There are some roles that are made for an actor and some actors who are made for the role. Flight and Denzel Washington were meant to be. I am sure there are other actors who could have played the role of Whip Whitaker, the airline pilot who manages to safely land a commercial airline that is falling apart, all the while with a blood alcohol rate of .221 and cocaine in his system. And, this is no spoiler if you have seen a trailer or read a review. That is not the story.
The story is how this man seen as a hero to many, a superhero to some, and a failure to a few finds his life in about as a good a shape as the wreckage of the aircraft he and 95 of the 102 souls aboard walked away from in that field in Georgia.
The director, Robert Zemeckis, is a long way from his award winning Forest Gump. Yes, we are definitely talking award winning, but through out this entire movie, one questions whether to like or loathe Captain Whitaker. Yes, the movie opens with the immediate events leading up to the crash. And, yes, in the plane crashes I've experienced in the movies, this one is realistic and scary. As much as I love to fly, this will make me pay attention next time the captain says, "Folks we may have some turbulence."
Besides, Washington, Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda) gives a phenomenal performance, as in Oscar award winning phenomenal, as far as I am concerned. And, John Goodman, who already came through this year in Argo is very humorous and effective in his role.
Yes, I recommend it. No, it is not predictable. I don't even think Whip knew how it was going to end until last ten minutes.