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Rated R · 138 minutes · 2012

Even though the first part of it contains one of the all-time airliner-in-trouble sequences, this drama mostly concerns itself with the phenomenon of the addictive personality – embodied by alcohol-and-cocaine enthusiast Whip Whitaker, pilot of the plane in question (Denzel Washington), and Nicole (Kelly Reilly), the hard-luck heroin user he meets when they grab a cigarette together in a hospital stairwell. Both their performances are of the solid gold variety, even when screenwriter John Gatins’ social-problem mechanism kicks into high gear in the second half. That 2,000-lb. message is the price we have to pay for one of Washington’s solidest mature-career star turns, directed with minimal editorializing by Robert Zemeckis (in his first live action film since 2000’s Cast Away). Don Cheadle, John Goodman, Melissa Leo, and Brian Geraghty lend vivid support as, respectively, a lawyer, a one-man pharmacy, a federal official, and Whip’s straight-arrow copilot. A rich portrait of early-21st-century America, for better or worse. (142 min.)
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Director: Robert Zemeckis
Producer: Walter F. Parkes, Laurie MacDonald, Steve Starkey, Robert Zemeckis, Jack Rapke and Cherylanne Martin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly, John Goodman, Bruce Greenwood, Brian Geraghty, Tamara Tunie, Melissa Leo, Nadine Velazquez, Peter Gerety, Garcelle Beauvais, Conor O'Neill, Will Sherrod, Boni Yanagisawa, Adam Tomei, Dane Davenport, E. Roger Mitchell, Ravi Kapoor, Tommy Kane and Tom Nowicki



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