The movie about Pilot Chesley Sullenberger, whose quick thinking and piloting expertise help save a plane full of 155 people when their plane ran into some birds. This film was much anticipated not only because it stars Tom Hanks as “Sully” but also simply because it is the brainchild of a certain Clint Eastwood, who has been relatively quiet in the movie realm since the release of the nationwide favorite, American Sniper, in early 2014. But can it hold up to all the hype?

The Bad

Most of what I consider “The Bad” in this movie had to do with conscious decisions made by Eastwood and the production crew rather than mistakes or bad acting. The biggest issue for me was structure. There was little to know background and little to no resolution at the end. It was as if the cut out the middle 80 minutes of a movie about what was almost a terrible commercial flying accident and show that to the audience without showing us the rest. Technically the movie was all of 96 minutes but a lot of that was fluff and credits so it didn’t seem even that long.

The only other real issue I had was about how they portrayed the NTSB. In doing the most minimal level of research on the actual event, it was pretty clear that the NTSB underwent a completely normal and impartial investigation on if the decision to crash the plane in the Hudson. In the movie, it absolutely seemed that they were out to get Sully and were trying to prove that the decision was the wrong move until the very end when they gave him the solute he deserved. I understand that in a movie like this you have to add a little conflict but it just seems unfair to make the NTSB look bad like that.

In terms of acting I would say that some of the passengers on the plane were pretty iffy but they weren’t in it very long (surprisingly) so it didn’t bother me all that much. Also, the CGI was pretty bad when the plane hit the water; oh well.

The Good

This film was just so darn interesting that I honestly was in full attention throughout. Eastwood managed to make what could have easily seemed like a History Channel documentary into a box office success and a movie certified to be fresh by Rotten Tomatoes (89%). Both of the lead roles did a great job. I especially liked Aaron Eckart, though I can’t quite say the same about his trash ‘stache. Tom Hanks was great in the role he was cast to play, it didn’t seem likely a terribly difficult role to play but I can’t say that I would’ve cast anyone else for it.

The Rating

It may seem as though I had more bad than good to say about the film but the truth is that Sully was a really enjoyable film to watch mostly because of the interesting way in which the event was presented. It really puts the viewer inside of the situation between NTSB and the two pilots to the point where watching the flight simulations at the big hearing because stressful and somewhat suspenseful to wait for the results of. Kids will most likely be board but I would call it worth the watch for most teens to adults.


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