‘Non-Stop’ thrilling, well-made

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“Non-Stop” is an action-packed thriller set in an interesting context that keeps you guessing.

The movie is set in an airplane, which gives an interesting twist for a suspenseful thriller. “Non-Stop” has the same suspense and setting found in “Flightplan” with the action and excitement from “Taken.” Maybe it is just Liam Neeson’s presence that makes it feel like “Taken,” but there is a considerable amount of action regardless.

Bill Marks (Neeson) is a United States Air Marshall who has a drinking and smoking problem. He boards his transatlantic flight from New York City to London and doesn’t suspect anything out of the ordinary. He receives a text asking for $150 million. The sender of the text message says if he does not transfer the money, someone will die every 20 minutes. Nothing is as it seems as he tries desperately to find the passenger who sent the message and keep everyone safe. 

Neeson does well at portraying a character who has personal demons but still has everyone’s best interests at heart. He and Julianne Moore (Jen Summers) have some good dialogue and a strong performance from the cast overall. Actors Scoot McNairy, Michelle Dockery and Nate Parker perform well with their supporting roles of passengers and flight crew members. 

However, there are a few moments in the movie that seem a bit too unbelievable. Neeson’s character drinks quite a bit in the beginning of the movie, and yet the alcohol seems to have little to no effect on him as he tries to protect the passengers of the plane. A few security issues regarding the captain’s cabin and sneaking things on the plane are also a tad unbelievable.

Without going into too much detail, there are also some moments at the end that are distracting because of bad graphics and situations that happen to line up too perfectly to show off Neeson’s character as a hero. For example, when a piece of the plane fuselage tears off next to Moore’s character and Quinn McColgan’s character, Becca Rathbone, Neeson leaps heroically to their aid and saves McColgan moments before her seat flies out of the plane.

The movie’s best feature is unpredictability. Events lead you to believe one character is the antagonist, and then a few moments later something else leads you to think it’s someone else. Predictable movies are often boring movies, but “Non-Stop” manages to surprise you at every turn.

“Non-Stop” delivers and receives a well-deserved B+.