Non-Stop

Universal Pictures

Liam Neeson is taking flight this weekend.

Non-Stop, which hits theaters Friday, finds the Northern Irish actor playing Bill Marks, a U.S. federal air marshal who receives an anonymous text threatening to kill one passenger every 20 minutes on the plane unless he has $150 million transferred to a secret bank account.

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, the movie also stars Julianne Moore, Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery as well as 12 Years a Slave actress and Oscar nominee Lupita Nyong'o.

Here's a sampling of what the critics are saying:

• "A constant low boil of ridiculousness both mocks and sustains Non-Stop, a jerry-rigged terror-on-a-plane thriller with a premise so far-fetched as to create a degree of suspense over how the writers will wriggle out of the knot of their own making," writes Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter.

• "Its twist-a-minute script is patently ridiculous and its appeals to our post-9/11 anxieties are as subtle as a jackhammer," notes Entertainment Weekly's Chris Nashawaty. "At a certain point either you'll fasten your seat belt and go with Non-Stop's absurd, Looney Tunes logic or you won't. Against my better judgment, I went with it."

• "Even in the movie's most ridiculous moments, Collet-Serra keeps the pacing brisk and knows how to divert our attention with a well-timed bit of comic relief," states Scott Foundas of Variety. "Neeson himself is a compelling presence throughout, even if we've now seen him play this sort of lone man of action at least a half-dozen times."

• "Non-Stop is a cheesy delight, down to its improbable plot twists and the inevitable appearance of a red LED display showing how long [Neeson's character] Bill has to rescue passengers and crew before everything goes kablooey," shares The Wrap's Alonso Duralde. "There may be a lack of surprise if only because 'Liam Neeson action movie' has become a formula unto itself, and we always know how they're going to wind up...Even with that in mind, however, Non-Stop keeps plenty of jolts and surprises in its overhead compartment."

• "[It] at least has the advantage of a good costar in Julianne Moore, and a cramped contained setting. And it flies along just fine for awhile, until it really starts to lose pressure in its third act," opines Stephen Whitty of the Newark Star-Ledger. "Neeson has worn this genre into a rut and he still has a few more action pics lined up, one of them with the same director."

• "Nobody's demanding an action-thriller plot that's 100 percent plausible. But is 55 percent too much to ask?" writes Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice. "In the end, Non-Stop is a waste of a perfectly good Neeson, and of our time and goodwill. Please make it stop."

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