Flight

In what seems like a very expensive public service announcement brought to you by Alcoholics Anonymous and Christianity, director Robert Zemeckis and screenwriter John Gatins present Denzel Washington as an airline pilot who manages a plane crash quite heroically but also less heroically may have caused it. Well, for all its protracted moralizing, at least the movie also tries very hard to be cool, offering up full frontal from Maxim Hot 100 habitué Nadine Velazquez, cheeky drug humor from John Goodman, and, oh yes, that highly harrowing crash — a fine set piece which indeed proves much more suspenseful than all the subsequent will-he-or-won’t-he fretting over the pilot’s compulsion to keep drinking. Nimbly managing the segue from literal to figurative downward spiral, and milking self-pity as only he can, Washington does give a convincing portrayal of an addict in denial. His conflicted enablers include Bruce Greenwood, Kelly Reilly, and Don Cheadle.