- Starring: Anson Mount, Corey Stoll, Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson, Lupita Nyong'o, Michelle Dockery, Nate Parker, Scoot McNairy
- Summary: During a transatlantic flight from New York City to London, U.S. Air Marshal Bill Marks receives a series of cryptic text messages demanding that he instruct the government to transfer $150 million into an off-shore account. Until he secures the money, a passenger on his flight will be killed every 20 minutes. [Universal Pictures]… Expand
- Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
- Genre(s): Action, Mystery, Thriller
- More Details and Credits »
Mar 6, 2014Non-Stop is a 2014 mystery suspense action thriller set aboard a flight from New York to London, starring none other than Liam Neeson. It’s fortunately not in the style of Taken, whereby almost everything is offset by enjoyable, brainless action and a completely illogical plot, but this being from this specific genre with Liam Neeson it’s often hard to let off so easily. Sure, we gain a sympathetic situation from an air marshal with horrific problems to deal with (I couldn’t help it when it was announced his daughter had died from acute leukaemia at the age of 8, mirrored with the conversation with Jennifer about the blue ribbon that his 17 year old daughter had given him because despite being who he is, he’s still pretty much a damaged person), the film itself doesn’t often follow through with the morality themes it has given itself. To an extent, it is entertaining in a better way that you have to use your brain (for the most part), but has an ancient habit of not in the least well done plot devices.
Liam Neeson is Bill Marks, an air marshal, who discovers the flight he is on has someone threatening to kill a passenger on board every 20 minutes if $150 million is not wired to a given account number. The set-up is simple and solid and we come to an understanding of a thrilling suspense ride that combines both intelligence and action. The hype is definitely not surprising.
We gain much of this from the acknowledgement of the question many people would be asking: “How do you kill someone on a passenger plane without anyone noticing?” I mean, with the limited space 40,000 ft. above the ground, it would be too easy. That film wouldn’t exactly be the most popular.
It helps that we are given a conventional beginning to lead us through, with the usual action of boarding the plane (his alcoholism is prominent right from the start) and interacting with crew members and passengers. In particular he takes a shine to Jennifer Summers (played by Julianne Moore) and manages to find trust in Steward Nancy Hoffman (played by Michelle Dockery).
This is significant to the plot strength, because if he is to discover how someone kills someone aboard a passenger plane discreetly, he needs to know about the other passengers and that includes asking for help. Although, there’s a weakness here – of course it’s meant to be difficult considering the circumstances and what better way than to throw a plot twist in there? However, it does stretch out coherently enough, really only until the final act where a plot device manages to make its way in.
What doesn’t make sense is that Bill gains and regains people’s trust too quickly in spite of the revelations. Perhaps the sympathy card was played for that reason – they can’t trust him enough as an air marshal but after airing his problems people have no other idea but to. I suppose it wouldn’t work if he didn’t have the jaded persona, but at the same time it doesn’t come naturally. If they had only one reason to trust him it would be because what he was doing was trying to save their lives and that they had to. The media is a volatile outlet and to retract the statement of being the FBI’s (we’re talking high class investigation here) prime suspect in a hijacking wouldn’t be that easy to do.
The film sometimes forgets that it aims to bring its own morality to the table due to its own idea of logic.
The distrust is too often forgotten, the theme of futility and hope getting more intermittent as the film progresses and whether the physics of being able to muffle a bomb blast in an airplane while managing to land it and have the present passengers all survive still sounds questionable. But a specific saving grace happens to be a young girl named Becca, travelling alone to meet her father, a walking symbol of a fragment of Bill’s life that he can finally share an experience with that he was never able to last with his own daughter. The blue ribbon being quite obvious.
To an extent, this film is an enjoyable ride that sets up on a take-off with a solid, excusable premise that misses points and jumps too quickly. It is refreshing to see a wide range of people represented, showing a distinctive power of a lack of discrimination. When Bill doesn’t know who to trust, it’s simple to know he’s doing it out of a genuine lack of knowledge and that he addresses those he needs to in order to know what’s really going on. What doesn’t work though, is that what ends up as a possible development ends up being squandered for the usual kind of ending – Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson looking at each other in the style of a happy ending of a romantic comedy. Being a mystery suspense action thriller, that’s definitely not what I was expecting (for a Liam Neeson film, I was hoping he didn’t have to do this).… Expand
Jun 12, 2014Going into Non-Stop i knew this movie was going to be unbelievable with a simple plot but to my surprise the movie was actually pretty good. The movie is a thrill ride no doubt about that and it had me on the edge of my seat the whole time, its also really intense, fast paced, and well acted. I guess some people say the scenarios that take place in the film are unrealistic but honestly its nothing out of the ordinary for this genre. It seems like some people don't care if a movie is unrealistic mainly superhero movies but then with movies like this they expect realism. This is my second viewing of the movie first time was at the theaters and honestly it really did't catch my attention so that's why my first rating for it was average and i left a lazy review here but after just watching it i have to say i really enjoyed it more this time around.
