Luke Graham with five essential airplane movies…
To celebrate the recent release of Liam Neeson’s Non-Stop on DVD, Blu-Ray and limited edition steelbox, let’s take a look at some other must-see movies that take high up in the sky…
Disney’s Planes (2013)
This spin-off from Pixar’s Cars is definitely a must-see…
Or not. I’m joking. It’s actually pretty unpopular, at least with critics, although it did manage to gross over $200 million. Did you know it’s getting a sequel?
5. Flightplan (2005)
Now this is actually worth seeing. Jodie Foster plays Kyle Pratt, an engineer who must frantically search for her daughter who goes missing during a flight, but everyone on the plane denies the daughter exists! This twisty thriller is an exciting watch.
4. Con Air (1997)
This mad-cap, over-the-top action film from producer Jerry Bruckheimer is hugely entertaining, and one of Nicolas Cage’s better films. It features a set of dangerous prisoners managing to hijack an airplane, and former Army Ranger and parolee Cameron Poe (Cage) able to stop them. With memorable performances from John Malkovich, John Cusack and Danny Trejo, the film is great fun, especially the climax which features a high-speed chase involving a fire truck causing chaos in a city.
3. Snakes on a Plane (2006)
How could I possibly leave this off a list of must-see plane-based movies. Sure the premise was silly, and all the memes and spin-off jokes have been done to death, but Snakes of a Plane is a legitimately entertaining B-movie, with decent thrills and a fun role for Samuel L. Jackson.
2. Flight of the Phoenix (2004)
Okay, most of the action takes place in a desert rather than on a plane, but I think it still counts. In the film, a cargo ship transporting the crew of an oil rig crashes in the middle of the Gobi desert. Attempting to survive in the hostile environment with few supplies, the group attempts to rebuild their plane in order to fly to safety. While it’s not critically beloved, Flight of the Phoenix is a pretty effective survival drama, with gorgeous cinematography of the desert and an pulse-pounding climax as the Phoenix (the name the group gives to their ramshackle plane) attempts to take off. Plus, it stars the always-earnest and endearing Dennis Quaid, for whom I have a big soft-spot.
1. Airplane! (1980)
This cult comedy classic is a true must-see. From the creators of The Naked Gun comes this comic masterpiece. This parody of disaster films delivers an almost constant stream of jokes, sight-gags and humour. It famously rejuvenated the career of Leslie Nielsen, revealing him to be a brilliant comedic actor. It is truly a must-see.
Non-Stop stars Liam Neeson (Taken series, Unknown) as U.S. Air Marshal Bill Marks in a suspense thriller played out at 40,000 feet in the air. During a transatlantic flight from New York City to London, Marks receives a series of cryptic text messages demanding that he instruct the airline to transfer $150 million into a numbered account. Until he secures the money, a passenger on his flight will be killed every 20 minutes. Non-Stop is available on DVD, Blu-Ray, limited edition blu-ray steelbook & vod from 30th June 2014.