Air Force One (1997) - Rotten Tomatoes

Air Force One (1997)



Critic Consensus: This late-period Harrison Ford actioner is full of palpable, if not entirely seamless, thrills.

Movie Info

In this action drama, Harrison Ford plays James Marshall, a onetime combat hero in the Vietnam War who is now President of the United States. While visiting the former Soviet Union, Marshall gives a speech in which he supports a get-tough attitude against both terrorists and a right-wing general and war criminal from Kazakhstan imprisoned in Moscow, earning him few friends in the Eastern Bloc. While flying back to the United States aboard Air Force One, Marshall and his staff discover that one of the journalists returning with them is actually Ivan Korshunov (Gary Oldman), a Kazakhstani terrorist, who hijacks the plane with three associates and holds the president hostage -- with his wife and daughter on board. Marshall must use his strength and intelligence to keep the terrorists at bay and devise a plan to allow his family to escape to safety, while on the ground the vice-president (Glenn Close), the secretary of defense (Dean Stockwell), and the attorney general (Philip Baker Hall) grapple over what to do and how much control to take in this crisis. Slam-bang action sequences and plot twists fly fast and furious in this nail-biter from director Wolfgang Petersen, who previously generated suspense under water (rather than in the air) with Das Boot. ~ Mark Deming, Rovimore
Rating: R (for violence)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Andrew W. Marlowe
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 1, 1998
Columbia Pictures


Gary Oldman
as Ivan Korshunov
Harrison Ford
as President James Mars...
Glenn Close
as Vice President Benne...
Wendy Crewson
as Grace Marshall
Paul Guilfoyle
as Chief of Staff Sheph...
William H. Macy
as Maj. Caldwell
Liesel Matthews
as Alice Marshall
Dean Stockwell
as Defense Secretary De...
Xander Berkeley
as Agent Gibbs
Bill Smitrovich
as Gen. Northwood
Elaya Baskin
as Andrei Kolchak
David Vadim
as Igor Nevsky
Tom Everett
as NSA Advisor Jack Doh...
Spencer Garrett
as White House Aide Lee
Philip Baker Hall
as U.S. Attorney Gen. W...
Jürgen Prochnow
as General Alexander Ra...
Donna Bullock
as Press Secretary Mela...
Michael Ray Miller
as AFO Pilot Colonel Ax...
Don McManus
as F-15 Leader Col. Car...
Carl Weintraub
as AFO Co-Pilot Lt. Col...
Elester Latham
as AFO Navigator
as Sergei Lenski
Andrew Divoff
as Boris Bazylev
Ilia Volokh
as Vladimir Krasin
Chris Howell
as Major Perkins
Albert Owens
as "Football" Colonel
Willard E. Pugh
as White House Communic...
Michael Monks
as Assistant Press Secr...
Alan Woolf
as Russian President Pe...
Messiri Freeman
as Future Postmaster Ge...
Thomas Crawford
as Steward Mike
Fenton Lawless
as Steward Joey
Dan Shor
as Notre Dame Aide
David Gianopoulos
as Agent Johnson
Glenn Morshower
as Agent Walters
Richard Doyle
as AFO Back-Up Pilot
Don R. McManus
as F-15 Leader Colonel ...
Duke Miglin
as F-15 "Halo 2" Fighte...
Pavel D. Lychnikoff
as Prison Guard
Oleg Taktarov
as Prison Guard
Mario Roberts
as Special Agent
Keith Woulard
as Special Agent
J. Mark Donaldson
as Special Agent
Bruce Holman
as Special Agent
Brian Libby
as Chief Mechanic
Diana Bellamy
as Switchboard Operator
Thom Barry
as Ramstein S O F Watch...
Harry Hutchinson
as Ramstein Airbase Con...
E.E. Bell
as Reporter
Mark Thompson
as Reporter
Ren Hanami
as Reporter
Suzanne Michaels
as CNN Anchor
Boris Krutonog
as MiG Leader
Alex Veadov
as MiG Pilot
Allan Kolman
as Kazakh Soldier
Dan Barringer
as USAF Jump Master
Mark Knutson
as Russian Jump Master
Jim Harley
as Willis
Aleks Shaklin
as Government Official
Igor N. Lobotsky
as Russian Official
Koko Kiledjian
as Russian Speaker
Gordon Michaels
as USAF Radio Specialis...
Robert Peters
as USAF Radio Specialis...
Kristian Sorensen
as USAF Radio Specialis...
Stuart Nixon
as USAF Security
Marty Rosen
as CIA Director
Lee Faranda
as Russian Bad Guy
Michael Hambrick
as CNN Reporter
Catherine T. Yang
as Foreign TV Reporter
David MacIsaac
as MC-130 Pilot
J. Scott Shonka
as Pararescue Jumper
Paul Sklar
as Pararescue Jumper
David Permenter
as Winch Recovery Maste...
David O'Donnell
as Young Airman
Elya Baskin
as Andrei Kolchak
Don McManus
as F-15 Leader Col. Car...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Air Force One

