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Altitude (2010)

Nomination Year: 2015
SYNOPSIS:  Ten years(ish) ago, Sarah's mother was a private pilot, flying a young family -- father, mother, and 10(ish)-year-old son -- on a charter. Their plane mysteriously broke up in mid-air and everyone was killed, except the son, who landed in a lake and survived, though with many broken bones.

Now Sarah has followed in her mother's footsteps and is also a private pilot. She's rented an airplane to fly two of her friends (the Drunk One and the Moody One), who are in a band, to a weekend gig. Accompanying them are the Drunk One's Girlfriend and Sarah's Creepy, Stalkerish Orphan Boyfriend (his parents were killed in a car crash 10(ish) years ago), who's clearly waaaay more into her than she is into him.

Unfortunately, the rental plane has some maintenance issues and, when the plane encounters turbulence, a screw comes lose and jams some of the control surfaces, rendering it difficult to control. Sarah is unable to avoid flying into a suddenly-appearing storm (or does the storm reach out to gab them, as she tries to maneuver away from it?). As soon as they enter the storm, the instruments fail and they lose contact with air traffic control. And the Drunk One keeps seeing something out in the clouds. Or is it just that he's drunk too much?

What follows is a primarily a psychological drama, by which I mean, five scared people trapped in a small space shouting at each other. To its credit, the movie is actually able to pull this off pretty well at various points. Fortunately for the Smithees, it isn't able to sustain it consistently for 90 minutes. Since the entire movie is five people in a single-cabin aircraft the entirety of which is visible in a single shot, you would think that this is not the sort of movie where the characters can be picked off one-by-one. You would be wrong.

Eventually, the survivors regain control of the aircraft, figure what's going on, and treat us to an ending that is worth retracting everything good I said about this movie up to this point.

Most Ludicrous Premise

Altitude: His fear offlying is making the comic book come to life. It's a nightmare, all right.

Deus Ex Machina

Altitude: Making outwith her boyfriend makes the monster go away

Crummiest Ending

Altitude: Changing thepast so the movie never happened, allowing younger versions of the heroine andcreepy stalker boyfriend to get together

Actors/Directors of Note
Actor Claim to Fame
Director Claim to Fame

Greg Pearson

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© 2011-2018 Bryan D. Cassidy, Greg Pearson, Matthew Quirk, and Kevin Hogan. All Rights Reserved.