‘Sully’ roars in its stunning debut | Movie Review

By Hannah Forsythe // Contributing Writer| Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

After a long summer of dreaded sequels and long-awaited reboots, we find ourselves with “Sully,” a biopic worthy of an Oscar. An Oscar for a leading role, but an Oscar nonetheless.

Tom Hanks as Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberg delivers serious acting at his best with a stunning cast surrounding him. Clint Eastwood provides spectacular directing along with writer Todd Komarnicki, who provides a remarkable take of “The Miracle on the Hudson.”

If you are not aware of the backstory to the movie, on Jan. 15, 2009, Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberg landed a disabled plane onto the Hudson river.

There were 155 passengers, all of which survived the plane crash that fateful day.

While Sully was hailed a hero for saving all the lives of these people by the media, an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board was unfolding at his feet.

This is where the movie starts off.

It gives a straight-to-the-point perspective of the horrors the pilot and passengers went through on that fateful day, which is very refreshing compared to all the complicated plots and overly-thought-out films from this summer.

The film continues into the aftermath of the crash, the media fiasco and the investigation into the crash itself to see if it could have been avoided.

The only antagonist the movie seems to present is the National Transportation Safety Board, where they try to do everything in their power to find a misstep of Sully’s doing. Although unsuccessful through all of it, by the end of the film, you do not have an overwhelming sense of gratitude towards this department.

Eastwood wanted to give every aspect of this remarkable story, and he definitely brought his A-game.

The highlight of the film was the plane ride. It took you on a journey, one where the heightened suspense of waiting for it to crash made it feel as if you were a part of the moment itself.

The reverberation of the passengers swimming out into the Hudson River frantically along with pilot Sully was spectacular.

In the midst of all the commotion, Sully makes a phone call to his wife to tell her he is okay, although she is unaware of what has happened just yet.

The film does seem to lack on genuine areas such as this one. However, the scene where the plane crashed alone made the film a masterpiece.

Sully’s PTSD is also brought to light in the film, which is a crucial social issue the directors brought about awareness for. He is constantly weary thinking of what could have happened instead focusing on the heroic feat he did accomplish. Flashbacks are brought up throughout the film relentlessly; it provides more insight into the mind of Sully at times.

The film provided a harrowing experience for viewers, providing an in-depth look into what the passengers, pilot and rescue crews went through during that unfortunate day.

‘Sully’ is a worthwhile film and delightful biopic all-in-all, mostly thanks to Tom Hanks’ one-man show. And while the ending of the film was oh-so predictable, it was still engaging throughout the entire film as if it was an entirely new story.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Olivia Ladd email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com.

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  1. Avatar
    Jill Brown
    September 15, 2016

    This was very well written and a great review of the movie.

  2. Avatar
    September 28, 2016

    I was very impressed with this movie. One of my very dear friends is a manager at one of the theaters in town, so when she asked me if I’d like to see a free movie with her, I jumped at the opportunity to watch Tom Hanks in this new role since he is one of my favorite actors. I was very surprised at the the way the investigation of the flight by the National Transportation Safety Board was portrayed in the movie. It seemed that their attitudes toward Sully were heartless, and they completely disregarded Sully’s heroic decision to land on the Hudson to prevent a crash after a bird strike.

    In the movie, when the final session is held to see if Sully is guilty of putting the passengers’ lives at stake when it was “unnecessary,” I was on the edge of my seat. Basically, they had real pilots conduct simulations to estimate what would have happened if Sully tried to turn around to head back to the initial airport or if he had tried to land at another airport. In both instances, the captain would have landed safely according to the simulations. What wasn’t taken into consideration was the human element of the pilot, and that’s what Sully argued. I found myself angry at how they were treating Sully, almost as if he had landed on the Hudson to promote his own abilities.

    Overall, I was very happy with how the movie turned out and with the acting. I actually felt like I was on the plane when they recreated the flight and am grateful that Sully’s heroism and safety expertise saved all 155 souls onboard that day. If you haven’t already, I would recommend seeing this movie in theaters. It is worth your time.

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