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Overall Rating

Awesome: 4.42%
Worth A Look36.28%
Average: 20.35%
Pretty Bad: 16.81%
Total Crap: 22.12%

9 reviews, 59 user ratings

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by Scott Weinberg

"Seat belts aren't really necessary on this particular flight."
3 stars

"Flightplan" is an airborne thriller that has just enough catchy "set-up" to fill a solid 45 minutes (and one heck of an intriguing trailer), but "set-up" material can only be stretched so far before the filmmakers are required to commit to a definite course of action. And once that happens in "Flightplan," you're doomed to a third-act miasma of moronic plot twists, pointless red herrings, and more plot holes than a three-acre graveyard.

Adding some much-welcome class to a very standard psychological thriller is Ms. Jodie Foster, the always-welcome actress who consistently manages to make even the skimpiest material something a little bit special. Foster plays a bereaved recent widow who, along with her 6-year-old daughter, is flying from Germany to New York with her dead husband's coffin tucked firmly into the cargo hold.

After she and her daughter drift off to sleep, Kyle (Foster) awakens to find her little moppet gone. But, heck, they're 30,000 feet above the ground in an airplane, so the kid couldn't have gone too far, right? Well, no. Apparently little Ms. Blondie is nowhere on the plane, which means that Kyle may not only be in serious mourning about her newly dead hubby -- she might also be stark raving bonkers.

And off goes Flightplan, seemingly under the mistaken impression that a jazzed-up airplane rendition of The Lady Vanishes (splashed with a little dose of The Forgotten) could ever be mistaken for a fresh, unique, or startlingly engaging concept. As the movie ticks by, the audience members catch wind of the gimmicks well before the screenwriters reveal the silliness. Basically, the flick can go one of two ways: Either Kyle IS nuts and there was no kid -- or there IS a kid and someone's up to no good.

Once you get to that point in the story, everything locks blandly into place, and as the onscreen insanity gets more and more outrageous, you'll find yourself thinking back over Flightplan's first 40 minutes, wondering where the craftiness and unpredictability wandered off to. The best sort of adrenalin thrillers are the ones that spark post-movie conversations about "I didn't expect THAT..." and "Can you believe that she did THAT..."

Annoyingly, most of the conversations that will take place following Flightplan will consist of questions like "Wait, but what about that ONE scene where..." and "But here's what I don't get..." And this is not a case of moviegoers not keeping up with a fast-paced tale; it's an example of sloppy screenwriting across the board. When it's all over and done with, Flightplan seems a hell of a lot sillier than it did when the movie was playing. Well, at least the first 40-some minutes, anyway.

The movie's directed with a crisp eye and some fluid little flourishes, and Jodie Foster makes the whole thing perfectly watchable, but one can't help but think "Flightplan" is all premise and practically no plot; it's a high-concept idea that was never fleshed out into anything resembling a cohesive and satisfying story, which means we'll get a few tight-knuckled moments -- followed by even more moments that are head-scratchingly stupid.

