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Unstoppable (2010 film)

Unstoppable (2010 film)

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Unstoppable is a 2010 American action
Action film
Action film is a film genre where one or more heroes is thrust into a series of challenges that require physical feats, extended fights and frenetic chases...

 thriller film directed by Tony Scott
Tony Scott
Anthony D. L. "Tony" Scott is an English film director. His films include Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop II, The Last Boy Scout, True Romance, Crimson Tide, Enemy of the State, Spy Game, Man on Fire, Déjà Vu, The Taking of Pelham 123, and Unstoppable...

, written by Mark Bomback
Mark Bomback
Mark Bomback is an American screenwriter originally from New Rochelle, NY. Bomback is a graduate of Wesleyan University, where he studied English Literature and Film Studies.- Screenwriter :*The Night Caller...

, and starring Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington
Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. is an American actor, screenwriter, director, and film producer. He first rose to prominence when he joined the cast of the medical drama, St. Elsewhere, playing Dr...

 and Chris Pine
Chris Pine
Christopher Whitelaw "Chris" Pine is an American actor. He has appeared in the romantic comedies The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement and Just My Luck , as well as the action films Smokin' Aces and Unstoppable . In 2009, he portrayed James T...

. The film tells the story of a runaway freight 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, and in the United Kingdom on November 24, 2010. It received mostly favorable reviews from film critics; it garnered a "Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes is a website devoted to reviews, information, and news of films—widely known as a film review aggregator. Its name derives from the cliché of audiences throwing tomatoes and other vegetables at a poor stage performance...

 based upon aggregated reviews and a rating of "Generally favorable reviews" at Metacritic
Metacritic
Metacritic.com is a website that collates reviews of music albums, games, movies, TV shows and DVDs. For each product, a numerical score from each review is obtained and the total is averaged. An excerpt of each review is provided along with a hyperlink to the source. Three colour codes of Green,...

. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Sound Editing at the 83rd Academy Awards
83rd Academy Awards
The 83rd Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences , honored the best films of 2010 and took place February 27, 2011, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles beginning at 5:30 p.m. PST / 8:30 p.m. EST. During the ceremony, Academy Awards ...

.

Plot


Veteran Allegheny and West Virginia Railroad (AWVR) engineer Frank Barnes (Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington
Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. is an American actor, screenwriter, director, and film producer. He first rose to prominence when he joined the cast of the medical drama, St. Elsewhere, playing Dr...

) oversees his co-worker, freshly hired conductor Will Colson (Chris Pine
Chris Pine
Christopher Whitelaw "Chris" Pine is an American actor. He has appeared in the romantic comedies The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement and Just My Luck , as well as the action films Smokin' Aces and Unstoppable . In 2009, he portrayed James T...

) as they use AWVR locomotive #1206 to pick up several train cars outside Stanton, Pennsylvania. Will picks up five cars too many, which they realize only after they have left the train yard. Although Will demands that they roll back and uncouple the extra cars, Frank continues north on the main line with the extras in tow.

Meanwhile, in a rail yard within the northern town of Fuller, two AWVR hostlers
Hostler
An hostler or ostler in the horse industry is a groom or stableman, who is employed in a stable to take care of horses...

, Dewey (Ethan Suplee
Ethan Suplee
Ethan Suplee is an American film and television actor best known for his roles as Seth Ryan in American History X, Louie Lastik in Remember the Titans, Frankie in Boy Meets World, Randy Hickey in My Name Is Earl, Thumper in The Butterfly Effect, Dewey in Unstoppable, and his roles in Kevin Smith...

) and Gilleece (T.J. Miller), are ordered by Fuller operations dispatcher Bunny (Kevin Chapman
Kevin Chapman
Kevin Chapman is an American actor known for his big build and ability to play an assortment of characters ranging from the obnoxious brother, Terrence in FX's Rescue Me to street enforcer Val Savage in Clint Eastwood's critically acclaimed film, Mystic River.Chapman was discovered by the late...

