The Story Behind the Story


Sully, directed by Clint Eastwood, tells the story of the pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger after he landed a commercial plane on the Hudson River. On January 15, 2009 the flight took off from LaGuardia airport and soon ran into a flock of birds. The birds caused dual engine failure and Sully was forced to make an emergency landing on the Hudson.

The movie isn’t focused on the actual flight itself, but instead on the aftermath of the flight, and how Sully handles his instant fame and the reaction by the press. After the landing, Sully is traumatized and keeps having flashbacks of the flight and what could have gone wrong.

The scenes of the water landing and rescue weren’t too long, but were intense. The sound and visual effects were stunning and I found myself immersed in the movie. Tom Hanks alongside Aaron Eckhart, who played first officer Jeff Skiles, performed brilliantly together and are a witty duo on screen.

While Sully was a solid film, there were definitely some things that could have been improved. In particular, there were two flashbacks that revealed parts of Sully’s past that weren’t incorporated very well. They were meant to show that Sully was an experienced and skilled pilot, but they left me confused about his past rather than clearing things up. One of those sequences is a flashback in which Sully is piloting a fighter jet,something goes wrong with the engine, and he makes a very skilled landing. While relevant, the scene felt awkwardly placed and took away from the flow of the movie.

Overall, Sully was a great movie that had a good balance between action and drama. The filming was done well and the photography wasn’t all over the place so you didn’t know what was happening. The sound design was relatively well done, with the exception of only a couple moments in the film. The special effects were realistic and kept me immersed in the movie. However, the film is rated as PG-13 and for a good reason. There are some very tense situations and minor language occasionally, so if you don’t like those things you may not like this movie a lot. If you are fine with tension and language then this movie is very good even if you are not into aviation or disaster type movies.