‘Sully’ Review Roundup: Miracle On The Hudson Film Receives Mixed Marks
Clint Eastwood‘s Sully hits theaters today, which tells the story of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger who, in 2009, successfully performed an emergency landing on the Hudson River after his plane colliding with a flock of geese. While the “Miracle on the Hudson” of US Airways Flight 1549 only took place over a few minutes, the film stretches the event and jumps between past and present to create a feature length film.
Reviews have been mixed, seen positively concerning the acting of Tom Hanks as Sully and Eastwood’s direction, and more negatively regarding the actual plot.
“Inevitable is how Sully feels. That, and a little soggy, given that the storyline is rooted not in the few seconds of Sullenberger’s defining act of heroism, but in the way his conscience, and the National Transportation Safety Board, plagued him in its aftermath. The film has some impressive special effects – very few know what a landing in the Hudson looks like, and the FX team behind Sully delivers a convincing rendition. So does Hanks, re: the not-so-complicated Sullenberger. But the film also feels very much like it’s circling the airport, maybe in the rain.” – John Anderson, TIME
“Sully” is a classy, enormously satisfying ode to simple competence. To paraphrase the title character, it’s just a movie doing its job. And amen to that.” – Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
“The tension ebbs and flows as the story shifts among moments in time and states of consciousness. There are blah generic scenes with Sully’s worried wife (Laura Linney) and glimpses of his past (he learned to fly as a teenager); mostly, there is the friction that Mr. Eastwood generates from the investigation, the accident and Sully’s imaginary variations on the same. Mr. Eastwood bluntly drops in these imaginings, so it’s not always immediately clear whether you’re watching a fantasy, a strategy that intensifies their power. These illusions are manifestations of Sully’s worst, otherwise mostly unarticulated, fears, like disaster flicks dredged from his depths. And because we’re the only ones who see them, we become his secret sharer, or maybe confessor, which amplifies the movie’s intimacy.” – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
“Efficient and effective in Eastwood’s experienced hands, “Sully” has interwoven a crisp and electric retelling of the story of the landing we know with a story we do not.” – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
“[A] straightforward tribute to the extraordinary actions taken by an irreproachable character who refuses to see himself as a hero. It’s not a particularly great Clint Eastwood movie — it ranks perhaps ninth or 10th on a résumé of 35 features, two of them best picture winners — but it’s one that promises to resonate in a big way with Americans at this moment in time. Ripped from the headlines, “Sully” offers a rare example of a movie inspired by good news — the best news, as one character points out, that New York has heard in a long time, “especially with an airplane in it.”” – Peter Debruge, Variety
See the trailer below.