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2012, Paramount, 139 min, USA, Dir: Robert Zemeckis

Robert Zemeckis returns to live-action filmmaking for the first time since CASTAWAY in this tale of an airline pilot (Denzel Washington) who is celebrated as a hero when he makes a seemingly impossible emergency landing. As the truth comes out about his condition during the flight, however, troubling questions arise.

1995, Buena Vista, 116 min, USA, Dir: Tony Scott

When rebels overrun a Russian ICBM missile site, a U.S. nuclear sub captained by Gene Hackman is dispatched to deal with the problem. A command to launch their nuclear warhead is radioed to the sub, but the follow-up message is interrupted when they’re attacked, thus setting in motion a ferocious test of wills between hawkish Hackman and more circumspect second-in-command Denzel Washington. A brilliantly acted, surprisingly thought-provoking military drama in the vein of FAIL-SAFE, with able support from Matt Craven, Viggo Mortensen and James Gandolfini.

2004, 20th Century Fox, 146 min, USA, Dir: Tony Scott

Denzel Washington stars as Creasy, an ex-CIA op brought to Mexico City to bodyguard his friend’s daughter, 9-year-old Pita Ramos (Dakota Fanning). As hard-edged Creasy begins to warm to the precocious youngster, something terrible happens: Pita is abducted. Creasy swears vengeance on the kidnappers, and damn near burns down Mexico City to reveal the truth about her disappearance in Tony Scott’s kinetic, emotionally walloping thriller, one of five successful collaborations between the director and Washington. With Christopher Walken.

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