Red Eye (2005): 10 Similar Thriller Movies You Should Watch

Directed by Wes Craven and adapted from a story by Ellsworth and Dan Foos, ‘Red Eye’ is a tense thriller that unfolds at 30,000 feet in the air. The 2005 movie centers on Lisa Reisert (Rachel McAdams) who finds herself seated next to a charming stranger, Jackson Rippner (Cillian Murphy), during a red-eye flight. However, what starts as a seemingly innocent encounter soon takes a sinister turn when Jackson reveals he’s part of a terrorist plot and forces Lisa to assist him.

As the flight becomes a battleground of wits and survival, Lisa must use all her resourcefulness to outsmart her captor and prevent a devastating attack. With its claustrophobic setting and intense performances by McAdams and Murphy, ‘Red Eye’ keeps audiences on the edge of their seats until the gripping conclusion. If you crave more adrenaline-fueled nail-biting thriller narratives, check out these 10 movies like ‘Red Eye.’

10. Changing Lanes (2002)

Directed by Roger Michell, ‘Changing Lanes’ is an encapsulating drama-thriller that explores the consequences of a chance encounter between two strangers. The plot follows Gavin Banek (Ben Affleck), a young lawyer, and Doyle Gipson (Samuel L. Jackson), a recovering alcoholic. After a car accident, their lives become intertwined as they engage in a series of escalating confrontations, revealing deep-seated flaws and moral dilemmas. Akin to ‘Red Eye’, ‘Changing Lanes’ delves into the tension-filled interactions between strangers thrust into unexpected circumstances, showcasing the complexities of human nature and the ripple effects of their actions.

9. Snakes on a Plane (2006)

Directed by David R. Ellis, ‘Snakes on a Plane‘ is an action film that unfolds aboard a commercial airliner overrun by deadly serpents. The plot revolves around Samuel L. Jackson’s character, FBI agent Neville Flynn, who must navigate the chaos and save the passengers from the reptilian threat. As tension mounts and panic ensues, the film explores the claustrophobic atmosphere of the airplane and the desperate struggle for survival. Similar to ‘Red Eye’, ‘Snakes on a Plane’ pulls viewers into a threatening scenario aboard a flight, blending suspense with adrenaline-fueled action sequences to keep audiences on the edge of their seats.

8. The Call (2013)

‘The Call’, directed by Brad Anderson, stars Halle Berry as 911 operator Jordan Turner and Abigail Breslin as the kidnapped teenager Casey Welson. The plot follows Jordan as she receives a frantic call from Casey, who has been abducted by a serial killer. Jordan must use all her skills to keep Casey calm and guide her to safety before it’s too late. Like ‘Red Eye’, ‘The Call’ immerses audiences in a high-stakes scenario where quick thinking and resourcefulness are essential for survival, creating intense suspense.

7. The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)

The Taking of Pelham 123‘, directed by Tony Scott, shares thematic similarities with ‘Red Eye’ through its intense portrayal of a high-stakes situation unfolding within the confines of public transportation. The plot centers on a New York City subway hijacking orchestrated by a group of criminals led by Ryder (John Travolta), and the subsequent negotiation with transit dispatcher Walter Garber (Denzel Washington). As tension escalates and the lives of hostages hang in the balance, the film explores the psychological dynamics between the adversaries and the race against time to prevent disaster. With its claustrophobic setting and suspenseful narrative, ‘The Taking of Pelham 123’ offers a thrilling ride that resonates with the adrenaline-pumping intensity of ‘Red Eye’.

6. Executive Decision (1996)

In the high-octane thriller ‘Executive Decision’, directed by Stuart Baird, Kurt Russell leads the cast as intelligence analyst Dr. David Grant, alongside Halle Berry, who portrays flight attendant Jean, and Steven Seagal as special operations expert Lt. Colonel Austin Travis. The plot unfolds as a group of terrorists hijacks a commercial airliner and threatens to deploy a deadly nerve gas weapon. Dr. Grant and Lt. Colonel Travis must team up to thwart the terrorists’ plans and save the passengers before it’s too late. Similar to ‘Red Eye’, ‘Executive Decision’ immerses audiences in a suspenseful airborne crisis, blending action-packed sequences with unyielding tension.

5. Nick of Time (1995)

‘Nick of Time’, directed by John Badham, parallels ‘Red Eye’ in its depiction of an ordinary individual caught up in a harrowing situation orchestrated by a manipulative antagonist. Johnny Depp stars as Gene Watson, a mild-mannered accountant whose life is turned upside down when he’s coerced by a mysterious stranger Mr. Smith (Christopher Walken) into carrying out an assassination within 90 minutes. As Gene races against the clock to save his daughter and thwart the sinister plot, the film plunges into themes of desperation, morality, and the human capacity for resilience. With its relentless pacing and constant psychological tension, ‘Nick of Time’ captivates audiences much like ‘Red Eye’.

4. Passenger 57 (1992)

‘Passenger 57’ and ‘Red Eye’ share thematic similarities in their portrayal of a high-stakes scenario happening aboard a commercial flight. Directed by Kevin Hooks, ‘Passenger 57′ follows Wesley Snipes’ John Cutter, a former police officer and expert in counter-terrorism, as he confronts a group of hijackers led by Bruce Payne’s character Charles Rane. The film navigates the tension-filled interactions between Cutter and the terrorists, highlighting the race against time to save the passengers. The movie offers strong performances by the cast and a heart-pounding story, making it a great watch for enjoyers of ‘Red Eye’.

3. Non-Stop (2014)

Non-Stop‘ incorporates elements of ‘Red Eye’ in its intense depiction of a life-and-death situation unfolding aboard a commercial flight. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and starring Liam Neeson, the film follows an air marshal named Bill Marks as he races against time to thwart a series of threats aboard the plane. As Marks navigates the tense atmosphere onboard and grapples with the unknown identity of the antagonist, the film jumps into themes of suspense, paranoia, and the struggle for survival. With its relentless pacing and engrossing storyline, ‘Non-Stop’ proves to be a great watch for people looking for air travel-centric thrillers.

2. Flightplan (2005)

In ‘Flightplan’, directed by Robert Schwentke, the tension mounts as Jodie Foster plays Kyle Pratt, a grieving widow who is frantically searching for her missing daughter aboard a transatlantic flight. As Pratt navigates the confined space of the aircraft and confronts skeptical passengers and crew members, the film taps into themes of paranoia, grief, and the desperate quest for truth. Similar to ‘Red Eye’, ‘Flightplan’ draws viewers into a high-stakes scenario unfolding within the confines of an airplane, blending suspenseful sequences with psychological intrigue to keep audiences captivated until the climactic revelation.

1. 7500 (2019)

For fans of ‘Red Eye’, ‘7500‘ offers a riveting and intense journey into the heart of airborne terror. Directed by Patrick Vollrath, this thriller unfolds almost entirely within the confines of a cockpit, immersing viewers in the claustrophobic and high-stakes environment of a hijacked airplane. Joseph Gordon-Levitt leads the cast as Tobias Ellis, a co-pilot faced with an unimaginable crisis when terrorists attempt to take control of the plane. With its relentless tension, gripping performances, and nail-biting suspense, ‘7500‘ delivers an adrenaline-fueled experience that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats from takeoff to landing, making it a must-watch for aficionados of airborne thrillers like ‘Red Eye’.

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