Prayer Focus
Movie Review

Red Eye

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some intense sequences of violence, and language

Reviewed by: Bob Rossiter

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens, Adults
Thriller Drama
1 hr. 25 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
August 19, 2005 (wide)
Featuring: Rachel McAdams, Cillian Murphy, Kyle Gallner, Brittany Oaks, Laura Johnson
Director: Wes Craven
Producer: Chris Bender, Marianne Maddalena
Distributor: Dreamworks SKG
Copyright, Dreamworks SKG
Copyright, Dreamworks SKG
Copyright, Dreamworks SKG
Copyright, Dreamworks SKG
Copyright, Dreamworks SKG
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Dreamworks SKG

About murder in the Bible

FEAR, Anxiety and Worry… What does the Bible say? Answer

Fear takes flight

What kind of suspense do you think is required to make a good thriller? Some feel it’s that strange twist at the end that was always possible, but never suspected. The show may end with the person you’ve rooted for the entire time turning out to be the wicked murderer, or some person killed off at the beginning of the movie turns out not to be dead. (Or in the case of “Sixth Sense” the other way around.) Others, like thrillers where they think they know what the outcome will be, but can’t see how the hero will win or lose.

The main plot of “Red Eye” won’t surprise anyone. Lisa Reisert (Rachel McAdams) is returning home to Miami on a late-night flight after attending the funeral of her maternal grandmother. Her flight is delayed, and while waiting for it to board, strikes up a friendship with Jackson Rippner (Cillian Murphy).

At first boarding, Lisa is astonished to find she is seated right next to Jackson. After the doors close, however, she is horrified to find out that he is planning to assassinate the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, and she is a part of his plan. If Lisa doesn’t help him in the assassination, Jackson will have her father killed. Somehow she must thwart the assassination while protecting her dad’s life as well.

“Red Eye” has its share of violence with a couple head butts, several scenes of fighting, a man run over by a car, and a missile launch from a boat into a hotel. While these may be unsettling to some, only one is actually graphic. The man run over by a car is shown afterward in a small pool of blood. Being a thriller, there are many other tense moments, including a couple jump scenes. Knowing that one of these is coming up will not help those who are prone to jump.

Alcohol use plays a part several times, and is never rebuked. In the beginning, Lisa talks with Jackson over drinks and at the end of the movie heads to a bar with a friend.

There are about 20 instances of foul language. The f* word is used once, and there are six profanities (which include a couple usages of “jeez”). The rest are moderate exclamatory remarks. There are also some sexual comments. After Jackson forces himself into the airplane restroom with Lisa and threatens her, he starts to leave and thanks her for the “quickie” even though nothing sexual happened. Upon leaving the restroom he is rebuked by a stewardess for his supposed “mile high club” experience.

Lisa takes off her blouse in the airport restroom after coffee is spilled on it, and we see her in her bra. In another instance, a scar just under the neckline of her blouse is shown. During a fight with Jackson, we also see Lisa in a skirt falling down a set of stairs literally head over heals. Lisa’s substitute at the motel sports a mid-thigh business dress, and a minor character on the airplane wears a low-cut blouse.

In spite of these negatives, the themes watched in “Red Eye” push for strong morals. Lisa’s mom and dad are divorced, but there is a strong relationship between Lisa and her father. Her dad also shows concern for his ex-wife when he asks Lisa about how her mom is doing after the funeral. Except for one instance at the end, Lisa displays dedication and tact to her customers at the hotel. The Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security is one of her regular customers, and she does what she can to keep him from harm. Lisa also puts her own life on the line in an attempt to save others.

I would encourage suspense fans to go watch “Red Eye.” I feel the acting was good, and except for a couple slow spots, you won’t have a chance to get bored. Just don’t count on some weird twist in the end. You may be disappointed.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/nudity: Mild