The film follows Bill Marks (Liam Neeson) a United States Air Marshal with a bit of a drinking problem and while on a flight from New York to London he receives a text message on his secure cell phone stating that if they do not get $150 million dollars transferred into an account they are going to kill someone on the plane every 20 minutes. Now we have our movie and which for the most part it consist of Marks, a few crew members, and Mark's side passenger Jen Summers (Julianne Moore) who he trust because she was sleeping next to him when he started to receive the messages. After trying a few ways to figure out the person and after a couple people die Marks starts to trust no one but that's not his only problem is seems the account that the money was supposed to be wired to was in his name so now the government thinks he is the one trying to hijack the plane. Things even become worse when Marks finds a bomb on the plane and realizes that who ever is doing this never really cared about the money.
Now i really really enjoyed the whole movie but i felt like the last 15-20 minutes of the movie seemed to have some lazy writing. Now my biggest problem with the movie was the reason behind why the plane was hijacked it was just rather unsatisfying from a viewer perspective. Ill also give the movie credit for not trying to pull the typical twist cliche ending with who might be involved with the hijacking. The acting was great all around Liam Neeson playing bad ass never gets old it seems, also Julianne Moore was a delight to watch even though she does a basic performance. Director Jaume Collet-Serra and Lian Neeson have done two movies together both being good action thrillers i wouldn't mind them hooking up again to make another one.
Overall i give it a 7.5 Give it a chance people its better then what you'd expect… Expand
Mar 23, 2014Okay, so he's at it again. You can almost hear the quotable tweets (if there were any), even as the lines slur from Neeson's mouth. Having become something of a staple, albeit surprising, action-hero in the past few years with the likes of Taken and its risible sequel and others, Liam Neeson returns to play an Air Marshall with problems of his own on a flight that requires nothing if not his full attention.
And the film opens well enough, introducing us briefly but intriguingly to the main protaganists that we will be spending the majority of our time with. Neeson's brooding Air Marshall, Michelle Dockery's approachable stewardess and Julianne Moore's smart but passive/aggressive passenger. All of this is expertly done, like the good old days of 'Airport' movies, that give you just enough of a characters' backstory to keep them interesting, though not enough to be sure whether they will make it to the end of the film with the rest of us. Think of the setup in The Poseidon Adventure for example, in 1972, and you're not going far wrong.
There are more than just these three characters of course, as this flight is almost full and paying attention at the time will do you a service as the clues are there should you choose to look and alot goes unmentioned, though not unnoticed, in the first few minutes. In this regard, the film does well to demand your attention and hold you there. While it tries to be subtle, it is not aiming for a highbrow audience, which is evident early on, as Neeson's Marshall is something of a predictable maverick and if not riddled with the standard imperfections of a Hollywood hero, then he certainly enjoys enough of them (doesn't like to fly, knows how to bend the rules, chequered past etc) for us to realise his character traits before he has the chance to tell us.
All of this before you're even twenty minutes in. So far, you're in danger of becoming a contented dozing passenger in this story, like most of the planes' occupants. But like Neeson here, you are part of a different world, the world that sees what others do not. You are being slowly cosseted by the film, absent-mindedly blindsided by the trickery of the admittedly admirable, if occasionally dawdling, story-telling. You see what he sees, so you must be like him, right? The film engages you early on, as Taken did in the same fashion. The plan of all this, of course, is to have you quite blatantly siding with the hero and if possible, cheering and clapping for him by the end.
But this ride, for that is ultimately what it is, is not quick in the delivery or as obvious as it may first appear. There are obvious nods to conventional thinking and then again, unspoken polarising opinion delivered in the form of a glance here or there or maybe where the script delivers something other than would normally be expected of a thriller that does not class the intelligent viewer as its target demographic. In this respect, it is a surprising, not to mention welcome, twist to proceedings which impresses more by what is not written, but implied of the audience by the film.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, this is not a classic. It is, as we have mentioned, an action movie, through and through and would we have it any other way? Probably not. The performance from Neeson is predictably gruff, but maybe lacking the soul of a desperate father. Yes, there is peril here that the man has to cope with, but it not as believable that he would do these things for these people had he not been the parent of all of them. In this respect, Neeson's character, dutiful though he may have been, appears not quite believable enough. In the face of all the odds stacked against you, would you go to the same lengths? If not, does that make you less human, or the character in focus less believable? You decide.
In all though, Non-Stop is good value for its running time, if a little slow to begin with, albeit purposely. The story is never too complicated to befuddle the less observant, yet clever enough to impress those looking for something more than just another Snakes On A Plane. Enjoyable, often actually thrilling, with a passable script and decent, if not outstanding support from Dockery, Moore and the underused and recently award-winning Lupita Nyong'o. Good throwaway fun.… Expand
Jul 8, 2014I can't imagine the money wasted in this movie. I can't imagine the money wasted in this "movie" All those clichés were just : wow ! Wait, an arabic pro neuroscientist nuclear doctor or **** like that, the bad guy who is bad cause he lost his father blablabla, the N-Y cops, Liam Neeson who is an old alcoholic depressive mourning daddy and so many bull****
The improbabilities in the plane crash, the gun scene... Juste too much for me… Expand
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