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Flightplan - Ohne jede Spur (2005)
  • Director:
    Robert Schwentke
  • Category:
  • Writer:
    Peter A. Dowling,Billy Ray
  • Cast:
    Jodie Foster,Peter Sarsgaard,Sean Bean
  • Time:
    1h 38min
  • Budget:
  • Year:
The husband of aviation engineer Kyle Pratt has just died in Berlin, and now she is flying back to New York with his coffin and their six-year-old daughter Julia. Three hours into the flight Kyle awakens to find that Julia is gone. It's a big double-decker plane, so the very concerned mother has a lot of territory to cover in order to find her daughter. She takes matters into her own hands as she fights to discern the truth.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Jodie Foster Jodie Foster - Kyle Pratt
Peter Sarsgaard Peter Sarsgaard - Carson
Sean Bean Sean Bean - Captain Rich
Kate Beahan Kate Beahan - Stephanie
Michael Irby Michael Irby - Obaid
Assaf Cohen Assaf Cohen - Ahmed
Erika Christensen Erika Christensen - Fiona
Shane Edelman Shane Edelman - Mr. Loud
Mary Gallagher Mary Gallagher - Mrs. Loud
Haley Ramm Haley Ramm - Brittany Loud
Forrest Landis Forrest Landis - Rhett Loud
Jana Kolesárová Jana Kolesárová - Claudia
Brent Sexton Brent Sexton - Elias
Marlene Lawston Marlene Lawston - Julia
Judith Scott Judith Scott - Estella

Flightplan - Ohne jede Spur (2005)

Jodie Foster's role was originally written for Sean Penn. The original character's name of "Kyle" was even kept. Coincidentally, Penn's role in The Game (1997) was originally intended for Jodie Foster.

In real life, Sean Bean, who plays Captain Rich, is terrified of flying and will do it only when absolutely necessary. Peter Sarsgaard also admits to having a lifelong fear of flying.

Although the AALTO Air E-474 featured in this movie is a fictional aircraft, it does bear a strong resemblance in overall design to the real-life double-decker Airbus A380-800, with the movie's cockpit being nearly identical to the A380's.

Film debut of Matt Bomer.

The airplane instrument panel had to be built from scratch because the instrument panel used in many movies was destroyed in Cast Away (2000).

The Berlin airport scenes were actually shot in Leipzig, Germany.

The 35mm prints of this film come from a digital intermediate that has been digitally grain reduced. As a result there are digital grain reduction artifacts visible on all prints.

Portia de Rossi, Christina Ricci, and Josie Davis were each offered the role of Kyle Pratt but turned it down.

The mother's daughter Julia has the same name as Erika Christensen in her TV series Parenthood (2010).

The Association of Professonal Flight Attendants called for an official boycott of the film because they thought it depicted flight attendants as rude, uncaring, indifferent, and even one as a terrorist.

WILHELM SCREAM: heard just after the 1 hr. 26 min. mark (just after the plane's cockpit windows are blown out).

I think we have some sort of record. The steps needed for the criminals in this movie to succeed are:

1) Jodie deciding to go to the states on the same airplane as her dead husbands coffin. 2) An accomplice at the check-in who deletes any record of the daughters ticket. 3) that jodie chooses to be the first onboard - otherwise some of the other families with children might notice the child when she boards. 4) That the flight attendant doesn't notice the child when they board. 5) That the child stays hidden for three hours of flight. 6) That Jodie decides to sleep in the back of the plane with her child, so the kidnappers can whisk her away in the troll. Had Jodie and the child stayed in their seats, the kidnapping would have been impossible.

Improbable as this seems, the plot holes's just getting started. Now we need Jodie not just going amok, but escaping to do another feat: Remember how an airport security guy, at the beginning of the movie, tells Jodie she needs to lock the casket (with a code) for security reasons? (apparently, in this alternate reality, any coffin can get by airport security because 'coffins aren't x-rayed'). It seems the criminal actually needs to get hold of and move the explosives hidden in the coffin so he can blow up the child in the front of the plane (to cover the fact that she was onboard, i guess). So now the scheme of the criminals hinges on: 1) Jodie goes to the bathroom, crawls up a trap door, shortcircuits the lights, uses the confusion to get to the basement, opens the coffin, keeps the lid up and lets her self be caught.

I didn't understand this at first, thinking that the writers couldn't be that idiotic, but why else set up the idea of a digitally locked casket? She, it seems, has to open it! And when this setup is complete, the criminal only has to convince the captain that this crazy mother is a terrorist whos suddenly gotten hold of a detonator for a bomb.

I think the writing is, in many ways, intriguing. I fail to remember any movie with a plot quite so convoluted. Please respond if you can think of any.

Yours truly, Lars
*** This comment may contain spoilers ***

This must be close to the plot synopsis:

Man: "You know we're always saying we could use 50 million dollars?

Woman: "Yes"

Man: "Well I have a cunning plan."

Woman: "What's that then?"

Man: "First of all we need to find an aeronautics engineer working in a foreign country, with a child, and an encyclopedic knowledge of the layout of a particular long-haul plane."

Woman: "Why's that?"

Man: "Well then, you see, we murder her spouse, in such a way as it looks like an accident."

Woman: "What for?"

Man (exasperated): "Well then of course, we bribe the mortuary assistant at the hospital into letting us place explosives inside the casket."

Woman: "But why?"

Man: "I'm coming to that. Then we wait until the woman decides to return the the U.S."

Woman: "But what if she doesn't?"

Man: "She just will, okay? So anyway, when she decides to return home we find out what flight she's on. Hopefully she is not only placed on the type of plane of which she has encyclopedic knowledge, and flying with the airline of which you're a flight attendant, but also on the same flight as her dead husband's casket. Are you following?"

