Here's a nifty, heartbreaking premise: Has airplane engineer Kyle Pratt (Jodie Foster) really lost her child on a double-decker, U.S.S. Enterprise-sized luxury jetliner bound for New York, or is her daughter Julia (Marlene Lawston) just a memory manufactured by grief, as the flight crew claims when it can't find the girl on the passenger manifest? For two acts, the movie obsesses over that inquiry, and Flightplan plays like a top-notch psychological thriller -- not the boo kind, but the boo-hoo kind, in which a character's inner torment becomes palpable, tangible, overwhelming. But as the movie enters its final chapter, you will come to the sad, sickening realization that the filmmakers have played you for a chump. What seemed so smart, so well crafted and finely tuned, falls apart into a flaming heap of crap, and all goodwill is dashed. To give away what happens would only serve the movie right; the spoiler arrives spoiled, after all, and you'd be well advised to steer clear of this impending disaster.
Director: Robert Schwentke
Writer: Peter A. Dowling and Billy Ray
Producer: Brian Grazer
Cast: Jodie Foster, Peter Sarsgaard, Erika Christensen, Sean Bean, Haley Ramm, Marlene Lawston, Kate Beahan, Michael Irby, Brent Sexton and Judith Scott