Stars: Denzel Washington, John Goodman, Don Cheadle, Tamara Tunie

Studio: Paramount Pictures

Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) is an ace pilot whose considerable skills enable him to make an impossible landing — saving every soul aboard. Lauded in the media to the point of lionization, this complicated hero is stunned when the praise turns to pointed questions and accusations.

Memorable performances from a strong supporting cast keep this heavy topic from being too dark. And Washington, as usual, is eminently believable as a flawed, proud and arrogant man who’s trying to gain his bearings as his world is tossed upside down.

This is Washington’s first collaboration with director Robert Zemeckis (Forest Gump, Cast Away), which is hard to believe given the depth and breadth of their careers, but given the outstanding result, we hope it won’t be the last tango for these two. –p.d. lee