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Con Air

Con Air (1997)

tomatometer

31

Average Rating: 5.1/10
Critic Reviews: 13
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 9

No consensus yet.

audience

76

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 415,255

My Rating

Movie Info

Former war hero Cameron Poe (Nicolas Cage) is sentenced to eight years in prison when he accidentally kills a man in a barroom brawl while defending his pregnant wife. When his release comes through, he's eager to see the daughter he's never met. However, Poe's original flight is delayed, so he's put aboard a flight transporting ten of the most dangerous men in the American penal system to a new high-security facility. One of the criminals, Cyrus "The Virus" Grissom (John Malkovich), is a serial

R,

Action & Adventure

Scott Rosenberg

Mar 24, 1998

Disney

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All Critics (66) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (34) | Rotten (28) | DVD (25)

Rosenberg's sarcastic, tough-guy dialogue is full of lean-and-mean one-liners, and the superbly cast actors know how to milk them for all they're worth.

September 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety | Comment (1)
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Very cool, but also very cold.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

They're 'the worst of the worst.' So's the movie.

May 11, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Numbing but not boring, it's finally more dispiriting than exhilarating, like a wild night of debauchery that leaves only a fearsome hangover for a souvenir.

February 14, 2001 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

All of the principals normally work in films more interesting and human than this one, which gives Con Air a touch of the subversive and turns it into a big-budget lark.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie is essentially a series of quick setups, brisk dialogue and elaborate action sequences.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A schmaltzy action-adventure at 8,000 feet.

December 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Resolutely not boring.

July 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Mega-budget action extravaganzas don't get much sillier than this.

September 18, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

This frankly silly action movie scores major points for bordering on self-parody.

September 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

the quintessential high-octane action flick

June 8, 2006 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

It's not exactly a spoof of action flicks, but everyone involved clearly has tongue wedged firmly within cheek.

May 12, 2006 Full Review Source: DVDTalk.com
DVDTalk.com

Rude, crude, mindless action and nonstop gratuitous violence just don't get any better.

May 12, 2006 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Bruckheimer may be the only producer working in Hollywood today who deserves the auteur treatment.

May 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Director Simon West pulls off the impossible task of having the film make constant fun of itself and its viewers while keeping the storyline grounded enough for emotional payoffs.

April 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

This is a big, silly film. Is it full of explosions and one-liners? Of course. Is it entertaining? Of course.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

The Hollywood ending hurts the film's integrity, diminishing what could easily have become a classic of the genre.

April 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

With West's confident competence, and Bruckheimer's reliable slickness, Con Air gets out of its own way and becomes a trash classic.

September 30, 2003 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Jerry Bruckheimer should be thankful for the modern audience's short attention span.

August 25, 2003 Full Review
rec.arts.movies.reviews

I don't know how it happened, or what Simon West was thinking, but the first half of Con Air is brilliant and the second half is a non-stop climax, and a dimwitted one at that.

May 22, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Blather
Film Blather

Cage carries the first action flick of the year that's worthy of topping the box-office charts.

May 20, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

Has a strange air of nonchalant wackiness about it that makes it hard not to like.

March 16, 2003 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

It's slapped together childishly and has no real foundation to render it even vaguely capable of withstanding a lapping wave of intellect or logic.

November 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Netflix
Netflix

The stunts and explosions are amazing, of course, but escalate to overwrought chaos by the end.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

Audience Reviews for Con Air

Indulging in a sense of self-stupidity, 'Con Air' comes across as a parody of action films; it has cheesy one liners, clichés and throws in an over the top explosion whenever given the chance. Luckily though the film acknowledges it's own implausibility and the perfectly cast characters are all played with tongue firmly in cheek. Due to it's outrageous nature, however, 'Con Air' suffers in the fauxthentic moments it tries to pretend it's something it's not, and scenes that are meant to be serious come off as out of place and pointless.

