE.I THINK 56 IS A GOOD AGE TO RETIRE FOR NEESON,OR AT LEAST PLAY GRANDPA ROLES NOT ACTION,and i thought the daughter was going to kinder garden and not paris,anyway a total waste of 90 minutes and i believe the critics that have seen it share my opinion.screw u Rony for recommending this movie.

    Naguizzzz and Naylazzzzzzzzz

  37. The Critical Movie Critics

    December 18, 2008 @ 8:36 pm marek connell

    Well, is this a good movie? Yes it is fantastic. I replayed the part where Liam told Marko “I spoke to you 2 days ago. I told you I’d find you” over & over again. I think that this film more than the Die Hards highlights the lengths that a parent will go to to protect/ save their children ( being an ex-mean mother-chucker definitely makes it easier to achieve this goal. The portrayal of ALBANIANS in this film is obviously not favourable however Western films will always point the finger in another direction (The Hostel-Slovakia to name but one). What mustn’t be over-looked is the fact that the king-pins of the whole “Business” are not Albanian (Western/ Europeans & Arabs are also implicated) Neeson’s desk ridden French colleague is all to aware of what is going on too. The most disturbing point of this film (as Hostel possibly was too-I hope not) is that these kind of demonic businesses exist and they involve people all the way to the top of the food chain. And unfortunately just like all tragedies that befall mankind, they are the consequence of individuals who turn the other way to receive their paycheck and take care of their own.
    A fantastic film. Liam definitely deserves much recognition for this film that almost slipped through my radar. All responses welcome. Marek C

  38. The Critical Movie Critics

    December 18, 2008 @ 8:46 pm marek connell

    1 more thing tho-the ending at the airport was very unconvincing-That was probably the worst part of the film-There was no sense of agony, of overwhelming relief from the parents that their daughter had been rescued from a life of slavery and a horrible death. Yes Liam doesn’t get a scratch on him while he notches up his body count but the director is very clever in dropping hints in the first quarter of the film that he is leathal. Would/ could anyone survive such a blood bath in real life? Maybe not but I’ve heard stories where a mother, single handedly picked up a car to save her child underneath it. I wish Liam was my dad. Or maybe I wish I were a dad like Liam.

  39. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 2, 2009 @ 1:03 am Silencer

    Very good movie. One of the best this year actually.
    Watch it. I highly recommend this movie!
    again… watch it. You won’t regret watching it.

  40. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 4, 2009 @ 1:57 pm John Reeves

    “It also proves to the rest of us (mostly me) that there is more to France than fine wines, croissants and surrender flags.”

    – The words of an idiot

  41. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 4, 2009 @ 3:42 pm General Disdain

    The words of an idiot

    Indeed. Who does that guy think he is?

  42. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 12, 2009 @ 4:06 am mike

    ohh yeaa believe, im albanian……and albanians could be even worsee. their exatly as the movie potrayes them as….especially the dibrans. But we cant stereotype all albanians as bad. Their are also really good albanians with good hearts, but this movie shows only the low life scummy albanians. This movie was sickkk and i love every sec of it. MORE MORE MORE

  43. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 14, 2009 @ 8:27 am Nika

    This movie was really good, and of course people have moveis before they come out all the time

  44. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 15, 2009 @ 4:29 pm george p

    This is a comment for all of those who see the 17 year old daughter as childish… Well, I know, in real life, 20 year olds who are even childish… I’m not a human behavior expert, but i think it has something to do with the environment, childhood experience, “being the only child”, or even the way parents nurture their kids. So, we there are 17 year old who are childish and at the same time, there are also those who have matured early. Also being the youngest child could greatly affect the traits of a person.
    With regards to my comment about the movie, It’s great and it keeps you at the edge of your seat but their are loopholes that I should point out. First, the movie has indeed filled with extreme luck! It’s like the movie Independence Day where characters where able to protect the earth due to luck. Second, the character of Liam seemed to be the only person who knows how to shoot guns and hit bullseyes. Whereas, bad guys with extreme guns on the film seemed to be unlucky to hit the protagonist even if they already have a clear shot. Too bad, they might be just plain unlucky to hit the target (blame it on the too biased script). Third, you may laugh in this comment but this is insanely true. After all Liam Neeson’s character did, he was just left there at the airport and took a cab and ride home alone. How pathetic the mother and adoptive father of the girl for not even giving a “hero’s ride”. The script was totally “inhuman here.” So cold-hearted.But, overall, I was hooked with the fast-paced storytelling here.

