This film shows how one unique, unpredictable life occurrence can change everything, while also offering an accurate portrayal of how hard an addict will work to deny they have a drug problem.
The first shock for Washington fans will be seeing Denzel portraying a nasty, lying drunk. So much for hero-worship! Sure he saves the airliner from complete destruction but at what costs? Then he and his lawyer’s (Don Cheadle) attempts at denial of full responsibility are fascinating. Even the legal system seems to be helping him lie to himself.
The ending is powerful and hopeful, unlike so many real addiction stories, but only because he realizes the lies must end. Telling the truth is in the end quite liberating for this man, allowing him some sense of freedom and redemption. Hurray for Hollywood!