Sully (2016)

Cast includes: Tom Hanks (Bridge of Spies), Aaron Eckhard (Thank You for Smoking), Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), Jamey Sheridan (Spotlight), Laura Linney (Mystic River)
Director: Clint Eastwood (American Sniper, Million Dollar Baby)
Genre: Drama | Biography | History (96 min) Based on the book by Chesley Sullenberger


Huffington Post

“Runway 4 cleared for takeoff.” Wheels up… it looks like it’ll be a smooth ride… until the bird strike. “May day, may day! We’ve lost both engines. We’re heading back to LaGuardia,” says Captain Sullenberger. “Sully, we’re too low,” says co-pilot Jeff Skiles. We see fire in both engines, screaming passengers and a forest of skyscrapers… until US Airways flight 1549 finally crashes into a building, ending as a giant fireball. This jolts Sully awake. Not even the morning run along the river or the hot shower can erase visions of what could have been. Everywhere Sully turns, there seems to be a TV screen with people saying things like, “Thank you Captain Sullenberger.” But for now, Sully and Skiles have to meet with the NTSB to begin the crash investigation. “Not a crash… a water landing,” Sully wants to set the record straight. The NTSB still sees it as a crash.

 “Both engines out? That’s not what the data show.” They want to know why Sully didn’t return to LGA or land at Teterboro. “Why are they looking for what we did wrong, when it all turned out right,” Skiles wants to know. Yesterday, Sully was just an ordinary pilot doing his ordinary job. Today, everyone knows him and worships him. Yet the NTSB may want to take his license away. The aftermath may be a rougher ride than the actual water landing. “Brace for impact.”

So here’s what you may be wondering… you already know how it turns out. Sure it was a great story… but is the film worth seeing? Absolutely! Through the drama of the NTSB hearings, we see the details of what happened in the famous 208 seconds, during which US Airways flight 1549 made a successful landing in the Hudson River. We see the heroics of the crew, NY Waterways and the NYPD in rescuing all 155 passengers from the middle of the river on a freezing cold January day. We see how every detail of the event is examined, second-guessed, and reexamined. We see why computer simulations can’t replace humans. We see the value of dedication and commitment to excellence. We see all of it in context of what was going on in 2009, in the midst of the deepest recession of our lifetime. “It’s been a while since New York had news this good, especially with an airplane in it.” This is clearly a feel-good movie, and Clint Eastwood knows how to hold our attention. Tom Hanks is excellent as Sully, but you already knew that. Many things went exactly right that day, but things could have turned out very differently. “I was sure I was going to die,” said a frightened passenger as he was plucked from the freezing river. “Hey. No one dies today!” says the rescuer. It truly was a miraculous day… and well worth reliving.

popcorn rating

4 popped kernels

Before, after and during the famous 2009 landing on the Hudson River

Popcorn Profile

Rated: PG-13
Audience: Young Adults
Gender Style: Bold
Distribution: Mainstream Wide Release
Mood: Upbeat
Tempo: Cruises Comfortably
Visual Style: High-End Production
Nutshell: Landing on the Hudson
Language: True to life
Social Significance: Pure Entertainment & Informative

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