  45. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 17, 2009 @ 9:16 am is this seat taken

    This movie was absolutely ridiculous….action and the bad guys getting killed, yes——but not believable at all….silly.

  46. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 22, 2009 @ 8:27 pm ACTION_STAR


  47. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 22, 2009 @ 11:46 pm efe

    i’ve seen this movie. i saw it a while ago. a verrrrry long time ago! i was suprised to see it being advertised on t.v as coming out in cinemas on the 30th! how does thos happen?

  48. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 24, 2009 @ 4:41 am General Disdain


    All CGI? Die Hard came before the computerized action revolution.

    i’ve seen this movie. i saw it a while ago. a verrrrry long time ago! i was suprised to see it being advertised on t.v as coming out in cinemas on the 30th! how does thos happen?

    Film has a late release in the states. Came out in EU last year.

  49. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 25, 2009 @ 12:12 am opinion8er

    This movie was the best film I’ve seen in a long time. The cast was outside the realms of the hollywood spotlights and glamour, media. This actually made the film much better as it actually touched home, and made it that much more realistic, sort of a cozy action flick, this was absolutley brilliant. This film is rated a 9/10 in my opinion, much better than all the hollywood crap thats out now, open your eyes and compare the shit thats in the theatres, (and I’m talking with big name stars), there’s no comparison. Too much garbage in the theatres now, I don’t give a shit whos face is on the screen, I would preffer watching a cast thats slightly out of the spot lights, makes for a much better film. Unexpected performances tend to keep me more on the edge of my seat. Rather than the usuall (already know what to expect) bullshit some of the bigger stars tend to give. THIS MOVIE KICKS ASS! Barnone best flick of 2008-2009.

  50. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 28, 2009 @ 12:02 pm keith


  51. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 30, 2009 @ 4:38 pm Dave

    I just saw Taken. It was very very entertaining. Jason Bourne meets Steve Segal. Neeson does a great job. Worth it!

  52. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 31, 2009 @ 10:14 pm alljackedup

    Loved the film. A great escape from my Mid American business life. But let me qualify myself as an expert on such films. If I had a dollar for every loose truth based spy novel I’ve read and enjoyed, I would be wealthy. Good enough qualification?

    A couple inconsitencies though for you other fans:

    1. Why did he not persue the other spotter (black guy)after the young Frenchman got killed by the truck?
    2. Why would the (not actually) Albanians in the kitchen believe he was a French official when he spoke to them with a Scottish brogue?
    3. How did the Sheik know which of the 3 girls was the daughter?
    4. And lastly, what was the body count?

  53. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 31, 2009 @ 11:28 pm Michele

    Ok…The movie ROCKED! The plot was great. Human trafficking does happen all over the world…DUH…But THIS movie took place in London and the “bad guys” were Albanian. But how many movies have we seen with Asian, Arab, African, Russian, etc…countries/cultures as the used as the story “bad guys” that are involved in human trafficking. Check out “Eastern Promises” and that ROCKED too! Review the movie and go to a human rights site and find a way to help human trafficking from happening if you really care. Stop trying to be all political on a movie review site.

