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November 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Most critics have no intention of applying the brakes to the run-away-train thriller Unstoppable, which for the fifth time teams director Tony Scott with star Denzel Washington. The movie may not break any cinematic new ground, but it’s likely to sell a lot of popcorn, they suggest. As Scott Bowles puts it in USA Today, “With the recent dearth of good action flicks, Unstoppable gathers steam with a plot that’s predictable but plausible and a few old-school-filmmaking flourishes that churn the picture forward.” In the Boston Globe, Ty Burr also gives the film no awards for cinema artistry but issues a positive review nonetheless. “Scott calls in his skills as a meat-and-potatoes moviemaker,” he writes, adding, “More films should be this enjoyably functional. Joe Morgenstern in the Wall Street Journal observes that movies with a runaway-train theme have been around for years. “But you’ve got to see this new one to appreciate how full, fresh, smart, terse, funny, genuinely thrilling and ultimately original it is,” he writes. Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times pulls out all stops in his praise for the movie, writing that it “is as relentless as the train, slowly gathering momentum before a relentless final hour of continuous suspense. In terms of sheer craftsmanship, this is a superb film.” And Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune asks rhetorically in his review, “Why does the film work?” and answers with one word: “Simplicity.”