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No Escape

7/10
Action . Thriller
 

In their new overseas home, an American family soon finds themselves caught in the middle of a coup, and they frantically look for a safe escape in an environment where foreigners are being immediately executed.

 
Actors: Owen Wilson , Lake Bell , Pierce Brosnan , Sterling Jerins , Spencer Garrett , Byron Gibson , Sahajak Boonthanakit , Claire Geare , Damian Mavis , Mia Sun
Directors: John Erick Dowdle
Country: USA
Release: 2015-08-26
More Info:
  • James Berardinelli

    No Escape is a throwback to an era when movies of this genre were defined by suspense and tension. Dowdle isn't interested in providing a safe harbor for those who want a comfortable way to spend two hours. His vision is edgy and exhausting and, for the most part, his execution breathes life into it, tossing a firecracker into the sleepy post-summer movie doldrums.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    The actors do well, with Brosnan playing a kind of James Bond who has fallen into seediness and shady dealings. Bell carries her weight in the emotional scenes and the battles, and Wilson proves (as he occasionally has) that he can do more than be a laid-back comic foil.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    A taut thriller about an American family touching down in an unnamed country just as a violent coup erupts, No Escape goes about its gut-churning business by playing (and preying) on our worst xenophobic tendencies.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    What keeps the movie nervy and kinetic is that, for a good hour, it never seems that Jack and family are anything but average people who somehow manage to survive one hellacious trial after another, even when it comes to having to kill another human being.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    There’s no denying director/co-writer John Erick Dowdle’s skill set for creating almost unbearably tense and quite twisted suspense pieces in which you’ll find yourself laughing at the sheer unapologetic insanity of it all.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Gary Goldstein

    It's hardly essential viewing, but No Escape is a tense, at times riveting action-thriller about innocents abroad. Supersize your popcorn, check your logic at the door and settle in for a pretty good ride.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    This should all be risible except that Dowdle, who has worked in the horror genre, knows how to amp the action and keep the terror taut.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    Bang, boom, bam. That’s about the size of things in No Escape, a movie banking on its admittedly first-rate action drowning out its political tone-deafness.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Daniel M. Gold

    Directed breathlessly by John Erick Dowdle (“As Above/So Below”), the movie is filled with jittery shots from hand-held cameras, and hurtles along at a pace that is especially helpful in racing past the holes in the paper-thin plot.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Kim Newman

    A Taken-style no-holds-barred family survival action film, with an inevitable side order of xenophobia undimmed by the indictment of faceless corporate chicanery.

    Screen International Full Review
  • Jeff Baker

    No Escape is xenophobic claptrap of the highest order.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Walter Addiego

    Strict plausibility isn’t necessary in these movies, and while No Escape doesn’t completely throw it out the window, it still inspires the occasional unintended giggle.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Peter Keough

    No Escape is a tense but utterly predictable exercise in Western xenophobic paranoia and guilt.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Katie Walsh

    Unfortunately, No Escape can't stay 10 steps ahead of its misguided politics and overly dramatic storytelling and crumbles under its own preposterous climactic denouement.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Julia Cooper

    Whatever seeds of social justice and emotional nuance No Escape may be attempting to sow are undercut by the film’s melodramatic valorization of family values.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    Filmmakers John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle (“As Above, So Below,” “Quarantine”) serve up a horrific string of “Sophie’s Choice” situations, in between the breathless chases and brutal violence.

    Movie Nation Full Review
  • Alan Scherstuhl

    No Escape, while cruel, is often uncommonly suspenseful. And by pitting its white leads against the citizen hordes of Southeast Asia, No Escape is also uncommonly honest about the fears and assumptions that fuel adventure fiction — here, the Other is not abstracted away to orcs or aliens.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Stephen Dalton

    No Escape is a pedestrian but modestly gripping nerve-jangler from writer-director John Erick Dowdle.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

    Despite its illegible chase scenes, awkward slow-motion shots, and fumbling attempts at political commentary, No Escape manages to be intermittently interesting, thanks to an off-beat supporting turn from Pierce Brosnan.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Nick Schager

    A preposterous, monotonous action saga primarily notable for boasting a miscast lead and advancing a less-than-tolerant geopolitical fantasy.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    I won’t make a case for No Escape being a good film; the first half is pretty good and the second half ranges from pretty bad to truly awful. Nor will I deny having enjoyed quite a bit of it as a zombie film, never mind that it’s supposed to be an international thriller with contemporary political significance.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    There’s no fleeing the clunkiness in No Escape.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Stephanie Merry

    Every Asian character is either a ruthless murderer or anonymous collateral damage. A lot of locals have to die, the film suggests, in order for one white family to survive.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    For all its genuine thrill-ride gestalt, No Escape completely short-shrifts its Southeast Asian players. There’s exactly one Asian character of note, a Kenny Rogers-loving tuk-tuk driver (Boonthanakit). Everyone else is a nameless victim of the equally nameless mob.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Justin Chang

    Grittily propulsive filmmaking and solid performances from Owen Wilson and Lake Bell aside, there’s no escaping the movie’s hand-wringing manipulations and pandering sense of privilege.

