The words “this is an excellent film” popped into my head during the course of watching Sully. Smartly told in a 96 minute package, the film has great pacing offering both slow, thoughtful moments while incorporating visually stimulating segments through the various perspectives of the plane landing in the river.
Surrounding the unprecedented landing of a passenger jet on the Hudson river by Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger the film is expertly told by director Clint Eastwood. Some backstory about Sully is offered throughout to fill in more about the man and moments of character building that led to his decision making when dealing with the loss of both engines after a collision with birds soon after takeoff. The film ultimately builds to the investigation both Sully and his first officer Jeff Skiles had to endure after surviving and executing the landing which produced no casualties even though the maneuver of landing on water is considered extremely dangerous. There was a bit of debate as to whether the proper decisions were made along the course of the event.
The actors are all great to watch with Tom Hanks as Sully at the top of his game. He played the role with a subtlety that reflects the real life Sully with due respect and accuracy. The rest of cast crafted their roles with the same level of detail and expertise. Eastwood is known for bringing in excellent talent as he often only does 1 take when shooting and expects the actors to have their roles nailed down and ready to go. So it speaks to the talent of the lineup of the film that includes Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney, Anna Gunn, Mike O’Malley, Valerie Mahaffey, and Delphi Harrington.
Be sure to watch through the end credits, there’s some footage of the actual crew and passengers of the flight with a short message from the man himself.
reviewed by Sean McKnight