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Overall Rating
2.84

Awesome: 4.42%
Worth A Look36.28%
Just Average: 20.35%
Pretty Crappy: 16.81%
Sucks: 22.12%

9 reviews, 59 user ratings


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Flightplan
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by EricDSnider

"Yet another movie they won't be able to show on airplanes."
4 stars

"Flightplan" is two-thirds of a great movie and one-third of a mediocre one, but hey, even the mediocre one has Jodie Foster in it. She does movies so rarely these days that I keep forgetting how good she is, how her face can register so many different emotions at the same time, how she can take command of a scene with just her voice.

She's especially good at portraying near-panic over the welfare of her children, as "Panic Room" and now "Flightplan" demonstrate, and I will join the chorus of people wondering why her first major role in three years is in a movie exactly like the last one.

This time she's Kyle Pratt, a propulsion engineer working in Berlin who is flying back to New York with her young daughter Julia (Marlene Lawston) and a coffin containing her late husband David, who fell or leapt from a rooftop a week earlier. Mid-flight, Kyle wakes up from dozing to find Julia gone. Stewardesses help her look around the plane, but she's nowhere to be found.

Panic starts to set in. Then the bomb drops: No one remembers ever seeing Julia at all. She's shy and sad, Kyle explains. She didn't talk to anyone, and she curled up in her seat as soon as they got onboard. Then it gets worse: The flight manifest doesn't show Julia's name. And then worse: But I won't say any more on that, in case you haven't seen the movie's trailer, which tells more than it probably should.

This plot -- child goes missing, but maybe the child never existed -- has been done before, so we're not giving points for originality. But I like how the screenplay (by newcomer Peter A. Dowling and "Volcano" scribe Billy Ray) handles the drama logically, at least for the first hour. Everything is laid out calmly and matter-of-factly: If Julia was ever onboard at all, she must still be. It's an airplane; there are only so many places a person can go. (As it happens, Kyle helped design this plane, so she knows all the nooks and crannies.) On the other hand, if Julia never was onboard, then that means Kyle is crazy and possibly dangerous.

The crew, led by a sympathetic pilot (Sean Bean), is as helpful as you can expect them to be: first genuinely concerned about finding Julia, then sad to discover that Kyle is crazy, then annoyed that she keeps bothering them when there are beverages to be distributed. An air marshal who happens to be onboard (played by Peter Sarsgaard) must eventually make use of his handcuffs when Kyle simply will not take "your daughter was never here" for an answer, but not before she has disturbed all her fellow passengers and ignited fears of terrorism.

But what is at first a tightly wound psychological thriller eventually becomes something else. Directed by Robert Schwentke, this is a film where the questions are far better than the answers: Once we know what's going on, we stop caring, because it turns out to involve one of those elaborate movie schemes that are so complicated and require such enormous foresight that you wonder why anyone would go to that kind of trouble.

Yes, sadly, the suspense of the first two acts gives way to a different kind of tension in the third, the kind where we wonder just how silly it's going to get. (Answer: Very.) It's not enough to ruin the picture, though, for even the absurd pyrotechnics of the climax and resolution are entertaining in their way. They're not as smart as what led to them, but maybe you can't have everything.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=13113&reviewer=247
originally posted: 09/23/05 01:03:40
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell flawed but tense 4 stars
2/19/11 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
6/09/08 PAUL SHORTT AN EXERCISE IN PURE ENTERTAINMENT 4 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
2/17/08 Pamela White farfetched plan but what it lacks in plot Foster makes up in acting 4 stars
12/11/07 Double M Interesting premise ruined by lame, illogical "twists" and plotholes. just a crowd pleaser. 2 stars
8/06/07 R.W. Welch Contrived, unconvincing, yet mildly diverting. 3 stars
6/03/07 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
1/15/07 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
12/14/06 Cara takes a nosedive at the end 2 stars
11/06/06 David Pollastrini not great, not terrible 4 stars
10/27/06 Richard It had a nice atmosphere to it. 4 stars
8/25/06 Stanley Thai A great thriller w/ great acting. Such a fantastic film. 4 stars
6/15/06 lia arab countertype as evident of how villain doesn't related to any race!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 stars
5/07/06 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
4/04/06 John too predictable and boring 1 stars
3/31/06 Nobody Fun to try to predict what will happen. Has enough twists to keep it interesting. 5 stars
3/30/06 Dan fun 4 stars
3/19/06 Jeromebosch Garbage 1 stars
3/14/06 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
2/23/06 ES Didn't mind it 3 stars
2/11/06 Joe Smaltz Boring bullshit plot, effects, ect 1 stars
2/09/06 Monday Morning Many TV shows are better than this flick. And Jody, you're not aging well. 1 stars
1/25/06 Rocky I'll never see another heroic J. Foster cardio-machine mother in dire straits waste of film 2 stars
1/14/06 Quigley a really dysfunctional Red Eye wanna-be, filled with political icons and creepy assistants 2 stars
1/10/06 Tamara D.Leonard I was bored to tears. So disappointed because I thought it would be awesome w/Jodie in it. 2 stars
1/08/06 Anthony Feor i use to hate Jodie Foster untill this movie 4 stars
12/28/05 Jenna Furr Before pushing detonator, Kyle should've said "Whoopy kigh yigh yay, motherfucker!" 4 stars
12/20/05 Littlepurch Really enjoyed it. Great acting from Foster and a good plot - not a let down at the end! 4 stars
12/07/05 Dee portraying arabs as suspects on a flight -how insensitve 2 stars
12/06/05 alice I agree about the ending, they should stop doing that! 3 stars
11/13/05 john bale Foster plays the fighting Mum again well, but the plot is mainly nonsense 4 stars
11/11/05 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 DEEDeeDEEe ITS REDEYE EXCEPT, TAKE YOUR LITTLE KID ON THE PLANE, WOW! 1 stars
10/23/05 Jessy The camra angles were of decent quality but the script direction could have used some work. 2 stars
10/19/05 Agent Sands OK, you know what? These pat endings are really getting out of fucking hand! 3 stars
10/18/05 Valerie awesome. 5 stars
10/11/05 --- So its the air marshals we should be afraid of not arab terrorists..OOOKAAAY... 2 stars
10/11/05 Chelito is the captain the mortuary director? who cares? Why did I spend $8 on this movie? 1 stars
10/10/05 Quigley foster was good, sean bean was wasted. red eye is much better; this one wasn't that great 3 stars
10/07/05 Ryanrc very cool 5 stars
10/06/05 Louise McChrystal Entertaining, a little slow at times 4 stars
10/04/05 Jesse Taylor Very exhilirating thriller. Kept me on the edge of my seat. Foster is great. 4 stars
10/02/05 Chris Pretty decent 4 stars
10/02/05 whateverman Waste of money. Decent directing, moronic script. 1 stars
9/30/05 TD Good premise, great Foster/Bean, terrible writing. 2 stars
9/29/05 tony Amazing! I never thought it was that good! Spellbinding! 5 stars
9/29/05 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
9/24/05 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
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  23-Sep-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 24-Jan-2006

UK
  N/A

Australia
  10-Nov-2005




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