Clint Eastwood’s films are what I like to call “The marmite of the film industry.” Either you’ll love it or you’ll hate it. Of the 30 or so films Eastwood’s directed, I’m so glad to say that Sully is one of the good ones!
Tom Hanks plays the role of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and, along with Aaron Eckhart in the role of Jeffrey Skiles (his co-pilot), covers the real life 2009 emergency water landing in the Hudson River of Flight 1549.
Interestingly the buildup and the crash are almost afterthoughts, as the dominating aspect of the film is the aftermath and the resulting investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
It’s in these confrontation scenes that both actors shine as they portray two men thrown into an unwanted spotlight while facing down accusations of incompetence and pilot error.
Coming in at a lean 96 minutes, the film doesn’t outstay its welcome as Eastwood keeps an upbeat pace, while never losing sight of the trauma and emotion that these individuals had to live through.
A special shout out must be made to Blu Murray, the editor of the film. His work to emotionally bring in the audience during the harrowing “crash” sequence is more than Oscar worthy.
That’s not to say there aren’t flaws, as the role of Sully’s wife (played by the wonderful Laura Linney) is such an empty character that they might as well have placed a cardboard cutout on set and saved some money.
Regardless of the film’s treatment of its only female character, this story of two heroes “just doing their jobs” is an absolute must see.