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Flight of the Phoenix (2004)



Average Rating: 4.8/10
Reviews Counted: 116
Fresh: 35 | Rotten: 81

What this update lacks in tension, it makes up for with generic action.


Average Rating: 4.4/10
Critic Reviews: 29
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 24

What this update lacks in tension, it makes up for with generic action.



liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 58,781

My Rating

Movie Info

Based on a novel by Elleston Trevor, director John Moore's The Flight of the Phoenix is a remake of a 1965 film of the same name starring film icon James Stewart. The story revolves around the plight of Captain Frank Towns (Dennis Quaid), a pilot whose C-119 cargo plane full of oil workers could not withstand the violent winds of a desert sandstorm. Stranded in the harsh terrain of Mongolia's Gobi Desert (a departure from the original, in which the plane crashed in the Sahara), Frank and his


Drama, Action & Adventure

Scott Frank, Edward Burns

Mar 1, 2005


20th Century Fox - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (131) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (35) | Rotten (81) | DVD (28)

In the end, it may be that man against sand isn't as thrilling as it was back in the day.

December 23, 2004 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

By film's end the adventure appears less a matter of base survival than a beach barbecue gone slightly sour.

December 21, 2004 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The wonderful character actors in the original ... are succeeded by a fairly anonymous bunch.

December 20, 2004
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Other than Dennis Quaid, none of these characters leaves so much as a footprint in the sand. We don't know them. We don't care about them.

December 20, 2004 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Exciting (but intense) adventure for older kids.

December 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Remake of Robert Aldrich's revered 1965 classic would be 15% better if not for its abysmal use of pop music, and 100% better if Aldrich's son William had never thought to ride on his father's coattails by producing it in the first place.

April 18, 2009 Full Review Source:

This is one flight that never quite gets off the ground.

September 22, 2006
Christianity Today

Entertaining, but brainless, popcorn fun.

June 20, 2005 Full Review Source: FromTheBalcony

Flight of the Phoenix ignores the human drama to focus on cockamamie setbacks that are harder to swallow than the plane's motor oil.

April 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

If I had seen this film before the original, I might have actually preferred it.

March 7, 2005 Full Review

It's never more than ridiculous popcorn fun, but the fun is thin on the ground.

March 7, 2005 Full Review Source: FilmFocus

Competent, watchable remake that improves on the special effects and running time but loses the moral complexity and the character work of the original.

March 5, 2005 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

This new Phoenix makes too many mistakes, the biggest one being the mistake of confusing 'modernizing' with 'dumbing down.'

February 28, 2005 Full Review Source:'s not tense enough, realistic enough, or exciting enough to lift it much beyond the ordinary.

February 17, 2005 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Frankly, it's painful to watch such a strong cast struggle so desperately to hold the film together while it falls apart around them

January 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

Plenty of action is here in this exciting remake of the earlier classic.

January 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Entertainment Spectrum
Entertainment Spectrum

Em vez de corrigir os pontos fracos do filme original, inclui uma série de novos defeitos que comprometem irremediavelmente o resultado final.

January 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

'Despite all its flaws, this Phoenix rises to an acceptable entertainment level.'

January 5, 2005 Full Review
Atlantic City Weekly

Pop quiz: What's worse than a disaster flick? Answer: A remake of a disaster flick.

January 4, 2005
Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)

Imagine-a Hollywood action film with real settings, real props and real people.

January 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

"Flight of the Phoenix" looks great. If only they would've shifted some of the budget towards the writers.**

January 3, 2005 Full Review Source:

Tension, teamwork and a lust for life fuel this admirable remake of the popular 1965 Jimmy Stewart film.

December 27, 2004
Palo Alto Weekly

If you think sweltering UV rays, deadly sandstorms and dwindling water sources are bad, you haven't had to contend with Giovanni Ribisi's heinous new bleach blond hair

December 27, 2004 Full Review

Flight of the Phoenix is further proof of Hollywood's inexorable decline from greatness.

December 26, 2004 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Audience Reviews for Flight of the Phoenix

27/12/2012 (DVD)
December 28, 2012

Super Reviewer

Now I have never seen the original film starring legend Jimmy Stewart so I can't compare the two films. But I do plan to see it eventually. This remake like all the others is probably not as great as the original. But that doesn't mean that this film is bad. I was quite entertained by this film, and I very much enjoyed it. I think it's not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Sure there are things that could've been better, but for the most part; this film manages to be entertaining and thrilling But like everyone else I thought a few things were missing to make this film truly something awesome. I really enjoyed the film I was greatly entertained by it, and I don't understand why people have condemned it so. I mean the film is not that bad. There are far worse films out there than this one. But I agree that at times the film struggles to find it's identity and that some characters are pointless. But really Flight Of The Phoenix is an impressive remake given the chance. If you're in the mood for a mindless, entertaining film, then this one is the one that you should watch. After watching this film, I can only imagine how the original film is, and I will most definitely see it. As far as remakes are concerned, this is a fairly good one and doesn't deserve to be construed as the worst remake ever made. The film has its flaws, but manages to be entertaining.
May 6, 2011
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

This was a well planned out film! But they could have added a little more spice to it!
January 13, 2010
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Took and interesting idea from a good film and ruined it. Watch the Jimmy Stewart original.
December 13, 2009
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

    1. Capt. Frank Towns: No one else dies!
    – Submitted by Jed G (22 months ago)
    1. Elliott: I'm glad you finally see the light, Mr. Towns.
    2. Capt. Frank Towns: Let's get one thing strait: I'm not taking orders from you.
    – Submitted by Jed G (23 months ago)
    1. Elliott: Everyone here is dispensable except me.
    – Submitted by Jed G (23 months ago)
    1. Capt. Frank Towns: I'd do anything to avoid another 'hopes and dreams' speech.
    – Submitted by Jed G (23 months ago)
    1. AJ: I don't suppose there's a four-seasons hotel out here.
    – Submitted by Jed G (23 months ago)
    1. AJ: Checklist?
    2. Capt. Frank Towns: Go ahead, buddy.
    3. AJ: Seatbelts?
    4. Capt. Frank Towns: I always like to have a little something strapped to my lap. Check.
    – Submitted by Jed G (23 months ago)
View all quotes (14)

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Foreign Titles

  • El vuelo del fénix (ES)
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