) to move a freight train led by locomotive #777 (nicknamed "Triple Seven") off its current track to clear the track for an excursion train
Excursion train
An excursion train is a chartered train run for a special event or purpose.Examples of excursion trains:* A train to a major sporting event* A train run for railfans or tourism...

 carrying schoolchildren. Dewey attempts to take shortcuts, instructing Gilleece to leave the hoses for the air brakes disconnected for the short trip. Dewey later leaves the moving cab to throw a misaligned rail switch along the train's path, but is unable to climb back on, as the train's throttle jumps from idle, to full power. He is forced to report the train as a "coaster" to Fuller yardmaster Connie Hooper (Rosario Dawson
Rosario Dawson
Rosario Isabel Dawson is an American actress, singer, and writer. She has appeared in films such as Kids, Men in Black II, 25th Hour, Sin City, Clerks II, Rent, Death Proof, The Rundown, Eagle Eye, Alexander, Seven Pounds, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and Unstoppable.-Early...

). Connie orders Dewey, Gilleece, and lead welder
Welding
Welding is a fabrication or sculptural process that joins materials, usually metals or thermoplastics, by causing coalescence. This is often done by melting the workpieces and adding a filler material to form a pool of molten material that cools to become a strong joint, with pressure sometimes...

 Ned Oldham (Lew Temple
Lew Temple
Lew Temple is an American film actor, perhaps best known for his roles as Locus Fender in the action film, Domino starring Keira Knightley, and Cal, the diner manager in the comedy-drama Waitress starring Keri Russell....

), to intercept the train at a siding. With no sign of the train at the siding, they come to realize that the train's controls have defaulted to full throttle, and it is speeding out of control on the main line.

Connie is able to successfully divert the excursion train to a side track in the nick of time, and then reports the runaway to Oscar Galvin (Kevin Dunn
Kevin Dunn
Kevin Dunn is an American actor who has appeared in supporting roles in a number of films since the 1980s. His roles include Colonel Hicks in the 1998 version of Godzilla, Sam Witwicky's father in Transformers, and Oscar Galvin, the primary antagonist in the 2010 action thriller...

), vice-president of train operations for AWVR. Connie works with local police and sheriff forces to ensure that each grade crossing along the main line is secured. As they evaluate their options, visiting Federal Railroad Administration
Federal Railroad Administration
The Federal Railroad Administration is an agency in the United States Department of Transportation. The agency was created by the Department of Transportation Act of 1966...

 safety inspector Scott Werner (Kevin Corrigan
Kevin Corrigan
Kevin Fitzgerald Corrigan is an American actor who has appeared mostly in independent films and television since the 1990s.-Life and career:Corrigan was born in The Bronx, New York to an Irish-American father and a Puerto Rican mother...

) alerts them to the hazard that the molten phenol
Phenol
Phenol, also known as carbolic acid, phenic acid, is an organic compound with the chemical formula C6H5OH. It is a white crystalline solid. The molecule consists of a phenyl , bonded to a hydroxyl group. It is produced on a large scale as a precursor to many materials and useful compounds...

 carried by eight of the train's cars poses should it derail. Galvin rejects Connie's suggestion to derail the train in an area of unpopulated farmland before it enters the towns ahead, believing they can stop the train safely before then. 777 enters the farmland, in which it collides with a horse trailer. As the train's odyssey becomes a media event
Media Event
A media event, as loosely defined by evolving modern usage, is an occasion or happening, spontaneous or planned, that attracts prominent coverage by mass media organizations, particularly television news and newspapers in both print and Internet editions....

, a lashup of two engines driven ahead of the runaway manned by veteran engineer Judd Stewart (David Warshofsky
David Warshofsky
David Warshofsky is an American film and television actor.-Life and career:Warshofsky was born in Saratoga, California. There is some dispute about this. Other sources, some self-contradictory, have listed his place and date of birth as San Francisco in 1961 or 1959, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and...

) is used to try to slow down the train being directed by Groundman (Victor Gojcaj
Victor Gojcaj
-Career:A former convicted criminal, turned actor, Gojcaj was spotted by film director Tony Scott while he was searching New York for someone to play the roles of the train hijackers, alongside John Travolta in the 2009 movie The Taking of Pelham 123. Scott enlisted the help of DEA agent Don...

) while AWVR employee Ryan Scott (Ryan Ahern) is lowered to 777's cab from a helicopter. The plan goes awry, injuring Ryan, and the lashup locomotives are subsequently derailed and explode, killing Judd. The train continues racing towards Stanton.

