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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sobering and Enthralling
From the opening scene of Washington waking up in bed with a stewardess, drinking leftover booze and snorting a line of coke - before heading to the airport to fly a plane... we know we are in for a role from him a little different than we have seen for a while. This is a man whose life is figuratively, and pretty soon literally, in freefall. The opening act of the...
Published 15 months ago by Mr. Stephen Kennedy

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars WE ARE IN A DIVE
The title is a little misleading. This is a story about an alcoholic substance abuser (Denzel Washington as Whip Whitaker) who has yet to come to terms with his problem. The flight incident happens early in the film while the rest of the film documents Whip's denial of his problems. What muddies the water is that Whip, while drunk, is a better pilot than anyone is...
Published 19 months ago by The Movie Guy


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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sobering and Enthralling, 1 Sep 2013
By 
Mr. Stephen Kennedy "skenn1701a" (Doha, Qatar) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Flight [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
From the opening scene of Washington waking up in bed with a stewardess, drinking leftover booze and snorting a line of coke - before heading to the airport to fly a plane... we know we are in for a role from him a little different than we have seen for a while. This is a man whose life is figuratively, and pretty soon literally, in freefall. The opening act of the movie is a plane crash that is both visceral and believable.. a reminder of Zemeckis the director who knows the value of special effects and how they help you tell a story. The rest of the movie reveals a different director altogether, the director of Castaway, Forrest Gump and Contact, who understands how to reveal character and make people 3 dimensional. After that crash, the movie's drama is all based on the character. He is told he has to stay clean and off the booze, and his battle with that is what drives the movie forward, as the movie explores the period up to the Federal investigation hearing. As the debris from the plane is pulled to together to investigate the crash, the movie starts to explore the wreckage that is Denzel's life. The middle stretch of the movie is a bit baggy for sure, but it's hard to say what should have been cut, because every minute of Washington on screen is electric. If it hadn't been for Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln, I'm sure the Oscar would have been his. A memorable scene involves him and a hotel mini-bar, in a will he-won't he moment that is wonderfully cut together and shows the director and actor in top form. His personal flight from facing his addiction is gripping in its own way, but it's worth also mentioning a supporting cast that rise to the occasion - from Kelly Reilly as the woman he meets in hospital who tries to sober him up, to Don Cheadle and Bruce Greenwood his support system for the legal battle, to John Goodman his supplier of medicinal pick-me-ups and source of most of the movies few laughs, there isn't a wrong step.
There are plenty of ideas explored here, about relationships, faith as well as addiction, which stretch the running time a bit. So yes, it's a little sluggish to be a masterpiece. But the performances here make this a must see nonetheless, and if you have had experience with alcoholics then the lies and behaviours here will ring scarily true. A slightly long, but satisfyingly nuanced success.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An alcohol addicted pilot, 9 Feb 2014
This review is from: Flight [DVD] (DVD)
From the academy award winning director that brought us Forrest Gump and Cast Away, Robert Zemeckis returns with another intense drama / thriller entitled Flight, starring Denzel Washington, Nadine Velazquez, Kelly Reilly, John Goodman, Don Cheadle and Bruce Greenwood.
The film is based around the character of an American airline pilot, Whip Whitaker (Denzel) and his “doomed” flight, SouthJet 227, from Orlando to Atlanta. The movie starts off on a roll with Denzel's exceptional acting, in bed with a stewardess, Katerina Marquez (Nadine), smoking and snorting a line of cocaine before going for his flight. Whip goes to the flight with this happy go lucky attitude and utters, “like a game”, while actually taking off in a severe thunderstorm and sings “feeling alright, feeling alright” at the amazement of his co-pilot. As thrilling events of the flight unfold, we see the plane malfunction and Whip pulling a stunt that although it doesn't help from the plane crashing, manages to save 96 people out of the 102 souls on board the plane. This part is so realistic that it makes you feel like not boarding another plane in your life.
The crash is Whip's wake up call and from this moment onwards, the movie takes a drama approach and we see him battling his alcohol addiction through his lifes' up and downs. Simultaneously we are also introduced to the life of Nicole (Kelly), who also has a drug addiction. This is a very interesting side of the movie-making process as we can see how Robert manages to connect their lives together. Whip is dealing with his alcohol addiction and the crash. At the same time, Nicole is struggling with a drug addiction. Everything becomes connected when Whip's plane is going down and it incidentally passes over Nicole's apartment while she is being taken out on a stretcher after a heroin overdose. Eventually they both meet each other in hospital.
Hugh Lang (Don) and Charlie Anderson (Bruce) play the supporting roles of lawyer and Pilot's Union representative respectively and basically try to save Whip's life by protecting him throughout the course of the investigation from the NTSB for loss of life and flying under the influence of alcohol.
Harling Mays (John), Whip's dealer, is the film's humouristic side. However he is also a part of Whip's dark side, but as the movie progresses we learn that Whip is his own worst enemy.
In a nutshell I would say that this movie is worth a watch. Great acting from the whole cast, with a very interesting story line. The choice of music gives a certain feel to the movie which is very important and portrays Whip's character so well, with tracks from the likes of Joe Cocker, The Rolling Stones and Marvin Gaye. However, for me, the ending is the best part, so sit tight and enjoy this great movie.
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52 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid drama, 26 Jan 2013
By 
This review is from: Flight [DVD] (DVD)
The ever excellent Denzel Washington teams up with super director Robert Zemeckis to create a powerful drama, that at times falls into sentimentality too much, but when it's gritty, and showing the lead character at his worst (i.e. drunk or on drugs) it really is quite emotional and more importantly believable.

