Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

My Review of the Movie “Sully”

Leave a comment

sullySully, rated PG-13

This film is directed by 86 year-old two-time Academy Award winning Director (for Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby), Clint Eastwood. The screenplay is written by Todd Komarnicki based on the book Highest Duty by Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger.

We are familiar with Sully’s story. On Thursday, January 15th, 2009, he safely landed his damaged plane, U.S. Airways Flight 1549 bound for Charlotte onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 souls aboard. This was referred to as the “Miracle on the Hudson”.  Sully’s plane lost engine power about three minutes after takeoff when it hit a flock of Canadian Geese at an altitude of approximately 2800 feet and speed of 200 MPH.  Sully and co-pilot Jeff Skiles had a very short period of time to decide what to do.

But there is more to the story. While he was overwhelmingly looked at as a hero who saved the lives of all aboard, afterwards (the film portrays it as immediately afterwards, when in reality it took place much later), there was an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) that threatened to destroy Sully’s reputation and career.

Two-time Oscar winner (for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump), Tom Hanks portrays Sully. First Officer Jeff Skiles is portrayed by Aaron Eckhart. Both do an excellent job in their roles. Sully is portrayed as a family man. Laura Linney does a good job of portraying Sully’s wife Lorraine, and we hear several phone calls between the two.

The NTSB investigation team comes across as having an agenda to blame Sully for the emergency landing. They are portrayed as wanting to show that he made a mistake and could have in fact turned the plane around and landed it safely on one of the many runways available to him in/near New York City. The film portrays the whole story of the investigation and its significant impact on Sully. It also portrays Sully dealing with his newfound fame and the post-trauma stress that the crash had on him and his crew. On this anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, there are scenes that will remind viewers of the horrific attacks in New York City.

The film makes effective use of flashbacks, as we see the crash landing, which is realistically portrayed from multiple perspectives. We also see a few other scenes of Sully flying planes early in his flying career.

We saw the film on an IMAX screen, which made the plane’s crash and rescue scene truly amazing. Eastwood does an excellent job putting the viewer in the cockpit with Sully and Skiles.

The film is rated PG-13 for some brief adult language and the tense crash landing.  Overall, it’s hard to go wrong with this film about an American hero directed by one of our top directors and starring one of our top actors.

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

Leave a Reply