Executive Decision (1995)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

This high-flying, action-packed aerial thriller chronicles the courage of a hastily assembled team of commandos charged with saving a filled-to-capacity commercial jet-liner from an Islamic terrorist group. Suspecting that the terrorists are carrying nerve gas, officials are torn between attempting to rescue the passengers, or destroying the plane.
R (adult situations/language, violence)
Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Warner Home Video

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Kurt Russell
as Dr. David Grant
Joe Morton
as Cappy
Oliver Platt
as Dennis Cahill
Len Cariou
as Charles White
Steven Seagal
as Lt. Col. Austin Travis
B.D. Wong
as Louie
J.T. Walsh
as Sen. Mavros
Juan Fernández
as London Bomber
Nick Jameson
as London Maitre D'
David Suchet
as Naji Hassan
Jon Huertas
as Terrorist
Dey Young
as Gail
Richard Riehle
as Air Marshal
Paul Collins
as Nelson
Whip Hubley
as Baker
Shaun Toub
as Terrorist
Eugene Roche
as Admiral Lewis
John Hardy
as Helicopter Pilot
Charles Hallahan
as General Sarlow
Jay Tavare
as Terrorist
Yvonne Zima
as Little Girl
Damon Lee
as Translator
Nicholas Pryor
as Secretary of State Jack Douglas
Ray Baker
as 747 Captain
Ken Jenkins
as General Wood
Ahmed Ahmed
as Terrorist
John Rixey Moore
as Flight Instructor
Lance August
as American Embassy Duty Officer
Joe Cook
as Chechen
Todd Jeffries
as Collins
Michael Milhoan
as 747 First Officer
Marianne Muellerleile
as Diabetic Woman
Will Schaub
as Assistant to Senator Mavros
Chris Maher
as Kahlil
Warren Munson
as American Ambassador
Blair Valk
as Yugoslavian Girl
Brad Blaisdell
as Beckings Institute Aide
Tim Kelleher
as Bulldog
Stanley Grover
as General Price
James Victor
as Spider
Joey Naber
as Terrorist
Don Fischer
as Remora Pilot
Maggie Egan
as CNN Reporter
Paul Bollen
as Fire Fighter
Joseph Makkar
as Arab Co-pilot
Bob Apisa
as Demou
Ilia Volokh
as Chechen
Michelle Boudreau
as Party Girl
Majed Ibrahim
as Terrorist
Julie Wright
as Flight Attendant
Sunni Boswell
as Flight Attendant
Gregg Artz
as Assistant to Senator Mavros
David Birznieks
as Fire Fighter
Jayne Walter
as London Hostess
Robert Londberg
as Diamond Smuggler
Edmond Brown
as FBI Agent
Jeffrey Senour
as Helicopter Pilot
Dentis McDaniel
as Helicopter Pilot
Bruce Ross
as Helicopter Pilot
Leslie E. Smith
as Helicopter Pilot
Kevin Eldridge
as Helicopter Pilot
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Critic Reviews for Executive Decision

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (10)

Satisfying junk food.

May 19, 2003
Washington Post
Top Critic

Stuart Baird's direction is so sluggish and Jim and John Thomas' script so padded that Executive Decision has no build.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

A movie for people who are sophisticated enough to know how shameless the film is, but fun-loving enough to enjoy its excesses and manic zeal.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

For uncomplicated excitement, the film offers a solid one-hundred thirty minutes.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Top Critic

There's nothing like a protracted action drama in which anti-terrorist commandos slink around the bowels of an airborne 747 and talk about what they hope to accomplish upstairs in the final shootout.

December 31, 1999
USA Today
Top Critic

Deliciously turbulent.

December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Executive Decision

When this film came out it may have looked unrealistic for terrorists to hijack a plane and use it as a weapon against the USA. As we know now that is a pretty terrifying and real scenario, one that even still makes parts of this film hard to stomach. This plot's attempts to stop the catastrophe are nail-biting suspenseful, with quite a few surprises when it comes to the death toll and likable yet unlikely heroes. It's also very cool that this film celebrates a civilian's (Kurt Russell) intelligence as much, if not more, than the strike team's killing skills. Once the survivors drive away into the snow to the sounds of an old tune you know you've seen one of the best Die Hard films without Bruce Willis.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

One of the first action films I remember seeing where one of the big name leading heroes bites the dust very early on in the film, this was actually quite surprising at the time as you would have never suspected Seagal to die...at least not so early! As it stands this one 'action' in the film gives it real bite above so many others as you really are not so sure what will happen next and who will get blown away. Obviously Russell won't kick the bucket, that you can put money on but the tension in this film is still feverish as you watch, even after all this time it still holds its own and packs a good solid punch. The plot revolving around Muslim terrorists taking over a passenger airliner with the aim of using it as a weapon of destruction is quite close to the bone these days after all the horrific things that have happened since this film was made, this does make you think and actually makes the film quite haunting and more realistic. As it goes the film is pretty darn realistic anyway, the special forces unit all proceed in a believeable way, at no point is this film a shoot em up, its actually pretty tight and well thought out. The inner plane sets, aerial shots and bomb sequences all work really well and look good, looking at this film from the posters you would think its a mindless action fest but that is far from the truth, it really is a very good well made thriller. Add to this a top notch cast with quite a few big names including Platt and Leguizamo in very likeable roles, Berry on ultra cute form and top British thesp David Suchet showing us that he's actually a really good movie actor as well as TV drama star and gives Rickman a run for his money as top well spoken villain.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer


If there is an example of a highly recommendable suspense thriller, Stuart Baird's Executive Decision is it.

Pushing through the two hour mark, the story behind this film is intriguing to say the least. Aside from a 15 minute story setup, the rest of the picture becomes one long anticipation of what will happen.

Despite a plot that revolves around terrorists and hijackings, the action is held in check, along with the violence. There isn't much in the way of R-rated material here. Fortunately, the film thrives with the lack of action because of its characters and storyline.

The cast of characters are comprised by a lot of recognizable faces, but no one person takes complete control of the film. Kurt Russell can be depicted as the lead; however, he shares the spotlight with many other faces like John Leguizamo, Halle Berry, and Oliver Platt. Steven Seagal fans are in for a surprise while David Suchet is one fantastic terrorist leader.

In short Executive Decision is a well-rounded picture and is worth many a viewings.

JY Skacto
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

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