Flight is an amazing movie for Denzel Washington’s internal struggle but the plane crash is on the high scale of awesome.

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  • Aragorn

    And it is a great PSA for keeping seat belts on during entire flight…

    I also believe with a lesser actor than Denzel, it could have been just an average movie with a plane crash. Denzel takes the entire movie to a higher level. With all the great reviews, and probably good box office, Denzel’s nomination is almost a lock. Win? I am not sure. John Howkes is quite good, and DDL is, well, Lincoln..

  • Vann Dairies

    Haven’t seen it yet, but looks to be one of the best movies of the year. Can it win best picture? We’ll see. Best actor for Washington? Could be.

  • Samantha Keyy

    Denzel’s acting is out of this world! Hopefully he can snag his 3rd Oscar and 2nd best actor award.

  • Aragorn


    in a year, where there are so many other well-reviewed, big name movies, I dont think Flight has any chance to win BP..Nomination? May be.

    Regarding Denzel, I dont know. He is good, but better than DDL? I am not sure as I didnt see Lincoln yet. If they really want to give an actor his 3rd Oscar, would they choose Denzel over DDL, especially since the latter’s movie will be much more popular with the AMPAS than Flight?

  • g

    I just got back home after seeing it, a great movie, everyone liked it. I thought Denzel was amazing, but to me I still say Mr. Phoenix has given the best performance of the year.

  • Stefanie Johnson

    Loved this film. favorite so far and i’ll be rooting for Denzel all the way. haven’t seen Lincoln yet though, but wow.

  • The plane crash IS amazing…but that’s about it. I’m a little dazed from all the praise this movie and Denzel are getting. There’s nothing extraordinary here apart from that crash.

  • Danica

    It truly is amazing. excellent movie and i liked the overall balance and tone of it. pretty short film, but everyone seemed to enjoy it!

  • Astrid

    This film literally blew my mind. It’s structured beautifully and the struggle of Washington’s character is so poignant. I loved the muddiness of all the characters — good mixed with bad, just like life. I found it extraordinarily realistic and touching. John Goodman was a welcome bit of comic relief — the whole theater exploded every time he came on screen. he only has three scenes but I think he should be nominated right there along with Denzel. He’s great – the whole cast is. LOVED IT. And, Awards Daily, THANK YOU for posting this behind the scenes feature… the crash was so terrifying in the theater that I feared never flying again and it’s kind of comforting to see the “movie magic” in the piece so it demystifies the experience and makes it less scary. 🙂 For me, crash or no crash, this definitely rates right up there at the top of my list for best movie of the year and best performances. Really great movie, highly recommend seeing it!

  • Astrid

    Oh! And yes (not that I know much about sound) but it was pretty awesome in the movie theater.

  • I have a difficult time with these videos so I only watched half. This is a new computer too so I don’t know why they’re always so sticky for me.

    About Flight’s crash. That was really good. I’m wondering how people that are afraid of airplanes handled it. Especially the falling part. I could feel that.

    Speaking of Aragorn, did you guys get your Hobbit tickets today? I’m going in the morning but not midnight.

  • Noni

    I’m going to go ahead and say it…Flight for best picture! Not just for nominee, but actually winning it! agree with Astrid…this film literally blew my mind! mind blown! I’ve always loved films by Robert Zemeckis and add Flight to the list. I saw Argo, and thought that it was pretty good, but this film was just so off the wall refreshing and the performances by Washington and Goodman were spectacular. Amazing acting and spectacular film. So far, the best film of the year for me.

  • Kholby

    I can’t believe the praise this movie is receiving. I thought it was absolutely horrible. A great first 45 minutes and then it just went the way of the birds after that. John Goodman, in a Coen performance, was killer, but the rest of the supporting roles felt entirely perfunctory and just absolutely average. The ‘love interest’ plot line could have been dumped on the editing room floor altogether and I did not believe her as an addict for one moment in the entire movie.

    I rarely have this strong of an opposite reaction to people when it comes to critically accepted movies, but this movie did not do it for me. And I felt like I was watching 2 long hours of Denzel begging for an alcohol Oscar. “If I act real drunk here here and here, I’ll get that other Oscar.” Did this movie need to have a plane crash? It could have been about ANY guy performing an heroic deed.

    And what’s the message in the end? You got a shitty hang over? Just do a few rails and you’ll be good as new. Actually, better, you’ll find your conscience.

    Ugh. And apologies.

  • Kholby

    Also, this movie was NOT short at all. It’s 2 hours and 22 minutes long.

    How is that short? What? Are these studio plants commenting in here? I don’t recognize any of these people.

    I am soooo confused.

    Did I even see the same movie that others saw?

  • Aragorn

    Good movie, but best movie of the year??? I dont think so. From time to time, it was quite boring, and uneven.

