Non-Stop (film)

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A man falling back along an airplane, firing a gun.
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra
Produced by
Screenplay by
  • John W. Richardson
  • Chris Roach
  • Ryan Engle
Story by
  • John W. Richardson
  • Chris Roach
Music by John Ottman
Cinematography Flavio Martínez Labiano
Edited by Jim May
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • January 27, 2014 (2014-01-27) (Paris)
  • February 26, 2014 (2014-02-26) (France)
  • February 28, 2014 (2014-02-28) (United States)
Running time
106 minutes[1]
  • France
  • United States
Language English
Budget $50 million[2][3]
Box office $222.8 million[3]

Non-Stop is a 2014 French-American mystery-action thriller film starring Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Michelle Dockery, Lupita Nyong'o and Scoot McNairy, and directed by Jaume Collet-Serra.[4] It was the first Silver Pictures film to be distributed by Universal Pictures, after the end of the production company's deal with Warner Bros., and its first since Weird Science. The film received mixed to positive reviews from critics, and was a box office success.


Alcoholic air marshal Bill Marks boards a Boeing 767 of British Aqualantic Airlines (cf. British Airways, Virgin Atlantic), from New York City to London Heathrow. He sits next to Jen Summers, who has switched seats so she can be by the window. After takeoff, Marks receives a text message on his secure phone stating that someone will die every 20 minutes unless $150 million is transferred to a specified bank account. Marks breaks protocol and consults Jack Hammond, the other air marshal, who dismisses the threat. Marks also checks his phone. Marks, however, has Summers and flight attendant Nancy monitor the security cameras while texting the mysterious person to try to identify him.

When Hammond uses his phone and goes suddenly to the rear toilet, Marks confronts him. Hammond first offers him some of the money. When Marks turns him down, he attacks. During the ensuing fight, when Hammond reaches for Marks' dropped gun, Marks has to break his neck, killing him. This happens exactly at the 20-minute mark. When Marks checks Hammond's phone, it reveals that someone texted that he knows what is in Hammond's briefcase. Marks finds cocaine in it.

Marks alerts the TSA, but the TSA agent informs him that the bank account is registered in his name and accuses Marks of being the author. At this point, the pilot dies, apparently poisoned, at the 40-minute mark. The co-pilot covinces Marks that he is innocent.

Marks searches the resentful passengers. One of them uploads a video in which Marks accuses and manhandles schoolteacher Tom Bowen, convincing the rest of the world that Marks is the perpetrator. Meanwhile, the co-pilot is instructed by the TSA to divert to Iceland. Marks persuades a programmer named Zack White to write a computer virus to make the hijacker's phone ring. The phone rings in a banker's suit pocket, but he denies it is his. As Marks roughly questions him, he suddenly dies, foaming at the mouth, at the 60-minute mark.

While smoking in the toilet (breaking the rules), Marks discovers a hole drilled into the wall which offers a clear shot to the pilot's seat. He then inspects the body of the banker and discovers a dart. He asks a passenger who used the toilet recently if anybody used it after her; she replies that Summers did. Marks accuses Summers of being the hijacker. Summers gets upset, as she had stood by him. She manages to convince Marks of her innocence.

In the meantime, two RAF Typhoon fighter aircraft meet the plane, to escort it to a military base in Iceland. The passengers watch a television news report claiming that Marks is hijacking their flight. The hijacker's phone then states that a bomb will explode in 30 minutes. Marks realizes that the bomb bypassed the security checks, and finds it in Hammond's cocaine briefcase. When some passengers attack Marks, Tom Bowen stops them, believing that the bomb is the first priority. Marks convinces the others of his innocence, and has them move the bomb beside a rear door and surround it with luggage to direct the blast outward, while everybody moves to the front of the airplane. Marks tells the co-pilot to descend to 8,000 feet, as the current pressure differential would rip the airplane apart if the bomb exploded. However, the pilot of one of the escorting jets refuses to let him deviate from his course.

Marks, watching the news video, notices Bowen making contact with the banker's pocket. Unmasked, Bowen runs to the rear. Marks chases after him, but loses his gun to Bowen in a fight. White reveals he is Bowen's accomplice. Their goal was to frame Marks, thus ruining the reputation of the Air Marshals Service. Bowen wants revenge for the service not preventing the death of his father on September 11 and, as a result, believes that "security is the country's biggest lie" and its exposure is inevitable. Marks persuades White, who is in it for the money, to try to disarm the bomb, saying that he could not survive parachuting out at this altitude. However, Bowen shoots White. Just then, the co-pilot suddenly descends steeply against orders. That distraction enables Marks, with Nancy's help, to kill Bowen. White recovers and attacks Marks, still wanting to jump out of the aircraft. Marks subdues him, then runs from the rear of the airplane just as the bomb goes off, killing White and blowing out the door. Despite the damage, the co-pilot manages to land safely. Marks is praised as a hero. He then goes over and chats with Summers and the others.



Filming began on November 1, 2012 at York Studios in Maspeth, Queens, New York City, then continued at JFK Airport on December 7, 2012, and at Long Island MacArthur Airport. This was the inaugural movie filmed at York Studios.[5][6][7]


Soundtrack album by John Ottman
Released April 3, 2014
Length 53:10
Label Varèse Sarabande 302 067 251 8

The original motion picture soundtrack was composed by John Ottman. The record was released on April 3, 2014 via Varèse Sarabande label.


