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Unstoppable is a 2010 American action thriller film directed by Tony Scott, written by Mark Bomback and starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pine. The film tells the story of a runaway train, and the two men (Washington and Pine) who attempt to stop it. The film was released in the United States and Canada on November 12, 2010.

After panning across some idling diesel locomotives under the opening credits, the film begins with scenes at two rail yards in different regions of Pennsylvania run by the Allegheny and West Virginia Railroad (AWVR). In the Fuller yard in northern Pennsylvania, children arrive for a school field trip on rail safety. Meanwhile, in the southern Pennsylvania town of Stanton, Will Colson (Chris Pine) gets up for work, stopping to surreptitiously watch his wife put their son on the school bus. He calls her but she refuses to even answer.

Arriving at work, Colson, a conductor, gets his orders for the day and learns he will be working with engineer Frank Barnes (Denzel Washington), with whom he has never worked before. He goes to a group of older workers, with whom he has some barbed words over their age differences, and finds Barnes among them. While he goes to punch in, the other older workers complain about being displaced by Colson, who they say got his job through family connections in the union.

Meanwhile, in Fuller, the yardmaster yells at a pair of hostlers who have been standing idle near a train to get it moved so the schoolchildren's excursion train can get out of the yard. In a hurry, one of them, Dewey (Ethan Suplee), decides to forego connecting the air hose between the locomotive and the rest of the half-mile–long (1 km) train. This, the other hostler reminds him, means the train's air brakes will not be working, but Dewey says they will hook them up after parking the train on another track.

Barnes and Colson meet by their locomotive for the day, where Barnes, a 28-year employee, finds out that Colson, who will be in charge of the train, is only four months out of training. He reminds Colson that if there's anything he doesn't know, he should just ask. They take the locomotive out across a bridge to where they will attach their train for the day. Colson learns that a court hearing that morning did not, as he had hoped it would, end with the lifting of a restraining order preventing him from seeing his wife and son. In the locomotive cab at the Fuller yard, Dewey turns the throttle to its highest setting to enable the train's dynamic brakes. As it approaches a switch, Dewey sees it is not set to the right track and, against the advice of the other hostler, jumps from the slow-moving train to line it properly. While he does, levers fall in the cab of their own accord. When he tries to reboard the train, it has picked up speed and he falls to the ground trying. It leaves the yard for the main line unmanned.
After some slight setbacks at the yard due to Colson's inexperience, including taking on more cars than they had in their orders, the two leave Stanton for a zinc plant. In Fuller, the hostlers let yardmaster Connie Hooper (Rosario Dawson) know that they have a runaway train headed into opposing traffic on the main line. Assuming the dead man's switch will trigger the brakes and it will be a "coaster" that stops a few miles from the yard, she calls Ned, a welder for the railroad and tells him to meet the hostlers where they can get in his truck, catch the train and stop it.
By the time they get there, they realize the train is under power and going too fast to catch. Connie and the dispatchers work to get every train on the main line onto sidings. The train carrying the schoolchildren narrowly avoids a head-on collision. Michael Galvin (Kevin Dunn), Connie's superior, calls her and asks her what's happening and what she's doing about it. She hasn't figured out yet how to stop the train and begins calling the state police to make sure the grade crossings on the line are secured, since some of the tank cars on the runaway have molten phenol, a hazardous material. On their train, Barnes and Colson hear the dispatcher's order to pull into a siding. Barnes says they can't use the siding assigned since the train is too long for it. He asks instead if a RIP track further down the line is clear.
Galvin overrules Connie's suggestion to derail the train in an area of lightly populated farmland, since it would be too costly and it is still possible to stop the train. An emergency meeting of railroad executives approves another plan, but Galvin will not tell Connie what it is. The train's odyssey becomes a media event, followed by helicopters with continuous coverage on television and reporters at crossings in small towns. The train, picking up speed, smashes through a horse trailer caught on the tracks at one junction. The company's plan, to have a lashup of two locomotives go on the line ahead of the runaway and slow it down while another employee attempts to board the runaway's locomotive from a helicopter, fails and leads to the death of another veteran engineer. The police abort another plan, to trigger the safety switch on the locomotive's side with close-range shotgun blasts at a grade crossing, when they realize the switch's proximity to the fuel tank. A state trooper's radar gun shows the train's speed to be 71 miles per hour (114 km/h). Barnes and Colson make into the RIP track in the nick of time, as the runaway smashes through the back of their consist.
As it passes, Barnes sees that the coupling on the last car of the runaway is open. He decides to put the locomotive in reverse and catch the runaway. Colson, at first reluctant, joins him. Galvin insists that Connie stop them, but she refuses.
Another attempt to stop the train with derails in a small town fails because the train is too heavy and too fast. Evacuations begin as the train approaches Stanton, where it crosses the town on an elevated curve where it will derail at its current speed. If it does, it could fall into a fuel oil tank farm, causing a major environmental disaster.
Barnes and Colson catch up with the runaway. After Colson manually couples their locomotive to the train, severely injuring his foot in the process, they begin slowing it down with their own brakes but not enough. Barnes goes out onto the train and begins setting each car's brakes manually, slowing the train enough to get it past the curve without derailing. In the process the locomotive's brakes blow out and the train begins to pick up speed again.
Ned the welder catches up to the train, and Colson jumps into the back of his truck. Driving at high speed they make it to the locomotive, where Colson is finally able to get into the cab and stop the train. In a short epilogue it is revealed that Barnes was promoted and retired, that Colson got back together with his wife, Connie was promoted to Galvin's job, and Dewey "is working in the fast-food industry".
Poster art for "Unstoppable"