    Short movie??? It was almost 2 hours 20 minutes! Short yes, for Bollywood standards!

  • Yogsss

    I don’t know how many of you are saying that Flight can’t get a BP nom just because “is not that good.” Guys, remember Extremely Loud and Increbibly Close? The Reader? The Blind Side? Denzel’s excellent acting is enough to guarantee a BP nom. It’s also Zemeckis comeback movie, a B.O. hit in the making and it has really positive reviews. Oh, and it’s really GOOD! Is a no-brainer.

  • Jerry

    The plane crash effects in Fight kicked the opening of TDKR with Bane’s hijacking and dismantling of the CIA plane to #2. So awesome.

  • BHawk

    KOHLBY – I couldn’t agree more with you Once the crash has happened and the investigation for the reasons for the catastrophe begins, Flight runs into far more turbulence for the remaining 110 minutes of the film then during the traumatic event earlier in the film. The pacing of Flight feels uneven, choppy, and full of bumps where you hope that the ride will smooth out towards a satisfying conclusion. As for Washington who is one of my very favorite actors) part of the problem is his having to travel over well-weathered ground as a substance abuser in denial, seen countless times before in better movies such as “The Lost Weekend (1945), Days of Wine and Roses (1962), and Leaving Las Vegas(1995. I don’t fault his acting, but instead fault Zemeckis for his directorial/editing choices of focusing so much on the star’s efforts by choosing so many extreme close-ups of his emotive face, etc. in order to use it all in the final cut as “Oscar-bait”. Flight has a tempo and choppiness one would more likely expect from a cable channel movie-of-the-week with just enough raunchy language, nudity, and substance abuse to earn a late night time slot.Once the film finally approaches its destination, Flight does find smoother airspace and has a respectable landing, but its a bit of a rough ride getting there. Bottom line = Washington is always fun to watch and he is once again very good here, but the film as a whole feels forced.

  • Kholby and BHawk: THANK YOU. I thought I was going crazy for a second there. This movie is getting waay too much praise than it should and we haven’t seen anything new from Denzel to warrant all this talk about his third Oscar.

    Here are my thoughts on the whole film and why it ultimately fails:

    Someone should tell Robert Zemeckis and his crew that Halloween passed already. Hurricane Sandy screwed up Halloween party plans on the east coast, so most of them were moved to the weekend starting Nov 2 – the same weekend that “Flight” premiered to the public. Maybe the people behind the curtains thought no one would notice? I’m not sure, but it was pretty obvious to me and my buddies. Flight is desperate to make you believe that it’s a deep character study of a troubled individual who is suffering from alcoholism. But the mask cracks after the titular flight comes to a stop, and the true face is revealed: An overdrawn-out affair that reeks of manipulative sentimentality so easy to spot in commercial films. This is a vehicle for Denzel Washington’s third Oscar and nothing more.

    And it started off so well too. Captain Whip Whitaker (the always reliable Denzel who rarely orbits away from his comfort zone) wakes up with gorgeous & naked Flight Attendant Trina Marquez (Nadine Velazquez) in a hotel room. Empty bottles, half-smoked joints and hungover grumbles paint the picture in style, but it’s the way Whip snorts a line of coke that’s off-screen until just the right moment (a clever trick that doesn’t get employed nearly enough as it should be) that you get flashes of a “Boogie Nights” vibe and you start thinking this could be something great. The retro soundtrack kicks in and Whip’s got the Aviators and the swagger. Ready for business. Except, he’s not ready at all. He shouldn’t be operating an electrical airplane from Toys’R’Us let alone flying 102 people to Atlanta.

    The reckless, egotistical, drunken asshole within Whip is kept at bay during the flight, and everything that leads up to the penultimate moments of the crash, including the crash itself, is hellishly entertaining. Whip talking to the passengers while pouring vodka in his OJ, the back and forth banter with his nervous co-pilot and how he controls the airplane; it’s great stuff. There’s some cross cutting which introduces Nicole (Kelly Reilly), a heroin junkie who ODs while listening to “Sweet Jane” (making a great song into an official cliche for shooting up) but because she’s still completely unrelated to anything happening to Whip and Flight 227 her plights are overshadowed by what’s going on in the air, effectively giving the first impression of an annoying obstacle standing in the way of entertainment.
    Everything about the crash is handled spectacularly and is some of the most high-intensity stuff I’ve seen all year (but there’s a Bond movie that might have something to say about that..). Zemeckis passes the action test. The camera is rightfully kept inside the plane throughout most of the crash, crew members make fatal mistakes and everyone is freaking out except for the wasted Whip who is handling things better than any other sober pilot could. An outstanding job is done with this scene, wasting no pennies from the $30 mil budget. The trouble is, once it’s all done and dusted, we’ve only seen one third of the film. The next hour and a half tells a story that a better director could have told in half the time.

