Home Video Picks & Passes 05.23.21

A brightly animated feature gets a thumbs-up for families with older kids.

The Register film critic offers his latest 'pick.'
The Register film critic offers his latest 'pick.' (photo: Shutterstock / Shutterstock)

Flight (2012) — PASS

Rio (2011) — PICK

Fans of Denzel Washington and addiction/recovery dramas may be curious about Flight, a critically praised film now on Amazon Prime and Hulu. 

Directed by Robert Zemeckis, the film stars Washington as a gifted commercial pilot who pulls off a brilliant, lifesaving crash-landing while drunk and high on cocaine — a riveting setup that declines into a routine story hampered by clichéd characters and extremely harsh content.

Flight raises questions about God, hinting that the protagonist’s life could be unraveling to bring him to sobriety — but also bizarrely stereotypes Christian characters and isn’t ultimately interested in religious questions. I can’t recommend it.

I can recommend the brightly animated Rio, now on Amazon Prime, to families with older kids.

Set in director Carlos Saldanha’s native Rio de Janeiro, it’s a celebration of the city and its culture, from notable landmarks — above all the omnipresent Christ the Redeemer statue — to the exuberance and flamboyant costumes of Carnaval.

Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway star as a pair of rare macaws who might come together to save their species — if they can avoid poachers and smugglers. 

Jemaine Clement, whose Shiny was a high point in Moana, has a similarly show-stopping villain song as a bad cockatoo (Pretty Bird).


CAVEAT SPECTATOR: Flight: Intense disaster sequence; extended nudity and sexual content; extreme drug and alcohol abuse; heavy profane and harsh language. Rio: Some menacing scenes; mildly rude and risqué humor. Older kids and up.