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Air Force One
When terrorists overtake Air Force One, the President decides between his own safety and the safety of his staff and his family.

Starring Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close...  View more >

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Reviews Summary


Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
"Air Force One" is a must see! It kept my wife and me on the edge of our seats the entire two hours. A definite "3+" on a scale of "4". You have seen the previews, now see the movie. This is one of the few movies that the audience clapped for at the end of the show! That stadium seating is pretty neat too.

Dennis

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Harrison Ford turns any political drama into a masterpiece, one of the best movies that I have seen in a very long time. Excellent movie...a must see!!!

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Can you say "Harrison Ford for President!" I can after seeing this movie. Ford plays the "dream" President - one with courage, bravery, and a kick-butt attitude. The plot isn't too realistic - AF1 is not ever going to be hijacked - but who cares? The action and Gary Oldman's performance as a Russian-Soviet Union loyalist are great. Despite having to sit in the 2nd row of the theatre because of a packed house, I was always on the edge of my seat. Get your wallet out and go see this movie!

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Walking into this movie I knew basicly what to expect. A Harrison Ford action movie. This automatically means that I had good expectations. I had seen The Fugitive, and loved it, I had seen Clear and Present Danger, and loved it. You could say that I am one of the biggest Ford fans out there. All a film needs is him as the star, and I will see it.

Air Force one took me totally by surprise. The level of tension was entirely unbearable. I didn't bother to breath or blink the entire movie. My mom was sitting next to me the whole time, gasping for breath and every five seconds saying something to the effect of, "Oh my god this is tense!" Indeed, it was. Every time a shot was fired, or a shout was uttered on screen the entire audience gasped. I feel that the main reason this movie was so tense was because of the level of realism. All the dialogue sounded completely authentic, the acting was incredible, and... well... the shootings were pretty realistic as well. Actually the film contains a surprisingly high violence shock value, which keeps you gasping for breath.

The story is plauseable. The only unbelievable thing is the moral correctness of the President. He values the safety of his wife and daughter over the well being of the world. That is something we don't get in real life very often. Harrison Ford plays the Prez every person wishes for, a nice guy. But, just because it's unrealistic in that respect, is not a bad thing. I would rather watch an action movie starring Harrison Ford than one starring Bill Clinton.

And alas, we also have the perfect bad guy so elegantly played by Gary Oldman. This bad guy IS the definition of bad. He is so bad that you almost wan't to turn away every time he comes on the screen. He has no remorse and is willing to kill anyone in order to get his way.

The film, as a whole is perfect. It offers the highest amount of tension possible, and still maintains an EXCELLENT story and brilliant acting. It is definitely my #1 pick for Best Picture of the year. And I expect Oldman will be up for a Supporting Actor award as well.

The only downer at all in the movie is the level of violence. It is by far the most violent Ford film to date and it is not for the sqweamish. And it is definitely something you wouldn't take young children to see.

Grade: A+

10 (out of 10)

***** (out of *****)

100% (out of... well you get the point)

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
It made me wanna stand up and sing the national anthem!!! Great movie.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
This is one bad movie. But I mean that in a good way. Actually, I mean that in a great way! I really got into AF1. Harrison Ford always gives his best to any movie he's in, and I just wish he could have been the Prez in "ID4" (no offense to Bill Pullman, who was great in "While You Were Sleeping", which is what I was doing during his speaking parts of ID4. I digress.) Air Force One is, to me, definitely one of the best action/etc. flicks of 1997 (the others being: Face/Off, The Saint, The Fifth Element, Con-Air and MiB)!I saw Siskel and Ebert, and I have no idea what these guys expected, but if you saw S&E as well, don't let it deter you from seeing this movie. Okay? Okay!

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
As the leader of the free world, the USA, Harrison Ford is the perfect big movie star you could ever put in front of a camera to film a terrorist thriller. Hey, he's tall, he's strong, he's handsome, he played Indiana Jones! Some may not believe this 53-year old (I think) portraying the president, but I did. I believed he was a vietnam veteran who flew a large amount of air missions (is there any president in real life who hasn't fought in a war?). And, after all, he has the "look". He also has the look and the strenghth to take over terrorists who have hijacked his beloved jet!

Ford is kick-ass wonderful in the dynamic, unpredictable and suspensful "Air Force One". Like "Face Off", and "Contact", and unlike "Men In Black", "Batman and Robin" and "Speed 2", "Air Force One" has all the ingredients of a big, bombastically overexpensive movie that actually succeeds in all its deliver. The best reason to see "Air Force One" was the best reason to see "Breakdown": you're glued to your seat, unable to move until the credits, completely engrossed by the experience, then unfortunately being let go to leave the theatre.

