Movie Reviews

The Passenger Review: A Gripping Journey Through Fear and Survival

In the realm of psychological thrillers, The Passenger emerges as a gripping exploration of fear, survival, and the haunting power of one’s past. The film masterfully delves into the depths of the human psyche, immersing the audience in an intense narrative that keeps them on the edge of their seats.

The Good:

At its core, The Passenger unravels the life of Randolph Bradley, a man seemingly content with blending into the background, until the shocking eruption of violence by his coworker Benson shatters the facade of normalcy. As Randolph’s world spirals into chaos, the film embarks on a roller-coaster ride of suspense and self-discovery. Johnny Berchtold portrays Randolph with remarkable subtlety, effectively conveying the inner turmoil of a character forced to confront his deepest fears and confront a troubled past he had long suppressed.

Kyle Gallner delivers an extraordinary performance as Benson, the catalyst of the chaos that engulfs the story. Gallner’s portrayal is nothing short of chilling, as he seamlessly transitions from an ordinary coworker to a cold-blooded killer, displaying a menacing unpredictability that adds an electrifying layer to the film. His portrayal of a man unhinged is both unsettling and captivating, a testament to Gallner’s acting prowess.

Liza Weil‘s portrayal of Miss Beard, a key figure from Randolph’s past, adds a layer of complexity to the narrative. Weil brings a nuanced mix of mystery and vulnerability to her character, becoming an essential puzzle piece in Randolph’s journey towards understanding his past and finding a way to survive the impending danger.

Director Carter Smith’s masterful handling of tension and suspense in The Passenger is truly commendable. The film’s pacing allows for an immersive experience, allowing the audience to resonate with Randolph’s growing unease and the impending danger that lurks around every corner. Smith’s use of visual cues, such as dimly lit corridors and ominous shadows, accentuates the film’s eerie atmosphere, perfectly complemented by a hauntingly evocative musical score that further intensifies the sense of impending doom.

One of the film’s standout achievements lies in its exploration of the human psyche and the concept of fear. The intricate character development of Randolph Bradley is a case study in itself, as the audience witnesses his transformation from a timid individual to a resilient survivor. The film raises thought-provoking questions about the nature of fear and the lengths one is willing to go to overcome it. Through its characters, The Passenger urges viewers to confront their own fears, mirroring the characters’ journey in a deeply relatable manner.

In terms of visual aesthetics, the film’s cinematography is a visual treat. Cinematographer Lyn Moncrief captures the bleak urban landscape with a keen eye, highlighting the stark contrast between Randolph’s mundane world and the chaotic events that unfold. The use of color and framing serves as a visual metaphor for Randolph’s internal journey, subtly reflecting his changing emotional state as the story progresses.

The film’s climactic sequence is a tour de force of suspense and emotional catharsis. As Randolph and Benson’s paths intersect one final time, the tension reaches a fever pitch, culminating in a heart-pounding showdown that encapsulates the film’s central themes of fear, survival, and redemption. The resolution is both satisfying and thought-provoking, leaving the audience pondering the intricate web of human psychology long after the credits roll.

The Bad:

While The Passenger excels in many aspects, there are moments when the pacing becomes slightly uneven, particularly in the second act. Some scenes could have benefited from tighter editing to maintain the film’s overall tension. However, this minor flaw does not overshadow the film’s overall impact and effectiveness in delivering a compelling narrative.


The Passenger is a triumph in the realm of psychological thrillers, offering a gripping narrative that skillfully navigates the depths of fear, survival, and the human psyche. With stellar performances from Johnny Berchtold, Kyle Gallner, and Liza Weil, coupled with Carter Smith’s adept direction, the film stands as a must-watch for enthusiasts of the genre. While minor pacing issues arise, they do little to detract from the overall impact of this haunting and thought-provoking cinematic experience. The Passenger is a journey that delves into the shadows of the mind, urging audiences to confront their fears and discover the strength that lies within.The Passenger is a journey that delves into the shadows of the mind, urging audiences to confront their fears and discover the strength that lies within.

The Passenger Review: A Gripping Journey Through Fear and Survival
  • Acting - 9/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 8/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 8/10
  • Setting/Theme - 8/10
  • Watchability - 8/10
  • Rewatchability - 7/10
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