6.9/10
274,123
407 user 134 critic

Con Air (1997)

Trailer
2:27 | Trailer
Newly paroled ex-con and former U.S. Ranger Cameron Poe finds himself trapped in a prisoner transport plane when the passengers seize control.

Director:

Simon West

Writer:

Scott Rosenberg
Reviews
Popularity
883 ( 94)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Colm Meaney ... Agent Duncan Malloy
Mykelti Williamson ... 'Baby-O' O'Dell
Nick Chinlund ... William 'Billy Bedlam' Bedford
Renoly Santiago ... Sally-Can't Dance (as Renoly)
John Malkovich ... Cyrus 'The Virus' Grissom
Ving Rhames ... Nathan 'Diamond Dog' Jones
Dave Chappelle ... 'Pinball' Parker
Rachel Ticotin ... Guard Sally Bishop
Steve Eastin ... Guard Falzon
Steve Buscemi ... Garland Greene - 'The Marietta Mangler'
Danny Trejo ... Johnny-23
M.C. Gainey ... Swamp Thing
Landry Allbright ... Casey Poe
John Cusack ... Agent Vince Larkin
Monica Potter ... Tricia Poe
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Storyline

Cameron Poe, a highly decorated Army Ranger, comes home to Alabama to his wife Tricia, only to run into a few drunken regulars at the bar where she works. Cameron accidentally kills one of the drunks, and is sent to a federal penitentiary for involuntary manslaughter for seven years. He 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 take 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 Vince Larkin is trying to help Cameron get free and stop the criminals, led by 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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During set ups, Nicolas Cage lifted weights off camera to maintain the physique he had already attained for the film. Entertainment Tonight filmed a report on the film during filming and caught Cage working out between takes. See more »

Goofs

Diamond Dog and another con look similar to some people, leading to apparent continuity errors. 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 ...
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Alternate Versions

Con Air was not cut by the BBFC, but the certificate was raised from a '15' at the cinema to an '18' on video, as it was felt that original decision was too lenient. However, there are reports of cuts to all home versions (including the US releases) so these must have been made by the US distributors. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Checked Out (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Entertaining for the most part but also ridiculous at times
10 May 2018 | by sme_no_densetsuSee all my reviews

"Con Air" is a typical Jerry Bruckheimer production of the mid to late 90's, more or less along the same lines as "The Rock" & "Armageddon". Featuring undemanding action executed by a nicely assembled cast, it's the type of movie that's designed for popcorn munching enjoyment rather than garnering prestigious awards. While that approach can often lead to a fairly hollow & trivial experience, in this case the unique premise sets "Con Air" apart from countless other routine action flicks.

The story revolves around a flight containing some of the nation's most notorious criminals who are on their way to a new maximum security detention center. Little do the authorities know that they've plotted to take over the plane and use it to transport themselves to freedom. Luckily for the good guys, a recent parolee who just happens to be a highly decorated Army Ranger is also on board and he's not too keen on letting these guys have their way.

The premise may be fairly high concept but it's an intriguing one. I'd have to say that screenwriter Scott Rosenberg put together a pretty clever plot, even though the last act goes all out in terms of action and, as a result, strays into ludicrousness. There's also quite a bit of memorable dialogue, which is helped immensely by the excellent cast. Nicolas Cage & John Cusack are better than average as the good guys but in my opinion it's the bad guys who really stand out. John Malkovich is always worth watching and here he gives perhaps the movie's best performance as the main villain, Cyrus "The Virus" Grissom. His criminal brethren include the likes of Ving Rhames, Danny Trejo, Steve Buscemi, Dave Chappelle & M.C. Gainey. That's an impressive group in and of itself and it's supplemented by a few other standouts like Colm Meaney & Mykelti Williamson.

The movie's production values are up to snuff as well, which is no surprise considering that this was a summer blockbuster. The movie garnered an Oscar nomination for its sound along with one for the original song "How Do I Live" by Trisha Yearwood. In general, the movie shows the trademark quality of a Jerry Bruckheimer production.

Overall, I think that the movie delivers the goods for most of its running time but I find that the extended finale goes a bit too over the top. I can understand why they'd want to go out with a bang but I found the earlier stages to be more intricately plotted than a typical action movie and, as a result, more rewarding. In any case, the movie is worth watching for having a pretty nifty premise along with some entertaining performances from a nicely assembled cast.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

6 June 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Con Air See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,131,738, 8 June 1997

Gross USA:

$101,117,573

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$224,012,234
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS (8 channels)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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