The scenes of the harrowing plane crash in this film are getting the most notice - and, yes, for good reason (do NOT watch it if you're planning on flying any time soon). But the most dramatic scene really is a quiet one: Denzel Washington, as the alcoholic pilot who managed to land that plane after a mechanical malfunction, lies in a hospital bed, listening as someone tells him exactly what happened and who died. Only one of Washington's bloodshot eyes is visible - his other one is injured and covered with gauze - and yet the actor makes every thought, every emotion, register with amazing eloquence. Washington proves again what a supreme performer he is. "Flight" offers an provocative exploration of addiction indeed. The script by John Gatins and direction by Robert Zemeckis, though, can get a little heavy-handed. Some plot twists feel unearned. The songs that accompany certain scenes only reinforce the obvious. And while John Goodman's drug dealer is funny, it feels as though he walked in from a completely different movie.
- KRISTINA DORSEY