6.8/10
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352 user 142 critic

Con Air (1997)

Newly paroled ex-con and former U.S. Ranger Cameron Poe finds himself trapped in a prisoner transport plane when the passengers seize control.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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Casey Poe
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Storyline

Cameron Poe, a highly decorated United States Army Ranger, came home to Alabama to his wife, Tricia, only to run into a few drunken regulars where Tricia works. Cameron unknowingly kills one of the drunks and is sent to a federal penitentiary for involuntary manslaughter for seven years. Cameron becomes eligible for parole and can now go home to his wife and daughter. Unfortunately, Cameron has to share a prison airplane with some of the country's most dangerous criminals, who took control of the plane and are now planning to escape the country. Cameron has to find a way to stop them while playing along. Meanwhile, United States Marshal Vincent Larkin is trying to help Cameron get free and stop the criminals, including Cyrus "The Virus" Grissom. Written by John Wiggins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Welcome to Con Air. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

6 June 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Air bagnards  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,131,738, 8 June 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$101,117,573

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$224,012,234
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended)

Sound Mix:

| | (8 channels)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The writer Jonathan Hensleigh did an uncredited re-write on the script. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 40 mins) Toward the very end of the movie, the stuffed bunny is being washed down a gutter drain. Poe grabs it and it is quite clearly wet, yet when he gives it to his daughter, it is dry. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Officer at Leaving Ceremony: Army Rangers have a proud history. Since the 1700s, Rangers have led the way in every major confrontation in which the United States has been involved. You men are a credit to that fine heritage, and I'm sorry to see you go. But you've served your country well, and you've displayed the ability to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete its mission, never leaving behind a fallen comrade no matter what the odds or the enemy. I thank you. America thanks you. And I wish you luck ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

In Memory of PHIL SWARTZ See more »

Connections

Referenced in Young Hercules: Con Ares (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

He's Got the Whole World In His Hands
(uncredited)
Traditional
Performed by Steve Buscemi and Lauren Pratt
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Best action film of the late 90s
20 December 1998 | by See all my reviews

Jerry Bruckheimer's production style rarely makes a good movie but Con Air is one of those rare exceptions in which all the OTT mayhem and full-on action make a film so exciting it scorches when you watch it.

Nic Cage (in a typically bad performance) is Cameron Poe, a US Ranger who is sent to prison for accidentally killing a thug who attacks his pregnant wife. After 8 years of porridge he is freed and hitches a ride home on a prison plane called The Jailbird. But this is no ordinary flight.

On Board are a small army of America's toughest crooks including Cyrus 'The Virus' Grissom (John Malkovich) a men on death row for murder, robbery, kidnapping and extortion. Nathan 'Diamond Dog' Jones (Ving Rhames), a black militant inside for murder. Billy Bedlam (Nick Chinlund), inside for killing his cheating wife's family and dog. Pinball Parker (Dave Chapelle), a pimp and drug-dealer. Swamp Thing (MC Gainey) a pilot who knows a few things about a good hijack. And finally Garland Green AKA The Marietta Mangler (Steve Buscemi) a serial killer in for killing a zillion people and crossing 2 state borders wearing a girls head as a hat.

As you can tell, with such a eclectic bunch of psychos on board it's only a matter of seconds before all hell breaks loose. As soon as the plane is in the air the cons have taken over, restrained or killed the guards and have changed the destination from prison to South America.

Poe, being the good-hearted sort of chap that he is, doesn't rat out as his best pal needs his insulin shot and no one else will help. It's up to Poe to sneakily round up the baddies until US Marshall Larkin (John Cusack) and the cavalry can get there. Easier said than done, as double-crosses, suspicious cons and incompetent authority foul everything up. The result is action overload as the film blazes through to it's anarchic, devastating climax upon another anarchic, devastating climax. At the end you'll be left breathless and your senses stinging with over-stimulation. Con Air is everything an action film should be.

Steve Buscemi steals the whole show. His deadpan, bug-eyed and dare I say 'innocent' portrayal of a deranged killer is the centrepiece of the whole film. The scene where he sings with a little girl (and continues later on) will either freak you out or steal your heart. And the ending is the best you could hope for.

Mark Mancina and Trevor Rabin provide a loud, blaring score of thrash-metal and acoustic guitars with the usual Media Ventures flare. It's brilliant stuff and I suggest you hunt down the (sadly incomplete) score CD. And this really did deserve the Best Original Song award over that pansy Titanic one.

Superior to both The Rock and Face/Off, Con Air is Nic Cage at his (worst) best as an action hero and Bruckheimer at his best as an action producer. See it, for the love of God, see it.


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