close [×]

Dear Flixster Community,

After seven fabulous years with you all, we are sorry to let you know that we're going to be retiring the Flixster Community site on September 30, 2014. Please note that you can still access your ratings, reviews, and quizzes on Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes using your same login. We have had so much fun building this community with you.

Thanks for all the memories,

Get movie widget Recommend it Add to Favorites

Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi, Ving Rhames ... see more see more... , Colm Meaney , Mykelti Williamson , Danny Trejo , Rachel Ticotin , Monica Potter , Dave Chappelle , M.C. Gainey , John Roselius , Jesse Borrego , Nick Chinlund , Angela Featherstone , Jose Zuniga , Landry Allbright , Renoly Santiago , Mario Roberts , Pete Antico , Mongo Brownlee

Former war hero Cameron Poe (Nicolas Cage) is sentenced to eight years in prison when he accidentally kills a man in a barroom brawl while defending his pregnant wife. When his release comes through, ... read more read more...he's eager to see the daughter he's never met. However, Poe's original flight is delayed, so he's put aboard a flight transporting ten of the most dangerous men in the American penal system to a new high-security facility. One of the criminals, Cyrus "The Virus" Grissom (John Malkovich), is a serial killer and insane genius who has hatched a diabolical plot: with the help of several other hoods, including Diamond Dog (Ving Rhames), Johnny 23 (Daniel Trejo), and Garland Greene (Steve Buscemi), Cyrus and his men will hijack the plane and fly to a neutral nation where they can live as free men. Poe finds himself stuck in the middle; he has to find a way to get home, keep himself alive, look after his cellmate Baby-O (Mykelti Williamson), who will die without proper medicine, and try to help the cops on the ground, including agent Vince Larkin (John Cusack). Producer Jerry Bruckheimer's first film after the death of his partner Don Simpson, Con Air shows he learned well how to assemble the formula all by himself, with plenty of action, stunts, and special effects and not a lot of story to get in the way. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Flixster Users

75% liked it

415,695 ratings


55% liked it

62 critics

DVD Release Date: March 24, 1998

Stats: 17,777 reviews

Your Rating

clear rating

Flixster Reviews (17,777)

  • fb573414556
    June 10, 2013
    Indulging in a sense of self-stupidity, 'Con Air' comes across as a parody of action films; it has cheesy one liners, clichés and throws in an over the top explosion whenever given the chance. Luckily though the film acknowledges it's own implausibility and the perfectly cast ch... read morearacters are all played with tongue firmly in cheek. Due to it's outrageous nature, however, 'Con Air' suffers in the fauxthentic moments it tries to pretend it's something it's not, and scenes that are meant to be serious come off as out of place and pointless.

    There's not really a lot to say, it's loud, dumb, and Nicholas Cage's long hair and terrible southern accent pass the realm of the bad and enter into a new world; a world so bad, it's good.
  • June 4, 2013
    Con Air is what I've come to expect of a standard Hollywood action flick, nothing more, nothing less. It's got plenty of action, big explosions, one-liners and pure entertainment value. The plot is pretty good, somewhat original, and fairly fast-paced. The acting is good, and the... read more film has a surprisingly large amount of well-known good actors; Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, Danny Trejo, Steve Buscemi, Ving Rhames and John Malkovich. They all give good performances, as do most of the supporting actors. The characters are well-written and credible. I found it interesting how most of the characters aren't all black or white in their actions and personalities; many of them have a shade of gray or two. The action is well-done, exciting and intense. The special effects(the few there are) are good enough. The ending may be a little extreme, but it's a good climax, and the good things in the film make up for the bad; granted, there are a few downright lame parts, but there are far more good parts than bad. All in all, everything you'd expect from a Jerry Bruckheimer action film, and nothing else. I recommend it to fans of standard action films. 4 Stars 6-1-13
  • November 6, 2012

