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Movie Review: Non-Stop

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nonstop

Non-Stop is the new action thriller starring Liam Neeson.  The movie is directed by Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra, who also directed Neeson in the 2011 psychological thriller Unknown.  Collet-Serra’s other directorial titles include House of Wax and Orphan.  Along with Neeson, the film boasts a pretty impressive cast in four time Oscar nominee Julianne Moore, Michelle Dockery of Downton Abbey fame, Scoot McNairy, Carey Stoll, and 2014 Best Supporting Actress nominee Lupita Nyong’o.  In a few days from now, I might have to change that to 2014 Best Supporting Actress winner Lupita Nyong’o, but we’ll have to wait until Sunday to find out.  Until then, you can check her out starting this Friday, February 28 in Non-Stop.

U.S. Federal air marshal Bill Marks (Neeson) has been assigned to travel on an international flight from New York to London.  He is a struggling alcoholic who can’t seem to get his affairs in order.  Upon take-off, Marks receives an alarming text message over a secure network that one person would be killed every 20 minutes if 150 million dollars isn’t transferred to an offshore bank account.  Marks takes the threat seriously and begins to try and solve the mystery, but his accompanying air marshal doesn’t feel quite as compelled.  As the clock ticks away, it becomes a race against time in order to save lives.  When mysterious things start to happen on the plane, Marks is no longer being viewed as the hero trying to help, but as the hijacker of the plane.  He must do all he can to prove his innocence and save the lives of everyone on board before time runs out.

Non-Stop is a one hour and forty six minute thrill ride that keeps you guessing from start to finish.  The level of intensity is very well paced and it kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.  I’m usually a pretty big critic when it comes to action movies because I often feel that writing a good script takes a back seat to the action and special effects.  I wouldn’t say that’s the case with Non-Stop, as it plays as much as a who-done-it as it does a big action movie.  Speaking of action, somehow Liam Neeson has managed to transform his image and career to become one of the biggest action heroes in Hollywood.  Mostly known for his dramatic work in the early part of his career, he has become one of the top go-to guys for action with his quiet but brutally tough demeanor.  Essentially, it feels like he’s playing the same character that he played in the two Taken films, but the story here is strong enough for this movie to stand on its own.  Aside from Liam Neeson, the rest of the cast is really good, too.  I’m a big fan of Scoot McNairy and Carey Stoll, and Julianne Moore is great in almost everything she does.  Another thing I enjoyed about this movie was the use of social media.  They did a really nice job of making the movie feel relevant to today’s society.  All said and done, Non-Stop is definitely worth the price of admission to the theater, just be prepared to be taken on a thrill ride.

Grade:  B+

Non-Stop opens in theaters on Friday, February 28.