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Unstoppable

Released

Latest Home Video

Feb 15, 2011

MPAA Rating:

PG-13


Run Time:

98

Director

Tony Scott

Cast

Denzel Washington

Chris Pine

Rosario Dawson

Studio

2010 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Official Website >>

Still shot from the movie: Unstoppable.

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Reviewed by

Overall B-
ViolenceB-
SexB+
LanguageD+
Drugs/AlcoholA
Run Time98

Making the Grades

Trains and brains may rhyme, but both are in short supply in this movie about a locomotive that takes off without a driver. Dewey (Ethan Suplee) is the dolt who insists he doesn’t need to connect the air brakes just moments before he hops out of a moving cab to throw a switch. Not able to run any faster than he can think, his engine and its half-mile of cars are soon heading down the track without him. Even more surprising, his coworkers just laugh at the situation. When Dewey eventually finds the yardmaster (Rosario Dawson), he admits his mistake like a schoolboy who has cheated on a test, leaving Connie to figure out how best to cope with what is now described as "a missile the size of the Chrysler building."

Meanwhile at the other end of the line, veteran engineer Frank (Denzel Washington) and his rookie conductor Will (Chris Pine) have just pulled out with their load. And guess what? They are headed straight for the runaway. About the only thing more you could add to this already tense situation is a school field trip, tanker cars of hazardous chemicals and a small city with a big curving railroad bridge that can only be navigated at 15 MPH. Yup… they are all part of this movie mix.

If you come into this film expecting only exciting pictures of a train on the lamb and a passel of railroad workers wondering how they will stop it, then you may not be disappointed. However, being a big rail fan myself, I was hoping for a little more to get stoked over in this great locomotive chase. Pardon the inevitable pun, but this truly is a one-track script. Character development is virtually non-existent, with the exception of Frank and Will taking a few sideline moments to discuss marriage woes.

Then there is the critical lack of intelligence that overshadows much of what is on screen. Early in the movie, after being informed there is a train barreling toward him, Frank asks the obvious question: "Where is it?" Connie replies they don’t know. Yet Fox News (which is promoted to the point of saturation in this film that features dozens of fake embedded reports) has a helicopter tracking the locomotive with a live video feed. Too bad the yardmaster didn’t look at the huge TV in her control room. Later, when Connie finally is watching the news, she sees one of the company heroes madly driving his truck beside the speeding engine in an attempt to make a daring rescue. Shrieking, she gives this poor sap a call, forcing him to answer his cell phone while trying to pull off the difficult maneuver.

Along with the many moments of peril, an accidental injury with some blood effects is depicted. We also learn that railroad employees can swear up a storm because we are treated to a boxcar load of moderate and mild profanities, terms of deity and a sexual expletive.

Loosely based on an actual event from 2001, Unstoppable is a fast-paced, frenetic film with many hand-held camera shots that often tries too hard to convince us that a million tons of steel running out of control is a serious matter. For parents of older teens who are willing to tolerate the language and ignore the plot holes, this train may barely make the grade.

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Unstoppable.

This movie uses simulated live news reports as the backbone of the story. How do live newscasts shape events in the real world? Does instantaneous coverage benefit a situation like this?

For the details on the event in 2001 upon which this movie is based, check this page.

Trailers & Clips

Canadian Movie Ratings

BC
SK
PG Coarse Language.
AB PG Coarse Language.
MB PG Not recommended For Young Children, Violence.
ON PG Language May Offend.
QC G
NB
NS
NL
PE
PG

Canadian Home Video Rating: PG

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of Unstoppable...

Unstoppable releases to DVD and Blu-ray on February 15, 2011 with the following extras:

Unstoppable on DVD:

- Director Commentary Track

-Tracking the Story: Unstoppable Script Development

Unstoppable on Blu-ray:

- Derailed: Anatomy of a Scene

- Hanging Off the Train: Stunt Work

- On the Rails with the Director and Cast

- The Fastest Track: Unleashing Unstoppable

- Director Commentary Track

- Tracking the Story: Unstoppable Script Development

- Digital Copy

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fudgie says: Feb. 19, 2011

My wife and I just saw this at a second run theater and I must disagree with the reviewer to a point I think trains are far from “in short supply ” and I must have been so engrossed in the movie that I had a hard time noticing the profanity, I actually read this review prior to seeing the movie and was expecting a lot worse than what I saw. I almost waited to rent it but wanted to see it on the big screen for the first time

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