Top 10 Airplane Movies

Nowadays, it seems like you can watch any film whenever you want. And we think that’s actually pretty great. Because it means you can find a way to watch all the fantastic films about airplanes/airports there are out there. But given there are so many, we thought we best make some recommendations. So here are our top ten airplane movies! 

10. Flightplan (2005) 

It is testament to the plethora of excellent airplane movies that this great film only comes in at number 10. Stricken with grief for her recently bereaved husband, Jodie Foster’s character, Kyle, flies home to the USA, from Germany, with her daughter. A few hours into the flight, Kyle wakes to find her daughter missing – and to find that no one on the flight remembers her ever being there. Not the best way to wake from a nap! Presumed delusional, Kyle must now confront everyone and risk everything to find her daughter. 

9. The High and the Mighty (1954)

It might seem strange for some to think of the all American cowboy hero John Wayne on a plane. But in this original airplane disaster film, that’s exactly what the audience is presented with, as a routine flight goes wrong and the co-pilot is pushed into action. 

8. Non-Stop (2014)

What if the hijacking was just the beginning? In this 2014 thriller, Liam Neeson plays a haunted air marshal, tasked with the impossible. On a flight from New York to London, he receives a text demanding that unless $150 million is transferred to an offshore account, people will die every twenty minutes. A thriller with a pace that truly lives up to its title!

7. Alive (1993)

Based on the true story of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, the film is not one for the faint of heart. A rugby team is taking a flight across the Andes when disaster strikes, leaving them stranded in the snow, far from civilization. Like number 8, it is certainly not one you’d want to watch on the plane! 

6. The Aviator (2004) 

In the star-studded airplane innovation film, Leonardo DiCaprio plays Howard Hughes, the billionaire visionary of faster and faster planes. Martin Scorcese’s incredible film traces the upward and downward trajectory of Hughes’ life, as he searches for purpose and runs from internal demons – doing both at a throttling, exhilarating speed. 

5. The Terminal (2004)

For this one, there is a chance Tom Hanks might want to head to our website to learn more about things to do in an airport when bored! In the film, his character gets to know the inside of the airport better than any of us, as he is denied entry to the United States, but cannot return to his home country, where a coup has taken place. He finds love, friendship and a job… all in the airport!  

4. Up in The Air (2009)

This is a film of remarkable modern poignancy. Following George Clooney’s character from flight to flight, airplane to airplane, airport to airport, the audience learns the haunting isolation of continual travel. This is a film that highlights the high extravagance and fleeting fancy of the aura of an airplane – exciting yet regular, crowded but solitary. 

3. Die Hard 2 (1990) 

For most of us, Christmas Eve is a time to be with our families. If we are at the airport, it is to collect relative. If we are on an airplane, it is to go home. For John McClane, it ain’t the same! McClane has to stop terrorists who have taken over the air traffic control system before the planes above run out of fuel. His wife is on one of the planes. And you thought your holiday preparations were tough! 

2. Airplane! (1980)

Most lists of films about airlines would surely place this right at the top. After all, this wacky airplane comedy has provided Dad’s with more jokes than they could ever possibly use! A satirical take on films like number 6, this film has firmly elevated itself to a cult like status. Without a doubt, the airplane film will not be forgotten quickly, and will be watched again promptly. You’ll need a chance to hear all the jokes you missed laughing the first time!

1. Catch Me if  You Can (2002)

The second film with Tom Hanks to make our list, and the one to reach the top. The  film highlights all the glitz and the glamour of airplane travel. Based on a true story, Frank Abagnale Jr., cons his way on to planes for free, traveling the world and living the high life. It’s Tom Hanks’ characters job to catch him. If he can!

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