MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -3

Denzel Washington, Christ Pine. Action/adventure. Written by Mark Bomback. Directed by Tony Scott.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Inspired by actual events, Unstoppable concerns a veteran train engineer (Denzel Washington) and a young conductor (Chris Pine) racing the clock to stop an unmanned runaway train – effectively a missile the size of a skyscraper – and prevent disaster in a heavily populated area.

PREVIEW REVIEW: The best disaster film – ever! Director Tony Scott (The Taking of Pelham 1,2,3, Enemy of the State, Days of Thunder) continues to show a gift for stylish action/adventure material. Here, his film is a kickback to the disaster films of the 1970s, a genre that mixes melodramatic home life with on the job rollercoaster excitement. Mr. Scott uses camera movement and editing with panache and skillfully brings a human touch to the action. Then there’s Denzel Washington, one of the best actors of this generation – or any other. Mr. Washington always brings a humanness to his portrayals, envelopes, even when delivering kitchy lines often associated with the genre’s explosive situation: “Will, we’ve got a problem.” Indeed, nearly everyone in the production must navigate around over-the-top dialogue, each having a variation of the exclamation, “He’s not going to make it.” (Guess I’ve seen too many movies, 'cause every time I hear that one, I know good and well he is going to make it.) You just can’t help but like Denzel and believe him. What’s more, he brings everyone’s game up a level. The supporting cast, including character actors you’ve seen in a hundred films but never knew their names, also lend credibility to the proceedings.

I have only one complaint – yes, it’s the language. Pretty rough and although Mr. Washington does not misuse God’s name in the film, most everyone else does. This is a recurring problem for Denzel Washington films. Though he is known for his religious convictions, he doesn’t demand that others in his movies show reverence to God. Twenty times we hear God’s name, or Christ’s, taken in an abusive way. Does Mr. Washington not have enough clout to “request” the elimination of profanity from his pictures? Or maybe irreverence to God in the name of entertainment is acceptable to the formidable star. Sadly, he’s not alone.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
20th Century Fox

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: Over twenty obscenities

Profanity: 14 times God’s name or Christ’s is abused, with the expression “Oh my God” used another six times.

Violence: Armrest-grabbing tension, with a few people killed, others injured as our heroes attempt to stop the rampaging train; car and train crashes and lives put in peril. Blood: Very little blood.

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: None

Running Time: 95 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and above

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.