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November 2, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

While virtually every review of Flight, starring Denzel Washington, is positive, those reviews are mostly tempered by some hard-edged criticism. Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle spends the first 90 percent of his review praising the performances, Robert Zemeckis’s direction, and the taut script by John Gatins. “Now for the bad news,” he writes in his concluding paragraph. “The last 15 minutes are off. That ending is just not the right ending. No, I don’t have a better ending in mind, but the one that’s there simply isn’t right. It would take too many spoiler alerts to explain why.” Rick Groen in the Toronto Globe and Mail also has much praise for the film but says that at the end “the picture goes into its own tailspin.” While he particularly singles out for praise the plane crash that opens the film, he despairs over the inspirational close. As he puts in, “Flight soars when it crashes and crashes when it soars.” Actually, writes Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times that crash scene may be worth the price of a ticket on its own account. Zemeckis, he writes, creates “an edge-of-seat sequence capable of convincing the most zealous frequent flier to swear off air travel for life.” However, he adds, “Flight‘s potboiler story line has a hard time rising above the ordinary once that plane hits the ground.” And Joe Morgenstern in the Wall Street Journal also expresses disappointment at “how shopworn the story’s components prove to be.” Nevertheless, he adds, “they’re enhanced if not redeemed by Mr. Washington’s stirring portrait of a skillful, prideful pilot hitting bottom.” However, Ann Hornaday in the Washington Post has no such misgivings about the movie. “Flight,” she writes, “is terrifically entertaining, both as a you-are-there action flick and the deeper psychological thriller it becomes.”