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Reviewer: Richard Tara
Director: Tony Scott
Cast: Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson, Ethan Suplee, Kevin Dunn, Kevin Corrigan, Kevin Chapman, Lew Temple, T.J. Miller

Supposedly based on a true story of a runaway train at Allegheny and West Virginia Railroad (AWVR.) This is a non-stop action movie about trains. A dumb sloppy cocky engineer, Dewey (Ethan Suplee) leaves his locomotive, while it is in motion, to change the rail switches to redirect his train. He fails to get back to his cab in time and the locomotive with its trainload of more than a dozen tankers with toxic chemicals takes off and gathers speed heading for Stanton Pennsylvania, a town of nearly a million people. There is a trainload of schoolchildren coming from the other end as well. The befuddled yardmaster, Connie Hooper (Rosario Dawson) tries her best to redirect or stop the runaway but she keeps missing it by seconds.

The company higher ups try several methods to stop or board the train but it all fails and they decide to derail it. Meanwhile, an older engineer Frank Barnes (Denzel Washington) and his newly hired conductor Will Colson (Chris Pine) are heading for the runaway train in another train. The engineer who has just been forced into an early retirement with half benefits is not happy with his new conductor. Will, the new conductor, has already made a mess of things by mistakenly hooking up their train to five more cars, which makes their train longer and more difficult to control. Will seems completely uninterested in his work as he has marital problems and his wife has just taken a restraining order against him. With nothing to lose, Frank decides to save the people of Stanton and to save the day by stopping the runaway train by backing into it.

This action movie is about trains and humans. The director has chosen the cast well. Denzel Washington makes his role believable. He is a rather jaded engineer who after 28 years on the job has seen them come and has seen them go. Initially, he is not very fond of his young conductor who is distracted by trying to reach his estranged wife. Chris Pine is just another Hollywood face in an action movie. Any other actor could have easily played the role of a man who has got the job because of family connections and is not really into it, at least initially.

Tony Scott is a talented director/producer, who along with his older brother Ridley Scott has produced and/or directed many nice movies and great TV series such as the Good Wife and the Numb3rs. This particular movie, Unstoppable, is more about trains than characters. The main characters are Frank and his sidekick Will with their acting confined to the constricted space of a locomotive cab. The rest of the movie relies on brilliantly performed special effects and the great editing by Robert Duffy and Chris Lebenzon. The special effects are marvelously handled. They are not so over-the-top like many other action movies.