Sometimes bad things happen to good people.
~ Jackson Rippner

Jackson Rippner is the main antagonist of the 2005 film Red Eye.

He was portrayed by Cillian Murphy, who also portrayed Scarecrow in the Dark Knight Trilogy and Timekeeper Raymond Leon in In Time.


Jackson is an assassin who works with an anti-government terrorist group. After attending her grandmother's funeral, Lisa Reisert meets Jackson while waiting for her delayed flight back to Miami, where he says he is also heading. They have a drink together at the airport bar, and she finds him charming, if a bit strange.

When she is boarding the plane, Lisa also learns that Jackson is boarding the same flight. After the plane takes off, Jackson reveals he is working for a group who intend to assassinate Charles Keefe (the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security) and his family - and Lisa is instrumental to their plan, because she works as acting manager at the hotel where the Keefe family are staying.

If Lisa refuses to cooperate, a hitman will be deployed to kill her father Joe at his home. While Lisa has no way of preventing the murder without getting her father killed, she is desperate to somehow prevent it from happening.

She first attempts to write a warning in the book, when the old lady from the check-in line comes to talk to her about it. Jackson, however, head-butts her unconscious after finding out. The second time is when she goes to the rest room, and writes a warning - in soap - on the mirror. When sitting in his seat on the plane, Jackson notices that the JetPhone In-Flight Telephone Service is in use. He heads over to the rest-room, and appears at the door just as Lisa is about to leave. He then sees the writing on the mirror, and forces Lisa back inside.

When Lisa begs him not to kill her father, Jackson simply responds by telling her she should stop gambling with his life. He then notices a scar above Lisa's breast, and asks her if someone did that to her. When she tells him no, he then starts choking her - and shows his anger for her not being honest, when he was so honest to her. After letting her go, he starts using water-soaked paper-towels to wipe off the message on the mirror. A flight attendant is suspicious of the noise coming from the bathroom, but mistakes it for Jackson and Lisa having sex.

In order to kill Keefe, it is intended to use a portable missile launcher - from a boat in a nearby harbor - aimed at the hotel. There is one problem, however: Keefe likes to stay in a different suite to the one facing where the missile is - staying in a suite that faces the city, instead. Jackson has to force Lisa to use the In-Flight Telephone Service, so that she can tell the hotel staff to change the reservation, so that Keefe and his family will be staying in Room 4080 - the suite facing where the missile is.

Following turbulence from a storm which means the In-Flight Telephone Service cannot be used, Lisa successfully makes the call a second time around - and Keefe and his family are moved into Room 4080. But, Jackson can't let either Lisa or her father go, because he still needs the call confirming that Keefe and his family have be killed.

When the plane finally arrives at its destination, and lands, Lisa admits to Jackson how she got the scar above her breast - before then stabbing him in the throat with a pen, and making a run for it from the plane, with his phone. While the flight attendants are calling for the emergency services, both the airport security and Jackson chase Lisa through the airport. Lisa narrowly manages to escape both, and takes an SUV - so that she can have time to phone the hotel. She phones the hotel, and warns them about the attempt on the Keefe family's lives. She also tells them to evacuate immediately, and Cynthia (Lisa's assistant) and the Secret Service manage to evacuate the Keefes, just before the missile is then fired at Room 4080.

When Lisa has to drive to her father's house before Jackson can deploy the hitman, she finds the hitman is already there - and runs him down with the SUV, and crashes through the front of the house. Afterwards, Jackson arrives and knocks out Lisa's father - so that he can deal with Lisa himself.

He then chases her through the house, and when he finally catches up with her, throws her down the stairs. After Lisa crawls down the last few steps, she finds a gun lying next to the dead hitman - and picks it up, before then threatening Jackson with it. He attempts to escape, but Lisa shoots him before he can. He then kicks the gun from her hand and grabs her hair, but Lisa's father shoots and kills Jackson just as the police are arriving.

In an extended version of the film, Jackson is shown to be strapped to a gurney as emergency medical responders transport him to the hospital. In this version of the film, which was shown on ABC, it is left ambiguous whether he survived.



  • The name "Jackson Rippner" is a blatant reference to "Jack the Ripper", and this is even pointed out at one point in the film by Lisa and himself.