A taut, hooky thriller—and a good example of the kind of mid-budget genre pictures I wrote about in this op-ed a month ago—2005’s Flightplan stars Jodie Foster as a grieving widow who’s traveling by jumbo jet to bury her husband when she wakes up on the plane and discovers that her daughter is missing. Director Robert Schwentke takes a lean approach to Peter A. Dowling’s script (which was rewritten by Shattered Glass/Captain Phillips screenwriter Billy Ray), spending the first half on the heroine’s paranoia, as she finds herself unable to prove that her daughter was ever even on board, and the second half dealing with what happens after she learns what’s really going on. The mystery is better than the payoff, but the movie is entertaining throughout, because Foster and the filmmakers zero in on the frustration and fear of the modern traveler, who feels surrounded by strangers, abandoned by the airlines, and constantly under suspicion. Flightplan airs on HDNet Movies tonight at 10:30 p.m. Eastern, and again at 4:05 a.m.
October 02, 2014 newsreel