Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Non-Stop review

Liam Neeson has very particular set of skills. Skills he has acquired over a very long career. Skills that make him well suited for a movie like Non-Stop. If you mess with Liam Neeson, he will look for you, he will find you, and he will probably kill you. If you like the idea of Taken on a plane with a dash of Hitchcock-style mystery, then you’ll love Neeson’s latest, Non-Stop.

Non-Stop does everything it can to keep the plot moving as fast as the plane it’s in.

Liam Neeson’s second action movie with director Jaume Collet-Serra is a lot like his first. In 2011’s Unknown, his amnesiac character tries to solve a deadly mystery that challenges his very identity and sanity. There’s no amnesia in Non-Stop, but there is some déjà vu.

Set almost entirely on an airliner crossing the Alantic Ocean, Non-Stop puts Neeson in the role of Bill Marks, a burned out U.S. federal air marshal who not only hates flying, but views what he does as a glorified desk job. (Air marshals fly undercover as passengers on random flights to ensure the safety of everyone on board in the event of a crime or problem in-flight.) Marks can’t stand his life anymore and wants out; he smokes and drinks on and off the job, and he is an unhappy, lonely man.

On a routine flight from New York to London, things change. Marks gets a mysterious message on his secured government texting line demanding he deposit $150 million in a specific bank account or a passenger on the plane will die every 20 minutes.

Like a Ron Burgundy fight, things escalate quickly. Marks’ superiors believe he’s responsible for hijacking the plane because the bank account is in his name. With his back against the wall, he must prove his own innocence by finding the person responsible. Every passenger is a suspect; guns are drawn; there’s a lot of yelling; a great fight in a plane bathroom; and yes, a bomb.

The bathroom scene is especially intense. Airplane bathrooms are a claustrophobic experience for one person. Add 6-foot-4-inch Liam Neeson and you are asking for trouble, but somehow, through a series of quick cuts and changing angles, two grown men have a believable brawl in this confined space. Most scenes on the plane, which was created from front to back in a sound stage, feel authentic.

Non-Stop never elevates itself beyond B-Movie status, but it’s a damn fun B-Movie.

Marks is a familiar Neeson character – a capable hero with a troubled past – but the actor’s performance and presence, as usual, helps elevate what would be a much duller movie in his absence. An amazing supporting cast joins him, lead by Julianne Moore, who plays Marks’ seatmate Jen Summers. Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) is a flight attendant who knows Marks, and Scoot McNairy (Monsters, Argo) turns in a believable believable performance as a distraught passenger accused by an air marshal who must appear to be losing his mind.

Toward the end, the plot rises above the realm of believability. Collet-Serra manages to keep the mystery alive for most of the film, however, challenging us to figure out who did it with precision rarely seen in Hollywood films.

Everyone onboard the plane is a possible criminal mastermind, including Marks and Summers, both of whom we begin to doubt as the evidence piles on. There are plenty of suspects, including a suspiciously large number of white men wearing glasses. Why do white men with glasses seem like they’re up to something? Or maybe Non-Stop takes place in an alternate reality where contacts were never invented.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Collet-Serra has created a film that lives up to its name. Every minute of it is engaging, from opening to credits. While other action films waste time on long, predictable sequences, Non-Stop does everything it can to keep the plot moving as fast as the plane it’s in. Collet-Serra also toys around with many of the different racial and lifestyle stereotypes you sometimes see on movies with planes, but never succumbs to predictability.

Non-Stop’s script is engaging, but the payoff takes an extra swig of Coke and mouthful of popcorn to accept. Liam Neeson the real reason people will see this though, and he delivers his gruff action character flawlessly. Non-Stop never elevates itself beyond B-movie status, but it’s a damn fun B-movie. Sit back, enjoy, and don’t think too hard after the credits roll. You’ll have a good time.


Jeffrey Van Camp
Former Digital Trends Contributor
As DT's Deputy Editor, Jeff helps oversee editorial operations at Digital Trends. Previously, he ran the site's…
Best Nintendo Switch deals: consoles, games, and accessories
Original Switch next to Switch OLED.

If you don't own the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch Lite, or Nintendo Switch OLED yet, or if you're planning to give the console as a gift to a loved one, you should check out the Nintendo Switch deals that we've rounded up here. We've also gathered some fantastic discounts on Nintendo Switch games and accessories, so that you can further expand your collection without breaking the bank. You're going to have to hurry though -- with the incredible popularity of the Nintendo Switch, we don't think these offers will last long.
Best Nintendo Switch deals
Nintendo Switch Mario Kart 8 Deluxe bundle -- $300

With the Nintendo Switch going for $300, this bundle technically gets you a digital copy of popular racing game Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which usually costs $60, and a three-month individual membership to Nintendo Switch Online, which costs $8, for free. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe lets you race as one of many Nintendo characters across big and bold courses and with power-ups at your disposal, while Nintendo Switch Online grants access to online multiplayer modes, cloud saves, classic Nintendo games, and more.

Read more
Sony’s latest partnership is a big move for PlayStation’s mobile future
A PS5 sits on a table.

Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) revealed its next big gaming partnership, and it's with a somewhat unexpected company. The game developer and publisher in question is NCSoft, a Korean company best known for its work on MMO series, namely Guild Wars and Lineage.

According to a press release, the two companies have entered into a partnership that enables them to "collaborate in various global business fields, including mobile." We asked Sony if the phrasing of "various global business fields" also applied to console games, but a representative for the company said it doesn't have anything else to share on that front currently.

Read more
The best Xbox Series X controllers for 2023
Hands holding the Scuf Instinct Pro controller.

A gamer is only as good as their controller, and the Xbox Series X has plenty of options to choose from when it comes to ways to interact with the best exclusives. However, a recent update to the system has made all unnofficial controllers no longer compatible, leading to confusion about which controllers one should invest in. That's why we made your search easy by listing not only controllers guaranteed to work on the system, but the best ones across the board.

Read more