Viewer Comments
Positive—Very Entertaining! Keeps you on the edge of your seat! Very minimal use of language. Overall, movie experience: GREAT!
My Ratings: Good/4
—Jessica, age 20
Positive—A great suspense thriller, very well acted especially by the two leads. Rachel McAdams was terrific—frightened but brave. Cillian Murphy is just a wonderfully sinister villain. There was very real chemistry between them. Wes Craven kept the tension up all the way through, resisting the temptation to draw it out. It is a film that succeeds in almost every way within its own limited parameters. Well worth a watch, but not for children or those susceptible to violence.
My Ratings: Average / 4
—David Littlewood, age 58
Neutral—This is a decent suspense thriller. The story is somewhat mundane with some original twists. If you like suspense you’d probably like this film. There is some violence where appropriate and not gratuitous. I enjoyed this movie, but if this type of story is not your thing then try something else.
My Ratings: Average/3
—Bob C, age 41
Positive—This is a great suspenseful thriller. What I like the most is there are no ghosts, demons, or any evil supernatural beings. I was on the edge of my seat through the whole movie. I had to remind myself to breathe! There are 4 or 5 curse words. I did not hear the Lord’s name taken in vain once. There are no sex scenes, but there is a reference to rape. If you like thrillers, I recommend this one.
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Elaine H. Blackwell, age 44
Positive—Knowing Wes Craven best for his gory horror films, I wasn’t certain what to expect from Red Eye, but was pleasantly surprised. It’s an extremely tense, well-crafted thriller that follows in the grand style of Hitchcock in subtlety. I like movies that scare you into an adrenaline rush, and this one delivers. From the first five second to the final credits, it’s a wild ride that satisfies on many levels. The acting is superb, relying on the intensity created between the two leads, who have a fantastic chemistry. Lisa is not completely the bullied heroine, but rises to the occasion, and Rippner is great as a predatory assassin who takes pleasure in his work. The closest resemblance his character comes is to Roat in “Wait Until Dark”; the similarities are remarkable. Cillian was born to play the bad guy.

Red Eye deals with issues on an internal level and manages to be terrifying without being overly blunt about it. Lisa is forced to face her fears, and learn that she can fight back and actually survive and conquer. You’ll even find the occasional glimpse of humanity in Rippner’s character, though they are few and far between. It’s a struggle against every psychological fear you could possess as a woman, and Lisa emerges triumphant. Intense and thought-provoking, it’s a surprisingly clean thriller that proves Craven’s worth as a director who pays attention to detail. The little girl alone on the airplane. The eccentric old lady several seats back. The two punks just off the street. The intensity builds to a dramatic climax. So buy your ticket and hop on the Red Eye.
My Ratings: Good/4½
Charity Bishop, age 22
Neutral—This was an okay movie; I was somewhat disappointed with the plotline—usually in good movies there’s a few different things happening at the same time but “Red Eye” didn’t have anything like that. I also found myself asking questions at the end of the movie because it didn’t really take the time to explain anything in its entirety. I didn’t find anything in it horribly offensive.
My Ratings: Average/3
—Danielle, age 18
Positive—I was so tense during this movie that my legs hurt while walking out of the theater! While this movie is obviously predictable, you have to give them credit for making almost an entire movie in an airplane, and a good movie at that! Rachel McAdams is wonderful and Cillian Murphy is so incredibly creepy! Wes Craven used the tried and true formula of good prevailing over evil… this one is a can’t miss for adults!
My Ratings: Average/5
—Ashley, age 20
Positive—…even though it is a fairly short movie you couldn’t tell. Red Eye is nonstop action. I would definitely go and see it again. There was so language and violence overall… pretty much a movie appropriate for the entire family. I absolutely loved this movie. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a thriller.
My Ratings: Average/4
—Kate Kornkven, age 19
Positive—Excellent film! Very good edge-of-your-seat entertainment. No explicit uses of the Lord’s name in vain! A few instances of violence, no sex nor nudity (slight indecency though), and very little in the way of shallow dialogue.

It’s worth noting the Jackson character is very convincing; Cillian Murphy is once again the unconventional and very wry “bad guy.” Like Christopher Lee, I think Mr. Murphy has established himself as a cunningly-cold and versatile villain, and I hope to see him reprise this sort of role in the future. Enjoy this flick!
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Jacob Keenum, age 19
Negative—…as a suspense it did it’s job and kept you interested. On the other hand it was HIGHLY predictable. Now from a Christian point of view I MUST WARN YOU! Wes Craven directed this film and even though it’s not a gore flick it seems to have a spirit of fear attached to it. I felt uncomfortable after and needed to pray and ask God to cleanse my mind. You need to understand what’s behind this film. It’s about evil, killing, revenge and lies. If you’re a believer… I urge you NOT to see this film. You may regret it because of the spirit behind it. Thanks for listening.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive/1
—Scott, age 31
Positive—I love to be scared. And I don’t mean the bizarre horror flicks that are so very popular with young people. I mean the almost believable real-life situations. “Red Eye” definitely fulfills its obligation in that sense. It lulls you into a false sense of security, and then will leap at you with claws barred. Having your heart race isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

