Movies Books Music Food Tv Shows Technology Politics Video Games Parenting Fashion Green Living more >

Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » Flightplan (2005) » User review

Flightplan (Widescreen Edition) (2005)

A movie directed by Karen Inwood Somers and Robert Schwentke

< read all 4 reviews

Flight Plan: No, it's not entirely plausible.....but what a fun ride!

  • Nov 27, 2005
  • by
Pros: Jodie Foster and the other main characters. Suspense. Suspense. Suspense. Keeps you guessing.

Cons: Story isn't realistic, once you think about it.

The Bottom Line: Forget the fact that "this could never REALLY happen", and just go and have a blast.

Today was the day that I went, with my senior citizen father, and my sons, ages 11 and 14 years, to see Flight Plan, the suspense filled drama starring Jodie Foster. My eager anticipation of anything starring Foster was tempered by my reading of various Epinions reviews ahead of time. Indeed I was expecting a 3-star experience. How sweet that my expectations were mightily surpassed. This was one suspenseful ride that left me guessing and breathless until the end. I had a great time.

What about all those Epinions reviews that stated the story was far-fetched and that there were large holes that made the plot implausible? Well, those complaints are valid. It WAS far-fetched. And, after the movie, I thought about the plot, and said to my self, “Self, how could they POSSIBLY have accomplished such-and-such in such-a-way. That’s just impossible”. (I speak in gibberish to avoid giving away the solution to the dilemma posed in the film). Still, despite the holes and impossibilities, this movie was still a great ride, and a lot of entertaining fun. That’s all I can say. If you can live with the fact that this is highly implausible, and just enjoy the film, you will have a great time. (Anyway, my motto this week, as seen in the book I reviewed the other day, is “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”.)

Basic plot without giving too much away: Jodie Foster, our lead, is flying back to the US with her six year old daughter, Julia, in order to bury Foster’s husband, who died after a fall. Hubby’s body is in a casket in the cargo hold. Julia has been traumatized by her Daddy’s death, and is anxious about the travel plans. The two fall asleep on the plane, and when Foster wakes up again, her daughter is gone. The rest of the movie consists of Foster’s attempts to find her daughter in the plane, and to convince the flight staff to help her search the entire plane. The latter goal is thwarted by the fact that the daughter’s name is not on the list of passengers who boarded the plane, and the flight staff basically think she’s nuts. Foster remains strong and determined, as is the nature of many of the roles she plays.

So, what was so good about this movie?
One of the best things is that the audience is left wondering, throughout this film, is Foster just a victim here, trying desperately to find her missing daughter, or is she truly insane, as the flight crew believes. We want to believe Foster, but yet, how can a six year old vanish on a plane? Why is there no record of this child having ever boarded the plane? Why doesn’t anyone on board remember seeing the child at all? So, that puzzle was a lot of fun.

Then, there is Foster’s acting itself. As usual, she was completely convincing, first as the grieving wife, in shock, then as the desperate, terrified mother. She looked a bit unkempt, she looked overwhelmed, stressed and exhausted. She simply LOOKED like a grieving wife who had undergone a traumatic event; she looked worn out, and tired. Even somewhat “old”. It was perfect.

Then, the set: First, the scenes of Berlin in the beginning, while she is preparing for travel, are wonderful. Berlin is presented as dark, cold and somewhat threatening. A scary place to be. It ‘s a great way to prepare the audience for a scary ride. Then, the plane itself, a futuristic, double-decker. Very cold and uninviting. Full of various passengers, such as bratty children, and obnoxious adults. Oh, what fun!

And lots of great supporting actors. The sky marshal (Peter Sarsgaard) and flight captain (Sean Bean) were absolutely amazing. The flight attendants were also superb. First class acting all the way.

You brought your 11 year old to this movie. Is it appropriate for children? Did he like it?
This movie is not appropriate for young children. There is a missing kid, a terrified mother, lots of yelling and screaming. Someone bursting into flame. An explosion. A gun or two. You get the idea. My 11 year old son had no problem handling it, but it would not have been appropriate for him when he was only nine. So, you have to know your kid. There is no nudity/sexuality at all. And, I don’t remember much foul language. And, yes he liked it a lot.

