Sully is a dramatic recreation of the 2009 “Miracle on the Hudson,” which found Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger at the command of US Airways Flight 1549, after it struck a flock of geese and began losing power shortly after taking off from LaGuardia Airport. The movie, which released on September 9, was directed by Clint Eastwood, starring Tom Hanks as Sullenberger. It shouldn’t be a surprise that Sully would take off with theater-goers. The movie’s first-day receipts were an estimated $34.5 million, which speaks volumes about Hanks and his ability to carry off a compelling role as well as the enduring nature of Sullenberger as an All-American hero. There can be little doubt that Sully’s returns will give the film a huge leg up on a crowded field of competitors leading into this fall’s offerings.
This is despite the presence of controversy surrounding the perceived bad rap that NTSB investigators received in their treatment of Sullenberger in their review of the incident. It is worth noting that despite this, the real life Sullenberger downplayed this rough treatment and even insisted on using pseudonyms in the story’s retelling. The film is a riveting piece of work right out of the gate, with Hanks’ expert portrayal of the ever-cool Sullenberger. Whether he is calmly giving commands in an effort to avert a catastrophe or dealing with his unwanted new-found fame as a result, Hanks (as always) delivers a poignant performance. Aaron Eckhart is solid as Captain Sully’s co-pilot, while Laura Linney does her excellent best to do what she can with the concerned wife role. All in all, Todd Komarnicki’s script is tightly woven together and makes for a great little character study about an unassuming hero.