A very strong drama in a compelling story. The pace is smart and quick, and some of the thematic is quite on the edge-of-your-seat stuff. A drama, thriller, a heart-warming story of humanity.
Tom Hanks brings dignity to the role of pilot Chesley Sullenberger while Clint Eastwood directs with cool efficiency.
Wendy Ide, The Guardian
If Tom Hanks did not exist, Eastwood would have had to invent him.
Christopher Orr, The Atlantic
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, in the aftermath the famed pilot faced an investigation that threatened to destroy his career and reputation.
Although “Sully” Sullenberger’s 2009 book sold well, most everyone in Hollywood presumed it was unfilmable, at least in any commercial way. As gripping as his story was, there wasn’t any conflict or tension, and the only action beat was a 208-second sequence in which Flight 1549 gets both engines knocked out by a freak bird-strike incident. Even though the story about landing a commercial jet in the Hudson River was indeed dramatic, was it enough to make into a movie? The hardest thing in adapting a true story is getting the power of the characters en sync. You have to feel the humanity of the story and the people inside of the story – and this film delivers on all aspects.
USA 2016, 96 min, rated M (offensive language)
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Starring Tom Hanks, Laura Linney, Aaron Eckhart, Sam Huntington & Anna Gunn
Based on Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters by Chesley Sullenberger & Jeffrey Zaslow