Red Eye (2005 American film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Wes Craven|
|Produced by||Chris Bender|
|Screenplay by||Carl Ellsworth|
|Music by||Marco Beltrami|
|Distributed by||DreamWorks Pictures|
|Box office||$95.6 million|
Red Eye is a 2005 American psychological 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 Craven's work and was a box office success.
Hotel manager, Lisa Reisert (Rachel McAdams), arrives at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to take a red-eye flight back to Miami, Florida. While in the check-in line, she meets a handsome young man named Jackson Rippner (Cillian Murphy). After their flight is delayed due to severe weather, they share a drink at the airport bar and engage in small talk. When boarding, Lisa is surprised to find that Jackson is seated beside her.
Soon after take off, Jackson's 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. Lisa's managerial position at the Lux Atlantic Hotel, 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 Keefe be moved to a targeted room where a missile launched from a boat in the harbor will strike. Should she refuse to comply, Jackson's hitman accomplice will kill Lisa's father, Joe (Brian Cox).
Lisa desperately works to protect both her father and the Keefes. 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. Lisa makes two additional unsuccessful attempts for help. First, 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. Lisa revives and persuades Jackson to let her use the restroom. She writes a fake bomb threat in soap on the mirror; Jackson, checking on her, sees the message and angrily wipes it off, then roughs up Lisa. 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 tells her to move the Keefe family to the targeted suite. After, she pleads with Jackson to call off the accomplice waiting outside her father's house, but he refuses until the assassination is confirmed.
As the plane lands at Miami International Airport, Lisa tells Jackson that the knife scar he noticed on her upper chest was from a violent attack she suffered two years ago and which she swore she would never allow to happen again. She then stabs Jackson in the throat with a ball-point 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 Keefe family. Cynthia, the Keefes, and U.S. Secret Service agents escape seconds before a Javelin missile hits the room.
The cell phone's battery dies as Lisa is calling her father. Arriving at his house and seeing the hitman at the front door, she rams the SUV into it, killing the man. Lisa's father is safe and has contacted 9-1-1. Lisa calls Cynthia, unaware Jackson has arrived and has knocked out her father. Jackson pursues Lisa throughout the house with a knife. As they struggle, he throws her down the staircase. Lisa, stunned, retrieves the dead hitman's gun and shoots Jackson. Wounded, he disarms Lisa and is about to kill her when Joe shoots Jackson with the gun.
Lisa returns to the hotel and thanks Cynthia for her assistance in evacuating the Keefes and the rest of the hotel. Just then, another couple who had previously harassed Cynthia, comes up to voice their complaints to Lisa. They angrily ask her to fire Cynthia due to the experience of the bomb, but Lisa tells them off, and walks away with Cynthia.
- Rachel McAdams as Lisa Reisert
- Cillian Murphy as Jackson Rippner
- Brian Cox as Joe Reisert
- Jayma Mays as Cynthia
- Jack Scalia as Charles Keefe
- Robert Pine as Bob Taylor
- Teresa Press-Marx as Marianne Taylor
- Angela Paton as Nice Lady
- Laura Johnson as Blonde Woman
- Loren Lester as Irate Passenger
- Max Kasch as Headphone Kid
- Kyle Gallner as Headphone Kid's Brother
- Brittany Oaks as Rebecca
- Colby Donaldson as Keefe's Head Bodyguard
- Marc Macaulay as Coast Guard Officer
- Jenny Wade as Coffee Shop Girl
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.
The film received generally positive reviews from critics, garnering a 79% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 186 critics with an average rating of 6.7/10. The site's 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".
Roger Ebert commended the film, calling it a "good thriller" that moves "competently [and] relentlessly". He praised Craven for making the film "function so smoothly" and "doing exactly what it was intended to do". Ebert also expressed admiration to the performances of McAdams and Murphy, stating that they are "very effective together". He said that McAdams is "so convincing because she keeps [her performance] 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".
Awards and nominations
|Golden Trailer Awards||Best Thriller||Nominated|
|Irish Film and Television Awards||Best Actor in a Feature Film||Cillian Murphy||Nominated|
|MTV Movie Awards||Best Performance||Rachel McAdams||Nominated|
|Saturn Awards||Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film||Nominated|
|Best Actress||Rachel McAdams||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor||Cillian Murphy||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie: Thriller||Won|
|Choice Movie: Scream||Rachel McAdams||Nominated|
|Choice Movie: Villain||Cillian Murphy||Nominated|
- "RED EYE (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. August 10, 2005. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
- "Red Eye (2005)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. October 14, 2005. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
- "Weekend Box Office Results for August 19-21, 2005". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. August 22, 2005. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
- Red Eye Movie Reviews, Pictures. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2010-11-23.
- Red Eye Reviews, Ratings, Credits. Metacritic Retrieved 2010-11-23.
- Travers, Peter. "Red Eye". Rolling Stones. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
- Dargis, Manohla. "Sticking Out a Tense Flight With a Terrorist as Seatmate". The New York Times. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
- Puig, Claudia. "'Red Eye' just creeps right along". USA Today. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
- Koehler, Robert. "Review: 'Red Eye'". Variety. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
- Morris, Wesley. "Improbable 'Red Eye' never gets off the ground". Boston Globe. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
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