Taken 2008

Critics score:
58 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: Taken starts in low gear and almost immediately stalls out. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: It's the big, dolorous Neeson who makes the movie a keeper. Read more

Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader: Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen saddle Neeson with indigestible dialogue and preposterous situations. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Mostly it's a grim, violent and predictable tale of a young girl in unthinkable distress. Read more

Scott Tobias, AV Club: Having a thespian of Neeson's caliber chopping down burly henchmen with his bare hands creates a pleasant cognitive dissonance for a while, but the film is unworthy of him. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: Taken is movie junk food -- fun while it lasts, but not much more. Nothing wrong with that kind of snack every now and then. You just won't want a steady diet of it. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: This is another unsavory mix of sentimentality and high-octane seediness from the Luc Besson factory. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Taken is not the kind of action film to spend much time worrying about its pedestrian script or largely indifferent acting, so it's fortunate to have Neeson in the starring role. Read more

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: If it's unrepentant violence you're after, you're better off renting [director] Morel's 2004 collaboration syndicate with Besson, District B13. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Don't be taken in by Taken. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: Taken is an exploitation thriller, the sort of studio pic that seizes the worst the world has to offer (the sex-slave outrages that The New York Times' Nicholas Kristof exposed so brilliantly) to bolster its rote rhythms. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Bottom line? Action junkies sign up, school marms stay home. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: It's like Paul Schrader's 1979 Hardcore with no brain and more muscle. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: Pierre Morel's film moves with breathlessly incessant fluidity and speed. Read more

Tim Grierson, L.A. Weekly: [A] dumped-in-January film that's better than it needs to be but, alas, still isn't good enough. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: Taken is nonsense, but it's terrifically entertaining nonsense, especially in the midst of the January movie doldrums. It provides the reckless thrills that Quantum of Solace lacked. Read more

Linda Winer, Newsday: Neeson's character calls himself a "preventer," because he keeps bad things from happening. Not this time. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: [Neeson's] performance is the most perturbing thing in the film, even more so than its electrical-torture sequence or its revelations about sex-trafficking. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: Some movies flirt with absurdity. Taken takes it to bed, and then out for waffles in the morning. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: Neeson's better than this. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: Next out of the January dreg-u-lator: A Liam Neeson thriller so lacking in ambition they should have called it Paycheck. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: Taken is the kind of exploitative junk everyone expects from no-talent French hack Luc Besson. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: Besson's espresso-jag thrillers are all the caffeine an action fan needs until the summer thrill rides arrive. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: A fleet, no-nonsense rescue thriller from the crackerjack French director Pierre Morel, Taken is satisfying (1) for the Gaelic gravitas of its star, (2) its slam-bang chase scenes and bone-snapping martial arts, and (3) the scenic backdrops of Paris. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: The film is never boring. It is, however, completely preposterous. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard Roeper.com: You've just kidnapped the wrong teenager, Mister Foreign Slave Trader Man. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: The movie proves two things. (1) Liam Neeson can bring undeserved credibility to most roles just by playing them, and (2) Luc Besson, the co-writer, whose actioner-assembly line produced this film, turns out high-quality trash, and sometimes much better. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: It's fun for about 15 minutes seeing Neeson do James Bond as Daddy Dangerous. But the surprise wears off quickly. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com: [Director] Morel keeps Taken moving swiftly. It's never dragged down by excess feelings; instead, it's powered by the potency of the right ones. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: I won't tell you Taken is great, but it's great fun. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: The film flirts with saying something dark and serious about pursuing justice through unjust means, then quickly chickens out. Read more

Stephen Cole, Globe and Mail: The last third of the film is a 50-year-old's little-boy temper tantrum. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: You'll miss out on a good movie if you consider Taken just another January dumping. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: If a movie's high points are a quick smack of carnage and a steely speech that everyone's already seen in the trailer, you know it must be January. Read more

Nigel Floyd, Time Out: Director Pierre Morel's directing style is ruthlessly efficient, but leaves no time to ponder the plot holes or the borderline racist portrayal of vicious Albanian gangsters and sleazy Arab businessmen. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: With some suspension of disbelief and a strong stomach, it's possible to get taken in, or at least absorbed, by this adrenaline-pumping action thriller. Read more

Derek Elley, Variety: Widescreen package is technically slick at all levels, and ditto the action choreography, in a cartoonish way. Read more

Dan Kois, Washington Post: A satisfying thriller as grimly professional as its efficient hero. Read more