    Con Air boasts everything that makes a solid slice of action-y Hollywood cheese, and another over the top performance from Nicolas Cage, excpet this time it's in a pretty decent movie. I think the loony ... read moreCage performance is under rated, I think the reason people dislike it is because it's been abused in various atrocities lately like Drive Angry and Ghost Rider. But in a movie as fast-paced and explosive as Con Air, that ridiculously wacky performance suits the general mood. John Malkovich also shows up to do his usual menacing shtick and does it pretty well. But there are many flaws with the film. A big problem is that it begins cheesily and continues to progress cheesily, but in a "so bad it's good" kind of way. But around about the final 30 minutes it digs its own grave by adding every single soppy cliche in the book to the formula. That said, this is incredibly formulaic. It's not original, and almost indistinguishable from other Jerry Bruckheimer productions. Either way Con Air has a cult following and for a very good reason. It's strong acting and emotional engagement makes it work. And to be honest over all the explosions and gunfights, I didn't want Nic Cage's character to die. It's almost suspense free, at time sloppily directed, but regardless thanks to it's strong cast, visual style and moments of hilarity, I kind of enjoyed myself. If it's produced by Jerry Bruckhemier you usually expect the worst. It doesn't turn out to be as amazing as you would wish but neither as bad as you might have feared. Director Simon West basically crafts a perfectly acceptable Hollywood blockbuster with an assortment of every recognisable movie cliche ever used, but his great achievement is in how above all else Con Air never really get's boring. If your going to watch a Nicolas Cage action movie, this is one of the decent ones.
  • March 28, 2012
    Con Air was a simple action flick that really did not bring anything new acting or story wise. Nicolas Cage was as cheesy as an action star can get, with weird hair, a weird accent, and weird catchphrases. I wish to praise Malkovich for his performance, it was incredibly well d... read moreone and I enjoyed him. The action was fun, but it really was nothing that excited me because it has done thing other action films have already done. Its what you would call a mindless action film, it has a lot of flash but when it comes to story it sinks.If you are in the mood for a decent action flick this is fine, but this was not good enough for me to recommend to the common film lover.
  • September 17, 2011
    Con Air, for me is a decent action film that is fairly entertaining despite the flaws. The film is a mindless action film that is fun. The performance from the actors range from decent to good to bad. John Malkovitch was the best actor in this film. I felt that the film could hav... read moree been much better, but it was a pretty decent action film nonetheless. This is an entertaining action that does have good action, but unfortunately the film does suffer from a few bad performances. Director Simon West isn't that great of a director, and at times, the film feels silly and the action is over the top. Steve Buscemi ruined the film for me. I thought that this was one of his worst roles yet, and he brought a more irritating vibe to the screen. The film could have been done better, but it still manages to be fun. Con Air is a mindless action film that does provide solid enough entertainment to not get bored. Like I said the best actor in this film is John Malkovitch. I felt that the film was better with Malkovitch on board. Con Air is an action packed thrill ride, and I'd say it's a guilty pleasure. The film is non stop thrills, but lacks a very intriguing plot. Sure the films plot is good, but it's nothing that great. If you're looking for a mindless action film, then Con Air is the one. The film is purely a popcorn flick and it shows on-screen. A decent film to watch, but nothing ever great.
  • August 12, 2011
    Buckle Up!

    Very exciting action movie. The story was good and entertaining. Very nice cast, lots of crazy people. If you like action this is a movie you must see.

    Cameron Poe is an Army Ranger who was going to go home to his pregnant wife when he got into a fight with three men... read more. He would kill one of them and the other two ran away with the knife they had and because of that he would be convicted of manslaughter. After eight years he would be paroled. He would be part of a group that's being transferred to another prison and flown in a special plane. While in flight a fight breaks out and two of the most dangerous criminals, Diamond Dog and Cyrus the Virus Grissom, would break out from their restraints and take over the plane. When the plane makes it's first stop Poe and friend who's a diabetic and who wasn't given his shot, and all the syringes were destroyed, try to get off but Grissom wouldn't let them. He then tries to alert the authorities but got away. Now the government is considering shooting the plane down but U.S. Marshall Vince Larkin thinks that it's a little hasty and believes that Poe is an ally. When Grissom leads them on a wild goose chase, Poe alerts them to where they are going.
  • April 4, 2011
    This film's reaction and criticism seem to be based purely on taste. Let's look at the nitty gritty: we have a stellar cast, great use of explosions, and Nicolas Cage with a hillbilly haircut and an offputting Alabama accent. In review, yeah, these things can make for the most ho... read morerrifying of action blockbusters, and yet it still was really enjoyable, and kept me hooked. Malkovich, leaving his comfort zone to play a psychotic killer, with facial hair to boot, is the perfect criminal villain, in that he doesn't overwhelm the plot, keeping the focus on other characters. Standouts include Danny Trejo as a serial rapist, John Cusack as the US Marshal hunting down the plane while no one will listen to him (i.e. Quincy ME) and Steve Buscemi as the obviously creepy mass murderer. Through some of the more unnecessary sequences of fire and violence, there is also the great character of Cameron Poe (Cage) who quips with killers, ninja fights a gang of Colombians, and tries to save his diabetic best friend, and a female guard, all the time trying to see his daughter for the first time. Good storyline for the genre, and decent acting by all those involved.
  • August 29, 2010
    this is a great movie which kept me on the edge of my seat with some of the best actors of our time, Nic Cage, John Malkovich, and John Cusack.Con Air is about these prisoners who have taken over an air plane meant to transfer some prisoners to other states and some are actually ... read morefree.It's a great action flick !!!
    so guys grab the popcorn and enjoy the ride!!!
  • July 25, 2010
    You definitely can't watch it straight forward, then it would make no sense. However, when you think of all the outrageous and nonsensical action movies out there, Con Air comes to the top of the list. The dialogue is priceless, delivered by the masters of bizarre performances, N... read moreicolas Cage and John Malkovich. Seeing a plane crash land on the Las Vegas strip is something I don't think anyone will ever attempt to do again. I love the choices of music, slow motion and costuming. It makes the movie the classic that it is.
  • fb733768972
    April 25, 2010
    It is entertaining, but in the end, besides the cool storyline and self-containing action, I was left dissapointed!

