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"The Langoliers"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"The Langoliers" More at IMDbPro »

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89 out of 118 people found the following review useful:

One of the most accurate adaptations ever

Author: orangestar from USA
23 December 2004


As soon as I read the novella "The Langoliers" by Stephen King, I knew it would make an amazing movie. It was by far the scariest piece of writing I have ever read and I was delighted to see that it had already been made into a TV movie. It took me over a year to find a copy, but it was worth it.

People complain about the crappy computer FX and the bad acting, but if you pay attention to the amazing storyline and the logic and thinking that went into this story, you'll find that it is an enjoyable movie that will keep you glued to the screen.

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73 out of 94 people found the following review useful:

Faithful TV adaptation delivers within its boundaries

Author: steevbishop from Southampton, UK
4 October 2004

Deep within the video cabinet, my girlfriend pulled out a movie she wanted me to see. I had to watch it, and I couldn't question her choice. And so I watched Stephen King's The Langoliers. Seeing as my girlfriend is a huge mark for King's work, I wouldn't have been surprised by the choice, neither would I be surprised after watching the opening credits that I was in for a low-budget, made for TV effort. While thinking it was a late-80s, early-90s movie I still wasn't shocked it turned out to be a 1995 production. I sat there and expected ropey effects, some dodgy acting and uninspiring production, and again I wasn't surprised. When something like this gets the green light, you have to believe that at least there's a good underlining story. Thankfully that's where The Langoliers delivers. The medium expects you to suspend your disbelief, and you have to do so to get the most out of this, but the premise is strong and the characters, while clichéd which is unavoidable in this type of story, have enough depth to contribute to the plot and tackle the problems ahead.

Dean Stockwell treads water as mystery writer, Bob Jenkins, only delivering lines; a shame given the character's contribution. David Morse (Cpt. Engle) and Mark Lindsay Chapman (Nick Hopewell) do the most to carry the movie along both as characters and performers. I was most impressed with Morse's very matter of fact take of the pilot. Pinchot's Craig Toomey, the loopy head case that's always tough to get right, doesn't quite hit the mark but gets very close. The other actors are substandard TV movie fare, particularly Maberly's poorly acted blind girl, Dinah. She nails acting blind, but is otherwise terribly distracting (rather like Kimber Riddle's hippy breasts).

The plot is involving, the concept intriguing and the whole thing unravels from the characters' perspective so you're never that far ahead and waiting for the movie to catch up with you if you start sussing things out. Suspense does build and the tension with both the incoming noise (and the unknown threat it brings) plus Toomey's threatening insanity can be tangible at points, but the main set-piece is only as effective as the budget allows. The graphics certainly do the what they're meant to but don't quite pay off the build-up.

The biggest criticism is length. I sat through this in one sitting, and three hours really drag. The intended mini-series structure is all too evident and is the only way this piece works, it feels way too long for one sitting. If you can get past the trappings of a TV movie straining at the sides of its budget and you're prepared to watch with a pinch of salt, you'll get an interesting take on time travel adequately presented. If cheesy TV movies aren't your thing, then you'd be better of reading the book. It's apparently one of the truest adaptations of King's work so let's be thankful he didn't write a stinker to begin with.

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56 out of 74 people found the following review useful:

Great film

Author: click66 from United Kingdom
11 June 2005

I have to say I enjoyed this film a lot. I hadn't heard of it before but I found the film interesting. This film provides an interesting take on time travel not depicted in other time travel movies.

To be perfectly honest I did not see this as a scare film. It was not remotely frightening to me, but that did not prove to be a negative part to it. The story is brilliantly told, and the sfx weren't that bad. It was clearly an unreal format of effects, but this added to the unique structure.

Overall I enjoyed the Langoliers, a story of mystery and adventure crammed with plot twists.

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36 out of 50 people found the following review useful:

Loved it, hated it, can't decide

Author: Mark0099 from United States
24 November 2006

As many have noted, the acting is mostly horrible, but the dialog was far worse, and I can't bring myself to think the actors weren't cringing inside while filming.

By far the most annoying and destructive aspect of the script is the huge number of scenes where the plot would seem to dictate great screaming urgency but the characters waste time with blank stares or senseless pauses. Any writer who thinks those devices work to heighten suspense needs to go back to school, preferably the 5th grade. It's enough to make you root for the bad guys, er, bad things.

That said, the story was incredibly engrossing -- sufficiently so that we kept the disc running with only one pause in the whole 3 hours. I'm still not sure if that was smart or stupid. I'd like to be able to vote both 2 and 9 simultaneously.

