Action Hero Liam Neeson Stars In 'Non-Stop'

The crisp and efficient thriller Non-Stop benefits from the intangibles that Liam Neeson brings to the role of a U.S. air marshal dealing with a nightmare scenario.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now any day of the week is a good time to watch Liam Neeson play an action hero. He famously chased down bad guys and blew things up in the movie "Taken" and its sequel a few years back. Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan has this review of "Non-Stop," Neeson's latest action flick.

KENNETH TURAN: "Non-Stop" is a crisp, efficient thriller that benefits from the intangibles Liam Neeson brings to a role.

We first meet Neeson's character in his car in an airport parking lot. He shakily pours some scotch into a paper cup and looks like he hasn't had a good day in quite some time.

The man isn't a pilot, thank god, but it's almost as bad: this nervous wreck is a U.S. Air Marshal entrusted with keeping our skies safe from harm. As soon as he walks onto his flight, he walks into a nightmare.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "NON-STOP")

LIAM NEESON: (As Bill Marks) Passenger on board this flight has threatened to kill someone every 20 minutes unless they're paid $150 million.

TURAN: Neeson's gifts as an actor help him here as much as his imposing physique. His face is capable of anguish and despair, as well as naked fury. And when he invests himself in a scenario, his authority and integrity sweep us along with him.

Neeson's character prowls the airplane's aisles like a vengeful ghost, trying to keep his own demons in check while matching wits with an enemy who always seems to be one step ahead of him.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "NON-STOP")

(SOUNDBITE OF CHAOS)

NEESON: (As Bill Marks) Everything is under control. Excuse me.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (As character) What's going on?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1, ACTOR: (As character) Excuse me. Is the captain OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2, ACTOR: (As character) I didn't do anything.

NEESON: (As Bill Marks) Come with me, now.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1, ACTOR: (As character) Marshall, is someone going to tell us what the hell is going on?

TURAN: Like any self-respecting airplane movie, "Non-Stop" also has a pair of plucky flight attendants, rock solid in every emergency. The crew here includes Michelle Dockery, slumming after years as Lady Mary in "Downton Abbey," and Academy Award nominee Lupita Nyong'o from "12 Years A Slave." No matter what happens at the Oscars, it's safe to predict this will be the last time Nyong'o gets seventh billing in anything.

GREENE: That's Kenneth Turan. He reviews movies for the Los Angeles Times and also for us that MORNING EDITION.

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GREENE: This is NPR News.

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