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Flight (2012)

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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.



1,466 ( 109)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 42 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Son on Plane
Father on Plane (as Adam Ciesielski)
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 USA:

$24,900,566, 4 November 2012, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$93,772,375, 14 February 2013

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$161,772,375, 14 February 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?


It took John Gatins ten years to finish the screenplay. See more »


From the farm porch cattle seen in the distance instantly move from the fence to the tree line. See more »


Avington Carr: Does Whitaker know he's going to jail?
Hugh Lang: My clients don't go to jail, Mr. Carr.
Avington Carr: Oh, he's going to jail. He belongs in jail. You bet your ass he's going to jail. The only question is, is he going to die in jail?
See more »


Never Get Out of These Blues Alive
Written by John Lee Hooker
Performed by John Lee Hooker featuring Van Morrison
John Lee Hooker courtesy of Geffen Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
Van Morrison courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Can a man be both hero and criminal?
4 September 2014 | by See all my reviews

Trailers might lead you to believe this is a film about flying. Or about an amazing flying feat. But it is all about the lead character, Captain "Whip" Whitaker (Denzel Washington), a man who is a pilot and an alcoholic. The flying and a terrible crash provide background for the story of this man, who has struggled with his illness for years.

In many ways the story is not that original. We have seen numerous stories about alcoholics and heard real-life testimonies of the behaviors that accompany alcoholism, and this film tracks with all of them.

It is worth seeing for the brilliant portrayal of Captain Whitaker and the performances of the other actors in the film. Some parts are difficult to watch because the acting is so engaging.

I also think the film raises some interesting questions that some viewers may not be willing to acknowledge. If one is an alcoholic, is the entire worth of that man nothing more than what his sickness drags him down to? Are we what we do? Can we rise above our neuroses or our worst behaviors? Often we see public figures condemned in media for indiscretions or harmful acts; is that, then, the measure of the man or woman?

The film, even if judged solely for its dramatic content, is worth seeing.

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