Critic Reviews for Air Force One

All Critics (61) | Top Critics (21)

Most of the time it's a kick.

Full Review… | October 3, 2002
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic flies on and on until its power to hold us simply peters out.

Full Review… | April 12, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

It's a great ride.

Full Review… | January 22, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

Moments of silliness are more than balanced by Petersen's extraordinary ability to keep this movie flight-worthy, Ford's almost-executive presence and an outstanding performance from Oldman.

Full Review… | January 22, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

Air Force One doesn't insult the audience. It is crafted by a film-maker who takes pride in the thrills and sly fun he packs into every frame.

May 11, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Seeing the president of the United States as a kick-butt action hero pretty much sums up the appeal of Air Force One

Full Review… | February 14, 2001
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Air Force One


A thriller that is consistently entertaining and features two rock-solid performances from Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman. Although it is entirely implausible, the thrills come by the minute, and you can't help but root for Ford as the President. Also fun seeing one of my favorite character actors, Xander Berkeley, pop up here as a secret service agent. Definitely worth a look, especially for the line Ford delivers - "Get off my plane"

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer


Moronic trash that I enjoyed anyway, it's like Die Hard but on an airplane the whole time and it could be said to have set the mold for the TV show 24. Harrison Ford is a terrible actor. There. I said it. But the writing doesn't give him much to work with, anyway. Lots of action, but no substance to the highly implausible plot (not to mention the physics). You'll probably like it more if you watch it while hungover so that your mind doesn't work well enough to see the through the many leaps of faith the story requires you to take. Gary Oldman as a Russian's pretty cool, though.

Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer


God bless those United States, the old red white and blue, the stars n stripes, the most powerful country in the whole wide world!!

Anyway, this is pretty much your standard terrorist hijack setup with all the regular ingredients that you might expect. Take 'Passenger 57' 'Die Hard 2' and 'Executive Decision' blend them all together, make the one man army hero the President (no vest) and voila!.

This film does well mainly due the huge appeal of Ford and his epic back catalog of movies. His ever lasting rugged good looks, calm manly voice and likeable charisma (even without the fedora) is the stuff of silver screen legend.

The other reason this works so well is Oldman as the main Russian baddie. He's got the stereotypical goatee, a heavy accent and he's really mean, another good Eurotrash villain. Along with Ford that's two rock solid performances which keep the film glued together, without them this could easily have been a very average run of the mill action thriller.

Another thing the film shows you is how nice it is or would be to be President with his highly advanced personal airliner. Never realised how luxurious the interior of the plane is, from top to bottom its like a long narrow mansion. On top of that you also learn a few things about the plane and how cool it really is. Is there really an escape pod on board?

The sets for Air Force One all look top notch and the action is also darn good but its also pretty daft at times. Lots of gun fire in mid air, kinda silly as you'd think at least one might pierce the fuselage, especially with all the machine gun fire haha. Then of course you have the obligatory faceless Russian bad guys, god knows how many there were at first or how many got killed but it seemed to be lots. Ditto for Air Force One personnel, people getting mowed down all over the shop, no idea who they are. Little character development for the bad guys or good guys accept for the odd main roles naturally.

End of the day its your typical action flick cunningly disguised as trying to be something a bit more intelligent...but really its not. Still looks the biz today but the CGI sequence at the end is pretty bad looking I gotta be honest.

'nobody does this to the United States'

Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

Air Force One Quotes

– Submitted by Ryan A (15 months ago)
– Submitted by Alyssa B (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Typhon Q (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Lisa-Marie D (3 years ago)

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