One Of Denzel Washington’s Most Compelling Films Is Leaving Netflix

Denzel Washington stars in Flight which is leaving Netflix at the end of this month.

By Chad Langen | Published

Loosely based on a real-life incident, Flight, which stars Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington, is currently streaming on Netflix, but not for long. The critically acclaimed drama is set to depart the streaming platform November 1st, and there’s no telling when or if it will return to the service at any point in the future.

The 2012 motion picture was added to the streamer back in August, and according to Flix Patrol, it was one of the top ten streaming movies for 11 days following its debut on the platform.

Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump), Flight follows commuter airline pilot Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington), who while on a flight from Orlando to Atlanta, is forced to crash land a plane in an open field after the aircraft begins to malfunction, saving the lives of 96 out of 102 passengers.

denzel washington flight

When he wakes up in a hospital, Whitaker’s friend from the airline union introduces him to a lawyer, who informs him that there’s a chance he could face criminal charges after his blood test reveals he was intoxicated with alcohol and cocaine when the plane went down. Although he denies being impaired, Whitaker is told to keep his act together while an investigation ensues. But letting go of his addiction proves to be more difficult than he ever imagined.

The story for Flight was inspired by the 2000 crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261, which was caused after an ungreased jackscrew came loose leading to a catastrophic failure. Pilot Ted Thompson, who the character Denzel Washington portrays is loosely based on, managed to fly the plane inverted in the last few moments of the flight. Unfortunately, unlike the events in the movie, there were no survivors following the crash of the aircraft.

The script for the picture was first optioned by Ed Limato, who was a previous agent for Denzel Washington. He’d kicked the screenplay around Hollywood for several months until Washington showed interest. In order to get the movie made with the studio’s $28 million budget, both Washington and director Robert Zemeckis reportedly accepted a tenth of their usual salaries.

In addition to Denzel Washington, Flight stars Nadine Velazquez, John Goodman, Don Cheadle, Carter Cabassa, Adam C. Edwards, Tamara Tunie, Brian Geraghty, Kelly Reilly, and Conor O’Neill. The screenplay was penned by John Gatins, who received an Oscar nomination in the category of Best Writing, Original Screenplay. Washington was also nominated for an Academy Award for his performance as Whip Whitaker.

Released in theaters November 2, 2012, Flight was met with rave reviews from critics and audiences alike. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a fresh score of 77% from critics based on 242 reviews. Additionally, it holds a 75% fresh rating from traditional audiences, who have praised Denzel Washington for turning in another remarkable performance.

When Flight was released in theaters, it grossed an impressive $25 million in its opening weekend. Domestically, the film earned $93 million, and it raked in another $68 million in international territories. With a combined worldwide total of approximately $162 million, it’s one of the highest-grossing movies Denzel Washington has headlined.

While Flight may be leaving Netflix in November, Denzel Washington will still maintain a presence on the streaming giant. Although he doesn’t star in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, he did serve as a producer. Considering the acclaimed drama starring Chadwick Boseman, Viola Davis, and Colman Domingo is an original for the streamer, it’s safe to say the award-winning film isn’t going anywhere.

Additionally, John Q, which was removed from Netflix over the summer, is once again available to stream. The film stars Denzel Washington as John Quincy Archibald, a man who takes a hospital emergency room hostage when his insurance won’t cover his son’s heart transplant. The Nick Cassavetes-directed picture landed Washington a BET Award nomination in the category of Best Actor for his performance back in 2002.

Finally, if you’re craving even more Denzel Washington, the classic made-for-TV film Hard Lessons is also streaming on Netflix. Released in 1986, the biographical drama tells the true story of a teacher in Los Angeles, who becomes the principal of George Washington Memorial High School, and strives to give the students, who are affected by the normal life of gangs and drugs, a real choice at education. The film, which was originally titled The George McKenna Story, was re-released on home video under its current title after Washington became a superstar.