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Generally favorable reviews- based on 303 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 303

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  1. Sep 2, 2014
    Robert Zemeckis is one of the best under-the-radar directors out of the last thirty years. He can tell a mindful story with such ease--granted he receives immense help from his on-screen counterparts. Fairly unknown actress, Kelly Reilly, is actually the finest part of the film.
  2. Aug 26, 2014
    Flight is a well made but somewhat uninvolving drama. It starts off with a pointless nude scene that never seems to end. Shortly after however is possibly one of the tensest scenes in movie history. The plane plunging to the ground as seen through the cockpit, and passengers hanging upside down in peril create some pretty terrifying moments. After the plane is down though the movie just becomes... well, boring. Sure, the acting is solid, and you really root for Whip to pull himself together, but it comes off as merely meh. It could have been tense and suspenseful, but it's mostly just unimpressive melodrama. You're never really drawn in. It's convincing, but not really much else. Expand
  3. Jul 23, 2014
    Flight is a cinematic masterpiece - it is emotionally captivating, a superb plot, and two oscar-worthy performances from its two oddly likeable leads.
  4. Jul 1, 2014
    Flight just might be one of the best dramas of 2012. Denzel Washington plays a pilot who was able to save many people in a plane failure by pulling an amazing stunt. The plane was consisted doomed along with everyone aboard due to a mechanical malfunction. Denzel’s character was able to gain enough control resulting in the safety of many of the passengers on board. The crash scenario the film portrays acts as only the driving point and set up for the following events. We soon find out the pilot may not be as heroic as the public views him, as information surfaces proving that the pilot was intoxicated. This leads to a very realistic series of events that builds tension and raises questions. Denzel Washington’s performance in Flight was spectacular and the way he unveiled his emotions was perfect. The cast was packed with excellent talent from John Goodman, Don Cheadle, and Bruce Greenwood all of whom played entertaining roles. The soundtrack was different than most dramas, but worked really well with the way it was edited together. My only major gripe with the film is the time taken to introduce characters that in the end didn’t really matter. Flight did an exceptional job of dealing with some heavy content, intense moments and heartfelt scenes. In the end, Flight soared. Expand
  5. Jun 9, 2014
    I hate airplanes. This isn't scary because it happens. It happens rarely. When it does happen chaos happens. Ride at your own risk. Lesson learned.

    Denzel does a fine job at losing control when it's the appropriate time to. Made his millions.
  6. Apr 28, 2014
    A pretty well acted movie but I didn't enjoy the storyline to much. The characters in this movie were great and they were usually really funny. And I did really enjoy the plane crash and a couple other scenes but the movie wasn't amazing by any means. A couple and in particular one scene could have been removed and it could have lost its 18A rating and they were kind of un needed. A ok movie with good acting Expand
  7. Apr 3, 2014
    While some may think Flight is just about a drunk, cocaine addict who has a drinking problem and confesses at the end, the film goes deeper than that. That is a very raw, unobserved way to put the storyline. While a narcissist might categorize the movie as a drug addiction film with drugs, beer, hooker and porn movies, I say, watch it again. Flight takes the tor of man who has addiction problem, and add drama, suspense, and a kick-ass plane crash sequence to top it, probably one of the best scenes involving a plane ever. Denzel puts on his usual rock star performance, and the movie just goes into "flight" from there! Expand
  8. Dec 16, 2013
    In this 2012 film, Director Robert Zemeckis shows-off his filmmaking chops in the film’s first forty-five phenomenal minutes. The plane crash in Flight is spectacular and original. A fresh new take and a welcome addition to the genre, it’s unlike any other plane crash I’ve seen before.

    Preparing for its final decent into Atlanta the MD-80 aircraft of Southjet Flight 227 severely
    malfunctions. The elevator, the hinged wings on the plane’s tail stick downward, sending the plane into a steep dive. A disastrous crash is almost certain, but with ace pilot Captain Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) at the controls, he and his crew pull off a remarkable feat and save hundreds of lives.

    After the gripping first act, the rest of film the film is propelled forward solely by Washington who is in fine form, yet despite this, the film mostly drags on. Many long, unnecessary, and awkward scenes could have easily have been cut, and the film would have been better for it. Parts of the back-story of Whitaker’s life work great, while others are just too convenient to be believable.

    Flight tries to be more than just a plane crash film. The film delves deep into the destruction alcoholism can cause, and also attempts to tackle the question of what it is to be a hero.