There's not really a lot to say, it's loud, dumb, and Nicholas Cage's long hair and terrible southern accent pass the realm of the bad and enter into a new world; a world so bad, it's good.
June 10, 2013
Cameron Sherwell

Super Reviewer

Con Air is what I've come to expect of a standard Hollywood action flick, nothing more, nothing less. It's got plenty of action, big explosions, one-liners and pure entertainment value. The plot is pretty good, somewhat original, and fairly fast-paced. The acting is good, and the film has a surprisingly large amount of well-known good actors; Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, Danny Trejo, Steve Buscemi, Ving Rhames and John Malkovich. They all give good performances, as do most of the supporting actors. The characters are well-written and credible. I found it interesting how most of the characters aren't all black or white in their actions and personalities; many of them have a shade of gray or two. The action is well-done, exciting and intense. The special effects(the few there are) are good enough. The ending may be a little extreme, but it's a good climax, and the good things in the film make up for the bad; granted, there are a few downright lame parts, but there are far more good parts than bad. All in all, everything you'd expect from a Jerry Bruckheimer action film, and nothing else. I recommend it to fans of standard action films. 4 Stars 6-1-13
June 4, 2013
bbcfloridabound
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]

Con Air boasts everything that makes a solid slice of action-y Hollywood cheese, and another over the top performance from Nicolas Cage, excpet this time it's in a pretty decent movie. I think the loony Cage performance is under rated, I think the reason people dislike it is because it's been abused in various atrocities lately like Drive Angry and Ghost Rider. But in a movie as fast-paced and explosive as Con Air, that ridiculously wacky performance suits the general mood. John Malkovich also shows up to do his usual menacing shtick and does it pretty well. But there are many flaws with the film. A big problem is that it begins cheesily and continues to progress cheesily, but in a "so bad it's good" kind of way. But around about the final 30 minutes it digs its own grave by adding every single soppy cliche in the book to the formula. That said, this is incredibly formulaic. It's not original, and almost indistinguishable from other Jerry Bruckheimer productions. Either way Con Air has a cult following and for a very good reason. It's strong acting and emotional engagement makes it work. And to be honest over all the explosions and gunfights, I didn't want Nic Cage's character to die. It's almost suspense free, at time sloppily directed, but regardless thanks to it's strong cast, visual style and moments of hilarity, I kind of enjoyed myself. If it's produced by Jerry Bruckhemier you usually expect the worst. It doesn't turn out to be as amazing as you would wish but neither as bad as you might have feared. Director Simon West basically crafts a perfectly acceptable Hollywood blockbuster with an assortment of every recognisable movie cliche ever used, but his great achievement is in how above all else Con Air never really get's boring. If your going to watch a Nicolas Cage action movie, this is one of the decent ones.
November 6, 2012
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

    1. Cameron Poe: You don't treat women like that.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (9 months ago)
    1. Cyrus (The Virus) Grissom: I am not plausible as a tough guy because I have an effeminate voice.
    – Submitted by Jesse K (12 months ago)
    1. Vince Larkin: When are you going with my plane, Cyrus?
    2. Cyrus (The Virus) Grissom: We're going to Disney Land.
    3. Vince Larkin: You're lying, Cyrus.
    4. Cyrus (The Virus) Grissom: So are you, Vince.
    5. Cyrus (The Virus) Grissom: Oh. Nothing makes me sadder than the agent lost his bladder in the airplane!
    – Submitted by Alec L (12 months ago)
    1. Cyrus (The Virus) Grissom: Do you fly, Johnny?
    2. Johnny 23: No.
    3. Cyrus (The Virus) Grissom: You keep that in mind when you look at her, because if your dick jumps out of your pants, you jump off this plane.
    – Submitted by Alec L (12 months ago)
    1. Cyrus (The Virus) Grissom: I despise rapists. For me, you're somewhere between a cockroach and that white stuff that accumulates at the corner of your mouth when you're really thirsty. But, in your case, I'll make an exception.
    – Submitted by Alec L (12 months ago)
    1. Cyrus (The Virus) Grissom: Make a move and the bunny gets it.
    – Submitted by Natalie F (17 months ago)
View all quotes (19)

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