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Sully - Miracle on the Hudson


Stars: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney, Anna Gunn, Holt McCallany, Jamey Sheridan, Valerie Mahaffey, Charles Porter, Delphi Harrington

Director: Clint Eastwood

Almost everybody remembers the US flight that crash-landed miraculously on the Hudson River in 2009, saving all 150 people on board from what seemed like certain death.

Eastwood's reconstruction of the actual landing still packs an emotional impact, but the film focuses just as fiercely on the National Transportation Safety Board inquiry that followed, in which the captain, 'Sully' Sullenberger (Hanks) and his first officer, Jeff Skiles (Eckhart), were virtually put on trial.

While the nation - and the world - was hailing them as heroes, the NTSB produced computer-generated evidence that purported to show they could have landed safely at either of two nearby airports.

'If the NTSB lists me as the probable cause,' Sully tells his alarmed wife (Linney), 'that's the end of my career as a pilot and my pension too.'

These individual sections of the film work well, but the narrative, unlike the plane, is broken into little bits, with sometimes bewildering shifts in timeline, so that there's virtually no suspense left, particularly in the air. But Hanks is steady and strong as Sully, and gets good support from the 'well-meaning' but perhaps too persecutory members of the NTSB inquiry panel.

David Quinlan

USA/Canada 2016. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Technicolor.
95 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 30 Nov 2016