Denzel plays an air line pilot, who is heavily dependant on booze and drugs, but covers it up well (or he thinks he does) when going to work. He has a lot of personal problems, since separating from his wife, and kids, and uses this as an excuse to get wasted.

On a routine flight a massive mechanical/electrical failure to the air craft means he has to use his years of experience to crash land the plane, and try and save all on board.

He is commended for his actions, and becomes a public/media hero, but with the investigation under way as to the cause of the crash, the authorities are aware he had drugs and alcohol in his system.

Thus starts a drama that leads to typical Hollywood conclusion where he must fight his demons and co operate with the investigation, knowing he may well be put to prison, despite even the authorities admitting no one else could have landed the plane the way he did.

The plane crash sequence is simply harrowing, right up there with the best of them, and lets be fair director Zemeckis has done this before with the Tom Hanks movie castaway, but this brings it to a new level, it really is unsettling to watch.

The films only weakness is it is perhaps a little too long, and talky in places, a slight trim here and there and it could have been tighter in the story telling, that said Denzel and the film portray alcoholism probably in the most realistic light since Nicolas Cage and the film Leaving Las Vegas, it pulls no punches.

There is nudity, drug taking and bad language, but none of it seems extreme, as the film is trying to tell a story of a man who is highly intelligent and at the top of his game career wise, but falling apart behind the scenes, and if that was the aim, then the film makers succeeded in making a very good drama, add some beautiful cinematography, and a really good music soundtrack and this is an intelligent drama, that runs a little out steam towards the end with it's typical Hollywood, court room style ending.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great performance from 'Denzel Washington' The flight sequence was indeed ..., 24 Feb 2013
By 
rbmusicman (U.K) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Alcohol dependant and drug taking pilot 'Whip Whitaker' takes charge of doomed flight 227.
the plane takes off in the wake of a violent storm, when the plane levels off above the
storm second-in-command takes charge of the flight whilst 'Captain Whitaker' sleeps off
his hangover.
Suddenly a catestrophic incident occurs causing the plane to nose-dive out of control,
'Captain Whitaker' miraculously lands the plane, four passengers and two flight-crew perish
ninty six souls survive....truly a miracle.
However the Captain becomes the subject of an intense investigation despite his heroics in
landing the stricken craft, was the crash his fault, did drink and drugs contribute ?
great performance from 'Denzel Washington'
The flight sequence was indeed very tense,you sure wouldn't wanna watch this a few days prior
to catching a flight, .......would be a bit like watching 'Titanic' whilst on a cruise.
worth a spin.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly compelling, if a little depressing, 31 Oct 2013
By 
David P (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Flight [DVD] (DVD)
Denzel Washington is becoming a true giant of the cinema. I can't remember him being in a duff film. His moving portrayal of an alcoholic slowly coming to terms with the fact that he really does have a problem is brilliant. The film is not exactly uplifting, but it is superb.

