Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Non-Stop (2014)(Minor Spoilers Review)

**This post contains MINOR spoilers. No character deaths or major reveals.**

A troubled US  Federal Air Marshal named Bill Marks (Liam Neeson) fights a never ending battle with his demons. Marks lost his wife after a divorce, his job as a police officer, and Marks’ young daughter passed away after a fight with cancer, so Marks succumbed to alcoholism and cigarettes to ease the pain. A frustrated Marks argues with his supervisor before a scheduled flight, but Marks boards the plane with his partner, Jack Hammond (Anson Mount) to start his daily routine.

On the plane, Marks befriends another passenger named Jen Summers (Julianne Moore), but a distributing text message disrupts a peaceful and quiet flight. The anonymous texter delivers a deadly ultimatum: He or she demands a payment of $150,000,000 for ransom, or the anonymous texter will kill a passenger on the plane every twenty minutes.

Marks consults with Jack to devise a strategy, and Marks receives support from the flight crew. Two stewardesses named Nancy (Michelle Dockery) and Gwen (Lupita Nyong’o) monitor the passengers, and Marks works with Captain David McMillan (Linus Roache) and his co-pilot Kyle Rice (Jason Butler Harner) to come up with a Plan B and C for worst case scenarios. But Marks runs into some trouble with a few rowdy and suspicious passengers. After an awkward and random question at the airport, Tom Bowen (Scoot McNairy) raises a few red flags, and Zack White (Nate Parker) earns a spot on Marks’ list of suspects.

Bill communicates with a conflicted Agent Marenick (Shea Whigham) through a series of phone calls. But
Marks is running out of time, and the situation takes a drastic turn for the worst, when Marks shoots to the top of the list for suspects. The bank account for the wire transfer is in Marks’ name, and to make matters worse, a select group of passengers work together to plan a hostile takeover to stop Marks after a series of news reports.

A paranoid Marks targets trusted members of his team. Marks suspects Nancy, Jack, Kyle, and Jen for potential candidates, but Marks runs into another dilemma after a startling discovery in the bathroom……

Liam Neeson delivers another solid performance, as the resourceful and cunning hero with deadly combat skills, and Neeson is a believable “broken man” during Bill’s sentimental moments. Julianne Moore is the top pick for standout performances from the supporting cast, with Dockery taking the spot for second place. No real complaints from the overall supporting cast, but screen time rapidly shifts from one character to another during Bill’s search for the culprit, so with exception of Moore (she’s the only passenger, who supported Bill 100%  with no questions asked) and Kyle, the rest of the supporting cast doesn’t receive a consistent amount of screen time. And you won’t actually see Shea Whigham’s face until the final moments of the movie, because Marenick’s screen time is limited to faceless phone calls with Bill, for the most part. 

Non-Stop’s crafty style of finger pointing during the “whodunit” mystery is something to admire. The idea is simple: EVERYONE on the plane is a suspect. Pilots, stewardesses, US marshals, passengers, no exceptions whatsoever. Everyone on the plane is a believable threat, and they’ll keep you guessing until the very end. And kudos to Liam Neeson for his “I’m not the hijacker speech!” at the end. Throughout the movie, Non-Stop does a good job of convincing the audience to believe in the possibility of Bill as the hijacker, and you can sense the hopelessness in Bill for one last chance during his desperate plea.

The big reveal is loaded with problems (i.e. massive plot holes), but Non-Stop is a satisfying  mystery/thriller. Yeah, the big twist at the end is a potential roadblock for enjoying Non-Stop, but the ride to the end is full of nail-biting tension, and the thrilling action packed finale is a real treat. I had to know the identity of the hijacker regardless of the outcome, because Non-Stop’s intriguing and thought-provoking mystery is too enticing to ignore.

Rating: 7/10

Michael Jordan had another run with the Wizards after winning six championships. Brett Favre was one step away from earning a second ring with the Vikings.

As the world's definitive multi-talented superstar athlete, Trisha Bunrastar is taking an unexpected and shocking leap into a new career path. Assuming the identity of Freechelle Fantabulous, Trisha vows to fight crime and battle evildoers as a superheroine. Will she conquer her new mission? Find out more here!

Or take a trip into my special world of madness that includes comedy, horror, and the supernatural in this collection of short stories-

Remember Amazon offers free Kindle App downloads for various platforms. Follow this link to find out more-

And don't forget to follow me on Twitter here-


  1. Didn't expect much else from this, other than a bunch of silly happenings. And that was about it. Good review Mitch.

  2. Yeah, the big twist/reveal at the end is preposterous, but Neeson is a proven commodity in action flicks, and the ride to the end is fun.

    Thanks for the comment, Dan!