Director Robert Zemeckis is already responsible for one of the most harrowing plane crashes in movie history: the disastrous voyage that led to Tom Hanks being Cast Away
. Twelve years later, Zemeckis outdoes himself with the opening 20 minutes of Flight
, in which alcohol- and cocaine-fueled Captain Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) must make a miraculous crash landing when the jet he's piloting suffers a severe mechanical breakdown in midair. His quick thinking saves all but six lives on the plane, but those deaths trigger a federal investigation that seems destined to uncover his substance abuse.
That opening act is a piece of peerless filmmakin...