Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 33
  2. Negative: 2 out of 33
  1. A tense, concise and elegantly shot film.
  2. 88
    The movie's excellence comes from Foster's performance as a resourceful and brave woman; from Bean, Sarsgaard and the members of the cabin crew, all with varying degrees of doubt; from the screenplay by Peter A. Dowling and Billy Ray; and from the direction by Robert Schwentke.
  3. For at least two-thirds of its length, all elements combine for a taut thriller, a Hitchcockian exercise in suspense pitting human frailty - can our minds be trusted? - against human resourcefulness.
  4. Far-fetched but deliciously exciting aerial nail-biter.
  5. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Has a routine finish but up to that point is a more than decent thriller--or, given its taut self-containment, a more than decent Hitchcockian "exercise in suspense."
  6. 70
    Until those final moments, Flightplan succeeds admirably, both as a sophisticated psychological thriller and as an example of, if not great art, then superb craftsmanship.
  7. 63
    Jodie Foster's fiercely intelligent performance drives this disappointing thriller, whose taut, carefully constructed first half is sadly negated by its implausible and -- worst of all -- unengaging conclusion.
  8. 63
    Doesn't have its heroine's conviction. It'd be better if it had.
  9. Reviewed by: Ian Freer
    An enthralling, enjoyable if ultimately far-fetched thriller.
  10. 60
    Schwentke handles the claustrophobic environment efficiently enough, though he dallies too long before letting anxiety give way to action.
  11. 60
    Becomes more satisfying than the stock thriller–star vehicle it begins and ends as.
  12. This thriller is effective if you can accept that--as with some of John Dickson Carr's locked-room mysteries--the trickiness counts more than any plausibility.
  13. Since Foster plays warming-up-for-a-straitjacket panic with a clenched intensity rare to behold in a Hollywood actress, I, for one, was rooting for the radical -- that is, nuthouse -- option.
  14. 58
    A thriller that goes from pretty good to absolutely ludicrous in the time it takes one actor to recite about four sentences of dialogue.
  15. There is something really nasty about this cold, calculating exercise in mob psychology and human venality.
  16. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    A thriller of passive virtues, the steely intensity of Jodie Foster notwithstanding. It's not too violent. It's not assaultive. Even James Horner's music plays it cool.
  17. The plot is contingent on everything going perfectly in ways no one can possibly predict, right down to the most outlandish happenstance of timing and human behavior.
  18. Despite excellent elements - great actress, taut plot, slick visuals - Flightplan is like airplane food. No matter how good the ingredients the air chef has to work with, the entree inevitably ends up tasting like a Xerox of a facsimile of a meal.
  19. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    This B-list thriller portrays air crews as inept, at best, and callous and cruel at worst.
  20. 50
    The latest motion picture to take an intriguing premise and flush it into the septic tank.
  21. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    I'd like to say that Flightplan is one of those white-knuckle, edge-of-your-seat thrill rides that critics are always raving about, but instead, it's more like a transatlantic flight with no clear destination, where the cabin noise makes it impossible to sleep and the in-flight movie is a rerun.
  22. By the final act, involving possibly the most far-fetched scheme since Dr. Evil aimed his death ray at Earth in "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me," the indifference has become completely contagious.
  23. Sean Bean makes a positive impression as the caring but puzzled captain of the flight, though Peter Sarsgaard flies at half-mast as a clumsy air marshal.
  24. 50
    As it is, Flightplan is half of a pretty good movie. But to maintain that impression, I recommend you take a nap for the last 40 minutes.
  25. 50
    But coming on the heels of "Red Eye," which is nothing if not an efficient thrill machine, Flightplan can only look conspicuously flat by comparison.
  26. The movie loses some of its initial atmospheric tension as paranoid thrills give way to Rambo high jinks.
  27. To watch Ms. Foster storm through a phony airplane for an entire movie has its very minor pleasures - given the numerous close-ups, you can study her lovely face at your leisure - but there is nothing here to feed the head or fray the nerves.
  28. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    Largely undone by a script that self-destructs in the third act of an otherwise well-made thriller.
  29. Flightplan should have remained grounded for repairs.
  30. 40
    An exercise in edgy tedium, and even though it's only 90 minutes or so, it seems to last longer than an actual transatlantic flight. If you bring an eye mask and a few sleeping pills, you should get through it OK. A magazine or book wouldn't hurt, either. It'll be over before you know it.
  31. As the movie enters its final chapter, you will come to the sad, sickening realization that the filmmakers have played you for a chump. What seemed so smart, so well crafted and finely tuned, falls apart into a flaming heap of c---, and all goodwill is dashed.
  32. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Absurdity has a new name: Flightplan.
  33. 25
    This movie demands that the viewer -- and even its own characters -- turn into thumb-sucking 3-year-olds with no need for plausibility or logic, as long as there are lots of flashing lights and whooshing noises emanating from the screen.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 98 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 57
  2. Negative: 15 out of 57
  1. Apr 4, 2014
    Foster puts on a good show here, but Flightplan never really elevates beyond mediocre. Part of this is due to the fact that its plot is implausible to the extent where we don't trust anything in the movie anymore. Full Review »
  2. Nov 15, 2013
    "Flightplan" has a tense and intriguing start and slowly dissolves into a bunch of clichés and loses its effective, suspenseful atmosphere. The acting is excellent, though, and both the directing and the screenplay are an accomplishment. It's just the ending that really bothered me. Full Review »
  3. Jun 4, 2013
    For its first hour or so Flightplan makes for a suspenseful thriller with the always reliable Jodie Foster as good as ever in the lead role. It is let down slightly by its typical, and rather predictable, 'Hollywood' ending but makes a decent watch anyway. Full Review »