  54. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 3, 2009 @ 9:36 pm all you need is love

    at US “This movie is really an eye opener for young generation heading to overseas. There is no doubt now that I would be careful dealing with Albanians in future. As someone mentioned before, not all Albanians are bad…but better safe than sorry.”
    are you serious?????? are you seriously THAT ignorant about the world??? who the heck worries..then my friend you should worry about EVERY single person you meet because they all come from some part of europe and asia (and australia) but incase you did not know MOST of europe is involved in disgusting human trafficking…and so is north america by the way…its just the scum…not only ONE country who is worrisome..dont be so ignorant as to assume that…that is just about the most stereotypical comment (and its not even a STEREOTYPE about albanians). generally they’re known for their mediterranean cultures and stuff …but hey if you wanna worry…dont get close to ANYONE ok?!! after all..better safe then sorry right?

  55. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 4, 2009 @ 7:04 am Cat

    very good movie

  56. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 8, 2009 @ 9:20 pm smudge

    The ALBANIANS were Albanian effing MUSLIMS. Did you notice the tattoos they showed several times?
    This movie was painful for me to watch. I had a relevant close encounter with some Arab men in NYC in the 1970’s.

  57. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 9, 2009 @ 4:02 am Smiffy55

    I saw this at the weekend and it must be one of the worst films I’ve seen. I should say that I’m no expert in the world of action movies but this didn’t even come close to the level of the Bourne films or Vanishing Point. It was just the filming of the action from a Computer Game.
    Did anyone actually care about whether he saved his daughter? She and her friend were airheads from a smug, selfish family. Frankly I hoped it would end with a twist but of course there was no chance of a surprise ending.
    Key messages:
    – Don’t leave America, it’s dangerous out there.
    – All foreigners are murderous or corrupt.
    – It’s okay to torture and shoot everyone, including the wife of an old colleague.
    In fact it’s the ultimate statement of the doctrine of the American regime.

  58. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 9, 2009 @ 4:33 pm Mel

    To smudge:

    I’m sure that the Albanians would have been Muslim seeing as the tatoo was clearly shown and that they were from the north of Albania. However you must bear in mind that this is a Hollywood film we’re talking about and the majorty of Albanians are Christian and are not invloved in any form of “trafficking”.
    A lot of propoganda is used now-a-days and obviously as the audience we would really dislike the “bad guys”, but then again this is expected from America to potray a film in this way.
    -Just wanted to let you know :)

  59. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 9, 2009 @ 10:10 pm General Disdain

    A lot of propoganda is used now-a-days and obviously as the audience we would really dislike the “bad guys”, but then again this is expected from America to potray a film in this way.

    Just thought I’d let you know, this film is not a Hollywood production. It is a French product.

  60. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 11, 2009 @ 3:40 pm Sam Criswell

    Taken is also reviewed in SMU’s Web site. Matt Carter calls it “a lighter, less intense “Bourne Identity.”

  61. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 12, 2009 @ 1:13 am sue

    this movie was great. i plan on seeing it again. someone mentioned eastern promises, i beleive this one is way better. as fa as albanians and sex trafficking. this is 100%true, this they also due human organ trafficking. I read online quotes from carla delponte’s book. when i read her book and saw the movie and heard from other people , seems like (not all) but enough albanians are vigalant animals!! be careful when traveling abroad

  62. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 13, 2009 @ 6:37 am sn0m

    Sue you need to educate yourself a bit, maybe a crush course in English to start with…..
    There are Albanian sex trafficers and organ trafficers like anywhere else in the world, but that doesn’t give you the right to make any sweeping statements. Let say I’ll make a stupid statement like all pub-going, chain-smoking, crack-head living in housing estate, single mothers in England are baby killers????? Do you understand how stupid it is to make such statements…..
    You also need to read a bit more before making any statements regarding Carla’s book as there is not a single shred of proof of evidence and as far as I am concern she is hiding behind her diplomatic immunity when challenged about it. However this is about the movie and not about non-fiction books that you can painfully manage to read and amuse yourself.

