“Unstoppable” — the best or worst airplane movie ever?

Airplane movies are notoriously bad. The worst movie ever had to be that one United played sometime last year about a girl that goes to Ireland to propose to her boyfriend. I remember how much I flew that month, yet every single time I fell asleep half way through the movie, even if I wasn’t tired. It was just that bad.

The westbound movie on United for the first half of this month was “Unstoppable,” about a train that gets loose and is heading for a larger town where it won’t be able to make a turn and will likely run into gas tanks at 80 mph… or something like that. Yes, it’s entirely ridiculous, but somehow it managed to captivate me. I was biting my nails, sweating profusely, and picked up several nervous ticks along the way, and nearly jumped up in joy when Denzel Washington managed to stop the train. So it was actually a good movie (though I understand I’m no movie critic, because I also liked Paul Blart Mall Cop), though I couldn’t help put think to myself “this really isn’t a movie you want to show in such a confined space where people really can’t move.”

Fortunately I wasn’t like this FlyerTalker, who was assaulted by his seatmate because of his excitement over the movie.


  1. Actually Denzel was not the person who finally stopped the train. It was the costar (Chris Pine). I only know that because I sat through it last night and watched it via Vudu. Denzel helped to slow it down but then got stuck on top of the train because he couldn’t leap onto the next train car. It wasn’t very good but, yes it did hold your attention.

  2. Lucky, I haven’t seen unstoppable and it sounds a bit like snakes on a plane, but did you know this movie is based on real events! Maybe not the gas tank part, but a train did go rogue / loose like that, and now we have the action packed version. I just watched “next 3 days” with russell Crowe, was pretty good. Might be a good movie for IFE on demand systems.

    What I don’t understand on UAs new systems on international, why are the choices limited. Just get a bigger server and load it up Netflix style with tons of choices. The current selections are limited and stale.

  3. I actually enjoyed this quite a bit. Was surprised though that United was showing a movie that contain scenes of ‘impending doom’ to a public transportation sector…. seems like that could be angst inducing!

    But overall, well above average movie for United.

  4. Spoiler alert? If you haven’t had a westbound United flight between Feb 1-Feb 15, why the heck do you read Lucky’s blog???? 🙂

  5. I saw Unstoppable on MCO-DEN. Great movies, so I bought a copy on DVD and one on iTunes.. Very nail biting ^^

    Hopefully we see some more movies of similar quality. There have been a few that I would say made me fall asleep.

  6. That is one thing I love about Delta with their AVODs…. None of the movies are edited and they show the full feature…

  7. I saw the movie….it was good but we all knew the ending would be.

    On why UA is showing it….most of the US, EU and Asian carriers are also shown it at the moment. Not sure why people always blaming UA for showing the movies they don’t like to watch.

    On the UA contents of UA AVOD, yes I agree it is so limited. As soon as CO BIS count towards lifetime MM status, I am flying CO metals across the ocean. I saw 198 movie selections on a recent Transpacific flight I took on CO….not to mention the huge selections of TV programs. Hope UA metals will get similar contents soon.

  8. One of my favorite past times is to watch bad movies in United long haul business. Last year managed to watch 16 movies on a back to back east coast to SYD MR. Actually I didn’t watch anything on the last transcon as I made the mistake of already having watched it on the way to SYD. Thanks for the movie tip — I have several long haul flights beginning Saturday on Turkish and Thai.

  9. You didn’t like Leap Year?? jk

    It wasn’t that bad, it has its audience and it is not the same audience as Unstoppable, can’t satisfy everyone I guess.

  10. In November Inception was on the AVOD in Business on 895 ORD-HKG, which is a great movie. The Social Network was on UA533 IAD-DEN, which is a great movie, but I was asleep by the halfway point. Those are the only two that I really have focused on, other than that I usually don’t even watch the movie.

  11. Speaking of movies getting edited a long time ago I flew back from LHR via Virgin (my original United flight had issues) and one of the movies was South Park. Nothing was edited and it was filled with the “F” word. I think if it was edited there wouldn’t have been any movie.

  12. I watched “Unstoppable” yesterday in BA first class from LHR to SFO. It was probably the worst movie Denzel Washington has ever made.

  13. Saw Unstoppable on a US Airways PHL-DUB flight last month. It was pretty bad, especially when I stopped to think about it. Plot lines that went nowhere, characters who seemed to serve no purpose, highly predictable story arc. However, it was significantly more watchable than the chick flick that followed it.

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