What about your 14 year old?
Well, he thought it was just “ok”. He didn’t think it was scary enough or interesting enough. But, he’s also at the age when anything he does in the presence of his mother and younger brother is, by definition, not cool. So, you can’t judge by him!

What about your father?
Yes, my father, in his 70s, and a real movie buff, liked it a lot, just like I did.

Any negatives?
Well, as mentioned above, the story is really completely unbelievable, when you start to really think about it. And, as others have mentioned, there was one scene, that deals with anti-Arab stereotypes, that was unnecessary and a bit distracting.

Should I go see this film?
Definitely. The Captain has turned on the Seatbelt Light.. So buckle up and have a great flight.


What did you think of this review?

Fun to Read
Post a Comment
More Flightplan (2005) reviews
review by . August 13, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Special effects were decent; performances were stellar.     Cons: Plot.     The Bottom Line: Flightplan started out promising, but quickly spirals down into been-there-done-that mess of a movie that bored this author, Erika Christensen notwithstanding.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. Jodie Foster’s movies have taken on a decidedly mad maternal feel of late. First there was Panic Room …
review by . July 22, 2006
It's an interesting premise, and oddly similar to Foster's previous film, `Panic Room,' in which her maternal character is forced into a confined space with no outlet. In keeping with most of Foster's performances, she plays a strong-willed, intelligent woman who overcomes difficult circumstances. As expected, Foster delivers, and pulls the audience into the story. I was disappointed, however. Foster has more to offer than `Flight plan' is capable of giving her. `FlightPlan', while entertaining, …
review by . January 27, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
FLIGHTPLAN as directed by Robert Schwentke from a screenplay by writers Peter A. Dowling and Billy Ray is excellent on creating tension from the first frames of the film well into the uni-set stage of an impossibly huge airplane. Little things like scenes of isolation, snow, ice, coffins - all set the viewer up for a thriller. Atmosphere 5, story 3.    The plot is so well known from other reviews that it merits no re-hash here. But the 'driven mother' against the free-floating …
About the reviewer
Diana ()
Ranked #753
Just your basic mother, wife, doctor, email addict. Oh, and I have a bunch of hobbies and enjoy trying new things and meeting new people.
Consider the Source

Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.

Your ratings:
rate more to improve this
About this movie


Like a lot of stylishly persuasive thrillers,Flightplanis more fun to watch than it is to think about. There's much to admire in this hermetically sealed mystery, in which a propulsion engineer and grieving widow (Jodie Foster) takes her 6-year-old daughter (and a coffin containing her husband's body) on a transatlantic flight aboard a brand-new jumbo jet she helped design, and faces a mother's worst nightmare when her daughter (Marlene Lawston) goes missing. But how can that be? Is she delusional? Are the flight crew, the captain (Sean Bean) and a seemingly sympathetic sky marshal (Peter Sarsgaard) playing out some kind of conspiratorial abduction? In making his first English-language feature, German director Robert Schwentke milks the mother's dilemma for all it's worth, and Foster's intense yet subtly nuanced performance (which builds on a fair amount of post-9/11 paranoia) encompasses all the shifting emotions required to grab and hold your attention. Alas, this upgraded riff on Hitchcock'sThe Lady Vanishes(not to mention Otto Preminger'sBunny Lake is Missing) is ultimately too preposterous to hold itself together.Flightplangives us a dazzling tour of the jumbo jet's high-tech innards, and its suspense is intelligently maintained all the way through to a cathartic conclusion, but the plot-heavy mechanics break down under scrutiny. Your best bet is to fasten your seatbelt and enjoy the thrills on a purely emotional level -- a strategy ...
view wiki


Screen Writer: Billy Ray, Peter A. Dowling
DVD Release Date: January 24, 2006
Runtime: 98 minutes
Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment / Touchstone
© 2014 Lunch.com, LLC All Rights Reserved
Lunch.com - Relevant reviews by real people.
This is you!
Ranked #
Last login
Member since