Much progress has been made in automated facial image analysis, yet current approaches still lag behind what is possible using manual labeling of facial actions. While many factors may contribute, a key one may be the limited attention to dynamics of facial action. Most approaches classify frames in terms of either displacement from a neutral, mean face or, less frequently, displacement between successive frames (i.e. velocity). In the current paper, we evaluated the hypothesis that attention to dynamics can boost recognition rates. Using the well-known Cohn-Kanade database and support vector machines, adding velocity and acceleration decreased the number of incorrectly classified results by 14.2% and 11.2%, respectively. Average classification accuracy for the displacement and velocity classifier system across all classifiers was 90.2%. Findings were replicated using linear discriminant analysis, and found a mean decrease of 16.4% in incorrect classifications across classifiers. These findings suggest that information about the dynamics of a movement, that is, the velocity and to a lesser extent the acceleration of a change, can helpfully inform classification of facial expressions.