May 302012

air-force-oneThis is the third post in our “The Best Films Set In…” series. The setting can be a place (like Tokyo), a location (like the beach), or a time (like Winter). In these posts we’re going to pick our 5 favourite films that are set in that particular place/location/time and explain why we like them. Up this week is The Best Films Set In…Air Planes.


1. Airplane! (Jim Abrahams, David & Jerry Zucker, 1980)

When an air crew and many of the passengers fall ill, it is up to an ex-pilot with a fear of flying to save them. Is there a more enduring and hilarious satirical comedy than this film? More than 30 years on, it is still so witty and so very very funny.


Con Air

2. Con Air (Simon West, 1997)

 While many of you may shake your head at this inclusion, I think this is a genuinely fun action-thriller. Nicolas Cage (back when people took him a little more seriously) stars as an ex-Army Ranger who has just been discharged from prison. He finds himself trapped on a plane that has been taken over by a group of prisoners who are being transported across the US. Nothing but wall-to-wall action and testosterone here.



3. The High and the Mighty (William A. Wellman, 1954)

 John Wayne stars as First Officer Dan Roman, in what could be considered one of the original aviation disaster movies. A plane experiences serious engine problems while flying to Hawaii, and it is up the brave and steadfast First Officer to make sure the plane and it’s passengers don’t end up in the ocean.


Air Force One

4. Air Force One (Wolfgang Petersen, 1997)

This movie has all the essential elements for a good action film – Harrison Ford as the US president and all-American hero, a hijacked airliner, the president’s attractive family in peril, and Gary-freaking-Oldman with a bad-ass Russian accent. 90s action at it’s finest!



5. Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)

Well technically speaking, almost all of this film takes place on a plane……(Full credit to Nicholas Brodie for suggesting Inception. It was just too brilliant to leave off the list.)


Honourable Mentions:  Airplane II: The Sequel, Red Eye, Die Hard 2

Other Suggestions: The film that most people suggested was United 93. Now for whatever reason, I’ve never been able to bring myself to watch that film. I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t particularly like flying, or if I’m afraid I’ll become really emotional. Snakes on a Plane was another popular suggestion, however I just don’t think it’s that good. While it was amusing at times, I found it quite boring overall. Flightplan was a decent enough film, but certainly not great; and I don’t think enough of Up in the Air took place in an air plane for it to be considered “set in” an air plane(s).


Do you agree or disagree with my picks? What have I missed?