    The captain wakes up as a national hero in the hospital, after pulling off a miraculous stunt that leaves almost everyone alive. But the toxicology report looms over Whip like the sword of Damocles, and the rest of the film is concerned with the shitfaced demon that controls Whip as the people around him – Nicole, criminal lawyer Hugh Lang (Don Cheadle), drug dealing buddy Harling Mays (John Goodman – a minor character that’s given two scenes but leaves the biggest mark because of Goodman’s effortless talent) and Pilot’s Union rep Charlie (Bruce Greenwood) – try to help him save his career and his life. Oh yeah, if all that wasn’t enough to get your emotions invested, Whip also (of course) has an ex wife who left him because he’s a drunk and a son he never talks to because he’s a drunk. The cliches are layered one on top of the other, characters come in and out for comedic effect and little else; Goodman, as good as he is, plays a throwaway character and James Badge Dale steals a scene as a lively cancer patient while his profound words have zero impact on Whip. That’s just the beginning of the mess.

    The film’s biggest problem is that nothing really eventful happens for a whole hour and it feels as dragged as a grandfather’s conversation about railway work in the 1920s. Reilly does a decent job as the recovering junkie, but it’s funny how much screen time the character gets in the beginning only to be swept to the side once Whip’s real troubles begin. The relationship and the whole character feel tacked on, their connection is unbelievable, and her role in Whip’s life finally amounts to a handful of cheesy photographs. A predictable formula is followed for the last two acts, with the action and conflict surrounding something that the audience understood from the first scene. He’s an uncontrollable drunk. We get it. Move on. Opportunities for getting closer to Nicole or understanding Grant, who is so ethically ambiguous he might as well be a telemarketer, are passed. No, let’s stay with Whip and see how hard it is for him to stay away from the bottle again, and again..

    I don’t get the insane hype Washington’s performance is getting from this. Maybe because his last really good film was Tony Scott’s Man on Fire (2004) – American Gangster is insanely overrated – or because he hasn’t been as Oscar baity as this since 2001’s Training Day but I mean, what the fuck, seriously. He has a couple of really great drunk scenes and he’s fantastic in that airplane, but other than that it’s more of the same from him and his quivering lower lip. By the sounds of it, he’s getting a nomination and The Playlist are even saying that he’s a dark horse to win it. If that happens, he can put his Oscar right next to Sandra Bullock’s. Zemeckis proves time and time again, just like Spielberg, Zwick and others, that he plays it safe. A formula is followed, emotions are twisted and who cares if half the audience is laughing most of the time the alcoholic on screen is drinking. There is a scene where a Kettle One minibar bottle is swiped, and it’s filmed so dramatically that it almost made me choke on the spoon that was forcing this drama down my throat.

    The Bottom Line: It could of been a really great film, if only it was 45 minutes shorter and dared more out of the comfort zone of formulaic clichés.

  • SallyinChicago

    Wow, guy above me. You really have some issues don’t you? I think of best movies as movies that stick with me when I leave the theater, and two movies have stuck with me — BEASTS and FLIGHT. Absolutely amazing, and Denzel’s performance — as the functional alcoholic, just short of miraculous. If you don’t know a functional alcoholic, you won’t understand his character.

  • Fuller

    I agree Sally. The best kinds of movies are those that stick with you after you leave the theater, and Flight definitely is the movie with that pedigree. Denzel’s performance was truly remarkable. It’s not your typical Hollywood film, and there are parts that are difficult to watch throughout, but this is one of the best films of the year no doubt.

  • Nikola G

    SallyinChciago, yeah I have a lot of issues with this film, hopefully I’ve made that pretty clear from my review. The biggest issue is definitely the support it’s getting even though the only thing it’s going to be rememebered for is the stunning plane crash sequence and Denzel’s solid performance.

    For me it’s not so simple as “the best movies are movies that stick with me you” – Cronenberg’s Antiviral stuck with me after I saw it but it’s an extremely flawed film and the things that stuck with me pretty much disappeared a few days after. For me, the best movies are the ones that try to do something new and different with the medium, make you think about life/human nature/art etc. Flight’s airplane crash is the only thing that is truly remarkable in this movie and that’s on a technical level.

    2/3s of it is mediocre or bad, and as for Oscars, it should get Sound Mixing/Editing noms but perhaps Washington but the Best Actor race is so packed with good performances this (many of which I’ve yet to see) that he’s probably going to end up just outside my personal top 5 nominees.

  • Nikola G

    Sorry for the typos, I’m at work and typing fast so the boss doesn’t see me 😛

    Just to add, I don’t think you need to know a functioning alcoholic to understand Whip (otherwise, a LOT of people wouldn’t understand him..) but I actually have known a few. My issue with the film has very little to do with understanding Whip’s character.

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