Thoughts on, and a place to discuss, the plot details we can’t reveal in our review.
On the one hand, the revelation of the hijackers’ identities—there are actually two of them—straightens out Non-Stop’s plot, explaining away two of its most nonsensical elements. That both are members of the group of trusted passengers and crew members which Marks assembles bolsters the movie’s central point; transparency and group action involve real risks, but they’re preferable to a secretive authority making decisions for everyone else. It’s true that forming the group gave the hijackers full access to the investigation into their identities, but it’s equally true that Marks would be incapable of solving the situation on his own. Significantly, the mystery’s two most important clues—the first of which reveals where the hijackers have hidden a bomb, and the second of which unmasks them—come from those who are critical of Marks and the air marshal service in general.
However, the hijackers’ motives are so ridiculous (They’re angry about the ineffectiveness of the War on Terror! They want America to understand that it’s being too lax about national security!) that they would have been better left unsaid. The well-calibrated machinery of the plot—which depends on the vagueness of the hijackers’ threat—presents a better case than the villains’ speechifying. Fortunately, the movie waits up until the very end to unmask the bad guys—and once their identities are revealed, it’s on to a mid-air decompression and crash-landing sequence, which is thankfully loud enough to blast away any memory of motives.