(Stephanie Branchu)



Genre: Mystery and Thriller; Starring: Maggie Grace, Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen; Director: Pierre Morel; Author: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen; Release Date Wide: 01/30/2009; Runtime (in minutes): 93; MPAA Rating: R

One of the biggest — and most surprising — hits of the year, Taken gooses a tired genre premise and turns it into a tense exercise in paternal payback thanks to its Bronson-with-a-brogue star. Liam Neeson is an ex?CIA agent trying to mend a broken relationship with his 17-year-old daughter (Lost’s Maggie Grace). So when she begs to go to France for the summer, he caves. Big mistake: She’s kidnapped, drugged, and sold into white slavery. Neeson roars like a lion protecting his cub, first jetting to Paris, then wasting scores of Albanian goons (the body count rivals all three Bourne flicks combined). Yes, Taken may be action trash, but it’s 24-karat action trash. EXTRAS include a subtitled commentary from French director Pierre Morel and heartbreaking red-carpet footage of a happy Neeson and wife Natasha Richardson at Taken’s January premiere. A?

Originally posted May 6 2009 — 12:00 AM EDT

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