Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Oct 31, 2012
    Exhilarating drama, and a triumphant return to glory for both Zemeckis and Washington.
  2. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Oct 30, 2012
    My biggest problem with Flight is not the unanswered questions it raises, but the eleventh-hour epiphany just in time for a happy ending. Maybe I'm naturally cynical, but I simply don't believe that people are basically good at heart - and I don't buy into sudden salvation. Otherwise, Flight is one hell of an entertainment.
  3. 90
    No actor is as brilliant, or as cunning, as Denzel Washington at portraying superhuman coolness and the scary prospect of its loss.
  4. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Oct 17, 2012
    A canny director and a top star decided to dig deep to find the core of a compromised hero. And when they reach that center of gravity, Flight soars.
  5. Reviewed by: Rodrigo Perez
    Oct 17, 2012
    An engaging and initially very promising drama about alcoholism, redemption and forgiveness that grows uneven and long-winded as it progresses.
  6. Reviewed by: Tom Shone
    Oct 17, 2012
    Next to Gump, the film has the moral force of a George Steiner essay, but what lends it that force are not the carefully calibrated moral ambiguities of the script, but the bruised, defiant soul that appears to us in the form of Denzel Washington.
  7. Reviewed by: R. Kurt Osenlund
    Oct 17, 2012
    A unique, audacious studio movie, kicking off as a star-driven spectacle before whittling itself down to a raw and riveting character study.
  8. Reviewed by: Vadim Rizov
    Oct 16, 2012
    Zemeckis intends to give us a slightly more depraved version of Washington's usual charismatic hero, then pull the rug out from him. But Flight's true downward spiral is its own loss of momentum.
  9. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Oct 14, 2012
    Denzel Washington is aces as a commercial airline pilot who pulls off a miraculous mid-air stunt while flying with a 0.24 blood alcohol concentration, only to face his demons on the ground.
  10. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Oct 14, 2012
    This absorbing drama provides Denzel Washington with one of his meatiest, most complex roles, and he flies with it.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 303 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 84 out of 105
  2. Negative: 9 out of 105
  1. Jan 29, 2013
    A very good drama about facing who we are, taking responsibility, and change to the right direction. Mr. Denzel Washington's acting was great. A little bit slow, but worth watching im my opinion. Full Review »
  2. Nov 25, 2012
    Flight had a potential to be a compelling psychological and moral drama but squandered all that it built up in the last 30 minutes by pandering to the worst Hollywood stereotypes of preachy sentimental commercialism. I wanted to throw up when Denzel sanctimoniously decides to go all repentant at the hearing, and then makes his schmaltzy confession to fellow inmates. When his son (with whom he established no relationship in the film) showed with a school assignment, I was ready to strangle Zemeckis, Denzel, and especially the scriptwriter for the most saccharine sappy weepy sell out. I really don't know how any intelligent viewer could have related to that concluding half hour of the film and I can't recall any recent film that undermined itself so irredeemably. What a waste of money and talent, especially Denzel's. The recovering drug junkie's role was woefully underwritten, and only Goodman in his walk-on role can safely dissociate himself from the rest of the film. The bright spots were the secondary characters, especially the black stewardess who should have had more screen time and the dying cancer guy in the hospital. When I say the film had potential, just imagine a complex, ambiguous film where Denzel lies at the hearing (without the psychologically and dramatically ridiculous drunken binge the night before), the corporations are punished (as they should for unsafe aircrafts), Denzel retires with a nice severance package that gives him time to first realize that without cocaine he would have not saved the plane and then brings him out of the cycle of self-abuse. He moves to Jamaica with his white girlfriend. She does photography, he just chills, and in the last scene, we see them listening to raggae and smoking weed, a great pitch for legalizing marijuana. Full Review »
  3. Nov 4, 2012
    From the previews this looks like the nail-biting experience of a plane crash. That's pretty true