Critic Reviews

Todd McCarthy
September 18, 2008
Todd McCarthy, Variety

Rosenberg's sarcastic, tough-guy dialogue is full of lean-and-mean one-liners, and the superbly cast actors know how to milk them for all they're worth. Full Review

June 24, 2006
Time Out

Very cool, but also very cold. Full Review

Peter Travers
May 11, 2001
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

They're 'the worst of the worst.' So's the movie.

Kenneth Turan
February 14, 2001
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

Numbing but not boring, it's finally more dispiriting than exhilarating, like a wild night of debauchery that leaves only a fearsome hangover for a souvenir. Full Review

Mick LaSalle
January 1, 2000
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

I kept thinking that if their budget were cut in half, they would have made a better picture. If the special effects department were put on a much stricter budget, the show might have had to develop t... Full Review

James Berardinelli
January 1, 2000
James Berardinelli, ReelViews

Sitting through this movie is like watching a dog running in circles chasing its tail -- the amusement factor dies quickly as the situation become repetitive. Full Review

Roger Ebert
January 1, 2000
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

The movie is essentially a series of quick setups, brisk dialogue and elaborate action sequences. Full Review

January 1, 2000
USA Today

Massaging every demographic, this admittedly fast, funny and robustly acted progeny of The Rock exploits actions of killers and rapists -- then cynically sells family values with a lengthy wrap-up bal...

Janet Maslin
January 1, 2000
Janet Maslin, New York Times

All of the principals normally work in films more interesting and human than this one, which gives Con Air a touch of the subversive and turns it into a big-budget lark. Full Review

Charles Taylor
January 1, 2000
Charles Taylor,

How's the movie? Big, loud, brutal and stupid, that's how it is. Full Review

Critic ratings and reviews powered by

Fresh (60% or more critics rated the movie positively)

Rotten (59% or fewer critics rated the movie positively)

More Like This

Click a thumb to vote on that suggestion, or add your own suggestions.

  • The Rock
    The Rock (84%)
  • Face/Off
    Face/Off (97%)
  • Passenger 57
    Passenger 57 (79%)
  • Die Hard 2
    Die Hard 2 (72%)


    • Cameron Poe: You don't treat women like that.
    • Cyrus (The Virus) Grissom: I am not plausible as a tough guy because I have an effeminate voice.
    • Vince Larkin: When are you going with my plane, Cyrus?
    • Cyrus (The Virus) Grissom: We're going to Disney Land.
    • Vince Larkin: You're lying, Cyrus.
    • Cyrus (The Virus) Grissom: So are you, Vince.
    • Cyrus (The Virus) Grissom: Oh. Nothing makes me sadder than the agent lost his bladder in the airplane!
    • Cyrus (The Virus) Grissom: Do you fly, Johnny?
    • Johnny 23: No.
    • Cyrus (The Virus) Grissom: You keep that in mind when you look at her, because if your dick jumps out of your pants, you jump off this plane.
    • Cyrus (The Virus) Grissom: I despise rapists. For me, you're somewhere between a cockroach and that white stuff that accumulates at the corner of your mouth when you're really thirsty. But, in your case, I'll make an exception.
    • Cyrus (The Virus) Grissom: Make a move and the bunny gets it.

Con Air : Watch Free on TV

Con Air Trivia

  • Who played the evil Cyrus The Virus In Con Air?  Answer »
  • In which movie did John Malcovitch play a co starring role as a convict attempting to seize an air craft  Answer »
  • In 'Con Air', what does Cameron Poe (Nicholas Cage) tell a fellow con to "put back in the box"?  Answer »
  • Name the actor who has starred in all the following movies:Fargo, Armegeddon, Big Daddy, Con Air and The Island  Answer »

Movie Quizzes

Recent Lists

Most Popular Skin