Woman: "I think so."

Man:"Good, we're nearly there. Then all we need to do is falsify the checking-in information to remove all record of her daughter, make sure she gets on the plane half an hour before everybody else, ensure there is a row of empty seats behind her and get me on the flight, sitting nearby."

Woman: "And then?"

Man (laughing): "Now this the cunning part. She takes the empty seats, allowing her daughter to sit in the aisle seat, then when she goes to sleep, all I have to do is steal a food trolley, stuff the daughter into it and hide her in the hold. Oh, and did I mention that we must ensure that nobody on the entire plane sees the daughter?"

Woman: "Isn't this getting a little far fetched?"

Man (angry): "What do'you mean? It's a great plan? All I have to do then is remove the child's boarding pass from wherever the mother is keeping it without waking her, assist her search for the missing child in the guise of an Air Marshal, convince the captain that the woman is mad and that the child died with her father (through a forged note from the mortician), and wait for the mother to escape from my custody.

Woman:"Escape, why?"

Man: "Because the casket can only be unlocked by her, so once she's unlocked it I can set the timer on the explosives. From there we're home and dry. I merely have to recapture her, convince the captain that she's actually not mad but a hijacker who wants 50 million dollars and give the Captain our account number, asking him to ensure the money is paid straight in. Oh, Then we land, everybody gets off the plane, I shoot the mother and blow up the daughter and nobody is any the wiser. We walk away with a cool 50 million. Simple eh?"

Never before have I wasted two hours of my life on quite such egregious nonsense.
Flightplan is a psychological thriller that takes place almost entirely on an air-born jumbo jet en route to New York, from Berlin. Jodie Foster plays Kyle, a mother who find that her daughter is missing after awaking from a nap. The jet also carries Kyle's husband, who recently died and rests in his casket in the cargo hold below. Kyle becomes increasingly frantic as she searches the plane for her daughter without success. The crew becomes adversarial, writing her off as a loony when they check the flight manifesto and find no record of her daughter ever being on board. Thus enters the psychological component of the film. Not only is the audience confused as to what has happened, but Kyle, after speaking with an on-board psychiatrist, also begins to have doubts about her own psychological stability in the wake of her husband's death. No one is sure what to believe, until a subtle clue jolts Foster back to reality, and back to her MacGuyver like maneuvers to attempt to recover her lost daughter.

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 Flightplan is capable of giving her. Flightplan, while entertaining, remains among those psychological-thrill-rides that are only as successful as their audience is unsuccessful in knowing the truth during the course of the film. To achieve this, the film has to throw a slew of false leads and suspicious looking characters into early shots in order to have the audience questioning.

I'm not fond of this technique. It's possible to keep the audience in suspense, and guessing without trickery. To me, this degrades the integrity of a storyline.

I was pulled in by the impressive marketing campaign of Flightplan and went to theaters excited. The film lived up to the aesthetic advertised -- a slick blue hue that reminds the audience of the snowfall in Berlin, the death of a husband and father, and the unfortunate and unforgiving circumstances that have befallen Kyle and her young daughter. And while this makes for a very sleek looking film, in the end, the fantastical, convoluted storyline cannot be realistically reconciled. I left the theater feeling somewhat cheated. While I realize it was a story and therefore ought to be granted a liberal amount of leniency when it comes to plausibility, Flightplan went to far outside the realm of conceivability. There were too many factors that had to conspire in favor of one person for the films storyline to hold together.

The real problem with Flightplan is that the more you think back, the more you become frustrated with how inconceivable the whole charade was; the more you become irritated with how often you were lead to wonder about something eventually irrelevant. There are some films that don't give you all the answers and pull you along on a suspenseful ride, and leave you feeling fulfilled when you finally figure everything out, and everything fits together. Flightplan concludes, you know the culprit, and then you think back, and nothing fits together.
This movie soars with riveting drama and intrigue for the first 60 minutes, and then abruptly goes into a tailspin and crashes and burns on the screen. I can't remember a more convoluted plot in movie. I still can't figure out the bad guy's strategy.

The plot is completely illogical, contrived, and simply defies common logic. The vast majority of movies like this cleverly tie all the threads together in the final surprise climax.

This film does just the opposite; the story line unravels and become hopelessly knotted and twisted. The viewer is left simply saying "huh"? What's a shame is that excellent acting, cinematography, set design and editing is wasted on such an inane story that can only make a shred of sense in the egos of the writers and director.

Among the more annoying contrivances:

1.Nobody enters an airplane alone, literally minutes ahead of the other passengers. Even so, as pointed out by so many reviews, a young child would not go unnoticed by other passengers.

2.It's ridiculous to portray flight attendants as surly as a pretext for them not noticing the girl. Also, I really doubt any flight attendant can mess around with the airline company's computers which must track millions of reservations.

3. The air marshal comes off as creepy and untrustworthy the minute you see his beady little eyes. There's no surprise here that he turns out to be the bad guy. It's equally obvious that the onboard Arabs cannot be the bad guys.

4.Though the flight cabin set design is smart, if not overly opulent, the acreage used in the storage an avionics area is totally ridiculous. It's as stupid as making the interior of a submarine look a spacious as an enclosed shopping mall. Also, patch panels with phono jack connectors went out in the 1960s. I realize artistic license is needed, but this is just silly for a computerized state-of-art airplane.

In summary, this is probably the strangest, most unsatisfying, and poorly conceived film I've seen in a long time
The preview for Flightplan looked intriguing. The movie starts out well enough, but goes steadily downhill until about 2/3 the way through. Then the movie just drops off a cliff and sucks wind while crashing at the bottom. What a complete waste of 98 minutes of my life.

