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An airline pilot saves almost all his passengers on his malfunctioning airliner which eventually crashed, but an investigation into the accident reveals something troubling.



1,567 ( 140)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Father on Plane (as Adam Ciesielski)
Ken Evans
Conor O'Neill ...
Tiki Pot (as Charlie E. Schmidt Jr.)
Will Sherrod ...
Camelia Satou
Adam Tomei ...
Derek Hogue
Field Reporter


Whip Whitaker is a commuter airline pilot. While on a flight from Orlando to Atlanta something goes wrong and the plane starts to fly erratically. With little choice Whip crashes the plane and saves almost all on board. When he wakes up in the hospital, his friend from the airline union introduces him to a lawyer who tells him there's a chance he could face criminal charges because his blood test reveals that he was intoxicated with alcohol and cocaine. He denies being impaired, so while an investigation is underway, he is told to keep his act together. However, letting go of his addiction is not as easy as it seems... Written by Immanuel Ambhara

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug and alcohol abuse, language, sexuality/nudity and an intense action sequence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

2 November 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El vuelo  »

Box Office


$31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$24,900,566 (USA) (2 November 2012)


$93,749,203 (USA) (8 February 2013)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Nicole throws her purse on the coffee table, knocking over a box of drug paraphernalia, the song "Under the Bridge" by Red Hot Chili Peppers is playing. "Under the Bridge" is about Red Hot Chili Peppers lead singer Anthony Kiedis' experiences shooting heroin under a bridge in downtown Los Angeles. See more »


When Harling and Whip are in Harlings car after leaving the Hospital you can clearly see that the Gearshift is in the park position and the ignition switch is in off position even though they are traveling down the road. See more »


Hugh Lang: Death demands responsibility.
See more »


Referenced in Flat Earth Clues: Long Haul (2015) See more »


Sweet Jane
Written by Lou Reed
Performed by Cowboy Junkies
Courtesy of Sony Music Canada & RCA Records Label
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Don't read too many reviews - experience it for yourself.
6 December 2012 | by (Warrenton, VA) – See all my reviews

By now you know what the movie is about, so I won't rehash.

What you have here is the anti-Sully Sullenberg. Denzel is incredible as the best pilot you don't want flying your plane, or do you????? Tough questions and tough decisions as Denzel deals with, or doesn't deal with, the aftermath. You pull for him every step of the way, but the problem is which way do you pull? The visuals are very good, gripping, scary. I felt like I was hit hard in the chest while watching the plane.

Make sure the little kiddies stay home, but you need to see this movie. I hope the Academy hands Denzel the Oscar.

47 of 76 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
seriously? they sent him to jail for saving people's lives? otakutommychan
The main problem with this movie Brandon_Marlo
His Alcoholism probably caused him to successfully land the plane lisasetser0409
In the real world, the crash would have been Whip's fault hish747
The Mini Bar - Realism robfabrams
Nerdy detail complaint - it is very clear what type of airplane this is. mjl1966
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