Megan K. from ATHENS, GA Reviewed on 10/15/2010...
Wes Craven's Red Eye has some things going for it, namely the actors. Rachel McAdams, who plays Lisa, and Cillian Murphy, who plays her captor and pursuer Jackson, do excellent jobs making their roles believable. The transition from the cutesy, chance encounter to the chilling reality of the situation are fantastically done; Cillian slides from one to the other perfectly which adds to the creepiness of the character. Rachel McAdams plays her role equally as well, making me believe she really is the perfect, roll-with-the-punches, take charge woman that she plays.
The main problem I had with this movie is the plot: it relied heavily on coincidences in a not-so-believable fashion. Too many things just felt like they were thrown in to further the plot or to fill up the time slot.
All in all though, despite the problems with the plot, it was better than average. As I said before, Murphy and McAdams to a great job with what they're given and because of them, this movie is worth seeing.
Sarah F. (keanupattinson) from INDIANAPOLIS, IN Reviewed on 7/24/2009...
I really liked this movie, keeps you on the edge of your seat. Cillian Murphy was really really good as the bad guy.
0 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Shim F. Reviewed on 2/18/2008...
Red Eye is a very suspenseful movie.
It is fun to watch because your never quiet sure whatâ€™s going to happen next.
3 1/2 star thriller from director Wes Craven
thornhillatthemovies.com | Venice, CA United States | 08/23/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Lisa (Rachel McAdams, "Wedding Crashers", "The Notebook"), the manager of the Lux Atlantic hotel in Miami, is very late for her plane in Dallas. Shaking the rain off, she stands in line at the airport terminal and meets Jackson (Cillian Murphy, "Batman Begins", "28 Days Later"). Jackson calms a tense situation with another passenger and then introduces himself, telling Lisa that he will be in the bar, waiting for the plane, if she cares to join him. She politely begs off but does end up having a drink with him. As Lisa boards the plane, she finds that she is sitting next to Jackson. The plane takes off and Lisa becomes nervous, because she hates to fly prompting Jackson to try to calm her, by getting her to talk about her dad, Joe (Brian Cox). After the plane has lifted through the turbulence, he reveals that he knows a lot more about Lisa than he should and he simply needs Lisa to make a phone call. If she does, her dad will not be harmed by the man sitting outside of his house.
"Red Eye" directed by Wes Craven ("Cursed", the "Scream" films, "Nightmare Before Elm Street") is a very good example of the thriller genre.
I think the first trailer released for this film is a brilliant piece of marketing. The trailer paints the film as a nice, romantic drama featuring a chance meeting between Lisa and Jackson. They meet in the airport, they have a snack together, then, lo and behold, they find they are sitting next to each other. The flight will be a pleasant affair. Just as the trailer has convinced you of this, a title card appears announcing "A Film by Wes Craven", in red lettering, and the music becomes ominous. The trailer is so brilliant, because it so completely convinced me that the film would be a romantic drama before switching gears, that my hopes were raised for this film.
"Red Eye" has a lot going for it. Not the least of its attributes is that the film is very brisk and clocks in at about 85 minutes long. This provides Craven with little room for lingering on anything and he keeps things moving. The subplot, which begins before we even meet Lisa, is introduced with a series of brief shots depicting the machinations of a group who need Lisa's help. These shots are quick, informative and interesting. Then the main story kicks in and we leave this group for a while.
When we meet Lisa, you might think the film would seem to slow down a little, but upon reflection, I realized that every scene has at least two purposes in the plot. The initial encounter between Lisa and Jackson, in line at the ticket counter, would seem to serve only one purpose, to introduce the two characters to one another. Later in the film, one of the characters involved makes a brief reappearance. In fact, many of the minor characters are introduced and we learn a little bit about their characters. In some way or fashion, they will all have another moment or two to either help or complicate the journey of Lisa and Jackson.
Because all of these minor characters are given a `history', the film rises above the rest of the pack. Most films don't even bother with minor characters, using them simply as window dressing. In "Red Eye", they become a part of the story. An older flight attendant complains to her co-worker about a broken coffee pot and the company stealing her pension from her. A little girl is flying alone for the first time. An elderly woman strikes up a conversation with Lisa about the Dr. Phil book her father loaned her. A woman flirts insistently with Jackson asking for his help with her bag. All of this may seem like busy work, but Craven and the writers, Carl Ellsworth and Dan Foos tie it all back to the plot and make them a part of the story. Because of this level of detail, the film is, ultimately, stronger.
The relationship between Lisa and Jackson is intriguing and interesting to watch. Lisa isn't the normal helpless heroine. She reveals that she may be a little tougher than Jackson hoped and ultimately becomes a more interesting adversary to him. Jackson is also quietly menacing, quick to smile to someone on the plane who may have noticed them, to assuage their concerns, to make them invisible again. Speaking in low tones, he makes it clear that he will carry out his threats.
The movie becomes a bit more standard after the plane lands in Miami. Part of the reason the film works is that the two characters are in the middle of a sea of people in a confined airplane chamber. Once the plane lands, their world expands and there are many other influences upon each of their actions. The finale is pretty standard for thrillers and less than spectacular, dragging the rest of the film down. But thankfully, this section is also very briskly paced and over quickly.
"Red Eye" suffers from a lackluster final 10 minutes, but it is still far above average for a film in this genre. Definitely worth a bargain matinee. "
THIS FLIGHT IS GROUNDED; TAKE THE BUS!