* WARNING * some of the material after this point contains spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Question: Why did Carson and his accomplices target Kyle Pratt and her husband? How did they even know them? Question: How did the evildoers know Kyle would go to such extremes and play into their absurdly complex plot -- for example that she would open her husband's coffin? Or for example the huge risk the kidnappers were taking to assume *nobody* would notice the girl as the flight starts out? Question: Wouldn't the kidnappers have opted for a much simpler plan that didn't involve an airplane and all the subtle and not-so-subtle outcomes that could have easily foiled their plot?

These very basic questions, and several more, go unanswered -- and for good reason: the kidnap and extortion plot is so completely far-fetched and ridiculous, that of course there is no point in trying to explain simple and fundamental motivations on the part of the killers. Why bother, if the audience is taken in by such incredulous story telling, they certainly will not notice these glaring omissions as well.

And another thing, at the end of the movie, why was the girl not taken immediately to the hospital? Why was everyone standing around glaring at Jodie Foster's character? Why oh why were they on display...? Oh bother, I may as well give up asking questions, this was one of the worst movies I've seen in years.
SPOILERS- Although FLIGHT PLAN starts out strong enough to maintain the viewer's interest and pique their interest, it ends up yielding just about as disappointing and implausible ending as humanly possible.

When the elaborate blackmailing scheme is finally revealed to the audience, the glaring irrationality is the key element involving Jodie Foster's daughter...

This complex scheme involving finding someone with knowledge of the plane, killing her husband, getting explosives planted in the coffin, arranging for the coffin to be on that plane (or arranging for the conspirators to be scheduled on that plane), and finally the unobserved kidnapping of the daughter, is only the beginning of this absurdly intricate scheme. The entire success of this plan, the KEY FACTOR on which is all hinges, is that NO ONE can notice the little girl from the time she boards the plan, through take off, while she and her mother move to different seats to sleep, and finally gets herself drugged and stuffed into a beverage cart. If the little girl says "hi" to one other passenger, plays with another child, or is even seen walking with or sitting with her mother, the whole story falls apart. And these criminals are willing to set this all up, kill a man, bring an another accomplice (a mortician) into the fold, and HOPE that NOT ONE OTHER PERSON sees this cute little girl sitting just a few feet away.

This is so ridiculously glaring as to defy shedding of disbelief enough to even enjoy the film once it's revealed. And the sad thing is that with a little creativity, the writers could have come up with something better. Why have so many other passengers around at all? Have the back of the plane empty and the mother and daughter as the first ones on. Then no one besides the flight attendant (okay, probably more than one) would see them.

It's irritating the weak scripts that are being made into weak films. It all starts with the story...or in this case, stops.
Rarely have I been so annoyed by a film. Perhaps this is because "Flightplan" starts off with such promise before descending (ha ha) into a laughably ridiculous, clichéd, and downright boring final third. The movie develops as a fascinating and emotionally gripping story of a delusional woman who is convinced her dead daughter accompanied her on board as has been kidnapped.

**SPOILERS** ... but surprise! She is, in fact, correct! Coincidentally, none of the 500 passengers saw the girl or witnessed her kidnapping. Coincidentally, the air marshal and a flight attendant are in cahoots to orchestrate a hijacking threat, demand a $50 million ransom, and attempt to pin the entire thing (including the on-board ransom demand) on a woman who has no idea what is going on. Right.

What surprises me is how far off base Roger Ebert's review was of this film. He writes, "Often in thrillers we think of obvious questions that the characters should be asking, but do not, because then the problems would be solved and the movie would be over." That's right, and "Flightplan" is a textbook example. Jodie Foster's character figures out the entire conspiracy, gains control of the situation, is able to take the hijacker's gun ... and then gives the gun to the captain, has him leave the plane, and seals all the exits so as to be alone with her (surprise!) still-armed foe. Sure, this allows for yet another limping-attacker-slowly-chasing-resourceful-woman climax, but the repeated blatant assaults on the audience's common sense and credulity are simply too much to take.

"Flightplan" seemed promising as it slowly established the impossibility of the actual explanation it provides. There is the possibility of a good movie in there, but as it stands, "Flightplan" is an enormous cheat.
........................................................from Pasto,Colombia...Via: L.A. CA., CALI, Colombia & ORLANDO, FL

If you are among the millions of people who enjoy films with Jodie Foster… We have good news!.... Ms. Foster really takes off in this entertaining cinematic offering in the sky! A good deal of time has passed since we saw her in Panic Room (2002), but for my taste, this FLIGHTPLAN proves itself as an even better vehicle to showcase her talent. The movie demonstrates similitude to a Hitchcock thriller from the golden age of Hollywood, both in style and in its storyline development. Guaranteed to keep you in respiratory crisis almost from start to finish! In the role of Kyle Pratt, aircraft engine engineer and mother of 6 year old Katerina, Foster shows tremendous range of nuanced emotion, in a performance that easily could have given her a fifth Oscar nomination. FLIGHTPLAN has a very smooth take-off, but does not take long to encounter serious turbulence.

Shortly after boarding an international flight, Kyle falls asleep, with her daughter alongside her. Upon waking, she discovers that Katerina, apparently, has disappeared without leaving so much as the slightest trace! Progressively, Jody Foster shows us an entire catalog of emotions. Concern and nervousness, followed sequentially by frustration; anguish and despair; then confusion and guilt; which ultimately give way to stoic resignation and unsettling doubts about her own sanity. The primary secret of FIGHTPLAN's success is that it enables the viewer to experience some of these emotions simultaneously right along with its lead character.

Unfortunately, there is one black hole in the skies of FLIGHTPLAN. It's the kind of vacuum that prevents a "good" movie from being an absolutely phenomenal one! Without flying into any spoilers by divulging anything specific as to the identity of the on board bad guy(s), I will share the following with you: The team responsible for creating FLIGHTPLAN, in an extremely odd and inexplicable decision, chose not to reveal the slightest clue as to any of the background, history, formation, training, experience, MOTIVATION (outside of the $$$), previous or present internal conflicts, mental state and developmental thought processes of the villain(s)!

