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Sully Review: A Solid Character Study with Terrific Performances

Based on the true events of January 15th 2009, Sully benefits massively from terrific performances from Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart and a restrained approach from director Clint Eastwood.


For those of you unaware of the story, Sully is a character study of Captain Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger, who glided his heavily damaged aircraft into the Hudson River and managed to save all 155 lives on board. The film also depicts the psychological effects that plagued Sully after the event, as well as the investigation that followed. Tom Hanks’ performance as Sully is once again outstanding, as he convincingly portrays Sully’s inner conflict with subtlety and nuance. Aaron Eckhart is also terrific as Sully’s co-pilot, Jeff Skiles, adding depth and humour to the proceedings. The rest of the supporting cast, including Laura Linney and Breaking Bad’s Anna Gunn aren’t given much to do, which is a shame, as they are both very talented actors.

The low-key approach from director Clint Eastwood is an interesting decision, as it invites people to criticize the film for being dull. However, this approach makes the film much more focused and allows the actors to really flesh out the characters. Although, that’s not to say that the film doesn’t have its fair share of set-pieces: there are several set-pieces and they are all tense and serve the story well. Eastwood cleverly shows the incident from different perspectives and in different sections of the film, which aids the narrative without feeling repetitive.

Sully is a very solid character study of a man who is seen as a hero by everyone except himself and a thrilling interpretation of an astonishing event.

Check out the rest of our website for more movie news and reviews, including our thoughts on NerveIndignation and War Dogs