Frank and Will are warned of the oncoming train. Due to the extra cars picked up by Will, they are forced to bypass a closer siding in favor of a longer Repair-In-Place track
RIP track
A RIP track is a designated track or tracks in a rail yard where locomotives and/or railroad cars are set out for minor repairs without removing the units from service, sometimes without even removing a freight load from the car. In some yards, a RIP track may be used for staging locomotives or...

 further north on the line. They make it into the track just as the runaway speeds past them, smashing through the rearmost car of their train. Frank sees that the last car of the runaway has an open coupler
Coupling (railway)
A coupling is a mechanism for connecting rolling stock in a train. The design of the coupler is standard, and is almost as important as the railway gauge, since flexibility and convenience are maximised if all rolling stock can be coupled together.The equipment that connects the couplings to the...

 (not fitted with a FRED
Flashing rear-end device
The flashing rear-end device, or "FRED," is an electronic device mounted on the end of freight trains in lieu of a caboose...

). When Frank learns that Galvin is planning to use derailers to stop the train, he asserts that this plan will not work and instead convinces Will to join him as he unhooks 1206 and runs it long hood forward down the line to catch 777 from behind. Galvin threatens to fire Frank and Will if they continue, but Frank reveals that he already was forced into early retirement weeks ago by AWVR . Despite Galvin's demands, Connie and Scott encourage Frank and Will to continue their pursuit.

The police abort a plan of triggering a fuel cutoff switch on the side of 777 with close-range gun blasts at a grade crossing when they realize the switch's proximity to the fuel tank. As Frank foresaw, Galvin's plan to derail the train also fails, as 777 and its cars are too heavy and moving too fast. Fears arise that the runaway will derail on a sharp elevated curve in Stanton and crash into several fuel storage containers nearby, causing a major disaster; the city is evacuated as 777 approaches.

Frank and Will manage to catch up to the runaway, but Will seriously injures his foot while trying to manually couple their engine to the rear car pulled by 777. Though 1206's dynamic brakes are helping to reduce the speed of 777, the train is still moving too fast for the curve. At Will's suggestion, Frank goes out onto the train and begins engaging each car's handbrakes individually, further helping to reduce the speed. Soon, however, 1206's dynamic brakes blow out, and the runaway 777 begins to pick up speed again, dragging 1206 with it. But with proper timing of 1206's independent air brakes, Will and Frank barely manage to keep the train on the rails as it speeds through the Stanton curve, severely tilting in the process. Though a major disaster is averted, the train is still out of control, Frank is unable to get to 777's cab due to a gap between cars too wide to jump.

With a long stretch of parallel road next to the line, Ned appears in his pickup truck, pacing alongside 1206 to allow Will to jump into the back. Speeding to the front of the runaway, Will makes a successful jump to 777 and brings the runaway to a stop, ending the crisis. Frank, Will, and Ned are celebrated as heroes, and the two reunite with their worried families. As described in a pre-credit montage, Frank was promoted and is now retired with full benefits, Will continues to work for AWVR and is expecting a second child with his wife, Connie takes over Galvin's job, Ryan Scott recovered fully from his injuries, and Dewey is now working in the fast food industry
Fast food
Fast food is the term given to food that can be prepared and served very quickly. While any meal with low preparation time can be considered to be fast food, typically the term refers to food sold in a restaurant or store with preheated or precooked ingredients, and served to the customer in a...

.

Cast

  • Denzel Washington
    Denzel Washington
    Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. is an American actor, screenwriter, director, and film producer. He first rose to prominence when he joined the cast of the medical drama, St. Elsewhere, playing Dr...

     as Frank Barnes, a veteran railroad engineer.
  • Chris Pine
    Chris Pine
    Christopher Whitelaw "Chris" Pine is an American actor. He has appeared in the romantic comedies The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement and Just My Luck , as well as the action films Smokin' Aces and Unstoppable . In 2009, he portrayed James T...

