"Sully" marks the first collaboration between Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood and I certainly hope it will not be the last.
Together they have crafted one of the year’s most involving films regarding one of the most reported plane crashes in recent U.S. history.
Hanks plays Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, an airline pilot with 40 years of experience. On the morning of Jan. 15, 2009, he was called to fly a flight departing from LaGuardia Airport in New York when a flock of geese disable both engines and forced the plane down. Sullenberger, using his aviation expertise, decides he can’t turn back to LaGuardia and instead ditches the plane in the Hudson River. All 155 souls on board survive the crash.
Sully is immediately praised as a hero, but he comes under intense scrutiny from the National Transportation Safety Board. Board members have other theories about what he should have done. Aaron Eckhart costars as his copilot, Jeff Skiles.
We get a handful of flashbacks of Sully’s background showing why he became a pilot. Some of the film consists of interactions between the press, people on the street and occasional phone calls to his wife (Laura Linney).
Hanks and Eastwood are in top form delivering a film that works simultaneously as a piece of phenomenal entertainment as well as doing service to a history-making event. Just as he did with "American Sniper," Eastwood’s technical prowess is on fully display.
Hanks portrays Sullenberger not necessarily as a hero, but simply as a man who showed up to do his job that day. It’s a note-perfect performance. It should be a cardinal sin if he isn’t nominated for best actor.
As of now, looking at my 10 best list of 2016, expect "Sully" to crack the top five.
Rated PG-13 for some peril and brief strong language.
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.