Sully Movie Review: The Story of the Miracle on the Hudson

Emma Holtz '20, Staff Writer

Once again, we find ourselves congregating to our local movie theater to witness Tom Hanks grace the big screen in his latest Hollywood blockbuster, Sully.  The film debuted on September 9, 2016 and was directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Todd Komarnicki.

The audience is immediately immersed into the story of the 208 second journey of U.S. Airways Flight 1549, which was forced to make an emergency landing on the Hudson River due to dual engine loss by bird strike.  The incredible story is set around the actual events that occurred on January 15, 2009.  The opening scene begins with Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger at the helm and his co-pilot Jeff Skiles loyally by his side as they encounter a devastating bird strike, leading to the plane rapidly losing altitude and spiraling into the hub of Manhattan.  This first scene is the nightmare of an emotionally-drained Sullenberger the night after the miraculous landing, as he comes to grips with the white-knuckling experience of the last 24 hours.

The film now begins to shift from the present day investigation of the emergency landing to the actual incident in the cockpit as Sully recalls past memories that reveal his love for aviation.  As the story of the crash begins to flood the media and airwaves, Sully begins to receive a deluge of unwanted attention from strangers who view him as a hometown hero, despite undergoing intense inquisition by investigators on whether Flight 1549 could have returned safely to Laguardia after the strike.  The acute attention to detail that the producers and director displayed in keeping the story accurate leaves a clear picture for the viewers to absorb and contemplate, but another reason why this film is both entertaining as well as informative is the soundtrack.

I have found many times that the music is just as essential to producing a memorable film as well as the performance by the actors and actresses. The score for Sully is composed by Clint Eastwood, Christian Jacob, and the Tierney Sutton Band. A combination of piano, jazz, and orchestral pieces unify the different parts of the plot and make it flow effortlessly.

Based on my viewing experience, Sully is deserving of high praise for its incredible performances by Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart, a score which represents the quiet and plain lifestyle that Sully practices, and the tense and enthralling account about the voyage of U.S. Airways Flight 1549.  I would highly recommend this film to anyone, no matter if you are intrigued by aviation history or if you are in search of a good film to watch that will tug at the heartstrings.  Sully will grab your attention with intense vigor as it soars into theaters.