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Running Time:
1 hour, 33 minutes

Rating: PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.

Rating Explanation:
for violence and some intense plot material

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
Did you ever think you'd get tired watching Jodie Foster? You will in this somber but thriller-less thriller.

Additional Info:
DVD Features: "The In-Flight Movie: The Making of Flightplan" featurette; "Cabin Pressure: Designing the Aalto E-474" featurette; Filmmaker audio commentary.

Jodie Foster plays Kyle Pratt, a recently widowed propulsion engineer who hasn't gotten over the trauma of her husband's fatal fall from the roof of their Berlin apartment. She packs up her equally traumatized six-year-old daughter Julia (Marlene Lawston) for the flight home to New York. They board the jumbo jet, which Kyle helped design, and settle into their seats. Politely rebuffing an attempt at small talk from Gene Carson (Peter Sarsgaard), seated just across the aisle, Kyle falls asleep with Julia at her side. Suddenly it's three hours later, and she awakens to discover Julia missing. Concerned, Kyle asks the flight attendants Fiona (Erika Christensen) and Stephanie (Kate Beahan) if they've seen her daughter, but they both draw a blank. In fact no crazy, or is there some kind of conspiracy going on. For the first half of the film, you're curiouos as Foster gradually unravels in the face of all the skepticism. Screenwriters Peter A. Dowling and Billy Ray have done a fairly effective job of keeping us as off-balance as Kyle, who has alienated any potential allies by repeatedly disrupting the flight. Given the recent jitters about air travel, where all Middle Eastern passengers are regarded as potential terrorists, Flightplan cannily plays off these very real fears and unfortunate prejudices to heighten tension. Unfortunately, the movie never plants any real doubt in our minds that Kyle is delusional. German director Robert Schwentke tries to milk the question of Kyle's sanity for a very long time. She admits to taking anti-anxiety medicationóbut frankly this comes across mostly as padding. So when the movie does finally get around to revealing the truth behind Julia's disappearance, the twist is both far-fetched and clumsily handled. As a result, the would-be climax falls terribly flat. Onscreen in virtually every scene, Foster gives a typically committed performance, but there's a pinched quality to her acting that becomes increasingly tiresome. Her usual warmth and humor seems to have given way to a chilly stoicism. Audiences may react really badly to their obvious manipulation when they see the film's disappointing payoff.

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