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"Non-Stop" keeps audience guessing

By Spencer Palmer
On March 3, 2014

Grade: B-

Did anything unusual happen to you on your last flight?

After a plane flight is under way, U.S. Flight Marshal Bill Marks (Liam Neeson) receives a text from an unknown party demanding $150 million. Attached is a promise that someone will die every 20 minutes if the demands are not met. It’s up to Marks to figure out who sent the text.

As people start dying, the number of suspects decrease, but finding the culprit isn’t any easier. The tables are turned when it appears the only one taking control of the plane is Marks. What’s really going on?

“Non-Stop” is the latest thriller starring Neeson, who teams up again with director Jaume Collet-Serra. As this is a mystery, I can’t say anything more than what’s been said, especially since I didn’t reveal anything that wasn’t in the trailer.

This is not “Taken” on a plane. It’s also not a remake or spinoff of “Flightplan,” another thriller starring Jodie Foster, which I recommend as a rental.

While the movie didn’t blow me away, it was an interesting portrayal of what trouble could occur on a plane today. Some of the twists may be a bit extreme to be believable, but they weren’t outside the realm of possibilities. It’s been 12 years since 9/11, and this is the first film that addresses modern airplane terrorism without a historical context.

I liked the close quarters of the movie. 98 percent of the movie took place on the plane, so there are limitations on what is possible, but it’s amazing what can happen in a confined space.

The movie keeps the audience guessing. I thought I had everything figured out, but when everyone can be branded a suspect, it’s difficult to track down the real criminal. It’s not who you think it is.

“Non-Stop” is definitely worth watching for fans of Neeson, terrorist stories or thrillers, although you don’t have to run out to the theater to see it.

Spencer Palmer is a graduate student working toward an MBA with a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering. Email him at or visit his website,

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