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Flightplan Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    This B-list thriller portrays air crews as inept, at best, and callous and cruel at worst.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    There is something really nasty about this cold, calculating exercise in mob psychology and human venality.

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  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    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.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    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.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Tense but riveting thriller, best for teens+.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the film's premise is a missing child, a timely topic but also potentially disturbing for younger viewers. The film focuses on the mother's panic when her 6-year-old daughter disappears midflight on an airbus, which offers up plenty of high-techy, brightly-lit space to be searched. The mother displays tears, fear, and rage at the crew, who question her sanity. There is an apparent suicide (the film includes discussion of a fall off a rooftop, and some flashbacks/dreams of the victim's last night alive). The movie also features some violence, as the mother fights crew members and an air marshal, as well as threats of a hijacking and a bomb on the plane. Most important, parents should know that the tension is frequently very taut; be aware of what your child might tolerate and understand.

  • Families can talk about the portrayal of Kyle's evolving distress: how is she sympathetic in her fear and anger? How does her briefly sketched relationship with her daughter Julia help to establish this sympathy, even when everyone else on the plane thinks she's lost her mind? And how does the film use racial profiling of "Arab" passengers (in Kyle and other passengers' accusations)? Is this reasonable or unreasonable under these circumstances?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Villains are tricky, authorities (the captain and flight attendants) are slow to pick up on villainy, and mother is admirably resolute throughout.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: A father's suicide referenced at start; action picks up later including physical fights and a bomb ticking.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Brief flirtation between flight attendants.

  • language false2

    Language: Tense arguments. A few uses of "s--t" as well as "hell" and "Goddamn."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some drinks discussed by flight attendants.