Orson Welles once said that directing a movie was like playing with the greatest toy train set in the world, and Tony Scott seems to be taking him literally. With the caboose of Scott'sTaking of Pelham 123barely in the distance, the filmmaker turned toUnstoppable, a train-chase picture loosely inspired by a true story (and perhaps just a smidgen byRunaway Train, the 1985 film based on an Akira Kurosawa script). At a Pennsylvania rail yard, some clueless workers let an unmanned train get loose, and the thing is soon hurtling across the countryside. Did we mention that it's pulling a few cars' worth of highly toxic material? Did you doubt it would be? Meanwhile, old-time engineer Denzel Washington and new conductor Chris Pine are making a routine run nearby--of course, in the movies, a routine run almost always turns into something wild. This odd couple is the only hope for stopping the runaway, while upper management dithers and an operations-room dispatcher (Rosario Dawson) spends most of the movie talking into her headset. Scott is an unabashed manipulator, and he yanks all the strings at his disposal for this whipped-up pageant: song cues, hype-filled reaction shots, stunts aplenty. It's all so aggressive, it makes you wish the exciting story could be allowed to tell itself. But the pulse does quicken, if you can turn your mind off for a while. And although it's faint praise, the movie is undeniably better thanPelham 123.--Robert Horton
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CastDenzel Washington, Rosario Dawson
DirectorTony Scott
Genre:  Thriller
Release Date:  Nov. 12, 2010
MPAA Rating:  PG-13
Runtime:  98 minutes
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More Unstoppable (2010 movie) reviews
review by . November 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Tony Scott Delivers A Total Popcorn Thrill Ride!
Tony Scott and Denzel Washington together have given us some hits and misses throughout their careers. Well, didn’t the two create another train movie called “Pelham 1 2 3” very recently? I guess that means the two are in familiar ground. Tony Scott’s train movie “Unstoppable” has been inspired by true events that occurred in 2001 called the “Crazy Eights” unmanned train incident that happened in Finlay, Ohio. Yes, the film is pretty simple and quite …
review by . March 07, 2011
Tony Scott has watched too much MTV in his life. There's a massively over-used camera shot which I'm sure he created but you see it everywhere now - the video is sped up, slow-motioned, given a contrast flash, and then sped up again. It was innovative for the first 100 times but has become his editing trick of choice for everything from the "establishing scene shot" to "we need another 3 seconds of film here and we already paid the music guys".      …
review by . November 13, 2010
Normally, I can barely tolerate Tony Scott's frantic, even frenzied, directing style. He's all about fast cuts, swooping angles and cursory character development. He's often a bit like Michael Bay, with at least with a better visual sense. His films often indicate changes in time or mood through a change in color saturation. You CANNOT see one of his films and not constantly be reminded that you're watching a movie. Films like MAN ON FIRE and TAKING OF PELHAM 1 2 3 give me a headache.    UNSTOPP …
review by . August 31, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
This film was so simple yet it was entertaining and tense and best of all it seemed to stress family, loyalty, honor, all without bad language and violence that seem to accompany most thrillers these days. A train engineer accidently leaves a train in gear with nobody in the cab. That train gets away from him and accidently engages itself in a fast gear.    When Rosario Dawson (the train company's traffic coordinator) gets called, she realizes that she has a problem on her hands …
review by . April 04, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****     It looks like Tony Scott is getting creative. Here, the brother of the even-more-well-known Ridley Scott has made a film that is all fun, all craft, and lastly, all thrills. Out of all the thrillers to be released in 2010 ("Piranha 3D", "Salt", to name a few), "Unstoppable" is one of the best. It's a no-hold thrill-ride that knows where it's going, and has a handle on what it's doing. It's a film directed by Tony Scott, for crying out loud. That is, perhaps, …
review by . November 17, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I had high hopes as far as Denzel Washington is concerned. However, this is not that movie.            Unstoppable is action packed, high speed and I may have even enjoyed it thoroughly. BUT, and that's a big But, it lacks that special touch, the wow factor and to be fair to everyone (me inclusive) concerned, it's anti-climax! Still, not forgetting that this is a movie inspired by a true event, dramatic portrayal of a pending disaster is not in the …
review by . November 28, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
There aren't a great deal of thrillers out there that I can say keep me on the edge of my seat or that make me wonder just how things will turn out.  So for Tony Scott's Unstoppable to do so was quite a surprise to me.  As I watched I actually found myself genuinely drawn into the situation at hand.  Unstoppable isn't brainy but it isn't exactly stupid either.  It's a well made film in spite of some of its smaller flaws.      Unstoppable …
Quick Tip by . June 12, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I finally got to see this one a couple weeks ago; I really liked the action in it, though I thought the characters were rather boring; even Denzel Washington.  I sat on the edge of my seat throughout much of it, yet when it was over this flick was completely "forgettable".
review by . December 17, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
      Unstoppable is about a veteran engineer (Frank/Denzel Washington) and a young conductor (Will/Chris Pine) who race against time to prevent a railroad catastrophe. They have to stop a moving train at full speed that carries a cargo full of chemical products, so they engage in a pursuit to catch the train from the back and accelerate in the opposite direction in order for the train to slow down. This is a story based on real facts so we already know the process and the result …
review by . November 15, 2010
Tis the season for Oscar bait, and with that comes added depth to the movies coming out this season. Unstoppable doesn't contain a single extra layer. You know exactly what you're getting. A train you can't stop dangerous chemicals on the tracks, headed towards a small blue collar town, with a train full of children coming in the opposite direction. We're one horse and a sweet mustache away from a Dudley-do-right cartoon. Cue the woman tied to the tracks.      …
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