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Overall Rating

Awesome: 20.59%
Worth A Look36.27%
Just Average: 19.61%
Pretty Crappy: 12.75%
Sucks: 10.78%

9 reviews, 48 user ratings

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Red Eye
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by brianorndorf

"Wes Craven goes from zero to hero in 6 months. Wow."
5 stars

After stinking up theaters earlier this year with “Cursed,” Wes Craves shifts gears back to quality with the magnificent “Red Eye.” While straining the bands of believability, “Eye” is a corker of a ride, wisely keeping things simple and efficient, and casting two wonderful young performers in the lead roles. “Red Eye” is crackerjack time at the movies, providing unexpected thrills to the last gasp of summer.

Stuck in a Dallas airport on the way back to her busy life in Miami, Lisa (Rachel McAdams, “Wedding Crashers”) strikes up a conversation with friendly Jackson (Cillian Murphy, “Batman Begins”), who keeps running into her during their delayed-flight hell. Oddly ending up sitting together on the plane, Lisa finds herself charmed by Jackson, and relaxed around him. However, that all changes when Jackson reveals his true intentions toward Lisa, leaving the terrified young woman stuck on an airplane with no one to turn to and nowhere to go.

Wes Craven started out the year helming the wretched werewolf debacle “Cursed,” a film that lived up to its title in every facet of production. Looking to strip-down to the basics and return to his suspense roots, Craven elected to make “Red Eye.” A rock-em, sock-em, deliriously fantastic wedge of pop thriller, “Red Eye” cleanses Craven’s past sins away, at least for the time being.

Taking away the luxury of locations and multiple characters, “Red Eye” gives Craven almost nothing to work with. It’s a film centered around two characters chatting and threatening for 80 minutes, with only occasional gasps of air for plot and action. In fact, the majority of the film is set on the two seats Lisa and Jackson occupy on the airplane. What could be a directorial nightmare for many is the ultimate challenge to Craven, and with his best B-movie instincts fully engaged, the uneven filmmaker finds a pulse to the picture right away, indulging greatly in the nail-biting cinema basics of anxiety and thrills. After a simple 20-minute start that arranges the pawns on the game board, Craven quickly lets the film rip, and it careens wildly, tossing the audience around with insane logic jumps and tightly edited suspense set pieces. It comes together beautifully because Craven acknowledges the simplicity of the piece, and enjoys the cleanly cut thrills he’s designed without fear of third-act obesity, or a studio that demands more bang for the buck. “Red Eye” is a simple, heart-thumping ride, and agreeably straight to the point.

For “Red Eye” to truly succeed, it needs two actors that the camera can be alone with, relying on the performers to create tension in tight spaces and initial chemistry to set the plot in motion. Rachael McAdams and Cillian Murphy are the two sensational actors given that heady task, and they play off Craven’s vision well. Both performers give themselves over completely to the momentum of the film, efficiently selling the peril of the moment, and indulging the eventual extravagant payoffs. Normally, a guilty pleasure like this is a pit stop on the road to fame, yet both McAdams and Murphy commit to the material as they would Shakespeare, encouraging the film with a palpable sense of danger the screenplay can’t always articulate.

Truth be told, “Red Eye” isn’t for every taste; those with an obsession for reality in their thrillers will be pulling their hair out over some the whoppers Craven and screenwriter Carl Ellsworth put up on the screen. Logic isn’t the film’s strong suit either and, at times, the picture reminded me of the loopy 2001 actioner, “Swordfish,” which also found delight and profound entertainment in its suspension-of-disbelief bravado.

“Red Eye” is a wet, heavy wave of spellbinding entertainment, and if you can give yourself over to the momentum of the mood, the bodysurf back to shore is sublime.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=12749&reviewer=404
originally posted: 08/19/05 00:15:05
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User Comments

