Making movies based on well-known historical events can be a bit tricky — especially if it is about an event that nearly every person in the theater will remember.
But that is what director Clint Eastwood and the studio (Warner Brothers) behind the new film Sully (PG-13) chose to do — and despite the fact the so-called “Miracle on the Hudson” took place only seven years ago, they did it successfully.
Sully is one of the best movies of the year, delivering surprise after surprise about an American hero — Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (played by Tom Hanks) – who landed U.S. Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River near New York after it was disabled due to a rare bird strike on both engines.
Incredibly, all 155 people on board survived. Sully’s story was told and re-told in the days after the heroic events of Jan. 15, 2009, so what possibly could we all have missed? As it turns out, a lot.
Sullenberger had doubts that he did the right thing, wondering if he should have tried to land the plane at a near-by airport instead of endangering the passengers by putting the plane in the river. Those doubts led to nightmares about passenger planes crashing. He even wondered if the incident would threaten his career and retirement, leading to financial ruin for his family.
The movie turns officials with the National Transportation Safety Board into heartless bureaucrats, although some former employees say the NTSB gave Sullenberger high marks. Sullenberger, though, says the movie reflects his memory.
Historians can debate the film’s nuances, but from an entertainment and inspirational perspective, Eastwood and his writing team have weaved a masterpiece.
The movie has plenty to like for the faith-based crowd, but is it family-friendly? Let’s take a look. Continue reading