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    February 13, 2009 @ 3:14 pm mel

    well said sn0m :)

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    February 13, 2009 @ 5:05 pm sue

    snom- i get it your albanian, and you 100% right to be offended. i should of not stated all albanians, just i guess most of them. one thing why would carla hide behind her immunity? she is not on trial for anything. 2 albania has been under observation for a bit now in organ trafficking
    2 albania is a hot spot in europe for drug trafficking
    sex drugs corruption it all goes together. it just happens that this movie taken which is a GREAT movie, happens to wxploit some of that. Americans in many foreign movies get displayed not that great , but what ever jsut brush it off its facts

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    February 14, 2009 @ 12:37 pm B

    “i should of not stated all Albanians, just i guess most of them.” You can not judge an entire group of people or as you said, “most of them” on a movie. Each and every country has people that do wrong things but you can not say that most of them are (as you said) vigalant animals. Let me just say that I am Albanian and i find that comment incredibly offensive. Honestly, some of the people that have commented seem very ignorant about Albania. Stop judging people that you barely know anything about!

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    February 14, 2009 @ 1:20 pm sue

    in regards to what you said B. the reason i say this is a few reasons one being what i said above about europe and albania is 100% true. another reason is i live in the suburbs of detroit michigan and you being albanian know there are alot of albanians here. so my experience living with them and working with them is more than enough reason. another is a good friend of mine whom is albanian maria, she married an american , her family disowned her no communication what so ever. she is another source some stuff she tells me is sick!! that sick albanian that turned the gas on in the house and killed his wife and kids for insurance money. she tells me at church , of the fights when people would take out there guns , shootings nad killings. this is from an albanian girl. like i said you’re right its not fair to judege them all , but when you here so many horrible things about a certain nationality it’s kind of hard not to judge.

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    February 15, 2009 @ 10:30 am Rambo

    overall the movie was good…
    but there were lot of insignificant scene maybe.. scenes that are irrelevant.

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    February 16, 2009 @ 3:56 am Dan

    First of the movie was very average. Many here tried to compare it against Die Hard and other movies such as Bourne Identity…well, this movie is no-where near those levels.

    Besides the logical fallacies of the movie plot and some action scenes, the acting was of almost the entire supporting crew was very poor.

    As for the Albanians, I’m myself one and by God I don’t see myself as a “viagalant animal”, it’s hard to convince people with a very limited knowledge that reality is much different from the fiction they choose to believe.

    These “animals” Sue, did manage to give the world Mother Teresa; keep that in mind next time you let your fingers do the typing and your ass the thinking.

    As for Del Ponte’s book, I’m surprised that you even know of it, as it is such an odd choice. This is widely considered as an urban myth, because if it was true some people would be going to jail by now. I take it you really don’t know much about it.

    Lastly, as others have mentioned here, Europe is full of criminals from all over the world and unfortunately the most dangerous ones are the ones at the top of the food chain. This includes some of the people that you and me pay taxes to here in the states. So don’t be an ass and talk about the Albanians that way. If we are all to follow our stereotypes we would end up not talking to many people at all, especially in the US.

    For the sake of us Albanians, please stay away from us, your stupidity might be infectious.

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    February 16, 2009 @ 5:15 pm sue

    dan – the reason , i know of this is because i study political science. and europe is a major emphesis. so for me carls’ book is not an odd choice second, for organ trafficking, in europe it is an ordeal, with a case on it against albanians. so my as you said ass is not doing the talking. about politics you are 100% right about it it’s very corupt. and i did take back all albanians, but you being one should not a very vast amount are corrupt. but i canundrstand you’re offense because you are albanian. just as i would get offended when people spit at the usa, and americans. one more point when you said about corruption inamerica , this is correct, but did you know albanians have this biggest lobby in usa! checkmate

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    February 16, 2009 @ 8:57 pm sn0m