STEPHEN T. McCARTHY | a Mensa-donkey in Phoenix, Airheadzona. | 09/17/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
You know a movie is in trouble - big trouble - when the very premise that it is built upon is logically flawed. From the moment the thinking viewer realizes that there is no real justification for anything that is happening on the screen, the drama is gone; the tension is immediately released like the rushing of air through a pierced balloon, and from that moment on, ya...just...don't...care. You can't pretend that any of the action is really happening because you know that in truth it wouldn't be.
The art of moviemaking is meant to temporarily suspend a viewer's reality and substitute an alternate scenario; to draw him or her into a foreign, but plausible situation that will provide a kind of "voyeuristic" thrill. There's a lot more flexibility and less demand on a filmmaker who is presenting a story that is "preposterous" to begin with - the audience comes in without the expectation that anything will conform to what is considered a standard understanding of the real world. But when the director is trying to create drama that revolves around a reasonably valid potentiality, the premise had darn sure better be cogent. One cannot build a fortress in the sky and expect anyone to believe in it. There must be a sound foundation for it. And that's the first - and most egregious - of the many crimes committed by RED EYE. The problem is that this "flight" never even takes off because it wasn't on solid ground to begin with.
Here's the setup: A hotel manager is "abducted" on an airplane, and unless she agrees to call and use her authority to have the director of America's Homeland Security department and his family moved to a suite other than the one they ordinarily occupy when visiting the hotel, an assassin is going to do his nasty work on her unsuspecting dad. The team of (supposedly) highly professional hitmen behind this complex plan - who arranged the spying on this hotel manager to learn her habits and background and who are behind her "skyjacking" - want the Homeland Security director moved so they can fire a missile through his window and blow him to pieces. The movie becomes a game of cat-and-mouse between the hotel manager and her abductor.
Now here are some obvious questions: How did the team of killers know in advance that the room they were targeting would be vacant at the time of the director's arrival? Why did they need the director in THAT room? Did the suite he normally occupied not have any windows? I've never been in a hotel room without windows. Have you? Why go to all this trouble? Was this sophisticated assassination squad not capable of hiding itself on some nearby rooftop long before the director's arrival and taking him out with that missile the moment he and his family emerged from their limousine at the hotel? In other words, the whole abduction scenario was unnecessary, and the moment you realize that fact the entire movie becomes unreal. I've only gotten started here; there are several other reasons RED EYE is a bad movie. Should you spend your time and money on this? I've already answered that. The real question that needs to be asked is:
What's the difference between dog poop and RED EYE?
And the answer is:
Thirty thousand feet. "
OK for a rainy afternoon, but that's about it
David A. Bede | Singapore | 08/24/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is average woman-as-victim scare fare, although Rachel McAdams' strong character is more politically correct than usual for that genre. Her performance, and Cillian Murphy's delightfully believable creepiness, save the movie to some extent at least. It does hold your attention for an hour and a half, but there's basically nothing to it beyond the will-she-escape-and-save-the-day suspense. Still, it's hard to depict a believable hostage story in a public place like an airliner, and this one is pretty convincing. Just don't expect any emotional impact to last any longer than the movie itself."
A Tense, Fast Paced Thriller
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 01/18/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Who would expect a screenplay/story by Carl Ellsworth ('Buffy the Vampire Slayer') directed by horror master Wes Craven to be an intelligent thriller? Yet RED EYE is precisely that. This a tight conversational duet for two actors with accompaniment that slips up on the viewer so surely that the terrifying climax is somewhat of a relief from the preceding tension.
Rachael McAdams as the heroine proves she can sustain a fine character development from first appearance through the suspense to the last screen frame. Likewise, Cillian Murphy uses not only his talent as an actor but also his clear blue-eyed innocence to foreshadow the evil underneath. Since the majority of the film takes place aboard an airplane in flight (the red eye from Texas to Miami), the tension for the story rests heavily with these two actors. They succeed in every way, as does Craven in turning his directorial skills to intellectual rather than physical terror. Well done! Grady Harp, January 06"
Tense Psychological Thriller
Zagethe | 04/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"SOME SPOILERS INCLUDED.
In this taut suspense-thriller, Murphy plays a charming stranger that our protagonist, Lisa, meets on a Red Eye flight to Miami. Their chemistry is immediate and she finds herself drawn to the attractive guy with the intense blue eyes. The first part of the movie misleads the viewer into letting down their guard and joining in their flirtation.
But their meeting was not happenstance instead it's part of a larger plot involving a political assassination that Murphy's character "Jackson Rippner" (yes, even Jackson is in on the joke) has orchestrated as a "manager" of government overthrows and high profile assassinations.
What follows in the second half is an intense mind game/power struggle between Lisa and her tormentor, all on-board an airplane. This claustrophobic scene plays particularly well and both actors should be commended on their performances. They are so real that the instances of violence really shock. (particularly the knock-out scene)
The last part of the movie amps up the action and pushes our characters into a showdown. While at this point it becomes less realistic, it does offer some fun action including an explosion thrown in for good measure.
While I fully expected Murphy's suave, arrogant character to get the beat-down that he so deserved, I did find the shift from the ultra-controlled, condesending assassin to the less than effective killer to be a bit "off" but I was the only one in my family that noted it so it just must be me. (yeah, yeah, he was stabbed and shot, that will put anyone off their game)
Don't let the PG13 rating put you off.. it's tense. The violence isn't over-the-top gore but it is effective. The film's short running time keeps everything in motion. And I liked Rippner's ambiguous end. Perhaps they had a sequel in mind?
Also, just for fun note Cillian's character (Jackson) states that he never lies.. if that's true then check out the subtle way he side-steps Lisa's question when she asks him if he is a hitman..."