Flight (2012)

7.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 7/10

Denzel is strong like normal

Story was predictable and actors like Melissa Leo, John Goodman, and Don Cheadle were wasted

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Flight

Studio:  Parkes + MacDonald Prods

Genre(s):  Drama

Release Date(s):  October 14, 2012 (New York Film Festival)/November 2, 2012 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R


I’m so high!!! No really look out the window!

William “Whip” Whitaker (Denzel Washington) spends a night out on the town, getting drunk, sleeping with Trina Marquez (Nadine Velazquez), and using cocaine to level himself out…unfortunately he’s the pilot of a commercial jetliner set to lift off in the morning.  The event is a regular event for Whip so it is like any other day.  When the plane goes into a dive, Whip does the unthinkable by inverting the plane and landing it in the field…losing four passengers and two crew members which included Marquez.  Meeting the survivor of a heroin overdose at the hospital named Margaret Thomason (Tamara Tunie), Whip and Margaret form an uneasy relationship as Whip and his appointed attorney Hugh Lang (Don Cheadle) must prove that mechanical malfunction caused the accident.  Whip’s drinking however isn’t over and the decisions that Whip makes could damn or save him.



Directed by Robert Zemeckis, Flight was well-received by critics and the often praised Denzel Washington once again was noted as a stand-out.  The movie received two Oscar nominations…one for Best Actor for Washington and one for Best Original Screenplay.

I have to start out by saying that Flight isn’t my type of movie.  I saw the trailer and kind of cringed because I found it almost laughable that the plane was flying upside down like some bad imitation of Top Gun.  With a basic premise I couldn’t believe (I’m not a pilot but would think a plane like that would have been torn to shreds by pulling a maneuver like that in a power dive), I have a hard time taking the movie.


So all these trials and tribulations are really about me just admitting I’m a drunk? Score!!!

Fortunately, the movie isn’t a movie about a plane crash, it is a movie about an alcoholic facing his problem.  Denzel is a solid actor and hardly anyone would disagree with that, but I find many of his roles the same:  the crooked or flawed character that often turns out to be likeable despite his many flaws.  Whip (yeah, I think the name is kind of dumb too) has pretty much every flaw you can think of for a character.  Much like his Oscar winning turn in Training Day, it was like the writers just said:  What can we do to make him bad?…And then piled it on.


I’m confused…am I the comic relief enabler? What’s my motivation?

I can hardly say the script is very original.  I did like that the movie made him less sympathetic from the onset but found it played it way too heavy handed.  *****Spoiler*****  I knew from the moment that the search crews found the bottles that the movie would end with a weepy Whip admitting guilt to prevent Marquez from being framed as “the bad one”…and it is what happened.  I also found it tough to take that essentially this was a movie about an alcoholic that couldn’t admit it and that they used this whole plane thing as a means to tell the story aka “excessive drinking is bad”…the wreck was incidental.

I know I’m probably in the minority that found the movie overly preachy and sometimes even condescending to the subject, and I even see how people could enjoy a movie like this, but I found it rather tedious and over done (even with soaring dramatic music).  That doesn’t mean Flight is necessarily was a bad movie, but an average movie with above average acting…Something that I almost find less entertaining than a bad movie with bad acting.

Related Links:

The 85th Academy Award Nominations

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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