    Oh dear, this is turning into a Sue versus Albanians contest, well I’m in for it, so you the others enjoy the spectacle.
    Sue there have been cases of organ trafficking in Albania. The one that I know was between gypsy kids (most of the times sold by their parents or relatives) and Greek doctors. They were sent to jail. Could there be others, possibly. So should you have any information either sent it to the police or post it here. As far as I know, the organ trafficking in Europe is done in the form of health turism, were sick patient do to India or Pakistan and come out with a new kidney or liver.
    As far as Carla’s book is concern, it talks about KLA (kosovan liberation army) using serb prisoners for organ harvesting in a house in north of Albania. It is a lot of bullandcowshit. A international tribunal team who was invited by the Albanian government did not find a single shred of evidence about it. When Carla was challenged about providing proof, she said that she is a Swiss diplomat now and is not allowed by low to speak about the issue…ahh?what?
    We in Albania think that this was cooked by the Serb propaganda machine to taint the liberation struggle of KLA and Albanian people. And by the way, there are thousands of Albanians that disappeared during serb occupation who I have the right to think that were used for organ trafficking, but do I have any proof, no so shtum…
    And a final advice, when you post here, please let the Microsoft spelling service, provided free of charge, to do the spelling and not your assss cas, seriously, it hurts reading your stuff.

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    February 17, 2009 @ 7:48 pm Jen

    I agree with Dan and B

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    February 18, 2009 @ 12:27 am sue

    snom- you are funny , you say if i have info. hand it to the authorities. listen to yourself! of course carla lied in her book, of course they found nothing , of course its serb propaganda.. this is of course according to you. but to me since you said you are albanian, it sounds to me like albanian propaganda! i am sorry you can not deny the drug trafficking, women/girls kidnapped to be sold or made money on. it’s a reality it goes on, and albanins are not the only ones involved in it, but they’re involved.

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    February 18, 2009 @ 12:34 pm Hazel

    I saw this movie last night. Just because there were some Albanians being bad guys in it does not mean it was saying all Albanians are bad. Just like watching bad Germans in Schindler’s list does not mean all Germans are bad. There were some bad guys.. they happened to be Albanian this time. Next time they could be from someplace else.
    This was an excellent movie. Not wooden acting. That’s for sure. Of course, with Neeson, it never is. He draws the audience mercilessly into every emotion he wants, like a master conductor. He drew empathy out of me as easily as Paris Hilton draws paparazzi. I often find the acting in action flicks about as riveting as watching grass grow. The action is great. And I like that, but give me some acting chops. Liam Neeson is amazing in everything he does. And kudos to whomever realized that a 56 year old actor can pull this off. I hate it when the audience is treated like we’re stupid and all we get is the same old thing over and over again. Gimme something fresh. Surprise me. Dammit! And finally… somebody did… and knew Neeson was a perfect choice. Thank you… and wow… it wasn’t Hollywood. Take the hint. We’re tired of cliches. If you give us something worth checking out, we’ll go… hey… I’m going to pay my money and see this again.

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    February 21, 2009 @ 1:30 pm a4l


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    February 22, 2009 @ 12:17 pm Burn the Witch

    If you’re an offended Albanian or feeling sorry for the pride of Albania after watching a movie about a few Albanians, then get over your emo self.

    It’s a movie, not a documentary.

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    February 26, 2009 @ 5:12 pm Dan


    Whatever you say you can’t cover the fact that you try to generalize all Albanians. THAT is the fallacy in your logic, which you only realized later after you typed your first few comments.

    Have a nice day!

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    March 9, 2009 @ 1:51 am don't behave steve

    excellent acting, action, and plot.

    the fight scenes are performed without hesitation,
    the key to this character’s behavior.

    Director works well to tell the story and stay out of the way.

    don’t behave steve

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    March 11, 2009 @ 3:29 pm alvin

    it is defintely one of the best movie i have watched so far this year. Nothing business-like, just very personal shooting action. I like it for the fast pace and no-sense-ness.

    and somehow it does feel right because the hero dad is under time pressure as well as to safeguard’s the daughter’s virginity before she loses it to some fat old man…. lol

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    March 16, 2009 @ 2:11 pm Bob