    While drudging up some very interesting and heavy material, considering the film’s length of 2hr 18min, a much clearer statement of intent would have been nice. Since Captain Whitaker is an alcoholic, there is a ton of backlash against him, but the dialogue on the subject of whether or not a drunk can be a hero, is far from concluded.
  9. Dec 11, 2013
    My issue with this movie is how terribly anticlimactic it was. Several times you feel build up but it just get's squandered away.
    I feel like it was such a good story line to start with but slowly deteriorates, and becomes another hallmark movie.
    On a positive note it was interesting to watch, but I felt no real resolve at the end of the film, and I felt like it was just a little too
    It could've been timeless easily, but instead they chose things to go into like him meeting a girl who might I say in my opinion is and was a terrible actor, emphasize it to the point that it's "cheesily" dramatic. I wanted to roll my eyes into the back of my head. Yet another disappointment with some of the way over dramatic and in style over dramatized but lacking meaning religious references, it's incomplete to me.
    Throughout the movie Denzel does a spectacular job, the base story itself is compelling, but gets muddied up and trampled on throughout the film.
    If you're not into movies that end in and non-deep and hallmark way, with a personal meaning and motivating cause, this isn't the best movie for you.
    Cinematically, decently set up. I'd give it a 6.
  10. Nov 12, 2013
    Ever since the movie Flight came out, people have been raving about it, but I didn't understand why until I actually sat down to watch it. Denzel Washington is one of my favorite actors, so I was going to see it either way, but I wasn't expecting it to be what it was. The previews and commercial all focused on the crash and the hero who made an impossible move to land the plane safely, but in reality that's just a small part of the movie. The true focus of the movie is on the troubled life of pilot, Whip Whitaker (Washington), whose demons seem to find him wherever he goes. When he's in the air, Whip is at peace and away from a life of hardship and disappointments, but after the crash, he's unable to fly and has to face that life head on. The film itself was actually a bit slow after the thrilling introduction and the excitement on board the plane. At parts during this film, I was bored, but it's necessary to bring the story together into an unexpected conclusion. Sometimes, a film is slow and it's just not worth it to sit there, but Flight is different. The film may lack something in the middle, but it is well worth you're time. The story is out of this world and Denzel Washington shows that he hasn't lost a thing. This man brings such a strong presents to everything that he does, that often times I find myself overlooking the entire rest of the cast. There are a lot of big names in this film, that all become forgettable after the performance Washington gives. Even though this film came out at the wrong time, if he doesn't receive the Academies attention for this role, then there is a gaping flaw in their system. The story is fantastic, Denzel Washington is nothing short of amazing, and this story will stick with you long after the film is over, I can not recommend it enough! Expand
  11. Oct 5, 2013
    Although I liked this film I did find it a little too long; in fact I have to admit that I watched it in two halves. From a totally stunning sequence at the start I felt it lost momentum for a while, that was until I became embroiled in the drama of Whip Whitaker’s story. It’s quite a tale and an excellent performance from Denzel Washington holds it all together quite brilliantly. I also thought Kelly Reilly did a pretty good job as well. But back to the opening sequence for a moment, for me it ranks as one of the best special effects driven sequences I’ve seen in a very long time and hats off to all involved. Taken as a whole, the film does take the audience on quite a journey and I know for some it couldn’t quite live up to that crash sequence. For me I thought it held together pretty well, mainly thanks to the acting skills of Mr Washington. Over all, definitely worth a watch but don’t get blown away by the crash sequence, there’s a lot more depth to it than that.

    SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED

    My score: 7.8/10
  12. Aug 10, 2013
    Flight is not what I thought it would be but was still a good movie. I have never seen Denzel or Don Cheadle in a complete bad movie so of course this was good. They list Nadine Velazquez like shes a big part of this movie but shes really not besides some exposing scenes.
  13. Aug 3, 2013
    The movie opens with an intense scene, but then dwindles down into something far less intriguing, addiction. Not that that is a problem, but since the script could have been much sharper, smarter, and shorter, it leaves you somewhat disappointed. For what it was though, it was decent.
  14. Jul 29, 2013
    Flight masters the most sincere and meaningful way to portray a man who we want to feel sympathetic towards, but find it difficult to so, as his reckless and arrogant behaviour plagues a tragic accident that he was directly involved with. The man in question is Whip Whitaker, an airline pilot, played by Denzel Washington, who gives an engrossing and driven performance as the damaged pilot, who saves many lives after a mechanical failure results in the plane he is piloting to nose dive towards the ground, but with death comes responsibility, and Whip must answer many questions as to the events of the crash, especially when he was drunk and high while flying the plane.
    The film kicks it into high gear right from the beginning, as we see Whip holding his confidence in the tightest of situations, the spectacular scenes involving the plane being upside down and the excellent cinematography within the plane create quite a frightening and realistic experience, but the power of Washington's performance excels beyond this, he seems like a man possessed when danger arises, nothing like the nervous and ashamed alcoholic we meet as the film progresses, something which he shares in common with Nicole (Kelly Reilly), a struggling drug user who comes into Whips life as he begins to feel the effects of a 'survivor guilt' scenario, something which turns him back to the bottle.
    As mentioned, the film is a character study above everything else, its difficult to feel any sort of feelings of despair for the man on the screen when he will seemingly throw it back. Don Cheadle plays the attorney who is attempting to remove the toxicology report from a hearing scheduled for Whip, but as Whip continues to struggle with his demons, he leaves very little reason for anyone to help him.
    Stellar performances make this film what it is, Washington goes above and beyond to portray a man who is truly shocked and saddened by what happened, even if it is proven not to be his fault, but he finds nobody there to turn to. John Goodman seeks out his funnier side again to play the dealer for Whip, giving some comic tone to the otherwise thrilling film. Where the film doesn't succeed is its final act, which seems typically paced to suit the needs of those seeking a moral ending, because this wasn't a moral film, it was driven by one man and his mission to destroy himself to try and forget, and while it can be argued this was the case for his eventual moral side kicking in, it just felt entirely out of tone.
    But that aside, the film perfects telling a troubled story with great detail with an equally powerful performance from Washington, showing a man who is conflicted about life but confident in what he is good at.
  15. Jul 27, 2013
    Flight is an interesting and well acted movie about a man battling with alcoholism. The movie suffers a little by being overlong but overall it's a decent cautionary tale.
  16. Jul 22, 2013
    Great story, a bit discouraging and kinda diced it in the end, perhaps they even tried to convince you in seeing some positivity in being locked up in prison. No, the end was ruined for me.
    I guess apart from that i can say i enjoyed it, (except for the real naked honesty in the beginning)...
  17. Jul 20, 2013
    If you're judging this movie purely on the various elements of cinematic categories (such as acting, production value, plot development, etc.) it's an incredible movie. Denzel Washington delivers one of his best performances and that's saying something because he's one of the best there is or has ever been. The supporting cast of Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly, Bruce Greenwood, and John Goodman is fantastic as well. The special effects were also done incredibly well. The plane crash was impressive and looked amazingly realistic. The movie, while really long, didn't drag either because the plot developed well and the characters felt authentic. So why the just pretty good rating? Because what's the purpose of a movie? To me it is to be entertained and I have always had trouble enjoying a film when the protagonist is such a detestable character, which Washington's was. There was also quite a bit of completely unnecessary nudity. Sure, Nadine Velazquez is absolutely breathtaking but was that opening scene really necessary? It seemed forced and more for shock effect than anything else. Nonetheless, this was still a very good movie and I think most people would enjoy it. Expand
  18. Jul 17, 2013
    I liked watching the movie (good performance, interesting story,...) but i was disappointed with the morale. Too much of "i am a sinner and i deserve to be punished" for me...
  19. Jun 10, 2013
    Washington and his supporting cast are enjoyable and the first 40 mins are good (up until after the crash) and then it just sorts of level off. It gets a little interesting at parts through out but never really gets to the potential that it was capable of reaching. Sort of a disappointment really because Flight easily could have been the best drama of the year.
  20. Jun 6, 2013
    This is no Robert Zemekis movie. This is something much more. Truly, this is a different direction that Zemekis has taken, but he without a doubt pulled it off. Flight is an engaging movie that soars in both acting and storytelling. But for sure, Denzel Washington's portrayal of Whip Whitaker is what helps make the movie so magnificent. Also, the movie had some amazing screenplay. John Gatins is a pure genius. I hope he keeps writing these awesome screenplays. One supporting character that struck me was John Goodman. The movie's that he's been lately are for sure putting him back on the radar. This is the comeback of John Goodman. I can't wait for him to bring back Sulley in "Monster's University." The only thing about this movie is that I wish it was nominated for best picture. It really deserved it! Overall, it's a breathtaking story that soars. Expand
  21. May 22, 2013
    Denzel Washington is the king of drama movies that's it no one could play that role better than him
    overall great movie and great story and Washington made it hard to not look at the screen.
  22. May 18, 2013
    The end scene is embarrassment to the clever build-up and solid role played by Denzel Washington. What a disappointing way waste a good story that had potential for so much more.
  23. Apr 24, 2013
    Flight stars Denzel Washington as Whip Whitaker, a pilot who can fly a passenger jet through the eye of a needle even though he's downed enough alcohol to put Haystacks Calhoun on his keester.

    Whitaker is no stranger to other mind-altering substances. He apparently can drink ten gallons of 150 proof hooch, fall asleep, then get himself back on his feet by snorting several lines of
    cocaine. And with all those drugs swirling around in his liver, he can expertly maneuver a disabled airplane upside-down (to be clear, it's the airplane that's upside-down. Although the Whipster could likely fly it standing on his head). What a stud!

