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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 David Cornelius

"So dumb I'm surprised McAdams wasn't asked to help land the plane."
1 stars

I do not expect all thrillers to be works of pure genius, but I do expect most of them to be smarter than “Red Eye,” a marvel of idiotic set-ups, asinine plot turns, and ridiculous pay-offs. This is a screenplay so unbelievably bad that not even two very fine young actors and a director known for his knack for suspense can salvage it.

The premise: hot young hotel employee Lisa (Rachel McAdams) is returning home to Miami after her grandmother’s funeral. Trapped in the web of airline travel, she befriends hunky, mysterious Jackson Ripper (Cillian Murphy) and finds him charming, unaware that a name like “Jackson Ripper” is about as subtle as a brick to the skull. (Why not just get it over with and name him Evil McSneakyton? Stabby O’Kidnapper? Willie Killus?)

Anyway. The idea of having a thriller disguised in the first act as a quaint romance of sorts would be clever, except: a) the trailer (which, by the way, somehow contains more thrills in its two minutes than the feature does in ninety) already gave away the surprise, and b) the film is populated with so many outlandishly hackneyed side characters that it’s impossible to focus on the main event. Why, there’s the little old lady who’s not very bright but is so nice to Lisa! Hey, there’s the eleven-year-old girl who’s flying all by herself for the very first time! Look, it’s the cranky rich guy who complains about everything! All we’re missing here is a singing nun, or at least a jive-talking Barbara Billingsley.

Anyway again. It turns out that Bad Guy Q. Villainy is part of an elaborate plot to assassinate a top government official. The movie begs us to accept the idea that this entire plan revolves around a hotel desk manager, who must phone work and order them to movie said top government official to a new, unchecked-by-security-or-Secret-Service room for no real reason, and if she doesn’t, some guy will kill her dad. Oh, and Dastardly J. Scoundrel is required to force her to do this while sitting in the busiest section of the airplane, with a good twenty people in earshot. You’d think he’d at least bother to whisper.

Now, of course none of this is supposed to matter. We’re supposed to be so caught up in the danger of it all - how will Lisa outwit her stalker? - that we’re not supposed to quibble over the finer points. But these finer points are so sloppily handled that it makes no matter how well McAdams and Murphy come across. (For the record, they do the best they can with the ridiculous material, and watching them not drown in all the stupidity showcases their talent. It’s a thankless film, the stupid action thriller that they do in between better projects, just to keep their stars rising. In a few years, they’ll both be superstars, and nobody will bother remembering this lame early effort.)

As for director Wes Craven, well, he sleepwalks through this one enough to provide a serviceable effort, but he never overcomes the script’s faults. In fact, at times, Craven seems to revel in the stupidity. He does well enough in the film’s middle section - the part in which Lisa and Gary Hitler square off on the plane - and while these moments are pretty stupid, at least the movie’s not falling completely apart. Then we move into the third act, where they get off the plane, the action ramps up, and we have a big, dopey guy reacting to the sight of a missile flying right at him (funniest part of the movie, by the way), or we have the Grumbling, Self-Absorbed Hotel Guests finally getting their comeuppance, or we have forty other things happening that suggest the story should’ve stayed on the plane through the whole film. (The Johnny Evil-stalks-Lisa-through-dad’s-house bit is quite the yawnfest.) Craven can’t keep up with everything the script tosses his way, and he eventually gives in, figuring people that like big explosions will have a good time anyway, so why bother trying to make it good?

Maybe I wouldn’t be so hard on “Red Eye” had I not already seen “Flightplan,” another stuck-on-a-plane thriller with more than its fair share of questionable logic. That film got right what “Red Eye” got wrong: its thrills are tight and effective, its characters interesting, its situations increasingly involving. “Red Eye,” on the other hand, relies too heavily on undercooked ideas and laughable developments. It might have talented leads and a capable director, but with a screenplay as rickety as this, even the best would fall straight through.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=12749&reviewer=392
originally posted: 01/05/06 14:27:34
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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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