But what I loved most is when the meek heroine finally finds her fire and the courage to fight back against what terrifies her. She makes a stand for what she knows to be right, and in the end she triumphs. There are a lot of gory elements which I won’t go into, but in the end, I found the movie fulfilling and more than that a good use of my time.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4½
—Carissa Horton, age 21

Comments from young people
Negative—This film was not brilliant. …I felt I had wasted my money. It was not that it was particularly offensive, apart from the repeated killing; it was simply that it bored me.
My Ratings: Average / 2
—Elanor James, age 17
Positive—Clean!!! Suspenseful!!! Great story line!!! GO SEE IT! I highly recommend it!
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Ashley, age 15
Positive—…enjoyed the heart pounding suspense, explosive action scenes, the superb acting by Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy—as well as the acting by the rest of the cast—and the fear of having to chose between your father or a friend and his family.
My Ratings: Better than Average/4½
—Aleshia Horner, age 17
Positive—I loved it! There were a couple of plot holes, one quite glaring actually, but I was so interested in what was happening on screen that I didn’t even think about them until after the movie. If you’re a fan of suspense, GO SEE THIS MOVIE!
My Ratings: Average/4½
—Dustin, age 17
Positive—This was a pretty good movie, when I went to see “Red Eye” I expected another boring summer-movie to waste $6.50 and just talk through the movie. This movie kept me on the edge my seat it was one of the best I’ve seen this summer. There was a few cuss words, there was 1 F-word and a few S-words and that was pretty much it, I say about kid 12+ would like this movie. They might think its boring though, should probably wait till it hit the $1 Theater.
My Ratings: Good/4½
—Ben, age 14
Positive—I had not heard much about this movie until a friend suggested it, but I was very pleased with it! It had a very suspenseful, thrilling plot, it was quite decent morally compared to most movies out, only slightly objectionable because of some language and alcohol use. I left the movie theater feeling energized and thrilled, not disappointed at all. A well-made and well-worth-it movie!
My Ratings: Better than Average/4
—Mary Anne, age 16
Positive—…a pretty good movie when it comes to morals; compared to other movies out there. It kept me on the edge of my seat throughout most of the movie, even though I was expecting it to be a bit more intense. However, the acting was really good; very convincing. If you like movies of suspense, without feeling the uncertainty of whether you really should be seeing it, this is a movie I would recommend.
My Ratings: Better than Average/3½
—Kara, age 14
Positive—…I love this movie soooooo much! It is my favorite movie right now! It does have some things that may not be suitable for kids under the age of 10. The point of the movie is about a girl who goes on a plane with a guy that she thinks is okay! But it turns out he’s not so nice after all! …I was hanging off the edge of my seat in the movie theater! You ll love the movie!
My Ratings: Good/5
—smanthat, age 11
Positive—Wow! This film was amazing. …incredible. The plot, although slightly predictable, made sense (although you may have to watch it a couple times to get all the lines, as heavy breathing is frequent); the suspense was heart-stopping; and the acting was perfect.

Red Eye does have one or two objectionable things, but nothing too bad. Even the most devoted should be able to enjoy it without feeling horrible for it. It, like the reviewer mentioned, has very good morals that are repeated enough for you to get it but not be tired of it.

My all in all opinion of the film? Let’s just say I’m definitely seeing it again before it comes out on video, as I don’t think I could wait that long. I severely recommend it to suspense and thriller fans. I haven’t been on the edge of my seat like that since I saw “Secret Window” for the first time. I will say this, though: Don’t bring kids unless their eight and older, unless they’re very mature for their age.
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Cassie B., age 12
Movie Critics
…it works in all the ways it needs to…
—E! Online
…Bleary even at 30,000 Feet… a by-the-numbers thriller… that could have been made two decades ago…
—Associated Press
…more suspenseful than sadistic… an engaging hybrid of cat-and-mouse hostage drama and more conventional killer-loose-in-the-house thrills…
—Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
…If you’ve seen the trailer for “Red Eye,” you know most of what happens in this simplistic high-altitude thriller… is one flight not worth staying awake for…
—Marcus Yoars, Plugged In