Sully (2016) Review

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sully

Time: 96 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Offensive Language.
Cast:
Tom Hanks as Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger
Aaron Eckhart as Jeffrey “Jeff” Skiles
Laura Linney as Lorraine Sullenberger
Anna Gunn as Dr. Elizabeth Davis
Director: Clint Eastwood

On Jan. 15, 2009, Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) tries to make an emergency landing in New York’s Hudson River after US Airways Flight 1549 strikes a flock of geese. Miraculously, all of the 155 passengers and crew survive the harrowing ordeal, and Sullenberger becomes a national hero in the eyes of the public and the media. Despite the accolades, the famed pilot now faces an investigation that threatens to destroy his career and reputation.

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Clint Eastwood can be hit or miss with his films. Sometimes he can create some truly excellent movies (Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby), other times he makes movies which can be a little underwhelming (J. Edgar). However, I can say this time with Sully, Eastwood really does deliver a hit. The acting from the cast (especially from Tom Hanks) was truly great, the overall direction of the film was solid and I was interested in seeing how this movie would conclude. It’s a pretty good movie overall, and definitely worth checking out sometime.

This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Tom Hanks in a scene from "Sully." (Keith Bernstein/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

This movie was quite effective in the way it decides to present events. It doesn’t just show the events in chronological order, we see bits of the event of the plane throughout the film as the story in present day progresses, which really helped as we don’t know the full picture of what happened at the beginning of the film. There’s a question as to whether Sully could’ve found an alternative way of landing the plane safely, and that answer isn’t revealed until the end of the film. One thing I’ve noticed a lot of people complain about is that the film is slow. I will say that it definitely has a slow pace, and you have to know that going in. I definitely knew that and I had a good time with this movie. Thankfully this movie is short at around 90 minutes, and it’s the perfect length for the film. It doesn’t overstay it’s welcome.

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Tom Hanks is great in this movie, which really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, he’s Tom Hanks. He’s very likable and believable in his role as this pilot who after saving hundreds of lives, is suddenly put under investigation. He’s very subtle in his role, it’s not the type of performance where he says “look at me, I’m a great actor”, he’s very subdued and was on point. Aaron Eckhart was also great in a supporting role; he was believable as Sully’s co-pilot. Eckhart really needs to be in more movies. There are other supporting actors in the movie who are also good as well but this really is Tom Hanks’s film.

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Most of the film doesn’t have a lot of ‘action’. The scenes where it presents the plane crash in the film are done very well and effectively, it really puts you in the middle of the situation and it feels very real and tense. The rest of the scenes are shot fine, no real complaint in the overall direction of the film, there’s just not a lot to talk about in terms of the direction. The film’s highlight is mostly the story.

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Personally, I think Sully is worth a watch. The pacing of the film was steady but just right, the acting is great (particularly from Tom Hanks), the writing really was effective on taking you on a journey with Sully and it had a unique way of telling it’s story. It’s not one of Clint Eastwood’s all-time greatest films (it’s not in the calibre of Unforgiven or Million Dollar Baby) and it’s not a film that you absolutely must see immediately, but it is a really good movie, and I do think that it’s definitely worth checking out at some point.

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