    Variety Full Review
  • Kevin P. Sullivan

    Even ignoring the racism — which is pretty much impossible — No Escape is a cliché-ridden, artless relic.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    This movie really moves. But a fleet of tanks couldn’t help the brothers Dowdle push past the plot holes in this rancid mess.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Tim Robey

    No Escape is a film you’d want to recoil from taking seriously, so it’s almost a relief that its bungled execution makes this actively impossible.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    It’s just plain offensive — and not all that well made, either. No Escape takes the casual xenophobia of something like Taken, crossbreeds it with something altogether more noxious, then asks us to kick back and enjoy the ride. We don’t. We can’t. And the ride isn’t that great to begin with.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Joshua Rothkopf

    No Escape takes pains to pause for some unconvincing speechifying about Western meddling abroad, but its showbiz racism gets an infuriating pass.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Alonso Duralde

    Between the script and the superior editing by Elliot Greenberg (“Chronicle”), there’s an enormous amount of tension and thrills to be found here; unfortunately, they’re all in the service of a movie that’s reprehensible to the core.

    TheWrap Full Review
  • Peter Sobczynski

    Films don't get much dreggier than No Escape, a dreadful and creepily exploitative would-be thriller, low-grade trash that it is too silly and stupid to be as offensive as it frequently comes close to being throughout.

    RogerEbert.com Full Review
  • Jake Cole

    The only way that this film could be any more racist is if the Dwyer family holed up with Lillian Gish and waited for the Klan to save them.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
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  • coup

  • american

  • family

  • foreign

  • asia

  • fictional country

  • hotel

  • revolution

  • rebellion

  • hit by a truck

  • looting

  • riot

  • near death experience

  • violence

  • multinational

  • assassination

  • expatriate

  • boat

  • u.s. embassy

  • breaking a window

  • thrown from a rooftop

  • jumping from a rooftop

  • jumping from rooftop to rooftop

  • helicopter

  • rooftop

  • swimming pool

  • elevator

  • execution

  • survival

  • coup d'etat

  • husband wife relationship

  • american abroad

  • rebel

  • chaos

  • engineer

  • airport

  • escape

  • newspaper

  • necklace

  • hit on the head with a rock

  • mass murder

  • stabbed to death

  • stabbed in the back

  • stabbed in the chest

  • falling to death

  • shot in the stomach

  • unsubtitled foreign language

  • masked man

  • head bashed in

  • reference to kenny rogers

  • shot in the leg

  • murder of a police officer

  • man punching a woman

  • car crash

  • race against time

  • bridge

  • woman kills a man

  • man kills a woman

  • rowboat

  • river

  • heavy rain

  • burning building

  • climbing through a window

  • shot through a window

  • shot multiple times

  • shot in the arm

  • shot in the shoulder

  • shot to death

  • shot in the back

  • shot in the chest

  • shot in the forehead

  • shot in the head

  • vietnamese army

  • refugee

  • hostile takeover

  • siege

  • overturning car

  • blockade

  • interracial friendship

  • deception

  • flare

  • disguise

  • character's point of view camera shot

  • subjective camera

  • 2010s

  • killing spree

  • rampage

  • self defense

  • social decay

  • scar

  • innocent person killed

  • nonlinear timeline

  • human shield

  • exploding building

  • exploding helicopter

  • helicopter crash

  • dead soldier

  • army base

  • person on fire

  • fire

  • sniper

  • machine gun

  • ak 47

  • horde

  • psychopath

  • revolver

  • pistol

  • revenge

  • cigarette smoking

  • molotov cocktail

  • car set on fire

  • unlikely hero

  • hit by a car

  • self sacrifice

  • brothel

  • garden

  • attempted rape

  • machete

  • bombardment

  • xenophobia

  • bilingualism

  • frenchman

  • translator

  • on the run

  • falling down stairs

  • falling from height

  • improvised weapon

  • massacre

  • kicking in a door

  • hit with a baseball bat

  • hit with a brick

  • vietnam

  • hospital

  • shootout

  • one against many

  • brawl

  • fistfight

  • punched in the face

  • beaten to death

  • foot chase

  • ambush

  • rescue

  • held at gunpoint

  • hostage

  • slow motion scene

  • riot police

  • urban setting

  • american flag

  • culture clash

  • long take

  • brutality

  • mercilessness

  • panic

  • paranoia

  • fear

  • tension

  • suspense

  • wetting pants

  • street market

  • fish out of water

  • power outage

  • underwater scene

  • karaoke

  • singing in a car

  • taxi driver

  • taxi

  • family relationships

  • drunkenness

  • sister sister relationship

  • mother daughter relationship

  • father daughter relationship

  • blood on shirt

  • moral dilemma

  • scene during opening credits

  • englishman abroad

  • mercenary

  • spy

  • blood splatter

  • suicide

  • throat slitting

  • corpse

  • offscreen killing

  • prime minister

  • siren

  • bodyguard

  • teddy bear

  • rebel leader

  • uprising

  • death

  • bar

  • border crossing

  • child with gun

  • rifle

  • explosion

  • motorcycle

  • tank

  • map

  • climbing a ladder

  • airplane

  • flashback

  • two word title

  • written by director

  • child in peril

  • murder

  • death of friend

  • independent film

  • surprise ending

  • home invasion

1