When basically everyone who has heard of Capt. Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger and how he landed in the Hudson in January of 2009 and calls him a hero, you need a movie star who can fill those shoes with ease. It helps to then have someone like Tom Hanks fill those shoes, being that Hanks is one of the few movie stars no one has a bad thing to say about.
Hanks again is Captain of the Screen as the titular character. He gives another performance where we know it is Tom Hanks, but we also know it is Chelsey Sullenberger. What I liked most about the performance is that it was not one that had to be over the top with long monologues and shouting matches. It is a controlled performance, as Sully has to deal with the aftermath of the landing (not crash, but landing).
Another key part of the movie is Aaron Eckhart as his co-pilot, Jeff Skiles. Eckhart has always been a good actor, and delivers another fine supporting performance here (he is given one of the best film curtain lines in recent memory). We also get the invaluable Laura Linney as Sully’s wife Lorraine.
The best part of the movie is that it does not focus completely on the landing, but the aftermath. We see Sully’s interview with Katie Couric (playing herself), and his time on Letterman. There were times were I was feeling the absolute hidden truth behind being a celebrity, and how it can boggle the mind in an instant.
Parents, if your kids are middle school aged, they can see this film. It is PG-13 for some swearing (including one F bomb), but nothing more than what a middle schooler would hear in a cafeteria. Nothing sexual of any kind.
The movie is directed by Hollywood Legend Clint Eastwood, at the ripe age of 86 (proving once again that I want to be more like him if I make it to that age). Sully is Eastwood’s shortest film (around an hour and a half), but, like any Eastwood film, is far from boring. It is another highlight in his long, legendary career, as it is for Hanks.
Overall: Four Stars ****