Turbulence (1997) - Rotten Tomatoes

Turbulence (1997)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Airplane travel is a precarious thing at best, and despite the billions of miles traveled safely, the notion of being trapped in a thin metal shell miles above the ground with someone who deliberately imperils lives never fails to chill. In this thriller, serial killer Ryan Weaver (Ray Liotta) gets loose in the plane which is taking him to prison. Suicidal, he manages to kill or incapacitate the pilot, copilot and navigator, only to have his death wish thwarted by the brave actions of flight attendant Teri Halloran (Lauren Holly). Teri manages to keep the plane in the air and more or less on course with groundside help from air traffic controller Sam Bowen (Ben Cross). Teri is Weaver's favorite type of victim and he has made her believe that he may be innocent. Will she be able to resist the killer's sinister charm and save the plane?more
Rating: R (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Action & Adventure
Directed By: , ,
Written By: Steven E. de Souza, John Herzfeld, Stavros Pamballis, Roni Livneh, Jonathan Brett
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 24, 1997
HBO Video


Ray Liotta
as Ryan Weaver
Lauren Holly
as Teri Halloran
Hector Elizondo
as Lt. Aldo Hines
Ben Cross
as Capt. Sam Bowen
Rachel Ticotin
as Rachel Taper
John Finn
as Sinclair
J. Kenneth Campbell
as Captain Matt Powell
James MacDonald
as First Officer Ted Ka...
Michael J. Harney
as Marshall Douglas
Grand L. Bush
as Marshall Arquette
Richard Hoyt-Miller
as Marshall Riordan
Alan Bergmann
as Mr. Kramer
Danna Hansen
as Mrs. Kramer
Sondra Spriggs
as Career Woman
Garrett M. Brown
as LAX Manager
Fritz Mashimo
as Asian Businessman
Tom Todoroff
as Mr. Hollywood
Jeffrey Joseph
as Detective
Dennis Redfield
as Desk Sergeant
Malachy McCourt
as Ray The Doorman
Gary Rodriguez
as Rodriguez
Billy Burton
as Port Authority Cop
Bill Cross
as William Harris
Tannis Benedict
as Controller
Don Dowe
as Controller
Scott Gurney
as Controller
Cooper Huckabee
as Wing Commander
Ken Thatcher III
as SWAT Member
Kevin O'Rourke
as Mark Pavone
Ken Mosley
as Tower Air Co-Pilot
James MacDonald (II)
as First Officer Ted Ka...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Turbulence

Critic Reviews for Turbulence

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (11)

Fasten your seat belts, folks. It's going to be a cliche-cluttered ride.

August 1, 2001
USA Today
Top Critic

Full Review… | August 1, 2001
Detroit News
Top Critic

Full Review… | August 1, 2001
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | August 1, 2001
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Turbulence


Pretty much your standard hijack type action flick only this time its about a crazed convict getting loose onboard an airliner. The premise is virtually the same as some other airline action flicks such as 'Executive Decision' and 'Passenger 57', the only difference there is terrorists capture the plane, same kind of shit though.

What I find silly about this film is the fact you never really find out about Liotta's character. At first he's denying outright how innocent he is and how evidence was planted on him. The cop accused of setting him up sure as hell looks and acts dodgy enough for you the viewer to believe it.

Liotta's character denies he's murdered anyone all the way through the film, even after he's killed a stewardess!. That's what is so stupid, he's going nuts on the phone (on the plane) to the police screaming about how innocent he is and that he has been set up. Yet he just strangled a woman to death and also screams that at the police whilst threatening to kill everybody else. So in the end you're left wondering...this guy clearly is nuts despite his early gentlemanly manner, but is he or is he not innocent of the previous charges for which he was arrested, and if he is (like he claims) why the hell is he going nuts killing people?.

Admittedly its easy to think he did do the crimes he's accused of and that's why he goes nuts but its never actually cleared up. The other stupid thing is the film is suppose to be a kind of suspense thriller on a plane with a killer. But for the most part the film centres around Lauren Holly trying to land the stricken plane (pilots killed off). Once she is locked up in the cockpit there is very little reason for her to leave that often, when she does there is of course some mediocre stalker type tomfoolery, but in general half the film is her landing the plane under instruction haha!. Its almost like an introduction film to basic airline piloting for newbies.

All that aside the film in general is a bit of a guilty pleasure really, its predictable as hell and utterly cliched, one of those 'Die Hard on a...' films. But its undeniably quite fun to watch Liotta freak out, sure everybody pretty much gets killed off straight away and the suspense direction doesn't really work (cos its not scary at all), but its still quite good nonsense.

Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer


Turbulence is a pretty decent action thriller that is underrated. The film isn't great, but it certainly isn't as bad as what many critics have said about the film. I found that the film could have used some improvement, but otherwise it was a mindless two hours thrill ride. The cast is pretty good here, never anything great, but there's some good enough performances to make this one worth seeing. The film could have been better, but as a whole this is a mindless thriller. If you enjoy these types of film, give it a shot. The film is not as bad as what everyone has said, and there are plenty of things to enjoy about this film. Even if it's not a great film, this is a pleasantly entertaining flick that is fun to watch. This is the type of film that you need to turn off your brain to enjoy. I found Ray Liotta to be quite enjoyable here, and he played a pretty good bad guy. The film definitely had potential in being something much better due to its very good concept, but for what it turned out, it was decent and with a cool thriller that was very interesting, it saved the film from being a total dud. The film certainly has its flaws, but it's nonetheless an enjoyable film if you're in the mood. The film works most of the time and it succeeds at providing you with a lot of mindless thrills. This film is not as bad as what everyone has said. There are far worse films out there. But as a mindless thrill ride, Turbulence delivers.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

Bad in the most amusing way possible. Ray Liotta turns the ham factor up to 11 and then some more with his craptastic performance. He's in full Nic Cage mode here.

Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

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