     as Will Colson, a young train conductor.
  • Rosario Dawson
    Rosario Dawson
    Rosario Isabel Dawson is an American actress, singer, and writer. She has appeared in films such as Kids, Men in Black II, 25th Hour, Sin City, Clerks II, Rent, Death Proof, The Rundown, Eagle Eye, Alexander, Seven Pounds, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and Unstoppable.-Early...

     as Connie Hooper, a train yardmaster.
  • Lew Temple
    Lew Temple
    Lew Temple is an American film actor, perhaps best known for his roles as Locus Fender in the action film, Domino starring Keira Knightley, and Cal, the diner manager in the comedy-drama Waitress starring Keri Russell....

     as Ned Oldham, a railroad welder.
  • Ethan Suplee
    Ethan Suplee
    Ethan Suplee is an American film and television actor best known for his roles as Seth Ryan in American History X, Louie Lastik in Remember the Titans, Frankie in Boy Meets World, Randy Hickey in My Name Is Earl, Thumper in The Butterfly Effect, Dewey in Unstoppable, and his roles in Kevin Smith...

     as Dewey, a hostler who accidentally instigates the disaster.
  • Kevin Dunn
    Kevin Dunn
    Kevin Dunn is an American actor who has appeared in supporting roles in a number of films since the 1980s. His roles include Colonel Hicks in the 1998 version of Godzilla, Sam Witwicky's father in Transformers, and Oscar Galvin, the primary antagonist in the 2010 action thriller...

     as Oscar Galvin, vice-president of AWVR train operations.
  • Kevin Corrigan
    Kevin Corrigan
    Kevin Fitzgerald Corrigan is an American actor who has appeared mostly in independent films and television since the 1990s.-Life and career:Corrigan was born in The Bronx, New York to an Irish-American father and a Puerto Rican mother...

     as Scott Werner, an FRA
    Federal Railroad Administration
    The Federal Railroad Administration is an agency in the United States Department of Transportation. The agency was created by the Department of Transportation Act of 1966...

     inspector who helps Frank, Will, and Connie.
  • Kevin Chapman
    Kevin Chapman
    Kevin Chapman is an American actor known for his big build and ability to play an assortment of characters ranging from the obnoxious brother, Terrence in FX's Rescue Me to street enforcer Val Savage in Clint Eastwood's critically acclaimed film, Mystic River.Chapman was discovered by the late...

     as Bunny, a railroad operations dispatcher.
  • T.J. Miller as Gilleece, Dewey's friend, also a hostler.
  • Jessy Schram
    Jessy Schram
    Jessica "Jessy" Schram is an American actress who starred in several TV series including Veronica Mars, Life and Falling Skies.- Life and career :...

     as Darcy Colson, Will's estranged wife.
  • David Warshofsky
    David Warshofsky
    David Warshofsky is an American film and television actor.-Life and career:Warshofsky was born in Saratoga, California. There is some dispute about this. Other sources, some self-contradictory, have listed his place and date of birth as San Francisco in 1961 or 1959, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and...

     as Judd Stewart, a veteran engineer who dies in an attempt to slow the runaway.
  • Victor Gojcaj
    Victor Gojcaj
    -Career:A former convicted criminal, turned actor, Gojcaj was spotted by film director Tony Scott while he was searching New York for someone to play the roles of the train hijackers, alongside John Travolta in the 2009 movie The Taking of Pelham 123. Scott enlisted the help of DEA agent Don...

     as Groundman, a railroad ground specialist.
  • Meagan Tandy
    Meagan Tandy
    Meagan Yvonne Tandy is an American actress and model. She was Miss California USA 2007 who was one of 5 finalists competing for the Miss USA title in 2007. She placed 8th in swimsuit which advanced her to the top 10 and then placed 4th in evening gown, which gave her enough points to make the top 5...

     and Elizabeth Mathis as Maya and Nicole Barnes, Frank's daughters who work as waitresses at Hooters
    Hooters
    Hooters is the trade name of two privately held American restaurant chains: Hooters of America, Incorporated, based in Atlanta, Georgia, and Hooters, Incorporated, based in Clearwater, Florida...

