"All anyone really needs to know about this amusingly crude, honestly satisfying artifact is snakes + plane + Samuel L. Jackson," wrote The New York Times at the time of the 2006 release. Crate loads of hyped-up serpents start killing the cast in creative ways as Jackson's character tries to figure out how to save the aircraft and the FBI informant onboard.
This 1993 drama tells the true story of a plane crash in the icy Andes Mountains of South America. The crash is only the start of the survivors' ordeal as they are forced to live on the treacherous mountainside facing starvation, the elements and the fact that they may never be rescued.
Charles Rane picks the wrong plane to hijack because of the man who happens to be passenger 57. "Wesley Snipes quips, glares, and kung fus his way through the role of John Cutter, a terrorism and hijacking expert who happens to be aboard the same plane as a terrorist hijacker," wrote Entertainment Weekly at the time of the film's 1992 release. A battle of wits ensues between Cutter and Rane on the L-1011 aircraft and in a Louisiana carnival.
A gremlin on the plane's wing at 20,000 feet could make anyone's flight a bit nerve-racking. The 1983 film (with Jon Lithgow) and the TV episode (with William Shatner) 20 years earlier both feature men who see something out to sabotage the plane on the wing but can't get anyone else to believe them.
"Die Hard 2, Die Harder"
In this 1990 sequel, Bruce Willis returns as John McClane to fight terrorists trying to free a captured Latin American general by taking over Dulles Airport near Washington and trying to force planes circling overhead to run out of fuel. McClane, whose wife is on one of the planes, "places first in every event, including wrestling for guns, jumping onto conveyor belts, being ejected from cockpits, leaping onto the wings of moving airplanes and fighting with the authorities," Ebert wrote.
If you think you are out of the woods when your plane touches down, you might want to keep "The Terminal" (2004) stowed away. The film starring Tom Hanks revolves around a man trapped in legal limbo at JFK Airport. Unable to return to his home country and unable to clear customs and enter the United States, he's forced to figure out how to survive inside the terminal.