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Sully (2016) Movie Review

My Cat Persephone Wrote this Review on her Smartphone. It was better than Mine. .


MPAA Rating


Running Time

96 minutes


Clint Eastwood


Todd Komarnicki

The Olympics may be over, but if you choose to see the new Clint Eastwood/Tom Hanks collaboration Sully, based on the real life thing that happened mixed with courtroom/inquiry drama, you’ll get such an overdose of Americanism (oddly enough, not involving guns or overeating) that you will grow a third arm for the sole purpose of saluting.

Though the film was shot months before the Olympics, it does seem timely that Tom Hanks has a shock of white hair. Though true to the real person, it does feel like a eff-you to the Lochte’s of the world.

You can add Sully to American Sniper (that Army Recruitment video) and Invictus (the soccer recruitment video even though Americans still give an eff about soccer) to the list of Eastwood movies that try to inform and inspire, though unlike those previous two movies, nothing about Sully feels like it has an underlying agenda other than to tell a simple and amazing story.

It doesn’t hurt to cast America’s Tom Hanks as the embodiment of everything great about America. It’s a role he can do in his sleep though it never feels like he is. As numerous memes show, whether he’s being raided by Somali pirates, getting intimate with a Volleyball, doing that thing he does in space, or defending a Russian spy, if Hanks does it, you know it’s the right thing to do.

During the course of this movie, if director Eastwood had Hanks utter the line, “We should crash this plane into a school full of children,” the audience would have clapped, thinking yes, that plane crashing into those kids was the right thing to do. Everybody that dares to contradict Hanks is automatically a villain.

You may now pledge allegiance to the flag, or sit to it, because that’s your right as an American!
*slow clap*

Multitasking with a phone and an earpiece.

Multitasking with a phone and an earpiece.


You know the facts.

On January 15, 2009, Flight 1549 left for wherever, lost both engines, was supposed to divert back to La Guardia Airport, but Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (played by America’s ninja, Tom Hanks) along with his copilot Jeffrey “Jeff” Skiles (played by America’s sassiest man, Aaron Eckhart) chose to land in the Hudson river, probably upsetting off a bunch of New Yorkers at first, not just because the Knicks suck.

Sully’s quick bunny thinking and reflexes saved the lives of 154 other souls on that plane.

But did you know that aliens and not birds, were the cause of the engine failure?
And that Tom Hanks/ Sandra Bullock 9/11 movie was one of the worst Best Picture nominees ever made?

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Mustache war.

Mustache war.

There were inquiries as to whether Sully put them in more danger than might have been necessary as instrumentation shows that there was enough thrust in one of the engines to get the plane back to La Guardia. We are now allowed to boo and hiss at the review board since “They were not there” and “They have no idea what it’s like to be a pilot” and “How dare they question Tom Hanks’ motives?”

The movie shuffles back from the inquiries to what could have happened to what really happened, but since there‘s the loaded casting of Hanks, we have no doubt as to who will win in the end (See: Every Tom Hanks movie ever effing made)

You see Sully either die a hero, or live long enough to be the vill--- Sorry, that was from The Dark Knight. Never mind.

Trays are probably not in the upright position.

Trays are probably not in the upright position.

What Works With Sully

  • At 96 minutes, Sully is as lean as its director Eastwood, with no pointless or barely believable subplots to pad the running time (except one). The story and the performances are all pretty straightforward, with minimal time wasted for false effect. Then again, with a story like this you don’t really need anything more.
  • As one might expect, you do get to see (and feel) what it was like on Flight 1549 in real time. Even if you know what‘s coming, it‘s hard not to feel the terror and then the exhilaration of what it was like on that day. Don’t be surprised if you’re wiping a tear from your eye because Tom Hanks saved all those people.

What Doesn't Work With Sully

  • Laura Linney literally phoning in a performance as Sully’s harried wife. It’s not necessarily bad but see the Inside Amy Schumer episode where she plays pretty much the same character. I think I laughed every time she showed up onscreen with the phone in her hand.
  • The scenes with the passengers feel forced, as if the studio felt the audience needed someone to identify with. In a film based so much on reality, these scenes felt the most out of left field and screenwriter Todd Komarnicki should have left them at the bottom of the Hudson
  • Apparently my wife and I went to the AARP screening, as there were handfuls of loud elderly who wouldn’t STFU during every little beat and revelation. Is this what you’re like when Matlock is on? Is that why your kids don’t visit you?
Hanks inflated that raft all by himself.

Hanks inflated that raft all by himself.


What better way to spend your, um, 9/11 weekend than watch a movie where a plane crashes…in New York. It’s good though. Really. Fine. Don’t trust me. But would your Uncle Tom (Hanks) and Grandpa Clint let you down?


Buy Sully Here!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2019 Noel Penaflor

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