Metascore
76

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: Roger Ebert
    Oct 31, 2012
    100
    It is nearly flawless.
  2. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Nov 1, 2012
    100
    Flight is exciting - terrific, really - because in addition to the sophisticated storytelling techniques by which it keeps us hooked, it doesn't drag audience sympathies around by the nose, telling us what to think or how to judge the reckless, charismatic protagonist played by Denzel Washington.
  3. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Oct 31, 2012
    100
    Flight opens with one of the most harrowing in-flight-disaster depictions of all time.
  4. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Oct 14, 2012
    83
    Slickly paced and carried by mature performances, Flight embodies one of the finer strains of Hollywood filmmaking in recent years.
  5. 90
    No actor is as brilliant, or as cunning, as Denzel Washington at portraying superhuman coolness and the scary prospect of its loss.
  6. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Nov 1, 2012
    88
    Flight is neither a simple story of heroism, nor one of a fallen hero. Things are more complex than that - and it is its complexities that make the film all the more rewarding an experience.
  7. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Nov 1, 2012
    88
    You might bitch that Flight levels off after its shocking, soaring start. But you'd be missing the point of an exceptional entertainment that Zemeckis shades into something quietly devastating – not an addiction drama, but the deeper spectacle of a man facing the truth about himself.
  8. Reviewed by: R. Kurt Osenlund
    Oct 17, 2012
    88
    A unique, audacious studio movie, kicking off as a star-driven spectacle before whittling itself down to a raw and riveting character study.
  9. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Nov 1, 2012
    88
    We can quibble about the punitive punchline of John Gatins' script, but keeping complexity aloft for so long makes Flight a miraculous feat.
  10. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Oct 31, 2012
    91
    Exhilarating drama, and a triumphant return to glory for both Zemeckis and Washington.
  11. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Oct 31, 2012
    91
    Directing his first live-action film since 2000's "Cast Away," Robert Zemeckis paces it brilliantly, slowly ramping up the energy from hungover lethargy to coke-fueled confidence, while creating undercurrents of dread as Washington hits his stride.
  12. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Oct 14, 2012
    90
    This absorbing drama provides Denzel Washington with one of his meatiest, most complex roles, and he flies with it.
  13. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Nov 1, 2012
    90
    Flight is freakishly real; it's one of those big-screen nightmares that will inspire fear-of-flying moviegoers to run home and Google car rental deals and Greyhound schedules.
  14. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Oct 17, 2012
    90
    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.
User Score
7.1

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
    8
    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
    2
    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
    5
    From the previews this looks like the nail-biting experience of a plane crash. That's pretty true