The only thing is, you don't want to go.

By means of writing, directing and acting, this is one of the best "Terrorists take over a..." formulas I've seen since Alan Rickman and Alexander Goudnov took over the L.A. highrise in the original masterpiece "Die Hard". However, this time it is Gary Oldman, the amazing presence of terror (he seems charming and scary at the same time), who has taken over the president's jet, Air Force One, to hold the president, his wife (Wendy Crewson) and daughter (Liesel Matthews) and a bulk of the White House staff in exchange for release of a Russian prisoner (Jurgen Prochnow). Believed, at the time of takeover, president James Marshall (Ford), escaped in an escape pod. However, Marshall actually hides behind the pod to start his own little anti-terrorist strike.

Down on the ground, the Vice President (Glenn Close) has got her staff to help stop the terrorist strike. However, since Marshall declared in Berlin he will no longer negotiate with terrorists, there is a forceful conflict between himself and the terrorists: he refuses to bargain, but his family is under the gun.

Air Force One works so well because it is under the hand of Wolfgang Petersen, who has had only one bad apple ("Outbreak", which didn't even look like it was done by him.); he has directed such movies like the German anti-war masterpiece "Das Boot" and "In The Line Of Fire", to name two. You can see Petersen hard at work, sneaking his camera around the innards of Air Force One, using his now famous technique stedicam by running at ground level along with the running actor (this time, it's Ford running along lower cabin floors and Petersen eagerly trying to keep up)

The special effects are suprisingly terrific, arguably worth a Best Visual Effects nomination. It's very noticeable in the jet fighter scenes, where the moves these jets (along with the powerful sound mix)do are the most convincing I have ever seen. Ditto for the jet.

And ditto for the acting. As stated before, Ford is wonderful, and Oldman is at his dizzying best as the main terrorist. What I especially enjoyed was Glenn Close as the first lady. Completely convincing with her power and duty as the vice president, she was even more terrific than her uncanny performance in the dog "101 Dalmatians" (And that's a very big compliment)

The most astonishing performance, though, comes from the thick-lipped, saucer-eyed Liesel Matthews as the president's daughter, Alice. At only 12, she has better acting than 97 of the 100 teenage actors and actresses I have seen in the last ten years. (The three are Larisa Oleynik, Natalie Portman and Gaby Hoffmann. Suprisingly, there have been no good young male actors to hit Hollywood) Matthews reply to Oldman when he is comparing himself to the president, "You are NOTHING like my father," is delievered with so much passion and power it is enough to give you chills. For a 12 year old, that is truly something remarkable. The other 97 are only trying to be cool.

Grade: A

Technical Review:

Picture: 5 The picture is always clear and very focused, with Columbia's usual film stock. Colors are perfect, as always, and black level is excellent.

Sound: 4 A slightly disappointing soundtrack. Throughout "Air Force One", there are limited surrounds that sometime have no surround signal. However, other points of the soundtrack are very powerful, including the explosions, jet attacks and fighting scenes. Dialogue is very easy to hear and well focused. Only problem: more attention needs to be taken to the surround mix. I heard it in DTS, so the SDDS mix may not encounter these problems. If they do, mail me at jwhyte2@ibm.net and let me know.

Photography: 5 Wolfgang Petersen does another bang up job with Super 35. His shots are well framed and his famous stedicam shots are featured several times. Make sure you seek out the widescreen version when on video, or the widescreen laserdisc. I know I will.

By Jason Whyte

jwhyte2@ibm.net

[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
The movie is a real cliff hanger but quite implausible. You have to really stretch to imagine this could be a real portrayal. Still, it moved fast and was entertaining. Sherm - GlendaleSherm Hochman

[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Can a politically zealous group of terrorists hijack the U. S. President's airplane in real life? Such an astounding act seems impossible and yet the scenario is given very effective and entertaining treatment in the best, though perhaps most implausible, action film of the summer.

Harrison Ford is United States President Jim Marshall , or, you could say he is former CIA operative Jack Ryan ("A Clear and Present Danger," "Patriot Games"), ascending to the presidency. What the two characters have in common is utter devotion to their families and a passion for moral rectitude. This is never more evident than in an early scenewhen Ford delivers a stirring anti-terrorism speech which sets the plot in motion, all ad-libbed of course departing from the teleprompted "script." And given the anal tightness of our very real Presidents of the last twelve years, the film is never more implausible than in this one scene.

