This movie builds to a tense and edge-of-your-seat edginess as you wait to find out if two engineers, Frank Barnes (Denzel Washington) and Will Connors (Chris Pine) will survive as they attempt to thwart the out-of-control advance of a train carrying flammable fuel. To add to the problem, the train will probably derail in one of the most densely populated areas of Pennsylvania.
Both Denzel Washington and Chris Pine deliver solid performances and both of their characters have much to lose if they die in their efforts. Barnes has two college-age daughters working as waitresses to work their way through school, and Connors just separated from his wife following a misunderstanding and wants to reunite with her. When Barnes’ daughters and Connors’ wife sees the two men on the news, the emotional impact swells enormously. The film does a nice job in emphasizing the importance of family as Barnes encourages Connors to call his wife.
The action and effects work great in this movie and the film is based on a true story. The director does a great job in conveying frustration and tension as one thing after another goes wrong in the efforts of the railroad to stop the impending disaster. The movie features themes of sacrifice and shows us there are still some heroes around. However, we must note that the movie is filled with strong language and a couple of sexual remarks and cannot be awarded our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal.