SULLY Review

Sully (2016) 
A Review By Ben Hunter
3 Out Of 5 Stars 


Not too compelling, but worth a buckling up for a flight in on Netflix night.


“I’ll tell you in my experience, no unmanned aerial vehicle will ever trump a pilot’s instinct, his insight, that ability to look into a situation beyond the obvious and discern its outcome, or a pilot’s judgment.”  -Iron Man (2008) 

A single mother holding her infant child while connecting with the man beside her.  A son happy to have made it at the last moment with his father and cousin.  Two grown women as best friends, yet you’d be shocked if it were revealed that they were mother and daughter.  A captain and first mate that united all 155 souls on board Flight 1549 one average day that turned into a lifetime of family and thankfulness for the gift of life.  

Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) is faced with a tough decision to try to find a safe place to land his plane during air trouble after take off in New York.  Over the city and the Hudson River, does he try to find an air field in a neighboring state?  Both engines are dysfunctional in the turbulence, so the clock is ticking.  In all of his 40 years of successfully delivering passengers to loved ones and business, 40 years will be replaced with 208 seconds that will determine the future of his career.  His retirement, his pension, college savings for his girls, and level of worry and stress that his family goes through especially his wife Lorraine (Laura Linney) all boil down to what happens in these 208 seconds.  Does he, his crew, passengers, and his plane all have the fortitude to make it to the nearest landing safely?  And once that happens, will Sully be critiqued properly on whether or not he made the correct judgment?  Is human error and instinct to blame or to celebrate?  How will this effect everyone thereafter?  

Icon and legend Clint Eastwood returns to the director’s chair after a short hiatus to work with A-Lister Tom Hanks to officially kickstart the Oscar season for us outsiders who aren’t at the festivals, at least in leisurely manner in some respects.  To witness the recreation of such a bewildering of an event that brought American lives that much closer.  In the heat of things I can only use my artistic and creative side to try to fathom the experience.  In cinematic reassembly, my imagination goes further than the road traveled.  

This was a story told before, though not just in the literal sense with planes, but an experience lived in movie theaters on previous occasions as Tom Hanks did as a captain of the seas and not the air with Captain Phillips.  Though Phillips was more of a thrilling, suspenseful action flick, and Sully an intellectual battle of wills where the interest is kept in the journey of the hero’s socioeconomic survival apart from the 208 seconds of life survival.  Sully compels in the moments where we can relate to a man standing up for his actions and for his family.  But no real conflict or a woven path of obstacles to truly take us up flight for a bumpy ride of an experience!  

Though not to say an emaciated narrative, Eastwood as the veteran he is, still manages to make a compelling tale worthy of an evening cuddled on couch, thankful for life, for the freedom to be human and to make the choices that define who we are. 

Sully (2016) 
Based on the book “Highest Duty” by: 
Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow
Screenplay by: Todd Komarnicki 
Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Cast: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Anna Gunn, & Laura Linney 

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