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Awesome: 4.42%
Worth A Look36.28%
Just Average: 20.35%
Pretty Crappy: 16.81%
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9 reviews, 59 user ratings

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by brianorndorf

"Jodie Foster can work magic with any material"
4 stars

Coming so soon after “Red Eye,” “Flightplan” suffers in direct comparison. However, this undeniably entertaining thriller, while taking itself a bit too seriously, is still an entertaining diversion, anchored well by Jodie Foster’s committed lead performance and some reliable suspense direction from Robert Schwentke.

After the mysterious death of her husband, Kyle Pratt (Jodie Foster) and her daughter Julia (Marlene Lawston) are looking forward to relocating from Germany to New York City. After boarding an airplane she helped design, Kyle settles down for a nap, only to awaken and find that Julia is missing. Frenzied, Kyle demands the plane be searched, which irritates the flight attendants, and raises the suspicions of one of the passengers (Peter Sarsgaard). When each search comes up empty, fellow passengers start becoming agitated, and the captain of the plane (Sean Bean) wary of her motives, Kyle is forced to confront her own sanity and accept that Julia might not have existed at all.

It’s not any fault of “Flightplan” that it has to come out a month after Wes Craven’s rollicking “Red Eye.” After gorging on Craven’s outrageous airplane thriller like it was a Halloween night candy bonanza, “Flightplan” dares to mount a similar nightmare-in-the-sky experience, this time crusted with a little more refinement and an A-list acting pedigree.

Jodie Foster returns to a big screen starring role after her 2002 hit, “Panic Room.” At first glance, the two films are quite similar, requiring the veteran actress to play an extremely physical part, maintaining intensity like a pro while crawling around tight spaces and confronting everyone in sight. “Flightplan” is a good example of Foster’s uncanny ability to make almost any material work, and her performance here is a major reason why “Flightplan” has credible moments of both nail-biting suspense and terrifically goofy fun. She commits entirely to the premise and the wonderful airplane set design, elevating the film slightly above the B-list level it has its sights set on.

Directed by German-born Robert Schwentke, “Flightplan” is a picture that is entirely about the art of persuasion. To delve into the plot too far would give away the surprises that Schwentke and his screenwriters have in store for the audience, much like “Red Eye.” However, Schwentke takes the opposite route of Craven, and begins to fancy himself a Hitchcockian type of director, taking the film very seriously, even when the screenplay begins to veer off into la-la land. Schwentke knows how to assemble a good suspense sequence, and “Flightplan” sets itself apart by freely exploring the post 9/11 airline world with its collection of undercover air marshals and suspicious Arab passengers. As Kyle searches for her daughter, Schwentke has the advantage on the audience, tossing up multiple theories on what is going on. Is Kyle nuts? Is she a threat? Is Julia really dead? For a good solid hour (minus a faulty opening 10 minutes), the audience has no idea, and “Flightplan” exploits the terror and mystery of the situation exceedingly well.

When truths are finally revealed in the second half, “Flightplan” slips into action mode, and things become increasingly hard to swallow. Schwentke doesn’t seem prepared to handle the more outlandish moments of the extended climax, but the scenes work regardless since the film is so blessed with acting talent. By this time in the film, the audience is ready for a little brutality, and Schwentke is willing to give it to them, just not with the same quality of execution found in the first half.

The finale doesn’t come across as a disappointment, but it doesn’t match the sleek and efficient craftsmanship of the set-up, leaving “Flightplan” hanging when it needs the strongest punch.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=13113&reviewer=404
originally posted: 09/23/05 00:34:48
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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
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
10/23/05 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
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  23-Sep-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 24-Jan-2006



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