Movie Genre:  Biography / Drama

Opening date: September 9th 2016

Director: Clint Eastwood

Reviewer: David Huang





Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and his co-pilot Jeff Skiles are commercial airline pilots flying from New York’s LaGuardia Airport  en route to Charlotte Douglas International Airpot.  In an unpredictable turn of events, a flock of birds collide with both of the plane’s engines, damaging them both heavily and leaving the plane without thrust. With no other viable options, Sully opts to land the plane in the Hudson River and miraculously saves the lives of all 155 passengers and crew on board. Following the incident, Sully and Jeff find themselves overwhelmed by the press, symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and a formal inquiry launched by the National Transportation Safety Board to determine whether it was pilot error or an unavoidable accident.

Director Clint Eastwood tells the story of US Airways Flight 1549 in a way that enables the audience to connect with Captain Sully and his co-pilot. Although dramatic in its nature, the film has well-timed moments comedic relief.  Tom Hank’s spectacular performance of Captain Sully allows us to see the humanity of a hero. Sully is no superman. He is a family man with bills to pay and the typical family issues. Captain Sully experiences what any person who has gone through a traumatic event would experience and Hanks portrays all this wonderfully. This was a captivating story and an excellent tribute to Captain Chesley Sullenberger.

Sully is a smoke-free movie. Considering that our main character Captain Sully is a commercial airline pilot, there are very few opportunities for him to smoke (smoking is banned on planes). There are certainly scenes outside his main work environment where smoking could have been depicted, but it would not have impacted the film drastically. Sully is evidence that a smoke-free movie can be a high quality production and that smoking in cinema is often unnecessary.