Inflight entertainment

Movies to watch onboard right now

The best onboard movies over the coming months. By KEVIN MA

Martin Scorsese once said, ‘My whole life has been movies and religion. That’s it. Nothing else.’ Raised a Catholic, the director, known for films like Goodfellas and The Wolf of Wall Street, spent a year of his childhood in a preparatory seminary before getting kicked out. Since then he has grappled with religion and spirituality with films such as Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Mean Streets and The Last Temptation of Christ. His latest work, Silence, is his most introspective and thoughtful film on the subject.

Based on the novel by Shusaku Endo, Silence is set in 17th century Japan after the Shimabara Rebellion, which saw masterless samurais and Catholic peasants revolt against their lords over taxation. Suspecting that European Catholics had a hand in the failed uprising, the government enforced a strict ban on Christianity across the country.

Endo’s story follows two Portuguese Jesuit priests (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who travel to Japan in search of their mentor (Liam Neeson) after learning that he has renounced his belief under torture. What follows is a harrowing journey that tests the two men’s faith and what they’re willing to endure in its name.

Robert De Niro in Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas

A film that Scorsese calls his ‘never-ending pilgrimage’ into religion, Silence is a sombre drama that eschews his usual stylistic flair. It’s a slow-moving work that asks deep philosophical questions: how important is the expression of your faith? How can God remain a silent witness to the suffering of his followers? Scorsese even replaces a traditional score with ambient sounds, opening up a mental space for viewers to ponder these painful questions.

Silence the novel was influenced by the stigma Endo experienced as a Catholic growing up in Japan in the 1930s and ’40s, but its themes are relevant to believers of any religion today and in numerous places around the world. It’s far from Scorsese’s most entertaining film, but Silence will be remembered as one of his best and most important works.

Inflight Therapy

Need to watch something to get you through your journey? Check how you’re feeling from our handy list of entertainment-related symptoms

Restless Traveller Sydrome

Fidgety? Can’t concentrate? You need to get engrossed in something. Try these.

xXx: Return of Xander Cage

Vin Diesel is back as a daredevil spy in xXx: Return of Xander Cage (above) (movies – Western cinema), while James McAvoy gives a career-best performance as a man with 23 personalities in suspense thriller Split (movies – Western cinema). Three of South Korea’s biggest male stars face off in an unpredictable battle of wits in Master (movies – Asian cinema), and Lawrence Cheng returns to his most popular role in The Yuppie Fantasia 3 (movies – Chinese cinema), the long-awaited sequel to 1990’s Brief Encounter in Shinjuku.

Altitude-Adjusted Lachrymosity Syndrome

It’s a physiological fact – we get weepy at 35,000 feet. Why fight it?


A giant monster helps a boy deal with his mother’s illness in fantasy A Monster Calls (above) (movies – Western cinema), while Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan tackles a controversial issue in Indian courtroom drama Pink (movies – Asian cinema). See the extraordinary story of an autistic man who finds hope through Disney films in Oscar-nominated documentary Life, Animated (TV – documentary). Bryan Cranston gives a rousing performance as a blacklisted screenwriter in 1950s Hollywood in Trumbo (movies – Western classics).

Pointy-Headed Syndrome

You’re not feeling very mainstream today. Time to get arty. Experiment a little.

The Founder

Jessica Chastain gives a tour-de-force performance as a ruthless Washington lobbyist in political thriller Miss Sloane (movies – Western cinema), while Michael Keaton will do anything to build a fast food empire in The Founder (above) (movies – Western cinema). Cinema provocateur Oliver Stone tells the story of the notorious whistleblower in biopic Snowden (movies – Western cinema). Ge You leads an all-star cast in the audaciously stylish drama The Wasted Times (movies – Chinese cinema).

Fear of Missing Out

Everyone’s talking about this movie or TV show. What do you mean you’ve not seen it?

Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back

See Monk Tang and his three disciples do battle with scary monsters in Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back (above) (movies – Chinese cinema). Witness real-life heroes in action in harrowing disaster thriller Deepwater Horizon (movie – Western cinema). Alice and the Umbrella Corporation fight their final battle in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (movies – Western cinema). Revisit one of the greatest television series ever made with the first season of Mad Men (TV – drama).


Discover More

Cathay Travell Book


Discovery online brings together all the inspirational travel writing from our two inflight magazines, Discovery and Silkroad. Be sure to look out for the print editions when you next fly with Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon.
Discovery Book Silkroad Book