Hollywood’s Tribute to Flying – Six Airplane Movies We’ll Always Love

Hollywood's Tribute to Flying - Six Airplane Movies We'll Always Love

The last few years have brought about unprecedented changes in the aviation industry. But the one thing that’s remained unchanged through it all is people’s fascination for aviation movies. From riveting thrillers guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat to side splitting comedies, Hollywood has come up with airplane movies spanning several genres. Following is a list of six airplane movies bound to keep you hooked onto your entertainment system for the rest of the week.

Air Force One


If you’re looking for a fast-paced, action-filled no-brainer, this is the movie for you. President James Marshall (Harrison Ford) boards the Air Force One with his family and advisers after a speech in Moscow where he vows never to negotiate with terrorists, only to learn that they’ve been hijacked. Ivan Korshunov (Gary Crewson) leads the group of terrorists putting the President’s principles to the test. Despite most of the details in the movie being grossly exaggerated, the cast is so convincing, you might almost miss this. In all, it is what most people ask of their summer movies and is guaranteed to keep you glued to the screen throughout.

The Terminal


Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks came together in making ‘The Terminal’, which is inspired by the 18-year stay of Mehran Karimi Nasseri in Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, from 1988 to 2006. Victor Navorski is an East European man denied entry into the United States who cannot return to his home country due to a military coup. As a result, he is stranded at the John F. Kennedy airport terminal where he settles in and befriends and helps airport employees and travellers. Among them is Amelia Warren, who Victor befriends and tries to woo. This movie is guaranteed to make you smile, laugh, and fall in love with the character of Victor Navorski.

Top Gun


This classic featuring Tom Cruise at the peak of his career in the 80’s follows Pete Mitchell, code-named “Maverick” as he is accepted into Miramar’s Naval Fighter School, “Top Gun”. His reckless attitude and cocky demeanour put him at odds with the other pilots. Through it all, he is also haunted by the mysterious death of his father. As he fights to win the prestigious Top Gun Trophy, he is also fighting for the attention of the attractive flight instructor Charlotte Blackwood (Kelly McGills).



This 1980 spoof is a direct attack on the slew of airline disaster movies from the 70s. The plot revolves around Ted Striker, a retired fighter pilot whose tryst with a failed mission has led to a chronic fear of flying. We meet him just as he vows to get back his ex-girlfriend who, just as his luck would have it, is a flight attendant about to board a flight to Chicago. What follows is a comedy of errors as all the passengers and crew are incapacitated due to food poisoning and Ted is the only one who can try to save them.

Snakes on a plane


This airplane movie is an amalgamation of various phobias, centred on the safe escort of a young man, Sean from Hawaii to Los Angeles who has witnessed a gruesome murder. FBI agent, Neville Flynn (Samuel L. Jackson) the in-charge of the delivery soon identifies that the murderer has deliberately imported hundreds of venomous snakes to kill the witness. The snake attack is graphically depicted and the movie unravels with agent Flynn desperately scrambling to protect Sean. Director David Ellis piles in fear, thrill, and euphoria on a tight budget movie, shot largely on a Boeing flight, making it a definite watch for any frequent flyer.

Up in the air


Business travellers who spend inordinate amounts of time in flights and airports would definitely relate to this one. The protagonist Ryan, played by George Clooney is a “termination” expert who travels across the country to fire employees in person. Spending over half his life in flights, he is on a quest to earn 10 million frequent flier points. The plot takes a near tragic turn when a new internet video system that will allow people to fire employees remotely is implemented. His encounter with Alex (Vera Farmiga), an attractive frequent business traveller leads him to question his lifestyle and brings him closer to his family.

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