All-Time Action Classic Critics Hated but Fans Loved Is Now on Netflix

All-Time Action Classic Critics Hated but Fans Loved Is Now on Netflix
Image credit: 20th Century Fox

The movie that launched Liam Neeson's action career is now streaming on Netflix.


  • 2008 saw the release of Taken, the film that launched Liam Neeson's career as an action movie star.
  • The movie was not well received by critics, but audiences universally applauded it.
  • Now the classic action thriller is available to Netflix subscribers in the United States.

Before 2008, everyone knew Liam Neeson as a great actor who starred in dramas, not to mention blockbusters with enough action sequences like Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace and Batman Begins. Schindler's List, Michael Collins, Kinsey - each of these films showed Neeson's versatility as an actor, playing very different historical figures.

However, 2008 was a pivotal point in the actor's career, as from then on his fame became associated with high-profile action movies. After that, Neeson became known to a wide audience not only as Qui-Gon Jinn, but also as the hero of the 'I will find you and I will kill you' memes!

All thanks to his role in the French action thriller Taken, co-written by Luc Besson himself. At the time of its release, critics gave the movie a cold reception, while ordinary viewers immediately fell in love with Liam Neeson's performance as a ruthless and calculating ex-Green Beret and, more importantly, an enraged father hunting down his daughter's kidnappers. The movie was an incredible commercial success, even by today's standards. So why not revisit such a classic now that Taken has officially joined the Netflix library?

What Is the Classic Action-Thriller Movie About

The movie is about ex-Green Beret and CIA agent Bryan Mills (Neeson). But first and foremost, he is a father trying his best to reconnect with his estranged 17-year-old daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace). On a trip to Paris with her friend, Kim meets an attractive young man who lures young girls into a sex trafficking ring run by the Albanian mafia.

Thus begins a merciless and furious hunt for the criminals responsible for many ruined lives and deaths. In the course of events, Mills not only pursues the Mafia, using the most brutal methods and reprisals to get the data on his daughter's whereabouts, but also exposes the corruption of the Parisian power structures that allow sex trafficking to take place under their noses for the powerful of this world.

The film was directed by French filmmaker Pierre Morel, who previously worked with Luc Besson on the 2004 hit District 13 and immediately followed Taken with the equally popular From Paris with Love. The music composed by Nathaniel Méchaly is also worth mentioning, as it provides a place for both the suspense and the emotional gamut experienced by the enraged protagonist.

Taken Is Now Available on Netflix

Previously, the movie was available on South Korean Netflix, so U.S. subscribers had to either use a VPN or search for the movie on other platforms (for example, it can be seen on Vix and DirectTV, and is also available for rent or purchase on Prime Video ( from $3.79)). However, as of December 1, the American Netflix has also acquired the rights to the movie, and it, as well as the second installment, can now be streamed!

What Critics and Viewers Say

'On the one hand, it's preposterous. But who expects a "Bourne"-type city-wrecking operative to be plausible? On the other hand, it's very well-made. Liam Neeson brings the character a hard-edged, mercilessly focused anger, and director Pierre Morel hurtles through action sequences at a breathless velocity,' the famous film critic Robert Ebert said about the movie, and this statement best represents the sentiment around Taken.

Critics found the movie sometimes too shallow, while audiences loved it. Against a modest budget of $25 million, the film grossed a staggering $226.8 million at the global box office. All of this demonstrates that this is a decent movie for its genre that doesn't slow down until the very end.

Source: Roger Ebert.