Flying is not Lisa Reisert's favorite thing to do. So when her red-eye flight back home to Miami is delayed, she's happy to be distracted from her fear by the charming Jackson Rippner, whom she meets while waiting in line. The two continue their flirting over drinks and, lo and behold, end up seated next to each other on the plane.
Once the cabin door is locked, however, everything changes. Jackson reveals he's been following Lisa and needs a "favor" from her. Turns out he's been hired to ensure the assassination of Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Charles Keefe. Lisa, who's in charge of reservations at the ritzy Miami hotel Keefe will be arriving at shortly, can change the VIP's room arrangements with one call. If she doesn't oblige, Jackson's got a man stationed outside her father's house, ready to kill Dad.
Lisa has a kind heart, which comes through in her dealings with family, friends, hotel customers and strangers alike. When a rude man berates an airline representative for his flight's delay, Lisa's the first one to defend the worker for doing the best she can do. She maintains the same professionalism and courtesy to demanding hotel customers (see "Other Negative Elements" for an exception), and she stands up for her co-workers.
It's obvious that Lisa and her father love each other deeply. Throughout the movie, she does everything she can—often putting her own life at risk—to keep her dad safe. Yet her bravery isn't just for her own relatives, as she also goes to great lengths to prevent Keefe, his family and her fellow airline passengers from being killed.
Jackson makes a toast to Lisa's grandmother, commenting that her "spirit is very much alive." He also jokes that God created Tex-Mex.
Flight attendants make a few "mile high club" remarks when Lisa and Jackson end up in the bathroom together during the flight. Although nothing sexual occurred, as the pair exits the crowded space, Jackson crudely says, "Thanks for the quickie." Lisa jokes about her grandmother living longer because of a boyfriend's TLC.
Lisa takes off her shirt at the airport after having coffee spilled on it, and we see her in her bra. The camera later zooms in on a scar above her breast. A plane passenger wears a low-cut blouse.
People get shot, shot at, whacked over the head with a field hockey stick, run over with a vehicle, punched and kicked. A puddle of blood forms as one man dies. Another victim is stabbed in the throat with a pen (he later yanks it out). A man gets a shoe heel lodged in his leg. A chase scene includes chairs, vases and other household items being thrown.
Jackson chokes Lisa and frequently pushes her around. He also knocks her out with a head butt and lunges at her with a knife. On one occasion, she's tossed down a flight of stairs. An entire section of a high-rise building explodes after being hit with a missile.
Lisa recounts being assaulted in a parking lot, which included having a knife held to her throat. Jackson jokes about killing his parents as a youngster.
Crude or Profane Language
The f-word gets its token one-per-PG-13 use; the s-word is heard just under a dozen times. God's name is misused half that much (in addition to a couple utterances of "jeez."). A handful of other mild profanities include "a--hole" and "h---."
Drug and Alcohol Content
Despite the fact that the movie has such a thin plot (or maybe because of it), alcohol gets lots of mentions and screen time. Lisa and Jackson share drinks at an airport bar, where liquor bottles and glasses are shown in the background. He attempts to guess her beverage of choice, mentioning such generics as vodka and a screwdriver. The correct answer is a Bay Breeze, a glass of which Lisa downs. She later blames the drink—and some cheap wine she had at her grandmother's funeral—for her clumsiness, though we suspect that Jackson may have slipped her a Mickey. A stewardess jokes about joining Lisa for another drink. Jackson makes a comment about how Lisa's daily routine includes having a cocktail. Keefe's room is prepared with goodies that include a bottle of Cristal and cigars. Lisa and a friend's final act is heading to the hotel bar.
Other Negative Elements
Lisa becomes irritated during an interaction with a pair of hotel guests and makes a crude remark to them. She also steals a car while being chased.
If you've seen the trailer for Red Eye, you know most of what happens. Girl meets guy. Girl sits next to guy on plane. Guy turns out to be an evil operative in an assassination plot who is holding her father hostage. What's a girl to do?
The result is an 85-minute flyaway flick that feels more like a film school project than a nationally released movie from horror guru Wes Craven. Maybe the blame should rest on the shoulders of rookie screenwriter Carl Ellsworth, who's used to writing one-hour dramas for TV (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xena: Warrior Princess). Apparently, he and Craven were counting on the believability of being stuck on an airplane with a gentleman-turned-killer to sustain the fear factor. And tension definitely runs high in the beginning as you wonder how in the world Lisa can possibly escape such a claustrophobic situation. But that's about the only intriguing thing Red Eye has going for it. With its one-dimensional characters and quickly resolved conflict (not to mention vulgar language, violent confrontations and obsession with alcohol), this is one flight not worth staying awake for.
Other Belief Systems
Readability Age Range
Rachel McAdams as Lisa Reisert; Cillian Murphy as Jackson Rippner; Brian Cox as Joe Reisert; Jayma Mays as Cynthia; Jack Scalia as Charles Keefe