Non-Stop: a Fun Movie Full of Hitchcockian Thrills

Nonstop is a movie that keeps the audience on the edges of their seats with its “nonstop” twists and fun thrills. Shot entirely in an airplane (except the very beginning, which is shot in an airport), it stars Liam Neeson, a private Federal Air Marshall who still mourns his daughter’s death, and the plot quickly jumps into a “whodunnit?” thrill ride as a clandestine killer texts Neeson, telling him that one person will die every twenty minutes unless money is vouchsafed into the unknown terrorist’s bank account. Scott Mendelson of Forbes Magazine states that “Non-Stop is the kind of film that Hitchcock might have made in his heyday, or at least one he would have enjoyed,” and he has good reason to. The claustrophobic setting can immediately remind one of the apartment setting in Rope, though the fact that it is on a plane takes an amplified approach to Hitchcock fanboy nostalgia. The movie is very fast paced, and the viewer questions throughout its entirety whether one of the side character passengers is responsible (and if so, who, who, who?!), or if Liam Neeson himself is a delusional psycho (pun intended) due to his daughter dying and is killing these people himself. The fast-paced, secretive plot reminds one of To Catch a Thief . Finally, without spoiling too much (though if you have not seen Nonstop, I suggest you watch it before reading this part), the ending has many parallels to Strangers on a Train‘s famous carousel-spinning-out-of-control-to-accomplish-resolution-type deals).

Carousel scene from Strangers on a Train

This movie may not be for everyone, and it definetely has its flaws. There are some scenes that are not very believable (depending on where you believe the line should be drawn in movies for realism), and a couple of the actors are a bit vapid (though they die first, hee hee!); however, for its fun thrills and its unpredictable twists, Nonstop is well worth a watch, whether you’re a Hitchcock fan or not (really? Not a Hitchcock fan? How?!).

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