Tom Hanks sticks the landing in “Sully”

By: Matthew McDonald, Columnist

Tom Hanks hit theaters Friday, Sept. 9, in Clint Eastwood’s latest based-on-true-events movie, “Sully.” Set in the bitter January of 2009, this drama recounts the exploits of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who successfully landed a malfunctioning plane in the freezing Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 passengers and crew onboard and causing controversy in the process.

When Sully is accused of taking an unsafe route and landing in the Hudson, with evidence against him that he could have easily made it back to the closest runway, he and his beginner co-pilot, Jeff Skiles, must defend their judgment. The court against them tries to denounce their argument, showing multiple successful flight simulator tests in the same situation Sully was in, but they forget one crucial aspect in flying: humanity. 

This drama is one of the best visually-executed movies I have seen in a long time, reminding me (both in story and perspective) of “Titanic.” Both highlight many of the passengers onboard, making the audience empathize more with them when tragedy strikes. Alternating between the present day and flashbacks to the incident, the movie is able to show the same series of events three separate times from different perspectives and not lose the audience for one second.

If I had two small problems with this movie, it would be these: first, the editing in some spots was slightly confusing, and it was hard to tell at times when the story was in the present versus in a flashback. Second, the story overall seemed to be too, for lack of a better word, easy. What I mean by this is that the plot seemed to be a standard conflict and resolution arc without any audience fear that they might not win the case.

This does not mean that the flight shots themselves were not suspenseful. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I just feel Eastwood could have added a little more and not wrapped it up so quickly.

Aside from the few critiques I have regarding questionable editing and an easy plot, “Sully” is amazing.

I felt like I was actually in the cockpit looking out over the New York skyline. This movie was given an 82 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and is definitely one to see on the big screen. I give this movie an 8/10.

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