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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 Erik Childress

"Calm Down Get A Hold Of Yourself...(SMACK!)"
2 stars

A filmmaker can draw you into any project if you’re able to recognize the skill of their techniques. A great mystery can hold the curiosity of even the most bored and attention-deficient patrons provided you don’t allow them to get too ahead of where you’re taking them. For a whole hour, Robert Schwentke’s Flightplan is as solidly directed a thriller as we’ve ever seen, oozing with Fincher-ian flair and post-9/11 paranoia. But like a delicious oven confection that has us clamoring for its final outcome, once the door is open too soon it flattens on sight, falling faster than the twin towers.

Jodie Foster plays Kyle Pratt, who designs aircraft engines and is suffering a tolling trauma. The opening moments, clouded in short bursts of mystery, seem to reveal that her husband has recently died. It’s circumstances are clued to us and we’re left to fill-in-the-blanks for now. She’s taking his body from Berlin back to the states for the folks in a security-coded casket and bringing along her daughter, Julia (Marlene Lawston). Kyle takes a nap on the plane and when she wakes up, Julia is gone.

The plane in question is like Air Force One Hundred, a virtual flying mall with enough legroom to play hide-and-seek and get lost for days. Kyle’s search for her daughter becomes more frantic the more obvious it seems that she has actually vanished in very thin air at 35,000 feet. An air marshal (Peter Sarsgaard) quickly gets involved when she begins to cause a disturbance and the flight’s captain (Sean Bean in a very good performance) does his best to rationalize the situation and protect the safety of his passengers.

This somewhat implausible situation is livened up by Foster’s performance, which again like last year’s very similar The Forgotten with Julianne Moore, shows that a great actor can transform the absurd to the believable with very little effort. Foster maintains a tightrope of both sympathy for her character and suggesting the possibility that she just may be a little loopy as a result of the recent tragedy. The horror of losing a child is confounded by one twist after another in a surrounding that’s already tainted with the anxiety of airport security since 2001.

Schwentke pulls off quite a feat in that first hour, making a calling card for the way he places the camera without calling attention to its flash. It’s integral to giving it freedom throughout the plane and establishing all of its hiding places and secrets before he’s ready to spring the truth on us. The truth being that he has a screenplay which is going to betray its sense of intrigue prematurely and crash faster than any suspenser since Identity.

Chalk up all the red herrings available to mystery lovers and how subtly they are introduced and then erase them with a plot that the conspirators would require eighteen things in a row to go right, ignoring all possibility of blind chance to pull off without a hitch. I’m being careful not to reveal too much, although once you eliminate the facts the trailers have already given us as absolutes, there’s only one solution you can come to.

Flightplan lands on the runway of civil libertarians who would rather ignore the harsh (but useful) aspects of criminal profiling and instead watch petite white women and those who would be our allies as the ones to fear. Tell that to my 90-year old grandmother who was randomly searched by Ted Airlines and stranded in Vegas all night because her wheelchair wasn’t at check-in 61 minutes before flight time. The absurdity of the third act, and through projection - the whole film, may not hit you until you leave to begin adding and subtracting, but the final scene, one of the silliest “message” endings you’ll ever see, will get you started. Not only does one offscreen voice point out that “she never gave up”, but Kyle is helped away by the Arab who was unjustly profiled. I think even the ACLU will be reaching for the barf bag after that.

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originally posted: 09/23/05 14:10:25
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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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