The Commuter is a suspenseful, action-packed movie with the usual strong performance by Liam Neeson, who plays Michael MacCauley, a former New York cop who now sells insurance policies. He seems to have the idyllic life—a happy marriage, a son named Danny headed to college, two mortgages, and then…bam! He is let go at his job and given a severance package. He stops at the local bar to lament about it with an old friend, a cop, named Alex Murphy (Patrick Wilson). He keeps mentioning, “I’m 60 years old,” and he doesn’t seem to know what he will do.
Things change dramatically and quickly in his life after he boards the commuter train, homeward bound, with the task of having to tell his wife about his job loss. A woman named Joanna (Vera Farmiga) sits down across from him, interrupts his reading and makes an interesting proposal to him. If he knew there was $25,000 hidden away in the bathroom, with the promise of $75,000 more if he could get a bag away from a certain passenger that was new to commuting on the train, would he do it?
Michael’s curiosity gets the best of him, and he heads to the bathroom to see if can find the cash. He does, and his life changes instantly. He begins receiving random phone calls from Joanna, telling him he has to capture the bag from the new commuter or his family will face death. This leads to a series of him asking questions of the other passengers, eyeing their every move, and getting into a few fistfights along the way. One scene in particular is an exciting sequence as it shows him trying to get out of the bottom of the train, only to be dragged when the train begins to move. The movie prompts the viewer to think about how far he/she would go to protect their own family. The suspense continues to build and gives us a shocking but satisfying conclusion. The use of strong language and the violence level spoils it for receiving the Dove Seal. Neeson, known for his Taken trilogy is at his best when he is in an action picture, and this one is definitely one of those.