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Executive Decision (1996)

R  |   |  Action, Adventure, Thriller  |  15 March 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 38,647 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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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 first time in a movie where Steven Seagal's character gets killed. It would happen again years later in "Machete" (2010). See more »


When Cahill opens the first hatch on the F-117 Nighthawk and looks up, a green indicator is shown that the pressure is "Equalized". When he climbs to the second hatch, a red indicator is shown that the pressure is "Unsafe". See more »


Nagi Hassan: Allah has chosen us for a task far greater than Jaffa's freedom. We are the true soldiers of Islam. Our destiny is to deliver the vengeance of Allah into the belly of the infidel.
Man: This has nothing to do with Islam. This is not Allah's will. You're blinded by hatred
See more »


Edited into Nowhere to Land (2000) 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

Even Seagal is good!
4 January 2003 | by (Spokane, WA) – See all my reviews

A fun, tense, and exciting action/thriller with an excellent ensemble cast, headed by Kurt Russell and including Halle Berry, David Suchet, and John Leguizamo.

Even Steven Seagal does a creditable job, mainly because this isn't a "Steven Seagal movie." His supporting role permits him to do what he does best (which isn't acting). He doesn't have to pretend to be witty, there's none of that awful smirking he does in a vain attempt to show emotion, the camera doesn't caress his body, and there's not one speech about how gol-dang *good* his character is. He even manages to enunciate his lines clearly!

The plot might have seemed a little far-fetched when the movie was released, but not anymore.

I'm not even much of an action film fan, but this one is really a lot of fun.

42 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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