This lapse is even more striking when contrasted with the background provided for protagonist Jodie Foster's character, Kyle, whose personality is meticulously constructed, with deliberation and great attention to detail. Because of this, the bad guy(s) end-up projecting a kind of "Terminator-Light" image, seemingly lifted straight out of a comic book, thusly rendering the viewer totally indifferent to their intervention or plight in the film! The cast of FLIGHTPLAN, in general, submit solid and credible portrayals. Peter Sarsgaard, a veteran actor who has participated in numerous films, but who always has remained a bit under the radar in Hollywood, appears in a supporting role. His part is the most important one after Ms. Foster's. Sarsgaard's interpretation of a "Marshall" (a kind of national airways police) seems somewhat enigmatic and secretive.

Bess Wohl, who plays daughter, Katerina, has not had much on-screen experience, but is competent in her role as innocent child victim. As the pilot, we have Sean Bean, in a refreshing change of pace role. Most certainly recognizable owing to his turns as villain in several high profile films. He is quite convincing as the crew chief who gradually loses patience with a passenger who proves to be simply too problematic.

In 2005, few films managed to stay on top of box office for two consecutive weeks. This distinction is well-deserved in the case of FLIGHTPLAN, which was assigned a "PG -13" rating. It seems a great option for families with children over 8 or 9. For small kids, especially if they might feel anxious about a little girl forcibly abducted from her mother, do a pre-screening 7.5*....ENJOY/DISFRUTELA! Any comments , questions or observations, in English or Español, are most welcome!
I have never seen a more stupid plot than in this movie. How to get 10 million $? Very simple, just do like this:

Make sure you have a job as a security officer on an airplane. Then you find a woman who is an aircraft engineer, who has a husband and a child, and who lives in a city away from her home country, and who -when flying home- will certainly use an airline that uses the type of aircraft of which she is the expert engineer. Are you still with me? Next: you throw her husband from a high building, your bribe the local morgue director to put a bomb in the coffin, and to write a false declaration that the deceased's child was also in the morgue, dead. You get a stewardess accomplish to corrupt the passenger list of the flight that the woman with her child are going to take to bring the husband home. By some kind of hypnosis you prevent all flight passengers to see the woman's child on board. During the night, when they are asleep, you pick the child from its seat without the child or mother waking up and without anybody noticing it. Simple, because everybody sleeps like a log in in the economy class. The woman runs amok when she misses her child, whom everybody denies that it was on board. You tell the captain that she threatens to blow up the plane if the airline doesn't wire 10 million $ to your bank account. That money transfer of course is done within an hour. Fortunately at the end everything goes well for the good guys, the child is saved and the bad guy is blown up in the plane. Interesting to hear that airline staff in a foreign city have the power to arrest morgue directors.

I am extremely disappointed that my heroes Sean Bean and Jody Foster take part in this nonsense. If only it had been intended to be a comedy with Leslie Nielsen, I could have appreciated it. It is laughable, so bad.
Feature films invite us to defy reality, believe a fiction, suspend disbelief. The actor has to make the unreal, real. Jodie Foster has done this in the past with notable success and strings of awards – and often chosen stories that parallel our unwillingness to accept: a rape victim that no-one believed, a paranoid in a locked room that had every reason to be afraid, a scientist that finds proof of aliens. In Flightplan she goes one further – a mother who loses her daughter during a transatlantic flight and whom no-one (including, most of the time, the audience) believes.

Aircraft engineer Kyle Pratt (Jodie Foster) is devastated by the sudden death of her husband. She flies his body back to New York on a state-of-the-art airliner which she designed. Dozing off for a few minutes on the plane, she awakes to find her six year old daughter is missing. Frantic searches ensue as the mounting evidence suggests the daughter was never on board.

Flightplan combines a taut psychological thriller with a deepening mystery and tremendous emotional punch. But does the denouement justify the storyline, the switching positions we are forced to adopt about Kyle's sanity and the existence of her daughter? Or is it simply a story that cashes in on current passenger apprehension over hijacking and Foster's considerable acting talent? Foster is at her best, an outraged, highly intelligent woman with a mother's bottled up and barely contained grief providing simmering emotional force.

It is a remarkable testament to Foster's talent that she can carry such an unlikely story. She imbues the confined space of an aircraft with an energy that doesn't wilt for a moment and ensures our attention never flags. Ably assisted by Sean Bean as the Captain, wanting to give her every benefit of doubt but increasingly forced to accept the evidence of his own eyes, and Air Marshall Peter Sarsgaard who plays an interesting yet inscrutable character, we are mesmerised by Kyle Pratt and our own difficulty in knowing whether to believe her. Whether the story was worthy of such talent is less clear. As the pieces unravel we are presented with a bewildering complexity of background information which, without Foster to carry it or Hitchcockian logic to prove it, we are tempted to dismiss with Flightplan as overambitious. As an exercise in powerful acting that stands up as a Saturday night thriller, Flightplan delivers in Club Class, but as the sum of its parts it is as convoluted and full of wishful thinking as someone trying to stretch out in Economy.
Flightplan stars Jodie Foster as a mother whose daughter vanishes on a flight from Berlin to America. The premise is excellent as the audience has to question themselves as much as Foster's character Kyle Pratt.

The film begins very well. Kyle (Foster) and her daughter board the plan with a coffin to head back to America to presumable bury the father. They go to the back of the plane where there happens to be empty seats and have a snooze. Kyle wakes to find her daughter missing and then spends the rest of the film searching for her.