    Saw this movie yesterday and left laughing. There are more plot holes than dead Albanians in this movie (and there are plenty of them). How Liam manages to kill all these baddies without spilling one drop of blood is a mystery and whoever is responsible for continuity in the film should never work again. And then there’s Maggie Grace: why Lost’s vixen, Shannon, was chosen to play a 17 year-old is another mystery – but I guess she needs the work. Poor Famke Janssen aint no Jean Grey in this movie; you sort of wish Liam would give her a well-deserved shot in the mouth. The final mystery is how Liam and the rescued Maggie emerge back home from an Air France terminal grinning like idiots after he has broken more laws than bones – OK, the French are a very forgiving people and yeah, the police were a tad corrupt, and maybe they were grateful that he single-handedly took care of that nasty sex-trade problem…Oh while I’m thinking about it, how stupid are these Albanians believing the old guy with the Irish accent is a French police inspector? And the ending, it’s hilarious!

  80. The Critical Movie Critics

    March 19, 2009 @ 1:03 pm PRIS


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    March 20, 2009 @ 2:50 am dan

    everyone who has written on this wall should read my review which is basically better than all of yours. you all need a life if youre spending time gossiping about a movie. its sad how lonely you peole must be. my name is cornelious and im amish, the only reason im doing this is cuz im high and my eyes look redder than the devils dick. i think you albanians are fuckin stupid for tryin to make this a racial matter, u sound retarted, and when i think of albanians now i think of an illiterate retard with a rubics cube. now fuck off or eat my mc cunt nuggets

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    March 25, 2009 @ 12:58 am TKBlock

    I respect the critics review on this movie as well as others point of view of this movie. I have seen hundreds of action movies in my lifetime, but nothing, and I could not stress it enough, nothing held me down on my seat gasping for more than this movie. It was so good, after finishing the movie, I watched it again immediately. Everything fell into place. It was the first time I have felt so much sympathy to a movie character, it’s scary, and I’m not even a father yet.

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    March 28, 2009 @ 2:42 am Dad

    This is a great film. Unfortunately most people that watched it are missing the moral of the story. They always seem to pinpoint and focus on what is far fetched or whatnot. The main point of this film is what great length would a father do to get his daughter back. Most of you wouldn’t understand. Everything that comes in between him and his daughter will receive the ultimate consequence.

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    April 2, 2009 @ 10:25 pm Unknown

    Taken is a good movie. I watched it twice. It does not make me think that Albanians are bad people because it is just a movie. I learn something new from the movie about how people trafficking women, shout out what we see about the kidnappers and etc. Although the policemen seems like not doing their work in the movie but no movie is perfect. Just enjoy the movie, learn something from the movie if any and move on.

    By the way, all races have good and bad people. That is a fact. I personally think we do not need to argue about that.


    Your review is meaningless. Nothing but cursing.

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    April 7, 2009 @ 9:27 pm brad

    just saw this movie and it is seriously the best movie ever. lot of action and just remember: GOOD LUCK

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    April 21, 2009 @ 9:19 am Jane

    It was very good it stayed in my mind even long after the movie. I think its alot better than the crap movies that are made today.
    That was 1 of the best movies I’ve ever seen!

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    April 27, 2009 @ 3:57 am Fernanda Bendtsen

    I usually dont post in Blogs but your blog forced me to, amazing work.. beautiful

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    May 24, 2009 @ 10:19 am Don W

    This was a GREAT movie…I don’t like to watch movies again, but I will watch this one again!

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    May 25, 2009 @ 7:04 pm Finnster

    Wow, almost everyone in this thread is either brain damaged, or never went to school. You guys need to learn some punctuation and spelling.

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    June 15, 2009 @ 2:54 am Gillie

    Was a great action packed movie. Enjoyed the to-the-point role of the father. Was disappointed with the ending. Okay, maybe it could be assumed the daughter was recovering (although you wouldn’t know it from the ending), but I would have liked to have seen him get a lot more appreciation from the ex-wife or someone, government. Even another ending could have sufficed. Agents from the Embassy of France could have been waiting to pick him up for questioning. Just to dry for such a great beginning and middle. Let’s have a contest, who can come up with the best ending.

