ⓘ Red Eye (2005 American film)

Red Eye (2005 American film)

ⓘ Red Eye (2005 American film)

Red Eye is a 2005 American thriller film directed by Wes Craven and written by Carl Ellsworth based on a story by Ellsworth and Dan Foos. The film follows a hotel manager ensnared in an assassination plot by a terrorist while aboard a red-eye flight to Miami. The film score was composed and conducted by Marco Beltrami. It was distributed by DreamWorks Pictures and was released on August 19, 2005. The film received positive reviews from critics and fans of Cravens work and was a box office success. An extended version of the film, which added previously unused footage to increase the running time, was broadcast on the ABC network several times.


1. Plot

Hotel manager Lisa Reisert Rachel McAdams arrives at Dallas Love Field to take a red-eye flight back to Miami, Florida. She meets a handsome young man named Jackson Rippner Cillian Murphy, also traveling to Miami. While waiting to board, they share a drink at the airport bar and engage in small talk.

Lisa is surprised to find that Jackson is seated beside her. After takeoff, Jacksons charming demeanor quickly turns sinister as he informs Lisa that he works for a domestic terrorist organization planning to assassinate Charles Keefe Jack Scalia, the current United States Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. Lisas managerial position at the Lux Atlantic Hotel in Miami, where Keefe and his family are staying, is crucial to their plot. As Acting Manager, Lisa must make a call from the in-flight phone to order the Keefe family be moved to a targeted room where a missile launched from a boat in the harbor will strike. Her non-compliance will result in Jacksons hitman accomplice killing Lisas father, Joe Brian Cox.

While Jackson is distracted, Lisa writes a warning inside the self-help book she had previously given away to a friendly fellow-passenger Angela Paton. Jackson head-butts Lisa unconscious and retrieves the book before the woman reads the message. She revives half an hour later and is forced to make the call to the hotel. When a storm disrupts the sky phone service mid-conversation with her co-worker, Cynthia Jayma Mays, Lisa pretends to be ordering the room change until Jackson catches on. She then persuades Jackson to let her use the restroom while the phone service is still disrupted. Lisa writes a fake bomb threat in soap on the mirror; Jackson, checking on her, sees it and angrily wipes it off, then roughs her up in the restroom. A young girl waiting outside becomes suspicious and tells the flight attendant that Jackson is inside with Lisa, but it is dismissed as a sexual escapade.

When the sky phones are operational again, Lisa calls Cynthia and has her move the Keefe family to the targeted suite. She then pleads with Jackson to call off the accomplice waiting outside her fathers house, but he refuses until the assassination is confirmed.

As the plane lands at Miami International Airport, Lisa reveals that the knife scar Jackson noticed on her upper chest was due to a violent rape at knife point two years earlier and which she swore would never happen again. She then stabs Jackson in the throat with a ballpoint pen, grabs his phone, and flees the plane and terminal. Once outside, Lisa steals an unattended SUV. She calls Cynthia, telling her to evacuate the hotel and warn the Keefes. Cynthia, the Keefes, and U.S. Secret Service agents escape seconds before a Javelin missile hits the room.

The cell phones battery dies as Lisa is calling her father. Arriving at his house and seeing the assassin at the front door, she hits and kills him with the car when he shoots at her with a suppressed pistol. Lisas father is unharmed and has called 9-1-1. Lisa calls Cynthia, unaware Jackson arrived and incapacitated her father. Jackson pursues Lisa throughout the house. As they struggle, he throws her down the staircase. Lisa, stunned, retrieves the dead hitmans gun and shoots Jackson. Wounded, he disarms Lisa and is about to kill her when a revived Joe shoots Jackson with the gun. Lisa returns to the hotel to provide assistance where Keefe praises both women for their actions.


2.1. Reception Box office

Red Eye opened theatrically on August 19, 2005, in 3.079 venues, earning $16.167.662 in its opening weekend, ranking second in the domestic box office behind The 40-Year-Old Virgin $21.422.815. At the end of its run, eight weeks later on October 13, the film grossed $57.891.803 in the United States and Canada, and $37.685.971 overseas for a worldwide total of $95.577.774. Based on a $26 million budget, the film was a box office success.


2.2. Reception Critical response

The film received generally positive reviews from critics, garnering a 79% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 192 critics with an average rating of 6.68/10. The sites consensus states, "With solid performances and tight direction from Wes Craven, Red Eye is a brisk, economic thriller." On Metacritic, the film received a weighted score of 71 out of 100, based on 36 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film a 3.5/4 stars calling it the "best thriller of summer 2005" and a "gripping suspense at ground level" and "she remains plausible even when the action ratchets up around her". He also complimented Murphy for his "ability to modulate his character instead of gnashing the scenery". He gave the film 3/4 stars.

Manohla Dargis of The New York Times called the film a "nifty, tense thriller" and said that the casting of the two leads is "a nice surprise". She said that Murphy is "a picture-perfect villain" and McAdams has a "depth of intensity" that is uncommon.

USA Today film critic Claudia Puig said the film is "fun to watch because of the strong performances". She praised McAdams for blending "vulnerability and courage" to her performance and called Murphy "menacing". While she mentioned that the film is "tense, smart, and nerve-wracking" and "entertaining and scary" on the first hour, she criticizes the film for going "downhill" and becoming a "by-the-book action flick".

Variety s Robert Koehler stated that Red Eye relies on hoodwinking an audience with its tension, so that the sheer illogic of the conspiracy plot can slip by without detection" but complimented McAdams for finding "new and interesting ways of silently projecting fear".

Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe felt the film was like a "poor cousin of an episode of 24. Call it 12."

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