Con Air (1997) - Rotten Tomatoes

Con Air1997

Con Air (1997)



Critic Consensus: Con Air won't win any awards for believability - and all involved seem cheerfully aware of it, making some of this blockbuster action outing's biggest flaws fairly easy to forgive.

Con Air Videos

Con Air Photos

Movie Info

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, 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

Watch it now


Nicolas Cage
as Cameron Poe
John Cusack
as Vince Larkin
John Malkovich
as Cyrus Grissom
Steve Buscemi
as Garland Greene
Ving Rhames
as Diamond Dog
Colm Meaney
as Duncan Malloy
Rachel Ticotin
as Sally Bishop
Monica Potter
as Tricia Poe
M.C. Gainey
as Swamp Thing
Danny Trejo
as Johnny 23
Renoly Santiago
as Salvatore "Sally Can't Dance" Candosa, Salvatore `Sally Can't Dance' Candosa
Jesse Borrego
as Francisco Cindino
Nick Chinlund
as Billy Bedlam
Mario Roberts
as Mongoose
Steve Eastin
as US Marshal Falzon
Ned Bellamy
as Chopper Pilot
Matt Barry
as Chambers
Dan Bell
as Fuel Jockey
Bob Stephenson
as Ted/Pilot
Scott Ditty
as Bus Guard
Tommy Bush
as Sheriff
Lauren Suzanne Pratt
as Debbie (age 6)
David Ramsey
as Londell
Jeff Olson
as Uncle Bob
Dawn Bluford
as Female Baggage Handler
Charlie Paddock
as Transportation Officer No. 1
Randee Barnes
as Stickman
Don S. Davis
as Man in Car
Barbara Sharma
as Woman in Car
Brian Hayes Currie
as Cop in Vegas
Ashley Smock
as Huey Pilot
Scott Burkholder
as Air Traffic Controller
Gerard L'Heureux
as Guard Renfro
Pete Antico
as Guard Garner
George Randall
as Old Con on Plane
David Roberson
as Supervisor
Dick 'Skip' Evans
as Airplane Pilot
Sheldon Worthington
as Co-Pilot No. 2
Robert Taft
as Soldier
Robert White
as Soldier
Chris Ellis
as BOP Official Grant
John Campbell
as BOP Bus Driver
Brian Willems
as Paramedic
Bill Cusack
as Paramedic
Dabbs Greer
as Old Man Under Truck
Marco Kyris
as Cindino's Pilot
John Robotham
as Guard Ryan
View All

Critic Reviews for Con Air

All Critics (66) | Top Critics (18)

The saving grace of Con Air is its sense of its own absurdity. Rosenberg and director Simon West seem to know just how preposterous their story is.

February 27, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

It's exhausting rather than exhilarating.

January 5, 2018 | Full Review…

Packed high with explosive action and loaded with high-stakes jeopardy, Con Air charts a generally sound narrative course, although it hits some story turbulence before it hits its climactic jackpot.

June 6, 2017 | Full Review…

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.

September 18, 2008

Very cool, but also very cold.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

It's silly, but it's also free from pretensions to be anything else.

June 12, 2001 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Con Air

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 characters 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.

Cameron Sherwell
Cameron Sherwell

Super Reviewer

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 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

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

[img][/img] 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 Cage 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.

Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Con Air Quotes

News & Features