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39 out of 58 people found the following review useful:

Blast from the past

Author: lovrekovic from Slovenia
24 September 2005

When I was 8 years old (10 years ago) I watched an interesting movie late at night.It was a two parter but I did't know that,so after the first part ended I went to sleep (thinking what a stupid movie it was).The next day I found out I missed a complete second half.Over the years I forgot about it.Until a week ago I stumbled on it on IMDb.Without a second to waste I went and downloaded it.And I have to say it was worth the time and effort. I loved every minute of it,including the part I already saw.It held me in suspense for all 3 hours.The acting was excellent.Only minus (if you could call it that regarding it was filmed in 1995) are the special effects.As someone on this board so excellently described The Langoliers quote:"they looked like giant meatballs with buzz-saw teeth" I just wanted to say this movie brought me back to when I was 8 and I enjoyed watching every minut of it.

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35 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

Bizarre King story falters from poor execution

Author: MartianOctocretr5 from Redondo Beach, CA
29 January 2007

It's hard to rate this movie. The movie has moments of creative genius, others with banal stupidity. Some passengers on an overnight red eye flight awaken to discover most of their fellow passengers inexplicably missing, as if whisked away in some sort of biblical rapture.

This is a delightfully creepy mystery, as is the abandoned airport where the plane lands, but the film bogs down in its irrationally slow reveal of the facts. The director compacts a 90-minute script into hours and hours of excessive subplots. Some of these are necessary for character development, (since the movie focuses on how these different personalities react to the situation), but the script burdens itself with a lot of clutter. Some of the actors overact, others underact. I blame the weak direction, as even David Morse seems awkward at times.

Worst is the inconsistency of the menacing attackers. It takes them a zillion years to cut through some fields--you see objects collapse in the distance, but you see this same "approaching unseen monster" shot again and again. Then, when the things do emerge, they race around at a hundred miles an hour. The nature of how they go about annihilating their targets follows no logical pattern. The things are so bizarre looking they are both funny and scary, so you don't know whether you're supposed to laugh or not. The "corruptions of the time stream" are not consistent, either. It's as if the script made up rules how this would work, and then changed those rules whenever it felt like it.

Even though some of the effects are confusing, others are downright cool. I love the portal; it was ethereal yet sinister at the same time. It evokes the intended curiosity: what lies beyond it? Overall, the movie is so weird that it holds your interest, but don't expect any sane continuity. If you look for sound thought in this one, you'll wind up as nuts as the movie is.

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35 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

Very Good

Author: fukko123 from Brum, England
3 June 2002

Not sure why some people reviewing this come out with "This movie was crap" or this movie was worse than "Plan 9 from outer space"

I liked it and thought it had an exellent plot. I didnt think that they did too bad considering it was a TV Movie. Maybe a little too long, but worst movie ever? Not really just certain people who disliked it a little didnt want to review this and say " I disliked this movie a little.......erm" The Langoliers did also look pretty poor, but the build up to the Langoliers was more important.Very Good and certainly not worst movie ever.Have you people ever seen Death Wish 3 and 4 or Titanic or Hobgoblins? I can assure you that they are much worse.

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26 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

A very entertaining film

Author: Mick Johnston from Isle of Wight, England
9 July 2003

I have seen this film several times and still enjoy watching it. The

first viewing is obviously the best as the mystery of what happened to the plane is still unknown to you. The way the passengers

onboard the plane cope with the situation makes (for me)

fascinating viewing. My one small critical comment would be that the film is fairly long, however despite this I would still regard it as probably my favourite film.

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18 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

A GREAT time-travel thriller

Author: Theresa Howard ( from Port Charlotte, Florida
2 November 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First of all, I don't understand why so many viewers "trashed" this novella-turned-TV movie.....I read "Four Past Midnight", and once I heard that it was being made into a TV movie, I couldn't wait to see it. Let me tell you, I was NOT disappointed, and felt that it followed the story very well. While it's true that the special effects for "The Langoliers" themselves weren't the greatest, the actors (ESPECIALLY Bronson Pinchot as the psychotic, paper-shredding "Craig Toomey") made up for this glitch 100%! Dean Stockwell as "Bob Jenkins" was exceptionally good, as he & Bronson were the 2 best characters in the movie & DEFINITELY kept things interesting!

Bronson Pinchot made a GREAT career decision taking on the role of "Craig Toomey", as he's the complete opposite of "Balki" from "Perfect Strangers"; he was BRILLIANT, and sent a definite chill down my spine!

This novel & movie REALLY makes you wonder what it would be like if humans could travel back in time, even as little as 15 minutes, and what exactly would happen to us.....I give this a 9 out of 10 rating (9 due to the poor special effects of the time-chomping Langoliers), and DEFINITELY recommend it to any sci-fi fan!

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13 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

A grand master of suspense...

Author: johnghaly from England
26 December 2000

This film will keep you thinking until the very end! David morse, Dean stockwell and especially Bronson Pinchot produced good performances as usual and i have to say that this movie is underrated. From the start it gets you thinking about where all the passengers and crew have gone, and you will be itching to find out. The only negative thing to say is that the film is maybe a little too long, but overall a good movie which is a must for Stephen king fans!

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