I have never seen Air Force One (1997). Let’s just get that out of the way before we begin. I know, I’m sorry. I’m such a fraud, but at least I’m honest, right? Whilst I’m pouring my heart out, let me also tell you I’ve never seen Con Air (1997). My friend’s a huge Kurt Russell fanboy and, yup, I’ve not seen Executive Decision (1996) either. Though all this is making me realise is that ’96 and ’97 were excellent years for aviation movies.
So I guess this is a list of my favourite movies set on planes. For me, watching these kind of films can almost be as wanderlust-inspiring as films about the destinations themselves. Or, they could be Snakes on a Plane (2006) and make you want to gouge your eyes out so you never have to see anything so mind-numbingly stupid ever again. Either way.
Best Movies set on Planes
Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990)
Where better to lower your already low expectations of me than begin with Die Hard 2?! Currently with a 7.1 rating on IMDB and a 69% on rotten tomatoes, I think we all have to agree that this one isn’t the masterpiece the first one was. However, it’s still not that bad. I’ve only seen it once but I still remember so much of it. Where better to up the ante than suspending the action in the air?
I’m So Excited (2013)
This was the very first Pedro Almodovar film I saw at the cinema and I loved it. It was everything I wanted in a film. Extremely camp Flight Attendants, a musical number and impending doom. It didn’t do fantastically with the critics but it’s still a whole lot of fun. Honestly, sometimes you need a film that just doesn’t take itself too seriously.
The Aviator (2004)
I only watched The Aviator for the first time a couple of months ago and I had absolutely no idea what it was about. How silly is that? Leonardo DiCaprio plays the role of Howard Hawks in what turned out to be a biopic all about him, his love of aeronautics and his mantra ‘bigger is better.’ I also had no idea Hawks was so into Aviation, nor that he had a thing with Katherine Hepburn, portrayed fantastically by Cate Blanchett. I mean, am I even a film fan?!
Up in the Air (2009)
Up in the Air won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and the grey suits and airports do make the film look a little dull. But in doing so, the film highlights what a life of travel can do to a person if they are constantly on the road. I’m not talking about a beach hut in Mexico one day, and a tree house in Thailand the next. I’m talking the same, generic hotel room day, after day, after day… I
Top Gun (1986)
Not a commercial plane kind of film for the first time on this list, but a fighter pilot kind of film. Tom Cruise might be a little annoying nowadays but in Top Gun I find him moderately charming. It’s a story of love, determination and a little bit of innovation. And for some reason I’ve got that song ‘Hiiiighwaaay to… the… danger zone!’ in my head right now. Was that song in the film? If not, it should have been, it’s that kind of film.
I hope I’ve managed to redeem myself with the inclusion of Airplane! right here at the end. It’s the best spoof of all time, hands down. I have never known comedy like this film before. You might never want to get on a plane ever again after watching this film, but you know what… I still think it would be worth it.
Do you have any favourite movies set predominantly on an plane?