Box office[edit]

The film opened in 3,090 theaters in the United States and Canada. It grossed $10 million on opening day and was ranked #1 at the end of weekend with $28.8 million, ahead of former box office leader The Lego Movie, another film starring Neeson, and the new release Son of God.[9]

The film earned $92.1 million in North America and $130.6 million in other territories for a total gross of $222.8 million, against a budget of $50 million.[3]

Critical response[edit]

Non-Stop received mixed reviews. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives it a rating of 59%, based on 199 reviews, with an average score of 5.8/10. The site's consensus states, "While Liam Neeson is undoubtedly an asset, Non-Stop wastes its cast—not to mention its solid premise and tense setup—on a poorly conceived story that hinges on a thoroughly unbelievable final act."[10] On another aggregation website, Metacritic, it holds a score of 56 out of 100, based on 41 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[11]

Chris Nashawaty, writing for Entertainment Weekly, delivered a positive review, grading it "B", and observing: "At a certain point either you'll fasten your seat belt and go with Non-Stop's absurd, Looney Tunes logic or you won't. Against my better judgment, I went with it. After all, Neeson has shown time and again that he's the closest thing Hollywood has these days to a box office Rumpelstiltskin. He can spin cheese into gold."[12] David Denby, for The New Yorker, was ambivalent on the film's overall scope, but praised Neeson, writing, "Neeson, who brings enormous conviction to these late-career action roles, moves his big body through confined spaces (virtually the entire movie takes place in the airplane) with so much power that you expect him to rip out the seats."[13]

Richard Corliss, for Time, had a blasé opinion, stating that the film " no more or less than what it intends to be.." and posits the question: "Why demand logic of an action movie released in February, when audiences just want a nice, bumpy ride?"[14] Susan Wloszczyna of wrote, "Liam Neeson is not going to be knocked off his perch as the elder statesman of B-movie tough guys any time soon...", and continued, "The rather ingenious if preposterous premise, one that only goes way off course in the heavy-handed third act...'Non-Stop' is so ridiculously entertaining in spite of its occasional lapses in real-world logic."[15] Tom Shone, reviewing for The Guardian, maintained a similar tone in his review, saying of Neeson, "He's at his best striding up and down the aisles of the aircraft with that big, rolling gait of his, carving out great wads of air with his hands, barking orders, his face in Rodin-ish profile, his destiny, like Mitchum's, enlivened by a nobility far greater than the film he finds himself in – the true sign of a B-movie king.", and of Moore "...Neeson enjoys a nice, relaxed rapport with Moore, whose looser, Keaton-esque side seems to come out when cast opposite noble hunks."[16]

Home media[edit]

Non-Stop was released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on June 10, 2014.[17]


On June 11, 2014, Entertainment Weekly reported that in an interview with producer Joel Silver, he talked about the possibility of a sequel, and stated that it will not be happening on a plane again. "I need to think of a way to put them in an equal situation. But when I make a sequel I like to replicate the experience, not replicate the movie. I'm not going to put them on a plane again, of course. He has a touch of Sherlock Holmes in that he has to figure out what's going on and then he has to figure out how to solve it. I think that character's a great character and we'll try to figure something else to do. I haven't thought about it yet. But I have to, sooner or later."[18]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Lupita Nyong’o stars Alongside Liam Neeson & Julianne Moore in 'Non-Stop'". bellanaija. 2014-01-28. Retrieved 2014-04-16. 
  3. ^ a b c "Non-Stop". Box Office Mojo. March 27, 2014. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  4. ^ Chitwood, Adam (November 8, 2012). "First Synopsis for Director Jaume Collet-Serra’s NON-STOP Starring Liam Neeson". Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  5. ^ "'Non-Stop', starring Liam Neeson, filming in NYC". December 10, 2012. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Action Thriller to be Filmed at MacArthur Airport".
  7. ^ "Silver Pictures Picks Up Remake Rights to French Heist Film 'Le Convoyeur' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. December 4, 2012. Retrieved December 14, 2012. 
  8. ^ Non-Stop Soundtrack AllMusic. Retrieved May 31, 2014
  9. ^ "Friday, February 28, 2014". Box Office Mojo. February 28, 2014. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Non-Stop (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Non-Stop". Metacritic. Retrieved February 26, 2014. 
  12. ^ Nashawaty, Chris (March 14, 2014). "Non-Stop (2014)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 1, 2015. 
  13. ^ Denby, David. "Non-Stop". The New Yorker. Retrieved January 1, 2015. 
  14. ^ Corliss, Richard (February 28, 2014). "Non-Stop: Liam Neeson’s Bumpy Flight". Time. Retrieved January 1, 2015. 
  15. ^ Wloszczyna, Susan (February 28, 2014). "Non-Stop Movie Review & Film Summary". Retrieved January 1, 2015. 
  16. ^ Shone, Tom (February 26, 2014). "Non-Stop review: Liam Neeson claims his crown as B-movie king". The Guardian. Retrieved January 1, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Non-Stop". Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  18. ^ Collis, Clark (June 11, 2014). "Joel Silver talks 'Non-Stop,' sequel, and Key and Peele – EXCLUSIVE VIDEO". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 1, 2015. 

External links[edit]