Ford acts out his part impressively, infusing the character of the President with a sense of vulnerability, desperation, and believability which completely won me over as a viewer and a critic. President Jim Marshall is no macho toy action-figure. And this movie is not "Die Hard" revisited. This is a tremendous movie for about two thirds before the pyrotechnics begin to take over, and some plot contrivances lead to three or four cliffhanging scenarios which stretch the willingness to suspend disbelief to the bursting point. But the movie holds together thanks to Ford, a magnificently malevolent performance by Gary Oldman, some excellent supporting performances (Glenn Close et al.), and the taut, white-knuckled direction of Wolfgang Petersen.

Special credit goes to Petersen for drawing out moving performances from Ford and the rest of the acting ensemble. If Ford gets an academy award nomination forthis role (and in my view it would be well-deserved, if not the statue itself), Petersen gets part of the credit.

It may not be best-picture material, but it's a whale of a ride which left me breathless throughout. Well done!

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
An intense movie that I would rate as the best movie of the summer!

Harrison Ford has once again demonstrated to me why he is my favorite lead male actor (2nd is Mel Gibson). AFO is an edge of your seater and by the end makes you want to stand and cheer. It made you feel proud of this guy as a president who would stand up for what he believed in, I kind of miss that in a president. But regardless of your politics, the movie should not be missed on the big screen.

"Ford in 2000"

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
This is an "edge of your seat" action thriller. The language and kill count may not make it appropriate for small children, but these are the same things that hold the attention of anyone over 8. Harrison Ford was his usual"Indiana Jones" superman kind of character, with a bit of the family man thrown in for good measure. No one else really stands out in my memory as far as characters go. But there is never a dull moment!

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
I guess when l see that Harrison Ford is in a particular movie, automatically expect that the film is going to be of a certain high standard, that it is going to have a decent story line and plot, and of course involve not just accomplished actors but great acting.

Well i`m pleased to say that in this case I was not let down at all. It was a thrilling and edge of your seat adventure that was simply captivating in its suspence. It is a movie that has the power to draw you so far into the film that in several instances I almost had to remind myself to breath because I was just so involved.

I could quite easily prattle on for pages about the leading and support roles that exist within the film but for the benefit of those with a short attention span I won`t, but if you want good milage from your dollar and want to see a top grade film, then don`t go past this experience

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
As you all know, Harrison Ford plays the president who eschews hostage negotiations and gets his plane hijacked. I had expected for this movie to be good, but when I saw it, it exceeded good and was AWESOME!

See it now!

[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
This movie relies on one gimmick and one gimmick alone: it is the President of the United States of America who is being held hostage this time around. It is this gimmick that separates this movie from the other movies. Other than that, this movie is the usual slam-bang, shoot here, shoot there, hide here, hide there, kill this, kill that, run here, run there, and curse you, curse me kind of movie.

There are just too many of these kind of movies floating around nowadays. So I rate this movie in between "Good" and "Wait for Rental".

Rating: 7/10

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
I think Air Force One is the the best movie I've seen this summer. There are three intelligent movies I saw this summer, one is Air Force One another is Faceoff and the other is Spawn, all the others sucked. Air Force One took me totally by surprise I loved every minute of it. Harrison Ford's career looks great because he redeems himself after two duds like the devil's own and sabrina. I am the biggest Harrison Ford fan I will name some of them. Star Wars trilogy, Indiana Jones trilogy, blade runner the fugitive and patriot games and, clear and present danger. I give Air Force One a 10.

[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
This is definitely a movie to see while it is on the big screen. This is one of the few movies to recently come out that cleverly combines breathtaking special effects and a cast that is totally believable in the roles they play. The only complaint I would have about this movie is the creators of this film decided to jump on the PC bandwagon by casting a female as the vice president of the United States. I have nothing against female politicians. It just struck me as too PC for this movie. Nonetheless, this is a thrilling movie that is one of the better films I've seen this year. Harrison Ford, specifically, performs more believably than you'll see in a long time. His part alone makes the show worth the price of admission.

***1/2 out of *****

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
AIR FORCE ONE IS BY FAR THE BEST MOVIE OF THE SUMMER. HARRISON FORD SHOWS WHY HE IS THE NUMBER ONE ACTOR OF ALL TIME AND GARY OLDMAN PORTRAYS ONE OF THE BEST VILAINS I HAVE EVER SEEN. LOADS OF GRIPPING ACTION AND AMAZING SPECIAL EFFECTS! DON'T MISS THIS MOVIE FOR THE WORLD!!!!

