“Sully” Soars to Hollywood Greatness

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“Sully” Soars to Hollywood Greatness

Jacob Wasserman

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As a senior in high school, not many real-life movies that are made are about events that I actually remember following as they happened, but Sully fits into that category. Sully is based on the pilot of a commercial airliner, Chesley Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) and his co-pilot, Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart), who encountered a double engine failure (due to birds flying into the engines), and landed his jet on the Hudson River in New York City in 2009, with every single passenger and crew member surviving. The incident was popularly dubbed, “The Miracle on the Hudson”. The movie also follows the investigation into Sully’s decision to land in the Hudson instead of trying to land at a nearby airport.

The movie masterfully conveyed the tension that was present in the cockpit throughout the ordeal, from take-off, to getting hit by the geese, to realization of the situation, and finally to the water landing. During the flashback to the actual incident, the movie follows a father and his two sons, who were passengers on the plane. All three men made it off of the plane with no injuries, but they were separated in the confusion, adding to the moment’s tension. The bulk of the movie takes place after the water-landing, during the investigation into Sully’s decision by various aviation and insurance groups. Those groups turned to computer simulations that said that the plane had enough altitude and fuel to make it back to one of the nearby airports, and that would mean that the pilots had endangered the lives of their passengers. Sully and Skiles successfully convinced their doubters that when into account the fact that they were human, by the time that they were able to assess the situation and react, they would not have been able to successfully land on a nearby runway, so they had actually made the right decision.

I would give this movie a score of 9 out of 10. This Clint Eastwood directed movie genuinely made each viewer feel like they were right there in the cockpit or in the passenger cabin as the plane was going down. Tom Hanks once again amazes as an ordinary man put in extraordinary circumstances, similar to Captain Phillips and Bridge of Spies. The movie was not over dramatized, but definitely kept your eyes glued to the screen, despite knowing the ending of the movie, and that is the true sign of a good non-fiction movie, which Sully definitely is.

 

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