    .
  • Ryan Ahern as Ryan Scott, a railway employee and US Marine veteran of the war in Afghanistan who attempts unsuccessfully to board the runaway from a helicopter.
  • Aisha Hinds
    Aisha Hinds
    Aisha Hinds is an American television and film actress, known for her recurring roles on the TV shows Dollhouse, HawthoRNe, Invasion, True Blood, and Detroit 1-8-7.-Films:* Assault on Precinct 13...

     as Railroad Safety Campaign Coordinator

Production


Unstoppable suffered various production challenges before filming could commence, including casting, schedule, location and budgetary concerns.

In June 2007, 20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation — also known as 20th Century Fox, or simply 20th or Fox — is one of the six major American film studios...

 was in negotiations with Martin Campbell
Martin Campbell
-Life and career:Campbell was born in Hastings, New Zealand. He directed two James Bond films, 1995's GoldenEye, starring Pierce Brosnan, and 2006's Casino Royale, starring Daniel Craig, and was the first Bond director since John Glen to direct more than one film, as well as the oldest director in...

 to direct the film, and he was attached as director, until March 2009 when Tony Scott
Tony Scott
Anthony D. L. "Tony" Scott is an English film director. His films include Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop II, The Last Boy Scout, True Romance, Crimson Tide, Enemy of the State, Spy Game, Man on Fire, Déjà Vu, The Taking of Pelham 123, and Unstoppable...

 came onboard as director.
In April, both Denzel Washington and Chris Pine were attached to the project.

The original budget had been trimmed from $107 million down to $100 million, but Fox wanted to further reduce it to the low $90 million range, asking director Scott to cut his salary from $9 million to $6 million and wanting Washington to shave $4 million off his $20 million fee.
Washington declined and, although attached since April, formally withdrew from the project in July, citing lost patience with the film's lack of a start date. Fox made a modified offer as enticement, and he returned to the project two weeks later.

Production was headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where the fictional railroad depicted in the movie, the "Allegheny and West Virginia Railroad," is headquartered. Filming took place in a broad area around there including the Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

 cities of Martins Ferry
Martins Ferry, Ohio
During the census of 2000, there were 7,226 people, 3,202 households, and 1,959 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,345.1 people per square mile . There were 3,680 housing units at an average density of 1,703.6 per square mile...

, Bellaire
Bellaire, Ohio
Bellaire is a village in Belmont County, Ohio, United States. It is part of the Wheeling, West Virginia Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 4,278 at the 2010 census. The village is located along the Ohio River...

, Mingo Junction
Mingo Junction, Ohio
Mingo Junction is a village in Jefferson County, Ohio, United States, along the Ohio River. The population was 3,631 at the 2000 census. In 1900, its only manufacturing plant was a steel mill owned by Carnegie Steel Company...

, Steubenville
Steubenville, Ohio
Steubenville is a city located along the Ohio River in Jefferson County, Ohio on the Ohio-West Virginia border in the United States. It is the political county seat of Jefferson County. It is also a principal city of the Weirton–Steubenville, WV-OH Metropolitan Statistical Area...

 and Brewster
Brewster, Ohio
Brewster is a village in Stark County, Ohio, United States. The population was 2,324 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Canton–Massillon Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:Brewster is located at , along Sugar Creek....

, and in the Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 cities of Pittsburgh, Emporium
Emporium, Pennsylvania
Emporium is a borough in Cameron County, Pennsylvania, west-northwest of Williamsport. Early in the twentieth century, it had large powder plants and manufactories of radio tubes, incandescent lamps, paving brick, flour, iron, lumber, sole leather, etc. In 1900, 2,463 people lived in Emporium, and...

, Milesburg
Milesburg, Pennsylvania
Milesburg is a borough in Centre County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is part of the State College, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,187 at the 2000 census...

, Tyrone
Tyrone, Pennsylvania
Tyrone is a borough in Blair County, Pennsylvania, northeast of Altoona, on the Little Juniata River. Tyrone was of considerable commercial importance in the twentieth century. It was an outlet for the Clearfield coal fields, and it was noted for the manufacture of paper products. There were...

, Julian
Julian, Pennsylvania
Julian, is a census-designated place in Centre County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is part of the State College, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 152 at the 2000 census...

, Unionville
Unionville, Pennsylvania
Unionville is the name of some places in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania:*Unionville, Centre County, Pennsylvania*Unionville, Chester County, Pennsylvania*Neffs, Pennsylvania in Lehigh County, historically called Unionville...

