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Sully Movie Review

Reviewed by on Sep 09, 2016
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld saw Sully, the story of the real-life ditching of a passenger plane on NYC’s Hudson River. All aboard survived. Is Tom Hanks great as the reluctant hero? Read our movie review!

By: Lynn Barker

In Sully, a seasoned airline pilot has to make a life or death decision in record time. Who knew that a routine, short flight would go down due to a collision with a flock of Canadian geese? What do you do if you can’t make it to any airport because both engines are shot? Head for the river and hope the plane can float!

Sully (Tom Hanks) jogs to clear his headSully (Tom Hanks) jogs to clear his headCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Routine Flight

One morning in icy February, 2009 Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) and co-pilot Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) take off on their airline flight from La Guardia airport outside NYC to North Carolina. Suddenly a huge flock of Canadian geese are sucked into both engines.

Co-pilot (Aaron Eckhart) after the bird strikeCo-pilot (Aaron Eckhart) after the bird strikeCourtesy of Warner Bros.


Sully realizes that he can’t make runways at any near-by airports and, with the plane descending, has to ditch in the Hudson River. The fact that all passengers survive is amazing.

Sully (Tom Hanks) about to ditch the plane in the HudsonSully (Tom Hanks) about to ditch the plane in the HudsonCourtesy of Warner Bros.


Because the airline isn’t happy that its expensive plane was lost, the National Transportation Safety Board routinely investigates. Computer simulations of the flight reveal that the pilot should have made it to an airport so Sully goes from hero to bad guy at least in their eyes. Will he have his wings taken away? Will anyone ever consider the “human factor”? Computers can’t really do that.

Sullenberger and Skiles at the last NTSB hearingSullenberger and Skiles at the last NTSB hearingCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Wrapping Up

Tom Hanks is simply always marvelous playing an “everyman”, an ordinary guy in extraordinary circumstances. Whether in Castaway, Apollo 13, Philadelphia, Saving Private Ryan, on and on, Tom makes us believe in him and care. Sully is no exception.

The press questions SullyThe press questions SullyCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Great actor/director Clint Eastwood is no slouch at shaping wonderful “people” stories as well. You put the two together and you get a film that will have you gripping your theater armrest and rooting for a reluctant hero to win out over machines and a dehumanizing staff of bureaucratic doubters. Sully was always a hero in the public eye and this film digs into him as the man, not the legend. Always good actor Aaron Eckhart is really great at playing the guy in the co-pilot’s seat who always had Sully’s back. Awesome actress Laura Linney is a bit wasted as Sully’s concerned wife always on the phone with him but, of course she does a great job of it.

Sully's wife (Laura Linney) is glad he's okaySully's wife (Laura Linney) is glad he's okayCourtesy of Warner Bros.

The only flaw is perhaps the fact that the film repeats the crash incident or the simulations the NTSB did to duplicate the flight too many times.  Otherwise, it’s just perfect. We go four stars. Stick around during the end credits to see a reunion of the real Sully with real survivors of the flight. Very cool.

Sully Movie Rating:4

Sully Movie PosterSully Movie PosterCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Sully is in theaters now!


Have Your Say

Have you been on an airplane in trouble? Do you think you would be strong in a crisis? Put in a comment below!