I find it daring to have Denzel Washington play a character this broken. Not evil, just broken. I don't know what was the point of drug addict lover; maybe it was added in order to have the viewers sympathize with this Washington character (he cared for her even though she was also broken), but his saving of lives already put him in our favor. No, she wasn't needed, at all, but she was welcome.
High quality direction, performances, and dialog; an unusual and rather unpredictable story; an unneeded, but colorful, character (John Goodman); an exciting airplane incident; a very fitting ending.