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Executive Decision (1996)

R  |   |  Action, Adventure, Thriller  |  15 March 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 38,633 users  
Reviews: 139 user | 59 critic

When terrorists seize control of an airliner, an intelligence analyst accompanies a commando unit for a midair boarding operation.


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Title: Executive Decision (1996)

Executive Decision (1996) on IMDb 6.4/10

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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean, Flight Attendant
Sergeant Louie (as B. D. Wong)
Secretary of Defense Charles White
El Sayed Jaffa
Allison, Flight Attendant
Nancy, Flight Attendant (as Marla Maples Trump)
William James Jones ...


Terrorists take over a 747 bound from Athens to Washington D.C., supposedly to effect the release of their leader. Intelligence expert David Grant suspects another reason and convinces the military that the 'plane should not be allowed to enter U.S. airspace. An assault mission is devised, using a specially equipped 'plane designed for mid-air crew transfers, and Grant finds himself aboard the 747 with a team of military anti-terrorists who have to defuse a bomb and overpower the terrorists. Written by Ron Kerrigan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Fasten your seat belts See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 March 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Critical Decision  »

Box Office


$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,204,433 (UK) (17 May 1996)


JPY 153,472,300 (Japan) (29 November 1996)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The london hostess credited as "Jayne Walter" is also known as adult film star Magdalene St. Michaels. See more »


The lower level galley is an optional feature for DC-10 and TriStar aircraft and would not be found on a Boeing 747. See more »


Allison, Flight Attendant: [getting into the plane elevator to the lower deck] I'm going to the Pit. See you in DC!
See more »


References Top Gun (1986) See more »


Written by Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen
Performed by Frank Sinatra
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under Licence from CEMA Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Escapism with a touch of reality
4 July 2005 | by (Arlington, VA) – See all my reviews

I saw this in 1996 and thought it was extremely entertaining--an action movie with emphasis on suspense over shoot-em-up thrillers and explosions. Seeing it again, after the events in the past 4 years, is a different experience. Some of the fictional dialog has actually been quoted by fanatics in the news. I had the same reaction with Black Sunday with Robert Shaw. A movie meant as pure escapism is now more like "what if." Executive Decision does ask you to suspend disbelief several times, especially near the end. I would rank it up with Air Force One, which came out a year later and delivers the same type of "suspense over explosions" entertainment. And this film deserves extra kudos for making the ones that save the world a bit on the "misfit" side (Oliver Platt, John Leguizamo, Joe Morton, BD Wong, and yes, even Kurt Russell). Another nice slimy role for late character actor JT Walsh. And David Suchet makes a scary villain. Like the best villains (Alan Rickman from Die Hard comes to mind), he can be charming and terrifying at the same time.

31 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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