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    June 22, 2009 @ 12:13 pm JDS

    One of the best action movies I’ve seen, and I’ve seen quite a few. Im neither Albanian nor American, but this movie strikes a chord.

    Not quite sure what the reviewer was smoking when he wrote this, but it must be good.

    – JDS

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    July 5, 2009 @ 2:04 pm June5Rose

    Watched in spite of lukewarm reviews, but it turned out to be a winner. Any other actor but Liam Neeson would have made this action drama a B movie. With him it is A+++. Because of comments about Kimmie, I looked up Maggie Grace. She is 26, not a good choice for a 17 year old. Because she is tall, she looked silly wearing babydoll dresses, squeling and jumping like a kid, and riding a horse. She is irritating when you watch the movie over again. She came across as a spoiled rich kid, doing anything to get her way. Was she chosen instead of a younger girl because of “auction” scene? Agree with Gillie about dull ending. Parted at the air[port like acquaintences, instead of bonded family members. Even though the daughter went through hell, did they have to have soppy ending of meeting rock star?

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    July 13, 2009 @ 8:46 pm Winson

    I already saw Taken two times and I really loved unbelievable ass kicking in this movie. I will not agree with the rating this movie has got here (seen better), but again its personal opinion how you approach watching a particular movie.

    For me it was fast action packed movie and it was run by one man show Liam Neeson, who really played his character well. Overall must see movie.

    My Rating: 8.5 out of 10

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    July 13, 2009 @ 9:09 pm club penguin

    This movie portrayed a very realistic account of what happens to girls who are innocently caught up in the sex slave trade. It could happen to anyone including young boys. Unfortunately, whilst I am certain that not all Albanians are “bad”, it is the Albanians who are renowned for this type of recruitment, and whilst all Arabs are not “bad” either, sadly, it is the ultra rich Arabs who are predominately on the market for this kind of sex trade.

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    July 13, 2009 @ 9:26 pm Bardha

    this is for “General Disdain” look im Albanian and even though were
    sweet and carin people i realy think u beta shut the fuck up with “Stereotypes are everywhere. Yours apparently coincides with the sex trade” shit..!
    before i stick my leg up ur ass.. We aint like that ok so don Fuck me off with that shit..! we dont cause trouble anywea because we dont let shit heads like u get to us cause were better then that.. so unles u want fucking trouble i suggest u apologize and shut da fuck up inda future aight..! Peacee.. :D:D

  96. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 14, 2009 @ 6:02 am General Disdain

    @ JDS

    I smoke only the best.

    @ Bardha

    There must be an element of truth to the stereotype, otherwise the movie would not have had Albanians as the sex traders.

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    July 15, 2009 @ 10:57 pm Bardha

    Yeah well at least were doin a fuckin good job at it then fuckin piece of shit…!
    qifsha nanen e budallit hajt shko mytu naj kah bre kali.. :P:P:P hahahhahahahahahahah
    im lovin this… :D

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    July 27, 2009 @ 12:22 am jeshok

    This movie is horrible. Extremely discrimanotory, racist, perpetuating ignorant fear ,and downright stupid.It is like the the ridiculous movie hostel, written by and for ignorant redneck Americans who have never traveled to Europe, and are made fearful to do so. I am so angered by this movie it makes me sick. Our world is a beautiful place, and any time I see something so ridiculously portraying the beauty of traveling, and causing any one to be fearful of it it makes me want to scream.
    do not watch it, it sucks. The chances of any of us being put in to this situation are as likely as our father’s being able to get us out of it, possibly even slimmer. Travel where ever you can, ignore stupid shit like this, watch quality movies, and take my advice, I have lived in many parts of the world. We have nothing to fear but fear itself. Just be smart about stuff, read let’s go, on a shoestring, or any one of the other fabulous books that make it possible to travel without fear of being accosted by freaks.

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    August 20, 2009 @ 10:56 pm Kristin

    I think this movie is quite good. The beginning was quite slow but it did explain the situation between father and daughter….

