I recall seeing a trailer a few years ago which first showed a passenger plane apparently stopping working mid-flight due to some magnetic-field attack and as a result plunging towards the ground.

This was accompanied by narration along the lines "first, they came and attacked the infrastructure (with a magnetic shock? )

Then it showed some people hiding in some shelter, apparently being sick, and the narration continued with:

"The second stage was bio-attack.."

(At least that's how I recall it).

Does anyone know which movie this was?

  • @fez: yes, it does, as does the answer below :) Commented Jun 19 at 11:01
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    Thanks @Jan - we close story ID questions as duplicates when they have the same accepted answer. This doesn't mean anything is wrong with your question, it's just something we do here at SciFi to keep things neat and tidy
    – fez
    Commented Jun 19 at 11:15

1 Answer 1


Probably The 5th Wave. Plot summary from Wikipedia:

A colossal alien spaceship is circling Earth, guided by extraterrestrial life referred to as "The Others". Ten days later, The Others unleash their 1st Wave, an electromagnetic pulse that disables all electrical power and communications worldwide, and shuts off the engines of moving vehicles, including planes in mid-flight. The 2nd Wave has The Others manipulate the planet's geology and fault lines, causing earthquakes and megatsunamis that destroy coastal cities and islands, including Hallandale Beach, London, Bangkok and New York City. In Ohio, Lake Erie floods, but Cassie and her younger brother Sam are able to escape by climbing a tree. For the 3rd Wave, The Others modify a strain of avian influenza and spread it across the planet via birds. The population is decimated, with Cassie's mother one of the victims. In the 4th wave, The Others possess common humans and start killing other humans.

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    Reality check: complete engine failure in an aircraft doesn't mean that it just tumbles from the sky (unless it's an F-111). Commercial transport aircraft will glide quite a long way. We now return you to your regularly scheduled SciFi/movie misconceptions.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 18 at 17:19
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    @FreeMan — yes, a 777 can glide 20 feet for every foot it descends, so if the engines go out at 35,000 feet, it might have 130 miles to find a good place to land. It doubt there is a spot in the US that is more than 130 miles from a highway or even an airport where you put down without killing a passenger. The plane might be a mess but the people would walk away. Commented Jun 19 at 0:42
  • @FreeMan That was my biggest gripe with the opening to Revolution. Everything else, you could just say "oh, it's doing something to the electronics". But planes don't just stop flying - and anything which could make that happen would also affect people's ability to move.
    – Graham
    Commented Jun 19 at 9:10
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    Any landing you can walk away from, @MichaelLorton, is a good landing! ;)
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 19 at 17:56
  • And if you can use the plane again, it's a great one.
    – Michael
    Commented Jun 19 at 18:30

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