On Thursday, January 15, 2009, in New York City, a passenger plane crashed on the Hudson River and all 155 people aboard seemingly miraculously survived. Captain 'Sully' Sullenberger and his crew were hailed as heroes across the globe. Sully chronicles the lesser-known side of this true story: a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation on whether the Captain made the right decision not to return to the airport when engines failed.
It would be easy to go for the shock factor in telling of a plane crash, but the Clint Eastwood directed movie goes for a quieter route. In order to show the audience the high stakes of the event, the film jumps through quick snippets of what happened in both the cockpit and passenger area of the airplane during and after the crash. Most of the film focuses on a courtroom-like setting and it is surprisingly gripping stuff.
2016 saw quite a lot of strong filmmaking and, any other year, I think Sully may have had a chance at some acting and writing Oscars. The quality of this film makes it worth viewing with excellent understated performances by Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart (as Sully's co-pilot), a unique jazz-infused soundtrack, and beautifully rendered realistic effects. I recommend this story to anyone who enjoys courtroom dramas, true stories, or tales of survival.