Then questions start getting asked. How could she vanish? Was she on the plane in the first place? Is Kyle insane? How come no one saw her? Most of the film is spent with a frantic mother searching for someone who no one believes was ever on the plane while the flight crew attempt to restrain her. 60 minutes of cat and mouse action later and we finally get some answers, but a hell of a lot more questions.

The spoiler is that an air Marshall, in cahoots with a fight attendant has kidnapped the daughter. Unfortunately, this is where the film turns into a farce. There is no way that no passenger or flight crew could have NOT seen a little girl.

The air Marshall's plot is just ludicrous. It requires him and the flight attendant to be on the same flight as Kyle, the daughter and the coffin. The attendant has to be able to delete the files of the daughter off of the flight manifest. They have to go on the assumption that Kyle + daughter are going to be the first ones on the flight, that no one else will see the little girl and that the girl can be taken below deck to the storage without being seen.

This film is a locked room mystery, which are supposed to be puzzles for the audience to try and figure out, but there are so many plot holes that for one to enjoy the film you have to switch off your brain, which defeats the purpose of a locked room mystery.

The ending of the film is just plan awful. To spoil the ending, the air Marshall is killed, the flight attendant arrested and Kyle finds the daughter alive and well. The problem is that the FBI, who arrived to arrest Kyle on hijacking charges, let her go free without even questioning her on the events that transpired, but are quick to arrest a flight attendant with no physical evidence other than Kyle's word.

If a film is to be gripping and well received, then it must have a satisfactory ending, but this descends into a farce at the end.
You know how angry, frustrated and anxious you get when an airline loses your luggage? Well, imagine being on a plane with your child when you awaken from a brief nap only to discover that your offspring is missing.

To compound matters further, imagine that no one remembers seeing your child on board and all passenger lists and appropriate documentation lead to a conclusion that your child never set foot in the flying tube 30,000 feet above the Atlantic.

That is the premise behind the new Jodie Foster (Nell) film Flightplan that delivers just enough thrills and spills to squeeze out a three star rating from his critic.

Reprising the claustrophobic atmosphere of her last starring vehicle, Panic Room, Foster stars as Kyle, as recent widower that decides to take her 6-year-old daughter back to America from Berlin to escape the memories surrounding her husbands tragic suicide.

However, after catching a little shuteye at the back of the plane, Kyle awakens to discover that her daughter is missing and that no one recalls ever seeing young Julia on board.

Is she crazy? Is it a conspiracy? Does Julia exist or is this all some kind of a bad dream Twilight Zone episode that will end with Patrick Duffy lathering up in a shower? The game, as we say, is afoot and Kyle, under the very watchful eye of Air Marshall Carson (Peter Sarsgaard) runs up and down the AIR E-474 jumbo jet in a frantic attempt to try and convince others that her daughter is on board and that conspirators are attempting to conceal her whereabouts for reasons unknown.

This is the second thriller set aboard a jetliner in just two months – the other being Red Eye – and Flightplan does just as good a job of instilling fear and tension aboard a vessel where mobility, options and hiding places are limited between the nose and tail of the aircraft. Flightplan does find a way to up the ante by putting us aboard a monstrous flying machine. This AALTO Air E-474 can seat as many as 800 passengers and has two stories, 7 galleys, crew quarters and a cockpit larger than my apartment. This allows the characters therefore to run up and down aisles and makes the disappearance of a small girl more believable due to the many small rooms and electrical hardware gadgetry spread out throughout the quarters.

Flightplan had just enough good points to out number the bad – but not by much. First and foremost at the front of the line was the incredible performance of Foster in the lead role. Channeling emotions evoked if she had lost her own daughter, Foster delivers a knockout performance that was as strong as any female lead in a thriller film since Sigourney Weaver strapped on the weaponry and stood up to the queen alien.

Also notable was the support staff that is each believable in their respective roles. Peter Sarsgaard continues to put in one good performance after another and everyone from Sean Bean (who finally, FINALLY makes it to the end credits of a film without being killed!) to Erika Christensen (Traffic) are provided just enough screen time to advance the story without having anyone go over the top in an attempt to steal the spotlight.

That's the good. The bad includes a bad guy who has what I call the Bond-villain syndrome whereas he feels he has to talk out loud revealing more than anyone in the same situation would for the purposes of ensuring us dumb audiences know the who's how's and what's behind the plot, and an ending that is kinda bumpy landing after such a long flight.

However, director Robert Schwentke does a good job of rising above most of the screenplay's shortfalls and delivers a Hitchcockian caper that is well worth the price of admission even if you will hardly remember most of the plot points by the time you see it on the DVD shelves early next year.

****SPOILER ALERT**** Don't read any further if you want to see the movie without knowing too much.

Turn off your reasoning faculties at the ticket counter.

Jodie Foster is an aeronautical engineer based in Berlin. She lives there with her husband and daughter, and when he dies from an apparent suicide leap from the roof of their apartment house, she is left to bring his body back to the US, accompanied by their daughter. The build up of suspense is quite good at the beginning of the film, the airline delay, having the horrible experience that she may have lost the daughter in the airport, boarding, then the de-icing of the plane, all little touches to get the viewer on edge. Once they're airborne, they switch seats to get a row to themselves and sleep. Waking up three hours later, Jodie finds her daughter missing. Ever more frantic, she searches the plane, finally getting the captain involved, but things start to come a little undone for her when the crew tell her there's no record of her daughter on the manifest. It's let out that her husband has recently died, she's on anti-depressants, and possibly she's imagining the whole thing about being with her daughter. I won't tell any more, but the spoilers are many: As someone else said, why was the girl allowed on a plane without a boarding pass going through the machine for the passenger manifest? Why steal the girl in the first place? What was the point? How did they reach into Foster's pocket and steal the daughter's boarding pass without her waking up? Why have real explosive involved anyway, if the intent was merely extortion, fake stuff would have done the job just as well. Was the air-marshall real or was he a fake, if fake, how did he get credentials that fooled the airline? Are we seriously to believe that they'd kill Foster's husband just so they could plant explosives in his casket? And if they did, why choose an aeronautical engineer's spouse - someone who knows the plane inside out - why not choose Janet Schmo and her husband Joe?

