Clint Eastwood directs Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart and Laura Linney in this fractured look at the life, fears and heroics of Chesley Sullenberger’s January 2009 emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River.
“Birds. Birds. Birds.” This is a classy affair carried by Hank’s easy charm and Eastwood’s assured direction. But the fake drama of an inquiry that is only going one way, the emergency ditching visited over and over and over from differing perspectives and the weak punchline ending highlight that there really is only a few minutes of story here. An expert took his years of experience and landed a plane in a way few others could saving 155 lives. Sully deserves a film but the process itself took 208 seconds (we are repeatedly told) and 208 seconds does not 90 minutes fill. And as those additional 86 minutes roll on with flashbacks, nightmares, calls home, references to the 2008 economic crash and footage of real survivors cuddling the real Sullenberger… well… Sully sinks under its own padding.