Red Eye Reviews

Nigel Floyd
Time Out
Top Critic
June 3, 2006

The psychological mind-games are played to the hilt, the pressurised cabin air increases the edge-of-the-seat tension and the 85-minute flight time is gratifyingly short.

Scott Tobias
AV Club
Top Critic
September 26, 2005

If constructing a thriller could be likened to building a house, then Wes Craven's Red Eye is a perfect piece of architecture: It's clean-lined and soundly structured, without a foot of wasted space or any materials left unused.

Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
Top Critic
September 7, 2005

I'm not claiming masterpiece stature for Red Eye, just a solid professionalism in the acting, writing and direction that seems inextricably related to the modesty of its intentions.

David Denby
New Yorker
Top Critic
September 6, 2005

The movie turns into a complicated duel that depends on precise observation of physical detail and moment-by-moment continuity so closely calibrated that it's impossible to find a wasted shot or an exaggerated emotion.

Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic
August 29, 2005

For Wes Craven, who I like a lot as a slasher director, he really goes into a different direction with this.

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Top Critic
August 27, 2005

It took forever, but the best thriller of summer 2005 has finally arrived. The gripping, seat- clutching suspense in this baby will pin you to your seat.

| Original Score: 3.5/4
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic
August 26, 2005

After a summer of crashes, bangs, endless chase scenes and special effects that belittle the actors standing in front of them, what a pleasure to see characters in a thriller doing what people like themselves possibly could do.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
Top Critic
August 19, 2005

Fast and furious and tightly focused and blessedly short at 85 minutes, it recalls not so much today's bloated, computer-crazed films, but tighter melodramas of the '50s.

Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
Top Critic
August 19, 2005

Red Eye doesn't just stick to the basics -- it reminds us why they still matter.

Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
Top Critic
August 19, 2005

[Craven finds] another new way to stoke our apprehensions of being caught vulnerable and helpless.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
Top Critic
August 19, 2005

An immensely dumb, immensely fun thriller.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic
August 19, 2005

A film that delivers high tension without the baggage of postmodern irony.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic
August 19, 2005

Teach this one in film schools. Maybe it could save us from all those stupid, nobody-would-do-that plot turns, flaccid formula screenwriting and thrillers that run so long they lose their thrills.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic
August 19, 2005

The movie is a pleasant surprise at the end of summer, and an exciting detour from one of the most influential directors of horror films.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
Top Critic
August 19, 2005

An airborne suspense thriller that terrifies with a smile.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Claudia Puig
USA Today
Top Critic
August 19, 2005

Once the plane touches land, things go downhill. The movie devolves into a by-the-book action flick.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
Top Critic
August 19, 2005

In short, Red Eye hits the bull's-eye.

| Original Score: 3/4
Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
Top Critic
August 19, 2005

This is a sophisticated genre movie, and it's effective on many levels.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic
August 19, 2005

If you can sit back, buckle up and forgive the plot holes on its runway, Craven's bumpy ride is rollicking entertainment, careening from winking humor and cutting dialogue to big action payoffs.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
Top Critic
August 19, 2005

Sitting through Red Eye is like watching a master carpenter at work on a custom bookcase. No one would call the result art, but you're sure bound to admire the sheer craft of the thing.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic
August 19, 2005

Rare these days is the thriller that takes its time, allowing us to get comfortable with the characters and the characters to get comfortable with one another before starting the chase or inducing the shocks.

| Original Score: 3/4
Tom Long
Detroit News
Top Critic
August 19, 2005

There are no dinosaurs, starships, monsters or special effects involved. Just two humans pressed too close to one another, locked in a fight for survival. What could be more frightening?

| Original Score: B+
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic
August 19, 2005

If you can suspend enough disbelief to follow a plot that sacrifices itself on an altar of cheap, end-of-picture thrills, you'll get your money's worth.

Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
Top Critic
August 19, 2005

Briskly paced, it takes less time than a flight from Denver to L.A. It may not be a classic, but it's way more satisfying than a mini-bag of pretzels and a soda.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
Top Critic
August 19, 2005

A one-trick action thriller that feels like a poor cousin of an episode of 24.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic
August 19, 2005

Red Eye proves once again that imaginative wrapping enhances any package's appeal.

Full Review | Original Score: B
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
Top Critic
August 18, 2005

A movie that, like its heroine, is lithe, limber and quick-thinking. Like a triple latte from the airport Starbucks, Red Eye will keep you awake, jittery and perched on the edge of your seat for pretty much the entire flight.

Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic
August 18, 2005

Red Eye stretches believability to the breaking point more than once, but the story moves with such headlong speed that there's scarcely time to object.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
Top Critic
August 18, 2005

There are enough thrills during the final third to give Red Eye viewers a few of Craven's patented jolts near the end. But it requires forbearance for both a silly script and uneven pacing to get to that point.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
Top Critic
August 18, 2005

This nifty, tense thriller directed by Wes Craven brings together a classic setup and a relevant-sounding if thoroughly undercooked story involving worldwide terrorism.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
Top Critic
August 18, 2005

It's encouraging that Craven cast two relative newcomers who are excited about being in the film, rather than stale stars earning a paycheck.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
August 18, 2005

Red-Eye is the work of a filmmaker in command of the full resources of the camera in telling a story visually and with economy.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic
August 18, 2005

Craven, an old hand at menace, shifts gears smoothly from the slasher parodies of Scream, offering a more subdued brand of suspense.

| Original Score: 3/4
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic
August 18, 2005

[A] brisk, efficient B movie.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Jan Stuart
Newsday
Top Critic
August 18, 2005

Preposterous, to be sure. And the credibility gap only widens as Jack's lethal mission nears its consummation. But by that point, Craven already has us in the palm of his hand, smooth-talking us with a finesse worthy of his dashing villain.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Bob Townsend
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic
August 18, 2005

A nifty thriller that plays like B-movie blast from the past.

Full Review | Original Score: B
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic
August 18, 2005

First-time screenwriter Carl Ellsworth and director Wes Craven don't come up with a single clever way to generate suspense.

David Edelstein
Slate
Top Critic
August 18, 2005

A minimalist exercise in maximalist suspense.

Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
August 17, 2005

A good measure of the movie's white-knuckle fun comes from Craven's old-hand familiarity with the way thrillers tick, predicated on the smallest and most banal of missed connections, the kind that get an audience to go crazy.

Full Review | Original Score: B+
Dennis Lim
Village Voice
Top Critic
August 16, 2005

Craven's terror-alert white-knuckler is a zippy, unpretentious entry in the subgenre, hinging on the enforced proximity of cat and mouse.

Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic
August 15, 2005

It pulls just about every nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat trick imaginable, yet gets away with it through what is, admittedly, a clever and original gimmick.

Robert Koehler
Variety
Top Critic
August 15, 2005

Red Eye relies on hoodwinking an audience with its tension, so that the sheer illogic of the conspiracy plot can slip by without detection.