, Port Matilda
Port Matilda, Pennsylvania
Port Matilda is a borough in Centre County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is part of the State College, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area...

, Bradford
Bradford, Pennsylvania
Bradford is a small city located in rural McKean County, Pennsylvania, in the United States 78 miles south of Buffalo, New York. Settled in 1823, Bradford was chartered as a city in 1879 and emerged as a wild oil boomtown in the Pennsylvanian oil rush in the late 19th century...

, Monaca
Monaca, Pennsylvania
Monaca is a borough in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, United States along the Ohio River, northwest of Pittsburgh. Monaca was first incorporated as Phillipsburg in 1840, and had been known by that name since the 1820s. In 1892, the name of the borough was changed to Monaca in honor of the Native...

, Eldred
Eldred, Pennsylvania
Eldred is a borough in McKean County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 858 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Eldred is located at ....

, Turtlepoint, Port Allegany
Port Allegany, Pennsylvania
Port Allegany is a borough in McKean County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 2,355 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Port Allegany is located at ....

 and Carnegie
Carnegie, Pennsylvania
Carnegie is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States and is part of the Pittsburgh Metro Area. The population was 7,972 at the 2010 census.-Geography:Carnegie is located at . It is approximately southwest of Pittsburgh...

, and also in Portville
Portville (town), New York
Portville is a town in Cattaraugus County, New York, United States. The population was 3,952 at the 2000 census. The name is derived by the town's early role in shipping lumber and other items down river....

 and Olean, New York
Olean, New York
Olean is a city in Cattaraugus County, New York, United States. Olean is the largest city in Cattaraugus County, and serves as the financial, business, transportation and entertainment center of the county. It is one of the principal cities of the Southern Tier region of New York.The city is...

.
The real-life bridge and elevated curve in a climactic scene are located in Bellaire, Ohio.
A two-day filming session took place at the Hooters
Hooters
Hooters is the trade name of two privately held American restaurant chains: Hooters of America, Incorporated, based in Atlanta, Georgia, and Hooters, Incorporated, based in Clearwater, Florida...

 restaurant in Monroeville, Pennsylvania
Monroeville, Pennsylvania
Monroeville is a home rule municipality in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States. Located about east of the city of Pittsburgh, Monroeville is a bustling suburb with mixed residential and commercial developments...

 (a Pittsburgh suburb), featuring 10 Hooters Girls from across the United States. Other interior scenes were shot at 31st Street Studios (then known as Mogul Media Studios) on 31st street in Pittsburgh. Filming began on August 31, 2009 for a release on November 12, 2010.

Filming was delayed one day when part of the train accidentally derailed on November 21, 2009.

The locomotives used on the runaway train (unit #777 and trailing unit #767) were GE AC4400CW
GE AC4400CW
The GE AC4400CW is a diesel-electric locomotive that was built by GE Transportation Systems between 1993 and 2004. It is similar to the Dash 9-44CW, but features AC traction motors instead of DC, with a separate inverter per motor. 2,598 examples of this locomotive were produced for North American...

s leased from the Canadian Pacific Railway
Canadian Pacific Railway
The Canadian Pacific Railway , formerly also known as CP Rail between 1968 and 1996, is a historic Canadian Class I railway founded in 1881 and now operated by Canadian Pacific Railway Limited, which began operations as legal owner in a corporate restructuring in 2001...

. CP #9777 and #9758 played #777 and #767 in the film's early scenes, while CP #9782 and #9751 were given a damaged look for portrayal in the later scenes of the film. It is also interesting to note that while these four locomotives were repainted by Canadian Pacific following the filming, the painted snowplows from the AWVR liveries were left untouched and remain visible. Most of the other locomotives seen in the film, including the chase locomotive (#1206), and the lashup locomotives used in an attempt to stop the train in the film (#7375 and #7346), were EMD SD40-2
EMD SD40-2
The EMD SD40-2 is a C-C locomotive produced by EMD from 1972 to 1989.The SD40-2 was first introduced in January 1972 as the mid-range offering in EMD's six-axle "Dash-2" series, competing against the GE U30C and the MLW M630...

