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Morally ambiguous drama about an airplane crash and the emotional impact it has on the survivors. Despite being an alcoholic and a cocaine addict, the pilot (Denzel Washington) of a doomed airliner becomes a hero after miraculously landing his craft with only a small loss of life. When the accident investigation reveals his impaired and illegal condition, however, he faces manslaughter charges and a prison sentence. While one of his buddies (John Goodman) continues to enable the swaggering flyboy by supplying him with drugs, a fellow addict (Kelly Reilly) -- the proverbial prostitute with a heart of gold -- tries to persuade him to join her on the path to reform and redemption. Director Robert Zemeckis' film dwells far too much on its protagonist's failings, filling the screen (often gratuitously) with sex, drugs and booze, as well as with "friends" who condone his bad behavior. It also ridicules organized religion, cynically making light of survivors who thank God for the gift of life.

Watch out for: Disdainful treatment of religious faith, intense disaster scenes, full nudity, a nonmarital situation, drug and abusive alcohol use, frequent profane and rough language.

Rated: The Catholic News Service classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 1970