Anyone already afraid of flying won't be helped by the opening scenes of Flight
, when disaster strikes mid-air and a harrowing crash soon follows. That anyone at all survives is attributed to the talents of veteran pilot Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington), but the hero worship turns to suspicion as questions about Whitaker's sobriety begin popping up. Robert Zemeckis, who hasn't directed a film personally since 2000's Castaway
, flexes his muscle with some sly shooting and an astonishingly engrossing tempo. Don Cheadle's unflappable lawyer and John Goodman's cocksure drug dealer do some heavy lifting, as does Kelly Reilly as a recovering heroin addict. But the show belongs to Washington, whose natural charisma makes his increasing addiction and spiral towards self-destruction so darn watchable. Suspenseful and exciting, Flight'
s a disaster thriller where a plane doesn't crash nearly as hard and as fast as a man's life. - Jacob Boon