I came out of the movie calling "bullshit".
Stupid! Terrible lame rip-off of twilight zone elements, completely implausible plot twist, bad bad, STUPID! OK there, I had to get that out...

This movie had some good stuff in early parts of the movie in terms of plot, but it just ends up being so stupid. It tries to be all twilight-zone with her daughter disapering, and there being no record of her daughter on the flight, etc. They take this interesting set up and...turn it into a LAME action movie.

I totally give away the movie here, but trust me, keep reading, it will save you from watcing this trash! Peter Sarsgaard is the most unbelievable 'Air Marshall' in the universe, and thats before its revealed he's a hijacker. Yes thats right, he plays an air marshall, that figures out how to get $50 million by kidnapping and hiding Jodi Foster's daughter on the plain after it takes off, and he has an accomplice in the crew. Its not just that thats so unbelievable, its also the way he acts is so stupid and unbelievable, and he's so incompetent as an air marshall AND as a hijacker, its stupid! (notice a theme here on the word 'stupid') Think how he would have to set this up: Kill Jodi Foster's husband, find out what plane she is taking, somehow hide the bombs in the husband's casket, and some how get assigned to her flight, oh and also tampering with the passenger manifest list and the fake death notice of her daughter. How the hell is all that possible for him to do? Its not, its stupid, this is stupid. And the whole thing with the arab guy, man STUPID! That did not teach any moral or make any sense or anything. I knew that once the premise was revealed (her daughter missing on the plane with no record of here) it was either going to be a sixth sense rip off or something much worse, I was hoping it would be original and interesting, but instead the movie went the worst, stupidist most implausible way ever.
"Flightplan" seems to have affected IMDb contributors like no other film in recent memory. Mostly is bad. We didn't catch up with this picture until recently. Frankly, we are puzzled as to why the hatred. Granted, the film had the potential for being better, but it's not the total failure as some of the comments in this forum will make one believe. It appears there's an agenda to mark "Flightplan" comments as not useful.

Director Robert Schwentke working with Peter Dowling and Billy Ray's screen play, hasn't added much to the film in order to make it a thriller to be reckoned with, but, in general, the film is not a total waste, as seems to be the perception among contributors.

In a way, "Flightplan" plays with the viewer's perception as to who is behind the disappearance of Julia, the six year old girl traveling with her mother, Kyle, to New York. Kyle has suffered a great tragedy in her life when her husband was found dead in her building's courtyard. The fact that Kyle hasn't been able to accept the death is clear in the first sequence when we see her sitting inside the Alexanderplaz metro station in Berlin.

Kyle, an aircraft designing engineer, is a good mother. One can imagine her panic when she wakes up from a nap to find Julia's gone. No one seems to have noticed the little girl; there is no record of she ever been on board. Kyle meets resistance from the crew of the flight. Even the sky marshal, Carson, is no help at all. What's a mother to do? If one is in Kyle's shoes, one starts taking matter into her own hands.

Jodie Foster does a good job portraying Kyle. She is a mother who doesn't take no for an answer. In fact, she is the one that unravels the mystery surrounding her daughter's disappearance. The climax sequence is perfectly set, as one would expect it to be.

Peter Sarsgaard, is Carson, the sky marshal traveling in the economy section. He is in charge of the safety of the passengers on the flight. In an unusual role for him, Mr. Sarsgaard has some good chances in the movie. Sean Bean plays the pilot of the jumbo jet. Kate Beahan is seen as one of the flight attendants. Erika Christiensen is also part of the crew.

The best way to enjoy the film is not to compare it to anything else and just go for the entertaining value in it because we know this is not a ground breaking film, but thanks to Mr. Schwentke and his cast, it offers us a bumpy ride of a film.
sunrise bird
sunrise bird
First off, I loved "Panic Room" and Jodie Foster's performance in it. When I first saw the looks of this film, I was very intrigued and thought it was going to be a "The Forgotten 2"....i was very wrong.

What starts off is with Jodie Foster playing a mourning mother after the death of her husband. Her and her daughter catch a flight to go stay with Foster's grandparents, however, after Jodie's character falls asleep, the daughter is gone....and to make matters worst, she is told that she never existed...

Sounds like a good premise eh? Well that's what infused me to go and see it. It starts off well but once the daughter goes missing, it went downhill. Jodie's performance throughout is good, not Oscar worthy but it is one of the highlights of the film (as well as the ever-cool Sean Bean.) Unfortunately I can't go into great depth of anything else of the story because of spoilers, but I will say that the ending plot is horrible, totally impossible and so therefore ruins the impact of the film and its good beginning.

There are also a lot of other things that annoy me about the film, to cut a long list short here are some examples: - a brilliant, new state of the art plane...and there's hardly anyone on board.

  • Foster's character, although confused and frustrated does get annoying after a bit, and seeing as w're meant to identify and sympathise with her, is not a good thing.

  • The overall twist / ending plot is ridiculous, as I stated before.

My vote is 6/10....go see the film for the enjoyment of Jodie Foster and some thrills. however, do not expect a masterpiece..because this is FAR from great.
The flaw in the plot is how could the air marshal guarantee that no other passengers or flight attendant would see & or remember the little girl. As soon as someone remembers seeing the little girl his plan falls over. First they must have cleared customs & immigration tehn there is the boarding pass check-in, then they would have been greeted at the entrance to the aircraft by different attendants and they were the first passengers on. Also they were not at the very rear of the plane & surly some would have walked passed them & remembered them. Think about it, when he is planning this how can he guarantee no one will remember seeing a woman with a little girl board a plane?

