Addiction has been the subject of many movies but none has been as straightforward, honest, and unblinking about addiction as Flight. It is the best movie on the subject to make it to the big screen. Most movies about addiction are stylized, dreary, repetitive, and fetishize drug use without offering any insight. The beauty of Flight is that at no point does it glamorize alcohol and drug abuse yet it doesn’t paint addicts as those on the fringes of everyday life.

Society often dismisses alcoholics and drug addicts as losers on the bottom rung of the ladder but the reality is that they are our neighbors, co-workers, family members and in the case of Flight, an experienced and accomplished top notch airline pilot. Denzel Washington is Captain Whip Whitaker who manages to make a spectacular emergency landing after the plane he is flying experiences engine failure.

The fact that Whip has the ability to land the plane with a minimal loss of life despite being physically impaired by drugs and alcohol further drives home the point that a person can be high functioning and a complete mess at the same time. The contradictory circumstances force you to see Whip as a three-dimensional individual who is extremely talented and likable while at the same time arrogant, flawed and broken. Continue reading »

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