2/20/17 morris campbell tight & tense 4 stars
9/20/15 James Doesn't deserve a star. Waste of talent. 1 stars
10/01/12 Mike grant Terrible. I can't believe how stupid this film becomes at the end. 1 stars
6/19/12 Turd Ferguson Murphy is amazing, McAdams is gorgeous, the rest of the movie is a disaster 1 stars
10/07/10 LKim This crap deserves 2 stars at most, but I'm giving it 3 cause Murphy did incredible with it 3 stars
11/23/09 Albert Valentin Cillian Murphy is great in this! Very disturbing role and great movie! 5 stars
8/02/09 Rachel Wow..you never knew what to expect next! 5 stars
8/20/08 Shaun Wallner The storyline is well made! 4 stars
4/27/07 Total Crap I'm giving it 2 stars cuz of suspense, But the story is bland and redundant. It sucks. 2 stars
2/18/07 Nick Maday By itself, it was pretty good. Compared to Cursed, it was a masterpiece. 4 stars
2/10/07 MP Bartley It gets in, it gets out, it gets the job done with panache. Murphy is great. 4 stars
1/30/07 Matt Don't try and read too much into it. Instantly forgettable, but perfectly watchable. 4 stars
1/09/07 Anthony Feor It's like gravol before a plane flight 2 stars
10/02/06 bullit16 Best thing I can say about this? McAdams sure is pretty 2 stars
9/27/06 MMB We were very disappointed. Was pretty good until the plane landed, then got cheesy. 2 stars
8/27/06 Ryan_A Murphy's nice and creepy, and McAdams is good. The movie, not so much. 2 stars
8/25/06 Stanley Thai It's an average thriller with great acting. 3 stars
8/15/06 xxx A great thriller...I highly recommend it! 5 stars
6/01/06 Danny Very suspensful - I liked it a lot. 4 stars
5/30/06 Bryan McAllister one of the best movies ive seen in a long time 5 stars
4/04/06 Alison Not necessarily a scary movies...it's more like a thriller. I loved it. 5 stars
3/15/06 chris f very entertaining film 5 stars
3/11/06 Dillon Rachel McAdams is great, but the movie usually didnt work 3 stars
2/16/06 Indrid Cold Solid but uninspired. I think Craven's only good movie ever (Scream) was sort of a fluke. 3 stars
2/06/06 Anthony This movie was 1hr and 10 min and was boring 3 stars
2/04/06 Shawn Gadberry Sorry...Put me to sleep. Was this supposed to be a TV movie? Seemed like it was... 2 stars
2/01/06 Gary Mitchell Not bad....very entertaining! 4 stars
1/29/06 Zaharin Bin Abdul Razak Pretty much the same as "Nick of Time". So what's the point? 2 stars
1/19/06 Mike Pulido Predictable.over too quickly seemed like something was missing 3 stars
1/14/06 Quigley One can basically sum of this movie's awesomeness in two words: Cillian Murphy. 5 stars
1/14/06 Jeremy Fassler (the artist formerly known as JFas) This film was extremely overrated. Never had any suspense for me. 1 stars
1/12/06 Perry Mason idiotic, dull, witless thriller 1 stars
11/08/05 Priscilla Posthlethwaite Uncommonly original, tense thriller. More evidence of Rachel McAdams as a serious talent. 5 stars
10/25/05 Katie Evridge Red Eye is definatly a great thriller. 4 stars
10/17/05 Agent Sands Cillian Murphy steals---and saves---this otherwise dull thriller. 4 stars
10/07/05 Frenzy Ending was to HAPPY 3 stars
10/04/05 Naewar Loved it! Can't wait to see it again! 5 stars
9/25/05 Josh Standlee This movie kicks more ass than anyone could possibly imagine! Brilliant!!!! 5 stars
9/07/05 bentable just a great movie 5 stars
9/04/05 marge a real a hitchcock 4 stars
9/03/05 Quigley Cillian Murphy ruled so much! McAdams wasn't bad either. This movie is full of awesomeness. 5 stars
8/26/05 S Davis Wes Craven is back from that "Curses" mess. Outstanding performances...great plot. GREAT! 5 stars
8/25/05 ES A suspenseful, fun ride, McAdams gives her best performance, ending completely satisfies 4 stars
8/23/05 Brandy Harrington Check it out, this is better than Scream and Elm Street. 5 stars
8/22/05 Seymore great 5 stars
8/20/05 Hockeytown A heroine in heels wielding a field hockey stick? I miss the NHL SOOOO bad! 3 stars
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  19-Aug-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 10-Jan-2006



Directed by
  Wes Craven

Written by
  Carl Ellsworth

  Rachel McAdams
  Cillian Murphy
  Brian Cox
  Jayma Mays
  Jack Scalia
  Colby Donaldson

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