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Let's Rush To Judgment: 'Flight'

The trailer for Flight focuses heavily on footage of the plane going down with Denzel Washington at the controls. Not only do we see it streaking through the sky upside down, but it's implied that he somehow manages to land it mostly safely in spite of a massive engine failure.

I have to admit: I can't actually tell what's going on in this movie. Once he gets back, there seems to be some kind of a witch hunt out to get him, based on the fact that he has alcohol in his system, but if in fact he saved the people aboard, why would anyone be out to get him? Everyone in the trailer seems to agree that the plane failed and it wasn't his fault. It's like watching half a trailer for a movie about a man up against terrible odds, but it's not clear why the odds are terrible. What's the opposing force here? If he saved people, who's trying to nail him?

Don't get me wrong: it's a better approach to making a trailer than telling everything that's happening. Maybe it's a sign of inventiveness. Maybe they're specifically trying to foil rushing to judgment based on a movie trailer — imagine that.

The film is directed by Robert Zemeckis, who did Forrest Gump and Cast Away with Tom Hanks, but who also did Back To The Future and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? And there's no doubt about the cast. Don Cheadle as a crusading lawyer seems like a pretty good idea, and while I can't tell quite what John Goodman is up to, it's probably something good, right? And Melissa Leo!

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.

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