Red-Eye [2005/I]

Veteran horror director Wes Craven lends his proven talent to the non-horror thriller Red-Eye, turning it into an above-average potboiler that makes the most of its 85 tension-packed minutes. That's a perfect running time for a movie like this, in which a resourceful heroine Lisa (Rachel McAdams, the breakout star of 2005) is trapped on a red-eye flight with creepy villain Jackson Rippner (Cillian Murphy, even more menacing than he was as the Scarecrow in Batman Begins) who's playing middle-man in the plot to assassinate a Homeland Security official. He's got her father pinned down by a would-be killer, using that advantage to coerce Lisa into phoning the luxury resort where she works and arranging to move the target into a pre-set position. It's a situation from which there is seemingly no escape, but of course Craven and screenwriter Carl Ellsworth find a way to milk the suspenseful dilemma for all it's worth, even managing to wedge in a few intriguing character details to enhance the fast-moving plot. It's still a B-movie, but it's tightly constructed and well-executed by Craven, whose previous films made him a perfect choice to maximize all that Red-Eye has to offer. --Jeff Shannon

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