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
I loved the film. If you like Harrison Ford then this is a must see. The story blast's into excitement from the first couple frames and takes you along for the ride. All characters play pivotal roles (no cardboard characters). The plot is intriguing and holds together well. Harrison Ford proves he is the President of the United States. Do yourself a favor and see this film.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
If you're a Harrison Ford fan, I would strongly reccomend this film. Just when you thought the good ol' USA was running out of bad guys, and therefore USA vs. bad guy films, along comes "AF1." This film was interesting from the get go. Ford's portrayal of the president was very strong and very convincing. The film's director added somehumanity to the title of Chief Executive of America by incorporating scenes which portrayed the stress on the First Family, which, in the end, nicely supported the story line.

Even though some of the scenes in this film were a bit outrageous, the premiss of the film and the casting of Ford works very well. I would strongly reccomend this film with a large buttered popcorn and a cherry Coke!

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
One of the best movies I saw this summer. Great performances by Ford, Oldman, and Close. I had a nervous shake in my leg the entire time. The villains are convincing. Everytime one of them died the audience clapped. A broked in premise but Peterson does it with style and makes it very entertaining.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Great movie. I'm 19 yrs and isn't into plots, Just action and all I have to say to everyone is that AF1 is one cool show. I always dream about flying on AF1 and watching the movie really made me think of how great AF1 is.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
I really enjoyed the movie though it was deafining at times.

[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Air Force One is quite a good action film which is heavily boosted by Harrison Ford's presence. The most popular actor ever in terms of box office is always watchable and this is no exception. The story is a bit tired (Another Terrorist over a plane film), but this film does enough with the formula to warrant its existence. The characters are okay, and there is enough action to keep you interested. The direction is first rate and Gary Oldman is very good in his role as the head terrorist. Overall, not as good as Face/Off or Con Air as far as this years action films go.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
There shold be a new law passed that makes it a federal crime not to include Harrison Ford in an action movie. The man is a living legend.

This is one big, loud movie! The sound effects are at times awe-inspiring. Several moments in the theater, I could have sworn to have smelled the exhaust of the jet-fighters as they flew what seemed about 10 feet over my head!"Air Force One" is everything that an action movie should be, and I have not one single complaint about it, except that the Vice President was feeble -- but hey, isn't that exactly how Vice Presidents are supposed to be?

And to think, the early word in the weeks before this movie was released was that it was going to flop. Right.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
This is an excellent entertainment with another good leading performance from Harrison Ford. This is the type of film that will almost assure you a good time at the movies.

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
To put it bluntly, Air Force One is a Die Hard clone with more character to it than most others, with the possible exception of "The Rock" The "terrorists take over an airplane" genre has been done better before in such movies as "Passenger 57", "Executive Decision", and the latest, "Con Air" The story is quite simple, terrorists gain control of Air Force One and its up to the president to stop them. What does set it apart from most other movies is the plane itself. The plane is a more realistic setting for such a movie, and I did think the preformances by Ford and Oldman were great. Some problems though had to do with the movie dragging in some areas, and if you've seen any movie in the Die Hard genre, you know how this movie will turn out. Its the preformances and the sets that save this retread of a movie from a lower rating.

[--- Stay Away! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000


Air Force 1 kicked butt!!! I liked it so much. I think everyone should see it. my rating would be a 9.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
This movie was GREAT! It makes you wish we actually HAD a President like the one played by Harrison Ford. I felt great at the end.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
I seen a lot of action movies this year with stupid characters and a stupid story. Air Force One is the best movie of the summer and the best movie of the year, I've seen Titantic it was good but it's not as great as the critics made out to be. Air Force is the most entertaining action movie since Speed I loved every minute of it. Harrison Ford is my favorite actor of all time probably because he's never made a bad action movie. He gives a excellent performance as the President of the United States and Gary Olman gives a wicked performance as crazy terrorist. The movie is non-stop roller coaster ride.

Grade A 100%

Apr 29, 2003
Definitely a formula action movie, but well worth seeing!
May 24, 2003
Harrison Ford plays the president of the United States who battle terrorist in "Air Force One." when Gary Oldman and terrorist took over Air Force One, it was up Ford to take the plane back. Oldman is great at playing bad guys, and this film is no execption. The screenplay may have suggest a rip off of "Die Hard," but it isn't a rip off of "Die Hard." Action pack and very exciting. A great music score. I saw the film three times. and to me, three times on the big screen is rare.
Oct 13, 2012

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