s leased from the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway. #1206 was played by three different SD40-2s: W&LE #6353 and #6534, as well as a third unit which was bought from scrap and modified for cab shots. #7375 and #7346 were played by W&LE #6352 and #6351, which also played two locomotive "extras" (#5624 and #5580). The excursion train locomotive (#2002) was a Southwestern Pennsylvania Railroad Paducah Built EMD GP11 which had been rebuilt from an EMD GP9
EMD GP9
An EMD GP9 is a four-axle diesel locomotive built by General Motors' Electro-Motive Division in the United States, and General Motors Diesel in Canada between January, 1954, and August, 1963. US production ended in December, 1959, while an additional thirteen units were built in Canada, including...

. The passenger coaches carrying the schoolchildren were provided by the Orrville Railroad Heritage Society.

Inspiration



Unstoppable is inspired by the CSX 8888 incident
CSX 8888 incident
The CSX 8888 incident, also known as the Crazy Eights incident, involved an unmanned runaway train led by CSX Transportation locomotive #8888, an EMD SD40-2, that was pulling a freight train consisting of 47 cars, some of them loaded with hazardous chemicals. The train ran uncontrolled for two...

 (also called the "Crazy Eights" unmanned train incident) in 2001. The train, led by CSX Transportation
CSX Transportation
CSX Transportation operates a Class I railroad in the United States known as the CSX Railroad. It is the main subsidiary of the CSX Corporation. The company is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, and owns approximately 21,000 route miles...

 SD40-2
EMD SD40-2
The EMD SD40-2 is a C-C locomotive produced by EMD from 1972 to 1989.The SD40-2 was first introduced in January 1972 as the mid-range offering in EMD's six-axle "Dash-2" series, competing against the GE U30C and the MLW M630...

 #8888, left its Walbridge, Ohio
Walbridge, Ohio
Walbridge is a village in Wood County, Ohio, United States. The population was 2,546 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Walbridge is located at ....

, rail yard and began a 66 miles (106.2 km) journey through northwest Ohio with no one at the controls, after the Hostler got out of the originally slow-moving train to correctly line a switch, mistakenly believing he had properly set the train's dynamic braking
Dynamic braking
Dynamic braking is the use of the electric traction motors of a railroad vehicle as generators when slowing the Locomotive. It is termed rheostatic if the generated electrical power is dissipated as heat in brake grid resistors, and regenerative if the power is returned to the supply line...

 system, just as his counterpart in the film did.

Two of the train's tank cars also contained thousands of gallons of molten phenol
Phenol
Phenol, also known as carbolic acid, phenic acid, is an organic compound with the chemical formula C6H5OH. It is a white crystalline solid. The molecule consists of a phenyl , bonded to a hydroxyl group. It is produced on a large scale as a precursor to many materials and useful compounds...

, a toxic ingredient of paints and dyes harmful when it is inhaled, ingested, or brought into contact with the skin. Attempts to derail it using a portable derailer failed, and police were unable to shoot out the fuel release valve, instead hitting the fuel cap. For two hours, the train traveled along at speeds up to 51 miles per hour (22.8 m/s) until the crew of a second train coupled
Coupling (railway)
A coupling is a mechanism for connecting rolling stock in a train. The design of the coupler is standard, and is almost as important as the railway gauge, since flexibility and convenience are maximised if all rolling stock can be coupled together.The equipment that connects the couplings to the...

 onto the runaway and slowly applied its brakes. Once the runaway was slowed down to a speed of 11 miles per hour, a CSX employee, trainmaster Jon Hosfeld, ran alongside the train and climbed aboard, shutting down the locomotive. The train was stopped just southeast of Kenton, Ohio
Kenton, Ohio
Kenton is a city in and the county seat of Hardin County, Ohio, United States, along the Scioto River. The population was 8,262 at the 2010 census. It is named for Kentucky/Ohio frontiersman, Simon Kenton...

. No one was seriously injured in the incident.