Slight spoilers here, stop reading if you don't want to know any story details.

In summary, he plays a coke-sniffing alcoholic pilot who suffers a catastrophic failure of his plane which is nothing to do with his problems. Despite turning up for work high on coke to relieve the symptoms of a massive hangover, and still drunk, he is nevertheless a consummate pilot and manages against all the odds to bring the plane down in a controlled crash, saving all but 6 of the people on board. The film then follows the subsequent investigation and pursuit of him. His belief, probably true, that he is one of a tiny number of pilots skilled enough to have saved as many lives as he did is used in his own mind to excuse, and almost justify, his substance abuse. But he slowly comes around to the idea that even though he saved the day, he really should not have been in the cockpit at all.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars WE ARE IN A DIVE, 17 May 2013
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Flight [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
The title is a little misleading. This is a story about an alcoholic substance abuser (Denzel Washington as Whip Whitaker) who has yet to come to terms with his problem. The flight incident happens early in the film while the rest of the film documents Whip's denial of his problems. What muddies the water is that Whip, while drunk, is a better pilot than anyone is sober.

John Goodman provided the comedy relief for the film. I wish there had been more of him in the film. Nadine Velazquez provides the full frontal nude scene at the beginning of the feature.

Denzel Washington creates a good character, but the plot was weak. It wasn't a flight film. And as far as a man coming to terms with his alcoholism, it didn't exactly grab me. There was some questions involving Denzel's secular views vs. the religious views of those around him. The co-pilot's wife caused laughter believing the accident was God's will.

Parental Guide: F-bombs, nudity, no sex.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another great DW perfromance in a movie that flits from humdrum to terrific, 25 Oct 2014
This review is from: Flight [DVD] (DVD)
Another powerful performance by DW, this time in a role where if not actually an unsympathetic character, certainly one about whom you can at best feel ambiguous. But sometimes not even ambiguous. Airline pilots know the rules. The man did not deserve to be a pilot, and certainly deserved jail from the first scene. Puts you on a knife edge, unsure if you want him to walk or burn.

In fact, what we have here is a sort of aviation version of “Rules of Engagement”. Obviously there are differences; the lawyer here is closer to standard legal slime, as opposed to Tommy Lee Jones’ honest hero, and eventually RofE unfolds and you get a clear answer.

Unlike RofE, this film doesn’t for the most part let its evidence out so slowly, so while there is suspense, it’s very different here. From the first scene, while he may have saved the passengers (and we don’t get enough evidence to be sure), he deserves to be jailed. Like the “hero” inept drug smuggler in “Midnight Express”, you (OK, I) cannot sympathise with him much if at all.

Really, the thing only comes to life in the second half. The flight itself is hilarious, like something in the “Die Hard” franchise, and thankfully the wonderful John Goodman’s revolting character appears only briefly, though his final scene is excellent, almost hilarious and recovering him somewhat. Kelly Reilly is good, but that element’s all very contrived. Bruce Greenwood as ever provides the soundest possible support to the whole thing, this time on our protagonist’s side, unlike RofE.

The hearing, despite what I thought to be technical inaccuracies is excellent, and the movie’s conclusion similarly good or even better.