    I did have a question though, and I know you want more feedback…BUT my boyfriend and I (are) watching the movie. In the beginning when the mother walks into the room while the father is on the phone, does she say “Will you go back to me” or “will you get back to me”. I am not sure!


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    September 5, 2009 @ 12:08 pm Honey

    I loved the movie. I’m not a fan of action or the like but this really got me. Some parts are kind of unbelievable but they’re forgivable. I so love it.

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    September 25, 2009 @ 7:07 am EJ

    I am not so critical of movies, in fact i would like to critique your critical critic ass. by being so critical as to rate movies by how shitty they are you tend to strangle all the life out of it. sure its not the best action flick, but i have to disagree with your opinion about the lack of realism. many techniques he used in the shooting scenes were very realistic. the only times i was left going ‘whhhaaaaaattttttt..’ was in the car chase shootout scene, and the epic drive over the couch through a hail of gunfire. everythings else was pretty legit. as for the acting Liam wasnt really going for the over the top badass role, he is playing a father with an extensive service career who has 80 hours to get his only child back… daughters acting wasnt too bad, all in all it was a very entertaining movie worth a few viewings.

    To all the naive women who think american girls arent kidnapped and sold like any other female, go to another country and start telling everyone your alone whilst advertising your immaturity. for the record im not at fault, becuase this is retarded advice.

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    January 15, 2010 @ 11:14 am Dawn

    I’m soooo glad that I didn’t read just your review before I saw this movie. I might have missed a very good movie. Yes a lot of the shoot outs weren’t very realistic but it is a movie and as I tell my 8 year old son….. Most of what you see on tv and movies is not real. If movies/shows were made 100% in reality, we wouldn’t watch them as they wouldn’t keep our attention. It’s the shock and awe that we like. The movie definitely opened my eyes to what goes on. I had known about human trafficing but didn’t really know. I always wondered why people didn’t run if the chance came, I had no idea that they kept them drugged like that. I think about when I was younger(I’m almost 39) and feel very lucky. I put myself in so many situations that something like this could have happened to me. If I had a daughter, I would make her watch this movie every year of her life from age 12 on. These days we can’t be too careful with our children, it’s sad that we can’t let our children have the freedom that we had as children/teens but sadly in todays world, we just can’t. Anyway, WONDERFUL movie, in my opinion and reading most of the replies, over 80%, I’d say disagree with the original review of this movie.

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    January 15, 2010 @ 11:32 am Dawn

    Oh, I forgot to add, I agree with a lot here, I too didn’t like the ending. The ending that they did was unesssesary. I think that they should have ended at the part where he got his daughter back and she said, “You came for me.”(or something like that) and he said, “I said I would.” That would have been the perfect ending for this movie. Anybody else agree that the movie should have been ended there or have a better ending?

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    April 22, 2010 @ 9:38 am Lul

    yeah, I think the ending was just really unsensitive, if he is a hero, killing all the bad guys to save his daughter then he should be the one getting a fucking red carpet…right!
    –maybe the director tried to portray that he/the hero stays alone as he was,… or what!?? : good guys reward for being a “bad guy killing karate chop machine” is that he gets to have his own CAB.

    By the way, movie was good. It just shows what a parent would do..not neccesarily could, but definetly would.


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    May 4, 2010 @ 11:21 am Stephanie

    I believe the review was pretty accurate. It was a review of the movie, not on the values or lessons within the movie. However, the lessons within the movie are valuable. I have seen the movie several times, simply because it does not put me to sleep, and it can be entertaining.

    Thank you for the review.

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    July 29, 2010 @ 10:39 pm zac

    This movie was not to horrible, but not to good either

  107. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 15, 2011 @ 4:33 pm Moodle

    Ok guys,we all know liam nelson is one of the best actors ever,this one and the shildren list is very good,also the unknown that he dont know who is,great,my favorite with de niro.

  108. The Critical Movie Critics

    June 3, 2012 @ 10:19 pm Kirk

    Thank you for such a well-written attention-grabbing article. I found it to be a very entertaining read.

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