Also why move to other seats when they were in a row of 3. Surly the girl could stretch out where she was? It wasn't clear but I thought they moved to other 3 abreast seats. Why?

Then they pack passengers 4 abreast like sardines & leave complete empty rows, which remain vacant after take off. Not on any long haul flight I've ever been on.

Would he still have kidnapped her if they hadn't moved seats? How as he planning to do that?

Silly story.
This movie was terrible, just terrible. It was almost like it didn't have writers. As if no one even checked the script for what year it was, or if their any of the characters had a personality or even names. The credits list first names to the characters but the movie didn't use them. It was like nobody even bothered to develop this film past the very early stages of script construction, and yet the film somehow got through all the stages of film production and distribution.

All the "best" lines are spoken off screen by random extras that only exist in ADR. Some zingers come from any number of stereotypical angry passengers who portray a particular class or race. My favorite was a man in first class who says about a woman looking for her daughter: "It's not like she lost her palm pilot." PALM PILOT! What year is it? Who wrote that at the turn of the century and then kept it for safekeeping until 2005. As if the main characters weren't shallow and underdeveloped enough, the filmmakers decided to add some 2D extras just in case. Don't even get me started on the Arabs or the guy with the mustache.

Seriously, do we need someone to bring up racial profiling in such a surface level way. A film that almost has to tackle our racial stereotypes about terrorism skirts over this pitfall by eliminating terrorism at all. White people can hijack a plane (spoiler, oh by the by, the plane is basically hijacked, spoiler) but then it's white-collar crime not an act of terrorism. Every race has its flaw.

Just an awful film. How anyone talked Jodie Foster, Peter Sarsgaard, or even Sean Bean into this plane wreck is beyond my comprehension.
Flightplan isn't just one of the worst movies I've ever seen -- it's the only film I've ever seen in the theater that enraged me to the point where I actually flipped the screen the bird. The acting is terrible, with Jodie Foster putting on a manic, nerve-grating show (though arguably appropriate, since she's lost her daughter and all) and Peter Sarsgaard delivering a performance about on par with that of a supporting character in a SciFi Original. And have you ever seen a movie that's so bad it leaves you thinking, "God, this is awful... the only possible way this could be any worse is if X happened next." Not only does Flightplan's ridiculous story inspire this kind of thought, but is in fact so horribly predictable that, just after you've devised torturous scenario X, X will indeed be the very next thing to occur! In addition, the movie features highly questionable moral values and a blatantly offensive exploitation of post 9-11 racist paranoia concerning Arabs on airplanes, with a major plot twist that actually requires the audience to have certain racist fears in order to shock. If one lacks these feelings, however, the film's racism is all too apparent, transparent, and appalling. In short, I hated this movie with a passion.
One can look back on the beginning of Flightplan, before the watcher has lost all hope and try to explain the lifelessness of this film. Yes, they're trying to remind you of the Sixth Sense and plant the seed of doubt that Ms. Foster's character is a bit dotty. It doesn't work; there's just a long uninteresting intro sequence in Berlin (Why Berlin?).

On the plane, the two of them arriving before anyone else stands out like the proverbial sore thumb. I've never seen two people arrive before everyone else, without others similarly situated (frequent fliers, extra care, etc.) It's easy to take shots at plot problems in thrillers; I find one usually does it only when a film is failing in character and momentum, as here. The plot depends on Jodie Foster falling asleep? On the two of them moving to seats where the daughter wouldn't have to be carried over her from the window seat? And poor Peter Saarsagrd! He was wonderful - the movie still resonates in my mind -- in Shattered Glass. I don't know whether to say he's miscast or just did a poor job. He may be a candidate as successor to Bill Murray for the lowest energy leading man, but he's no action hero or villain. His character has no character, which is really bad when he's supposed to be the villain.

Lastly, about Jodie Foster. It's about the film, right? But, first Little Man Tate and then Panic Room and now Flightplan? Well, she's not the first star to emote in her film choices and to have the clout to make the films happen. Seven Seagal comes to mind. Do you really have to get rid of the husband to have an action hero mom? And these settings are so far-fetched. But then, thinking of Sigourney Weaver in Alien, maybe you do have to be far-fetched to come up with a setting where audiences will accept a female action hero.

Her face looked so drawn and unattractive; the long thin mouth of a Halloween mask. Oh well, I liked her in Contact and she did a good job as Agent Starling. She should keep the tiger-mom thing for her personal life and play other types of roles. O&O
Worst Jodie Foster's movie ever! Screenplay is terrible! Dozens of loose ends. I feel pity for Sean Bean's character (flight captain) he's portrayed as fully retarded person. When it was discovered that Fosters character's child died with her husband, and therefore cannot be missing, one simple thing must cross the captains mind – "Why is there only one coffin on the plane?" and gets suspicious after that. All these negotiations between the captain and Sarsgaard's character belong in a bad comic book. "No, she doesn't want to talk to the crew, only through me and here's the account number. Wire the money!" Sweet Lord!!! At the ending I expected a waving American flag and marines saluting Foster's character and maybe some fireworks. By the way, when you see a terrorist leaving the scene of the crime, approaching other people, carrying something (don't forget it was a night) and you are a sniper covering a hijacked jet, you shoot the target! "Follow procedure", as the captain likes to say.
Just when we thought we had enough suspense this year with the airline thriller Red Eye, along comes another that brings some heavy competition. Hitchcock fans will be delighted to know that German director Robert Schwentke has made a movie with a story just about as good as some of Hitchcock's - one that keeps them on the edge of their seats, and seems to keep the guessing game going until the end.