I’m then left with a difficult score to make. DW’s performance, really good. The first half of the movie and its (IMHO) technical inaccuracies, two stars, no more. The rest, mixed four and five star bits. Overall, four stars, I think is fair. I like it, but it has too many poor parts for five.

Good movie, not what I expected at all, and I hope there are no spoilers here.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Are you intelligent or mindless?, 30 July 2014
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This review is from: Flight [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
How can a movie initiate such a diverse and polarised range of opinions as this feedback suggests? Clearly it is not the movie itself that is responsible, as that is a constant, so it must be about the diversity of thinking styles and/or capability of the viewer.

In terms of genre, this movie has two distinct styles or elements. It starts as an action movie and ends as a drama - a study of the human condition and psychology. Only if you appreciate and understand both elements, will you enjoy this film.

I believe, and most seem to agree, that this is a very well made action movie. Most of us enjoy the thrill of danger and this movie succeeds in suspending reality for a good number of minutes in a completely involving struggle to keep the aircraft in the air. This part of the movie engages our primal instincts and demands little of our intellect.

The rest of the movie is primarily about relationships and the damage caused to them by addiction. It is also about a personal battle with alcohol and drug addiction and the psychology of that. This part demands of the viewer a modicum of empathy, mental creativity and the ability to think. The possession of a well-defined value set might also be an asset here. I suspect these are elements of intelligence. If you lack it, you may find yourself sleeping through the most impactful scenes.

So, make a judgement (if you are able) as to whether you are reasonably clever or not, and you will be able to work out whether or not this is a movie for you.

As to the 4 stars I give it, 1 is dropped because, for me, the conclusion of the film was not completely convincing. In my experience, honesty follows sobriety, not precedes it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Drama, 19 Oct 2014
By 
Alexandre "ayjay" (London, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Flight [DVD] (DVD)
I don't want to take to plot away, so I keep it general:

For an American movie, this is actually rather good. I like the almost "theatre" style production, as the film has a fair few scenes of surprisingly well-rehearsed dialogues. The inclusion of meaningful silences gives it much added value (rare these days with all those "action packed" overly noisy productions).
I like the props (cigarettes, alcohol etc). Again, for a US-American film they correspond with - what one would expect from a - realistic setting. The CGI (airport scene and crash) is reasonably realistic and not bad at all: It looks matter of fact, which is good.

All too oftern, US films pander on about either family values, America saves the world or save the President etc. This film, however, has a more interesting setting, that of an airline with corrupt solicitors, attempting to conceal the truth after a crash of an aeroplance, whose dodgy pilot - eventually - owns up to the bitter truth. A very admirable performance by Denzel Washington.

If you liked "Armchair Theatre" (a British drama broadcast from the mid 1950's to 1970's), you may well like this film, 'Flight'. I enjoyed it immensely.
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5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT FILM WITH OUTSTANDING PICTURE QUALITY., 4 Dec 2014
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This review is from: Flight [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
During a routine flight from Orlando to Atlanta, Whip Whitaker, played by Denzel Washington an airline pilot, battles with his plane after it develops a malfunction. Ultimately he is unable to gain back proper control, and his only alternative is to crash land. Due to his actions, he save the majority of his passengers, and ends up in hospital. He is hailed a hero, but after blood tests reveal alcohol and drugs in his bloodstream, he is told he could face criminal charges.

Denzel Washington plays a brilliant part as ever. The theme of this film may suggest a depressing movie, but it's certainly not. The acting is superb. The storyline, although done before, is immersive, and the film will keep you watching till the last frame. This movie was shot on HD video as opposed to film. This film shows that when done right, as this was, HD video can look as good as film.

Picture Quality is outstanding, with a pin sharp image. Colours are natural. This blu ray release was transferred in it's original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and the sound is in 5.1

Recommended.
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Flight [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Flight [Blu-ray] [Region Free] by Robert Zemeckis (Blu-ray - 2013)
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