Director: Clint Eastwood
Writers: Todd Komarnicki
Stars: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney
Release Date: In cinemas 8th September 2016
Review by: Dave Griffiths
We all know the story of Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger, right? The hero pilot who on January 15th, 2009 successfully landed his stricken jetliner onto New York’s Hudson River. At the time the public were given a great insight into what occurred due to the fact that Sully became an overnight celebrity, we heard the stories on Letterman and every news network imaginable. It turns out though that we knew very little of what was going on because there was a lot more happening behind closed doors, and it is these events that legendary director Clint Eastwood chooses to focus the story on in his new film Sully.
Sully sees Eastwood go behind the spotlight and shows what Sully (Tom Hanks – Forrest Gump) and his co-pilot Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart – The Dark Knight) had to endure in the days after the landing. It shows the men struggling emotionally after the traumatic experience they have been through, how it affected family members such as Sully’s wife Lorraine (Laura Linney – Mystic River), having to deal with the media spotlight suddenly thrust upon them and being the centre of a rather frank investigation put together by the airline, headed by people such as Elizabeth Davies (Anna Gunn – Enemy Of The State, Breaking Bad) that seemed, for financial reasons, to try and find Sully and Skiles acted irrationally.
As a film Sully really does remind us just what a great filmmaker Clint Eastwood is. Many lesser directors would have made this film a full-on air disaster action flick Eastwood shakes it up and makes this largely a character driven film despite the brilliantly shot scenes of the plane landing on the Hudson. That aside though, Eastwood makes this a terrific character drama that centres around a man who, despite his heroic actions, finds himself under attack. The result is a touching film that despite some lengthy ‘courtroom’ scenes holds suspense throughout.
As always, Eastwood also gets the best out of his cast. Tom Hanks is brilliant in the lead role and this grouped together with Captain Phillips is one of Hanks best roles. With all the award attention likely to focus on Hanks though it should be pointed out that he is well supported by Eckhart who matches him in every scene… and manages to sport what must be considered one of the best moustaches of the year.
Sully really is one of the movies of the year. From an opening sequence that is guaranteed to leave you on the edge of the seat, to a gripping inquiry that leaves the film’s hero at the whim of bureaucracy, this is the kind of the film that you want to start telling your friends about the moment you leave the cinema.