When the film was released, the Toledo Blade compared the events of the film to the real-life incident. "It's predictably exaggerated and dramatized to make it more entertaining," wrote David Patch, "but close enough to the real thing to support the 'Inspired by True Events' announcement that flashes across the screen at its start." He notes that the dead man switch would probably have worked in real life despite the unconnected brake hoses, unless the locomotive brakes were already applied. The film exaggerates the possible damage the phenol could have caused in a fire, and he found it incredible that the fictional AWVR freely disseminated information such as employees' names and images and the cause of the runaway to the media. In the real instance, he writes, the cause of the runaway was not disclosed until months later when the National Transportation Safety Board
National Transportation Safety Board
The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent U.S. government investigative agency responsible for civil transportation accident investigation. In this role, the NTSB investigates and reports on aviation accidents and incidents, certain types of highway crashes, ship and marine...

 released its report, and CSX never made public the name of the engineer whose error let the train slip, nor what disciplinary action it took.

Marketing



A trailer was released online on August 6, 2010. The film went on general release November 12, 2010.

Critical response



Unstoppable has received mostly favorable reviews. Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes is a website devoted to reviews, information, and news of films—widely known as a film review aggregator. Its name derives from the cliché of audiences throwing tomatoes and other vegetables at a poor stage performance...

 gives the film a score of 87% based on 171 reviews, with an average score of 6.9/10. The film is "Certified Fresh", and the critical consensus is: "As fast, loud, and relentless as the train at the center of the story, Unstoppable is perfect popcorn entertainment—and director Tony Scott's best movie in years." Metacritic
Metacritic
Metacritic.com is a website that collates reviews of music albums, games, movies, TV shows and DVDs. For each product, a numerical score from each review is obtained and the total is averaged. An excerpt of each review is provided along with a hyperlink to the source. Three colour codes of Green,...

 gives the film a score of 69% based on reviews from 32 critics indicating "generally favorable reviews".

Film critic Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Roger Joseph Ebert is an American film critic and screenwriter. He is the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.Ebert is known for his film review column and for the television programs Sneak Previews, At the Movies with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, and Siskel and Ebert and The...

 rated the film three and a half stars out of four, remarking in his review, "In terms of sheer craftsmanship, this is a superb film."
In The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

, Manohla Dargis
Manohla Dargis
Manohla Dargis is a chief film critic for The New York Times, along with A.O. Scott. She was formerly a chief film critic for the Los Angeles Times, the film editor at the LA Weekly, and a film critic at The Village Voice. She has written for a variety of publications, including Film Comment and...

 praised the film's visual style, saying that Scott "creates an unexpectedly rich world of chugging, rushing trains slicing across equally beautiful industrial and natural landscapes."

The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail is a nationally distributed Canadian newspaper, based in Toronto and printed in six cities across the country. With a weekly readership of approximately 1 million, it is Canada's largest-circulation national newspaper and second-largest daily newspaper after the Toronto Star...

, a Toronto newspaper, was more measured. While the movie's action scenes "ha[ve] the greasy punch of a three-minute heavy-metal guitar solo", its critic felt the characters were weak. Ultimately, its review called the film "an opportunistic political allegory about an economy that's out of control and industries that are weakened by layoffs, under-staffing and corporate callousness."

Box office


Unstoppable was expected to take in about the same amount of money at the box office as The Taking of Pelham 123, another Tony Scott film involving an out-of-control train starring Denzel Washington. Pelham took in $23.4 million during its opening weekend in the United States and Canada.
Unstoppable had a strong opening night on Friday November 12, 2010, coming in ahead of Megamind with a gross of $8.1 million. However Megamind won the weekend earning $30 million to Unstoppable 's $23.9 million.
With these results, Unstoppable performed slightly better than The Taking of Pelham 123 did in its opening weekend. As of April 2011, the film had managed to earn $167,805,466 world wide.

Awards



The film was nominated in the category Best Sound Editing at the 83rd Academy Awards
83rd Academy Awards
The 83rd Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences , honored the best films of 2010 and took place February 27, 2011, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles beginning at 5:30 p.m. PST / 8:30 p.m. EST. During the ceremony, Academy Awards ...

.

External links


  • Unstoppable at Metacritic
    Metacritic
    Metacritic.com is a website that collates reviews of music albums, games, movies, TV shows and DVDs. For each product, a numerical score from each review is obtained and the total is averaged. An excerpt of each review is provided along with a hyperlink to the source. Three colour codes of Green,...