I get that ratings and reviews are very subjective, but seriously... how in the hell does this average at 4.5 stars? Have so many people lost all sense of critical thinking skills?
The movie had a lot of promise, but it simply didn't deliver. Apparently, most people think that a cool plot twist (which in this case is neither a true surprise nor original) is enough to give it high marks. Meanwhile, the writing was so mostly banal that even four high-level actors couldn't elevate it to an engaging story.
Here's why this movie doesn't deserve 4 or 5 stars:
— Fundamentally, the pace and structure of the story are uneven. We're handed some interestingly suspicious points (disappearing survivors!) only to be diverted away to a dumb "love story." It's often as if the director isn't sure what kind of film he wants this to be.
— Claire (the main character) is supposed to be a therapist with two master's degrees and just short of a PhD. She's been assigned to work on the trauma of the survivors of a plane crash, meaning she should be at a very high level of competency in her profession. And yet she has ZERO ethical and relationship boundaries from the instant she meets Eric in his hospital room, agreeing right away to counsel him *at his home* and ultimately having sex with him after only a few meetings. The argument in favor of this is presumably that he has strong feelings for him. But (a) a professional therapist would recuse herself from this situation if she couldn't manage it appropriately, and (b) the movie does a terrible job of making her seem *that* into him. To the extent that it does, it's as if it was written by a teenager.
— Claire is supposed to be risk-averse and drifting in her life too much due to this. However, this is remarkably unevolved for someone who's been through the level of psychological education and training she has. Yes, counselors and therapists have their unresolved stuff... but they are *aware* and work on it, which Claire seems absolutely clueless about. She just walks around sighing all the time in frustration. Weak, weak, weak! On top of this, she makes a point of wearing a life vest at one point but contradictorily rides a motorcycle with no helmet and climbs a 4-story exterior ladder on a building.
— Eric is played just okay by the actor (can't remember his name). But overall, he's very unconvincing, and considering the interplay between him and Claire, the chemistry is very bland. If she's going to fall for him and effectively risk her professional status, the chemistry needs to be 100%. Instead, he seems creepy for the most part (as she even says at one point when he shows up at her door in the middle of the night), and mostly he seems uninteresting. The set-up is terrible.
— The "love story" between Eric and Claire takes up WAY TOO MUCH of the movie. The thing is only 90 minutes long, and yet it seems like their story takes half of it. The much more interesting aspect is the mystery of the suspiciously disappearing passengers — the movie title, after all! — and yet this gets little attention until very late. On top of this, Claire's biggest character motivation and backstory is her relationship with her sister, Emma, but which likewise gets very little real attention. Instead, we're just bludgeoned with the boring and bland back-and-forth of Claire and Eric.
— Somehow Claire's boss is her third-grade teacher, and yet she has zero recognition of him? Not even an expression of vague familiarity? But yet he was important enough in her life that he came back later to guide her. This makes no sense. If I saw my third-grade teacher right now, all these decades later, I'd recognize her in a second. But let's say I'm not typical... I still think most people would express at least a little recognition. Granted, Claire is supposed to have worked for this guy for some time, but good creative foreshadowing would have her drop a hint during the movie. In other words, not so much her actually expressing recognition, but an expression of it in a way that we the audience remember it later.
— The train passes right through Eric, but yet a few moments before that, the bus driver sees him and stops. Is he a spirit or not? Well, he is, we know... but then why did the bus driver see him? Makes no sense. (Earlier, a car driver did as well, but this was briefly shown to be another spirit.)
— Are we supposed to believe that all those people in the big airport confrontation were also spirits? If not, then how did they see Claire, the passenger, and the pilot? If so, then why did this all happen? The holes are numerous.
— Really, why are any of these spirits going about so much business in the material world? In that scene, the pilot is going through security to go somewhere. Spirits are driving cars and motorcycles, making phone calls, and folding laundry. Other than to serve the purpose of the movie, it seems senseless.