    However this is a pretty good movie. You'll really enjoy it if you first dispose of your jaded negativity.
  24. Apr 12, 2013
    While many have complained about the heavy handedness and self-righteousness of the movies general theme (or great moral lesson) there is no escaping that it is still well acted by it's grade-a class of actors including Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly and the incorrigible John Goodman who even at a brief 10 minutes of total screen time is by far the most memorable side character of the film. Yes, in parts, the movie plays like a triple A recruiting tool for Alcoholics Anonymous. That isn't to say that the movie is bad. As a viewer, I realized I had been feeling impassioned by characters who spent no more than 10 minutes in front of the camera (one of them making her appearance as a topless flight attendant in a skinny red thong). However trite or mundane these characters are introduced, it only takes a few key scenes to be locked into their own web of misfortune, while feeling the deep seeded morose of Washington's Whip Whitiker. In the end, giving it time and consideration, the movie is far from trite and as moving as Washington's past performances. Not an outstanding movie (and maybe even one that could very well crawl under your skin sometimes), it's not all bad. Given a chance, there'll be moments when it surprises you. **3 out of 5 stars** Expand
  25. Apr 4, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The actions sequences in the beginning of the film are top notch. Denzel is excellent in his roll as he usually is. However I was disappointed in the plot flaws at the end. The coked up state he is put into to handle the questioning is far from believable and contrived for a "hip" plot twist.The questions about his opinion on a stewardesses sobriety in flight as the pilot are absurd. But even more so is his inability to answer a simple "I don't know" to the questioning. His unrealistic breakdown is an insult to intelligent viewers. Should have had an alternative finish. Expand
  26. Apr 1, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. IN MY OPINION **MAY CONTAIN SPOIILERS** by CtheTav This film is not what it seems. I expected to see some kind of action epic based on a plane with a drunken pilot trying to save the day. Apparently the trailers lied. What I saw was a story of a man battling addiction and the overarching story of the culture to blame and compensate that society has become used to. Denzel Washington plays the part of an alcoholic pilot struggling to sober up for an enquiry in to the crash seen in the films trailer. The story is suitably dark and shows the lengths people will go to cover their own asses and place the blame somewhere else without going too far i.e. full blown murder conspiracy. Robert Zermeckis seems to get a lot out of Washington who gives possibly his best performance to date and the film manages to tell the story over a longer time frame without resorting to narration which is always a plus in my opinion. The romance in the film seemed to drag on and I felt it didn't really add to the film and took away from the story. I liked the overall disturbing feeling that the film gives off after watching which is a sure fire sign of some kind of emotional investment. Rating 6 out of 10 A fairly thought provoking experience with rather unnecessary portions Expand
  27. Mar 22, 2013
    The Flight is descent. It's first minutes have tension, sadness. The story continues, and gets a bit confusing. However, don't let that avoid the movie. While confusing at times, it's an emotional and an enjoyable movie, that will keep you satisfied. Also, the ending is terrific.
  28. Mar 20, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Quite a good movie about a complicated character. He's obviously good at his craft of flying and because of that he saves the life of many people, but he does so while being high and drunk. If you've ever been close to someone who's an alcoholic or drug addict (or if you've been there yourself), it's quite hard to watch Denzel's character seemingly breakthrough and become sober, only to fall hard in the end. Well done, and well acted all the way through. Expand
  29. Mar 12, 2013
    My advice would be to watch the first half of this film, which is generally original and captivating. When it gets about an hour in, you will begin to notice some overt cliche thrown in casually. By the end of the film, you will walk out feeling appalled that you have once again been tricked into watching a predictable and non-sensical hollywood plotline tailored for the un-thinking audience. Damn you Hollywood producers for relying on formula and ill conceived moral banality to ruin yet another film that had great potential. Expand
  30. Mar 11, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Overall, Denzel Washington gives a good performance for a character that is not in the one bit likable. As character stories go, Whip never learns from his mistakes, but that's kind of the point of the character development. Because his addiction is so deep, his life revolves around alcohol and it's been his only escape from all his failures as a husband and father, and his failures as a noble and good person. The movie is ok, but spends too much time playing around with the idea of the plane crash and everything that happens as "an act of God," when in reality everything happens for a reason. But the whole time, Whip never learns. I guess that's the point of the movie. In that case, the message is flawed and difficult to really enjoy. Expand

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: Chris Hewitt (1)
    Jan 28, 2013
    A welcome return to live-action filmmaking for Zemeckis, who hasn't lost his knack for a brilliant shot or for extracting great performances. It may not exactly be a first-class experience throughout, but there's nothing wrong with premium economy.
  2. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Nov 7, 2012
    We get tired of watching Whip fail, and we're caught between dismayed pity and a longing to see him punished. Only a great actor could have pulled off this balancing act. [12 Nov. 2012, p.94]
  3. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Nov 4, 2012
    It may not be frivolously engaging but it is compelling.