Denzel Washington, however, as Whip Whitaker was awesome--Oscar-worthy awesome, especially when he's making himself a screwdriver with one hand on the side and addressing airline passengers at the same time.
Both movies cover AA, all the lying that goes on, how you can be really verbally vicious to someone you love, beg others to cover up for you, and how when a drunk passes out on the floor, sometimes all you can do is cover him/her with a blanket and tilt his/her head so they don't choke on vomit.
I love the scene of smokers meeting in the stairway of the hospital--apparently that was the scene that made Robert Zemeckis want to do the film-- and John Goodman really steals two scenes as well.
Two Rolling Stones song-driven slow motion shots may make you think you're in a Scorsese movie, but only for a few seconds. Denzel is given way more dignity than characters Deniro plays.