Rated 4.0

A runaway train barrels through rural Pennsylvania with a cargo of toxic chemicals, headed straight for the city; meanwhile, a veteran engineer (Denzel Washington) and a rookie conductor (Chris Pine) hatch a desperate play to try to stop it. Writer Mark Bomback expands on a real 2001 incident in Ohio, doubling the speed, the danger and the threatened population; and his script is a model of action writing—crisp, sharp and clear, with just enough tech-speak to sound authentic without bogging down the pace. Director Tony Scott keeps his trademark chaotic editing to a minimum (you can actually tell what’s going on nearly all the time), and the hair-raising action is convincing (CGI effects? You wouldn’t know it). A near-classic nail biter, with Rosario Dawson, Kevin Dunn and Kevin Corrigan in fine support.