Denzel Washington is back on form as a pilot with a drink problem

After a run of geriatric leads, Denzel Washington reminds us just how subtle and commanding an actor he’s capable of being.

The Denz plays Whip Whitaker, an exceptional pilot whose crippling alcohol addiction is spotlighted after he pulls off a risky mid-flight stunt in order to prevent a fatal crash.

This opening set-piece is remarkable, visceral stuff, yet the moral maze that follows grips just as ferociously thanks to Washington’s nuance.

Though John Gatins’ script turns baggy in the centre and Kelly Reilly’s ex-addict gets short shrift, this is still a tense and truthful character drama.

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