Movie Review: Sully

imageFor those yearning for a solid Hollywood film with something to say, “brace for impact!” Director Clint Eastwood’s solid biopic Sully (A-) turns convention on its head with an interior examination of an American hero who followed his instincts and famously saved 155 people with a famed plane landing on the icy Hudson River and then doubts himself in the wake of evidence and scrutiny. Against the backdrop of an obsessive culture in which we meticulously pour over footage of pivotal events including the “Zapruder Film” of the JFK shooting, Eastwood’s clinical study of an unlikely emergency water landing combined with a quiet, restrained and mighty performance by Tom Hanks in the title role, makes for an emotionally exciting adventure wrapped in a contemplative piece of cinema. Minor quibbles include a discordant score (Eastwood wrote his own theme music) and a moment or two when the flashback-laden structure does a disservice to forward momentum. But it’s ultimately a stand-up-and-cheer/think experience, made even better by Aaron Eckhart as a charming first officer. Those who think they know the whole story already will be enriched by what Eastwood does here. It’s also an essential big screen theatre experience with magnificent sound and visual effects. With a tip of the hat to the pilot, his crew, the passengers and the first responders, it’s the hero story we may not have known we needed at this exact moment in time.

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