Tom Hanks finally shakes his string of travel films gone awry – having nearly died in Apollo 13 and being stranded on an island in Castaway. Hanks, playing Captain “Sully” Sullenberger, does what we all expected in the film – making a water landing on the Hudson and saving the lives of all his passengers and crew.
We all think we know the story. We don’t. This film does an absolutely fantastic job of opening the curtain and taking us behind the hell of a man suddenly thrust into the media spotlight while being drawn into the bureaucratic scrutiny of his peers. What we see, when the curtain is pulled back, is an outstanding acting performance by a seasoned veteran, well worthy of Oscar consideration.
What makes this movie work is that we all know the story. Rather than lead off with the 208 seconds that made Sullenberger and his co-pilot heroes, this film tells that story throughout. The viewer is given many different perspectives of this crisis, each one rewarding and satisfying on a whole new level.
When the movie was over – there was applause in the theater. Seriously. Not since Joy have I heard that in a theater.
In a summer where Hollywood has struggled to get our attention and keep it – with retreads of old films, Sully is a solid feel-good film. There are moments of humor that shatter the thick underlying tension of the movie. We are sucked into one man’s personal hell, and he emerges on the other side an even greater hero.
Sully is a five out of five stars. Go to it. Take your kids. You’ll be gripping your hand-rests and your eyes will water at all of the right times. #Sully