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Sully – Movie Review

sully movie review tom hanks

US Airways Flight 1549, on the Hudson, with passengers and crew waiting to be rescued.

When you say Tom Hanks, your mind instantly forms the image of a man who you can always depend on, someone reliable, and someone who just won’t ever let you down.

Tom Hanks is Perfection!

And so it was that I went excitedly to watch “Sully” last weekend.

About the Movie

The movie is based on the true story of ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ that happened on January 15, 2009. A few minutes after take-off from LaGuardia Airport, US Airways Flight 1549 had a dual engine failure due to multiple bird strikes. Capt. Sullenberger has crucial seconds to decide whether to head back to LaGuardia or the Teterboro Airport. He does neither, instead performing a water landing on (not in as remarked by First Officer Jeff Skiles) the Hudson. Miraculously, all 155 passengers and crew survive. While ‘Sully’ instantly becomes a hero for the masses, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) launch an investigation into the incident – questioning everything from Sully’s decision to land on the Hudson instead of the nearby airports to his personal life. The movie follows the aftermath of this event – Sully’s post-traumatic stress incidences, his quiet reassurances to his wife over calls, flashbacks of his past that helped him land the plane safely, and being up against computer simulations that show he could have landed safely at either airports. With his 40 year old career at stake, can Sully rise once again above the odds and prove himself against the successful landing simulations and thus save his career?

Why you should watch Sully
Tom Hanks! He’s a great mentor on survival strategies be it in the midst of a far flung island, in space, or well in this case in an airplane with both engines kaput. Okay, no more kidding, Tom Hanks with his understated, nuanced acting makes you ‘feel’ that he IS the real Sullenberger. His eyes convey the most – and therein lie his power.

Clint Eastwood – what can you say about this man that hasn’t already been said? He masterfully handles the story and its depiction. There’s a soft human touch that runs throughout the movie – it moves you from within without you even realising it – you just get swept away in it. Clint Eastwood keeps the movie taut, rich and gripping till the end.

Watching how Sully landed the airplane on water around 3-4 times is thrilling, I wanted to watch it on loop because it was THAT expertly done!

Sully and First Officer Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) are a great combination of calm and wit. Jeff stands by Sully resolutely throughout the investigation. They share a significant bond of those intensely united by those precious seconds ticking away in the cockpit.

Sully is full of heart. The human connection is a recurring theme in the movie. Capt. Sullenberger and First Officer Jeff, the attentive crew, the passengers, the rescue boats and police – people helping each other, the crew advising “brace, brace, brace, heads down, stay down” as the plane dips to land on the water, and the passengers overflowing with gratitude to Sully for saving their lives. Most of all, the 154 passengers and crew’s lives that were in Sully’s hands – and how that was all that mattered to him at that point. Where’s my tissues gone, now?

This movie imparts qualities of teamwork, cooperation, kindness, confidence, ownership of responsibility, and dedication. The movie also reflects parts of us – insecure about our decisions, worrying about what might have or could have happened, searching for some semblance of normalcy. This movie also shows us that we need only to always believe in ourselves without a single shred of doubt in order to rise against all odds.

Have you watched the movie? Did you like it? If you’re going to watch it, then great – share what you thought of it later!

Tip: Watch it in an IMAX hall – it will make it richer and more real!

Here’s a little trailer for you before you head off:


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43 thoughts on “Sully – Movie Review

  1. Venice, I love Tom Hanks! Right from You’ve Got Mail to Da Vinci Code, I love this man! Your review suggests this to be a great watch….I think I’ll do just that, watch this one! Loved the way you have reviewed the movie!

  2. “Amazing” is probably the best adjective to describe Tom Hanks. From his legendary roles in “Forrest Gump” and “Cast Away” to his outrageously funny and lighthearted personality, it doesn’t get much better than Hanks. Tom Hanks plays real-life people in films an awful lot of the time. He does it so often, that many times we’ve found ourselves feeling like the movie we were watching must be based on a true story, even when that’s not the case. Hanks simply makes everything he does feel real. Sometimes you find yourself jumping online after the movie is over to see whether the story you just say actually happened. Sometimes Tom Hanks has been in films that were inspired by a true story. Other times, it simply takes place during an actual period of history. This certainly adds to the feeling that you’re watching history unfold in front of you, but beyond that, Hanks just imbues his characters with a reality that makes them impossible to believe they were entirely made up.

    • You’ve echoed all my thoughts about Tom Hanks. I’ve loved him in all the movies I’ve seen him in. You’ve put it down so well that I have nothing more to add 🙂

  3. How did I miss watching this trailer!! You review is so awesome that I want to watch it straight away. I remember this incident but didn’t know a movie was made inspired by it. Tom Hanks is… as you said… perfection!! 🙂

  4. RamyaRao says:

    You review surely does tempt me to watch the movie. Tom Hanks fan anyway,will book tickets if weekends aren’t working. 😛

  5. saumynagayach says:

    Woah! You’ve beautifully reviewed this,Venice! When we talk about class in Hollywood, Tom Hanks is the name which comes to everyone’s mind in the first place.So, I’m going to watch this for sure! Thanks for the detailed and crisp review! 🙂

  6. aseemrastogi2 says:

    You know having watched this episode in Aircrash investigations and having read so much about it over the years, I always wondered what more is there to tell on this story. But maybe I was wrong. I guess I haven’t read about the post traumatic stress Sullenberger went through and all. And to top it, Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks. WOW!

  7. I havent watched the movie yet, but this is a very well written review. I didn’t know the true story or the incident behind this movie. Thats an insight to this movie. I hope to watch it this weekend.

  8. I recently watched Bridge of Spies, and my oh my, Tom Hanks was brilliant! Words fall short of truly describing his acting skills and the finesse with which he essays every role onscreen. It’s always a pleasure to watch him at work. Must catch this one at the earliest!

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  10. Tom Hanks is Mister Dependable. You can put him in any movie, no matter how good or bad or mediocre, he will make it a treat to watch.
    Sully was perfection. Tom Hanks shows why he is the best actor of Hollywood, maybe more so than Leonardo DICaprio or Dustin Hoffman or Jospeh Gordon Levitt.
    Tom Hanks was in another movie this year, “A Hologram for the King”. It was a decent movie, not great, but you stayed the entire duration because of Tom Hank’s acting.

    • True, Tom Hanks has never gone wrong. Listing down A Hologram for the King in my ‘To-Watch’ list – thanks for sharing it – it’s always a treat to watch Tom Hanks.

  11. I enjoyed your review. Sully was a impactful movie, even more so that it’s a true story. I watched it and had a flight the following morning, which was a little nerve wracking. I paid close attention to the safety video!

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