Non-Stop Is Boring, Implausible

Critics divided on Liam Neeson's mid-air mystery

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 28, 2014 11:33 AM CST

(Newser) – Liam Neeson's improbable late-career resurgence as an action star continues this weekend with Non-Stop, a thriller in which Neeson plays an air marshal attempting to find a killer mid-flight. Critics are lukewarm on it; many enjoyed Neeson's performance, but many also complained about the plot, and the ending in particular. Here's what people are saying:

  • Non-Stop's premise—"a locked-room mystery at 30,000 feet"—is great, but eventually it "tailspins from whodunit to whydidtheybother?" writes Colin Covert at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "Implausibilities pile up like luggage on a baggage claim carousel. … Logic is the first casualty in contrived thrillers, and this script, by an undistinguished committee of writers, murders it with a thousand wounds."
  • "Havoc is wreaked, guns are fired, fights break out, turbulence erupts, heads are banged," writes a bored Moira Macdonald at the Seattle Times. "You wish Samuel L. Jackson and some snakes might show up." Instead, you just get a "generic action thriller" that "goes exactly where you think it’s going."
  • Manohla Dargis at the New York Times was fascinated by Neeson's character; "he's an excitable, volcanic wreck, which makes the state of his mental health into something of a parallel, secondary mystery." Neeson brings to the screen a "beauty etched by time and a still-imposing body" that moves with "grandeur." Yeah, the movie makes no sense, "but that's expected, uninteresting, and incidental."
  • Ty Burr at the Boston Globe was also riveted as he tried to figure out who among the stellar cast was the bad guy. "At a certain point, though, they have to address the question of why the bad guy, and that’s where Non-Stop falls apart." The villain's motives will leave you "scratching your head" and the last 10 minutes are "ridiculous enough to almost neutralize the enjoyable stupidity of everything that has gone before."

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Liam Neeson in a scene from Non-Stop.
This image released by Universal Pictures shows Liam Neeson in a scene from "Non-Stop."   (AP Photo/Universal Pictures)
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An official trailer for Non-Stop.   (YouTube)

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