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originally posted: 09/23/05 15:57:39
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell flawed but tense 4 stars
2/20/11 Ark Mostly turd! Silly writing, she JUST HAPPENS to have designed the plane? Turd writing! 3 stars
8/29/08 Shaun Wallner Ugg boring!! 2 stars
3/01/08 Ivana Mann Jodie Foster in most every movie: "You hurt my daughter...I'm gonna kick your ass." Yawn... 2 stars
2/18/08 Pamela White farfetched plan but what it lacks in plot Foster makes up in acting 4 stars
12/12/07 Double M Interesting premise ruined by lame, illogical "twists" and plotholes. just a crowd pleaser. 2 stars
8/07/07 R.W. Welch Contrived, unconvincing, yet mildly diverting. 3 stars
6/04/07 Ropa Dope Pure unadulterated poop. As stupid as it can get. 1 stars
1/30/07 Matt Jodie's magic shines through and saves the day for this otherwise silly bit of nonsense. 4 stars
1/16/07 K Jones The initially interesting plot descends into utter stupidity. Not one I'll be seeing again. 2 stars
12/19/06 MP Bartley Starts well, ends ludicrously, always enjoyable. 3 stars
12/15/06 Cara takes a nosedive at the end 2 stars
11/07/06 David Pollastrini not great, not terrible 4 stars
10/28/06 Richard It had a nice atmosphere to it. 4 stars
8/26/06 Stanley Thai A great thriller w/ great acting. Such a fantastic film. 4 stars
6/16/06 lia arab countertype as evident of how villain doesn't related to any race!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 stars
5/08/06 Diane Perkins really good, keeps your attention, very suspensful 4 stars
4/24/06 millersxing Cramped, claustrophobic, & a bit dull. Jodie and Peter give the material a lift. 3 stars
4/05/06 John too predictable and boring 1 stars
4/01/06 Nobody Fun to try to predict what will happen. Has enough twists to keep it interesting. 5 stars
3/31/06 Dan fun 4 stars
3/19/06 Jeromebosch Garbage 1 stars
3/15/06 Indrid Cold A pleasant diversion, but totally forgettable. 3 stars
3/03/06 Simon Valueless. Foster being characteristically irritating; uninspired plot. a slight thrill. 2 stars
2/24/06 ES Didn't mind it 3 stars
2/12/06 Joe Smaltz Boring bullshit plot, effects, ect 1 stars
2/10/06 Monday Morning Many TV shows are better than this flick. And Jody, you're not aging well. 1 stars
1/26/06 Rocky I'll never see another heroic J. Foster cardio-machine mother in dire straits waste of film 2 stars
1/15/06 Quigley a really dysfunctional Red Eye wanna-be, filled with political icons and creepy assistants 2 stars
1/11/06 Tamara D.Leonard I was bored to tears. So disappointed because I thought it would be awesome w/Jodie in it. 2 stars
1/09/06 Anthony Feor i use to hate Jodie Foster untill this movie 4 stars
12/29/05 Jenna Furr Before pushing detonator, Kyle should've said "Whoopy kigh yigh yay, motherfucker!" 4 stars
12/21/05 Littlepurch Really enjoyed it. Great acting from Foster and a good plot - not a let down at the end! 4 stars
12/08/05 Dee portraying arabs as suspects on a flight -how insensitve 2 stars
12/07/05 alice I agree about the ending, they should stop doing that! 3 stars
11/14/05 john bale Foster plays the fighting Mum again well, but the plot is mainly nonsense 4 stars
11/12/05 Dan Its total utter fantasy.. 1 stars
11/11/05 Dan Smith Jodie Foster was alright,but over all needs work. 3 stars
10/24/05 Jessy The camra angles were of decent quality but the script direction could have used some work. 2 stars
10/20/05 Agent Sands OK, you know what? These pat endings are really getting out of fucking hand! 3 stars
10/19/05 Valerie awesome. 5 stars
10/12/05 --- So its the air marshals we should be afraid of not arab terrorists..OOOKAAAY... 2 stars
10/12/05 Chelito is the captain the mortuary director? who cares? Why did I spend $8 on this movie? 1 stars
10/11/05 Quigley foster was good, sean bean was wasted. red eye is much better; this one wasn't that great 3 stars
10/08/05 Ryanrc very cool 5 stars
10/07/05 Louise McChrystal Entertaining, a little slow at times 4 stars
10/05/05 Jesse Taylor Very exhilirating thriller. Kept me on the edge of my seat. Foster is great. 4 stars
10/03/05 Chris Pretty decent 4 stars
10/03/05 whateverman Waste of money. Decent directing, moronic script. 1 stars
10/01/05 TD Good premise, great Foster/Bean, terrible writing. 2 stars
9/30/05 tony Amazing! I never thought it was that good! Spellbinding! 5 stars
9/30/05 zinnmeister complete crap 1 stars
9/28/05 Ramazan Güneºp 1 stars
9/26/05 Jonathon Holmes same formula thriller crap...only worse 1 stars
9/25/05 Josh Standlee Fucking horrible! Boring characters in a boring movie really sucks! 1 stars
9/25/05 lulu papa excellent and intense; dont read between the lines 5 stars
9/24/05 Raymond it got pretty cheesy at the end. 3 stars
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  23-Sep-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 24-Jan-2006



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