Sully is directed by Clint Eastwood and stars Tom Hanks and the film is based on the true events from 2009 of the pilot who landed his plane on the Hudson River after both of the plane engines blew out and saved all 155 passengers on board. However, The National Transportation Safety Board claims that Sully might have been able to land the plane back at LaGuardia. This begins an ongoing investigation into the averted disaster.
Clint Eastwood is a fantastic actor and as a director he has been on and off. I loved Million Dollar Baby, but was extremely disappointed by J. Edgar and hated American Sniper. But I’m happy to say that Sully is Eastwood’s best film in years and Tom Hanks delivers yet another Oscar-Worthy performance as Sully.
Sully is above all a human drama and it delves deep into Sully’s subconscious as it goes through what happened to him before, during and after the events on that faithful day. Tom Hanks performance is what drives this film and he is again Oscar-Worthy in this movie. He’s very subdued, calm and nothing about his performance “says hey look at me I’m an actor.” He completely disappears in the role and is by far the best part of this film.
It’s nice to see Aaron Eckhart back in a good movie after a few bad ones and he’s fantastic here as the co-pilot. His chemistry with Tom Hanks is terrific and they’re both fantastic together on screen. Anna Gunn from Breaking Bad is also terrific in this film and although she isn’t in it a lot, her scenes are really important.
The direction by Clint Eastwood is fairly strong, something that I felt we’re missing from both American Sniper and J. Edgar, both movies that are based on true stories. Here, the story is non-linear and he jumps between the past and the present fairly often, something that works extremely well for this film. And while we could have gotten to know Sully more as a person in the flashbacks scene where he first discovered his love for aviation, the runtime of this film is perfect and doesn’t drag, something Eastwood must have realized from his previous works (especially American Sniper which was way too long).
The plane crash sequence is nail-biting suspenseful and Eastwood manages to show the events with different viewpoints and also manages to make you care about the passengers on board. Even though you know that everyone is going to make it out okay, the way that the scene is directed is really well done.
As for the film’s few flaws, Eastwood feels like it needs to always cut back to Sully’s family, which happens a lot in biopics, but here it feels unneeded and rather pointless. In The Martian, we never once see Matt Damon’s family, which would have been too preachy. This film should have done the same and not show us his family. Or show his family only at the end, when everything is resolved. That would have given the film a better impact.
But overall, Sully is a really well directed film with great performances from Eckhart and Anna Gunn as well as an Oscar Worthy performance from Tom Hanks, and also brings the best out of the human race when we are faced against impossible odds.