Robert Zemeckis (2012)

15 Certificate


Our Score
The latest in cinema's long line of charismatic "functioning alcoholics" is Whip Whitaker (played by Denzel Washington), who, in this grown-up but only moderately revelatory drama about addiction, seems to mix a life of booze and drugs with a spotless career as an airline pilot. In the opening scene, he takes cocaine before piloting a flight from Orlando to Atlanta in bad weather. The ensuing in-flight emergency, terrifyingly staged by director Robert Zemeckis (and recalling the beginning of Cast Away, his last live-action movie), sees Whitaker emerge a hero. It's quite a first act. But Whip walks away from one set of wreckage into another, as an investigation by the authorities and a dangerous romance with Kelly Reilly's recovering heroin addict reveal a man in long-term denial. Although John Goodman as Washington's jolly drug dealer takes it into uneasy comedic territory and Melissa Leo as a safety investigator is criminally underused, a fine, vanity-free performance from Washington elevates Flight from predictable addiction-of-the-week melodrama to something much classier.


An airline pilot with a history of heavy drinking and drug use successfully lands a plane that suffers mechanical problems during a fierce storm, saving the lives of nearly everyone on board. While initially hailed as a hero, it later emerges that he was drunk at the time, raising questions about whether he may have contributed to the disaster rather than averted it. Drama, starring Denzel Washington and Don Cheadle.

Cast & Crew

Whip Whitaker Denzel Washington
Hugh Lang Don Cheadle
Nicole Kelly Reilly
Harling Mays John Goodman
Charlie Anderson Bruce Greenwood
Ellen Block Melissa Leo
Ken Evans Brian Geraghty
Katerina Marquez Nadine Velazquez
Director Robert Zemeckis
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: ParamountGuidance: Swearing, sexual references, drug abuse, nudity.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 1 Feb 2013