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Film Reviews Sully is thrilling when the action is on the plane and thudding when it’s not

Tom Hanks as Sully, the pilot who landed United Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River after flying into a flock of birds.

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture

2.5 out of 4 stars

Title
Sully
Written by
Todd Komarnicki
Directed by
Clint Eastwood
Starring
Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney
Classification
PG
Country
USA
Language
English

It's a rare airline disaster film that makes you want to spend more time on the airliner, but then, United Airways Flight 1549, which hit a flock of geese after takeoff on Jan. 15, 2009, and wound up on the Hudson River, was that rarest of airline disasters: one with a happy ending. Sully, starring Tom Hanks as the pilot who guided the fateful flight over its final 208 seconds, is thrilling when we're on and around the plane (seeing that giant CGI bird splash down, especially on an Imax screen, makes you realize how improbable the whole enterprise was) and too often thudding when we're not. Director Clint Eastwood gins up the drama of the National Transportation Safety Board's postaccident investigation, setting the stage for a creaky Platonic dialogue about the value of operating on intuition and experience rather than relying on the data-crunchers that know nothing about real life.

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