Jodie Foster (Panic Room) plays Kyle Pratt, an airplane designer whose husband apparently fell off their roof and died recently. She and her daughter, Julia (Marlene Lawston), are relocating from Germany to New York City, having to transport her deceased husband with them on board a massive double-decker airplane she designed. Kyle has been having a few delusions of her husband still being alive, but she always comes to her senses and realizes that he's not. But when she falls asleep during the flight and wakes up to find her daughter missing, she becomes alarmed and proceeds to look for Julia.

How many places could she be, right? That's the question everyone on board is asking. But when the Captain (Sean Bean) finds out that no one saw Kyle's daughter on board, that she's been through a lot of stress, and her daughter's boarding pass cannot be accounted for - he starts to think Kyle is mentally disturbed. As the flight goes on, he is informed that Julia apparently died along with Kyle's husband - pointing to what looks like a troubled marriage and a suicidal husband taking their daughter with him off the roof. Is Kyle imagining her daughter is still alive too? The entire crew and all the passengers seem to think so, particularly one man named Carson (Peter Sarsgaard, The Skeleton Key), who proceeds to ask all the hard questions that she doesn't want to hear.

Even though 99% of the movie takes place on board an airplane, the film never ceases to entertain. Foster gives us a riveting performance, making sure we can see the passionate look in her eyes that she is absolutely convinced her daughter is alive and that she's willing to go to great lengths to find her. She tackles an Arab man, breaks airline rules, enters restricted areas, etc. She drools, she claws...well not really. But she's definitely one mother you don't want to mess with.

This film does a good job at depicting the post 9/11 atmosphere one gets when riding an airplane, everything from undercover air marshals to passengers being wary of Arabs. It also reminds us of how annoying airplane flights can be, with hyperactive kids acting up right in front of you, or snobby passengers who say things like, "It's not like she lost her Palm Pilot." By the middle of the film, most of the passengers are just as patronizing, as they clap when Kyle is escorted back to her seat after causing a stir.

It has its share of unique cinematography, with obscure camera angles (like a sideways shot beneath an airplane landing), but other seemingly pointless slow-motion shots that don't add much to the scene. But most of that doesn't really take away from the story and the wonderful performances the actors give.

The movie does raise a few unanswered questions (ones I can't ask here without spoiling the plot), but they're easily forgivable. Is the film really that good? Well, it depends on how one views it. If one is expecting an original story, he/she will likely come out disappointed. However, it remains enjoyable if one just sees it simply as a story that, while not original, is a story well-told.

Dan Geer MovieLegacy.com
The number one rule in making a thriller is, if you're ripping off Hitchcock, make sure you do it right! The movie's plot is very simply Hitchcockian -- a woman, Jodie Foster, loses her little girl aboard an international flight several thousands of feet in the air, and nobody on board remembers seeing the little girl at all, much less her disappearance. The movie's full of simple plot elements: a desperate mother, the claustrophobic atmosphere of the plane and the helpless skepticism of the airline personnel. The problem is the plot ultimately makes no internal sense, and the underlying emotional issues, while beautifully played by the talented Ms. Foster, are idiotic as well. All movies like this are manipulative by nature, but the really good ones hide the strings (Hitchcock was a Master of this art) while the bad ones, like Flightplan, display their flaws so obviously you find yourself sitting in the theater snorting at the improbability of what's happening. The big twist that's supposed to shock doesn't make sense, supposedly intelligent characters act extremely stupidly and the emotional manipulation is ham-handed and ineffective.

So -- what did this movie do right? The performances are uniformly decent, though not in themselves interesting enough to save the movie. And the director keeps the movie from utter pointlessness by keeping the movie visually interesting. The movie's color palette is blue and grays, and the airplane is full of sleek curves and surfaces. The camera does all sorts of tricks, like filming a conversation from the outside of the windows, but which ultimately does nothing for the story or the movie overall.

I didn't hate this movie, mostly I was dismissive of it. Nothing engaged me, or interested me, and the ending made me roll my eyes. It's true: a bad script kills a film every time.
This has got to be one of the worst movies in at least ten years. The plot is thinner than the ozone layer. The film starts OK and the first twenty minutes is at least mildly entertaining with its "Sixth sense" vibe, but after that it just breaks down. You mean to tell me that no one of the 400 people on the plane has seen Jodie Fosters daughter?? The passengers next to them must either have been blind or wearing eye patches. That's hilarious! And where did her daughters'boarding pass go? Did Carson (Peter Saarsgard) take it from her pocket without her knowing it? Sounds likely... The only entertaining thing in this movie is the man who pisses and moans about the Arabs, at that moment the thriller becomes a comedy and I guess that was not the intention. Credit though to Saarsgard, at least he tries to do something of the script. I also would have liked to see more of Erika Christensen, she does a good job too and she is beautiful! Jodie Foster is obviously a great actress but something went wrong when she chose to do this one. Stay away!
This film is a typical example of the trailer making the film look good. I quite enjoyed it, the trailer that is; the film is a diatribe. The plot-holes are larger than the holes in my socks (rather large) and nothing is explained, there is just a load of random action with no obvious thought behind it.

WHY is the only question you'll be asking. Why _was_ she targeted? Why did the bad guys want the money? How did they come up with the idea of murdering her husband so they could... No, I'm so angry with this film I refuse to even think about it further.

I am so glad I got in for free, because if I had paid to see this, I would have been kicking myself for weeks. With films like Harry Potter 4 out now, there is no excuse for opting to watch this road-kill of a film. I wish I had used my time to see Wallace and Gromit again, or at least a film I could actually enjoy.

However, it gets one star for a sideways shot of the plane landing, which is a really odd yet enjoyable camera angle. Not worth sitting through the film just to watch it, though.