If You've Been Holding Out For a Hero, Go See "Sully"

Movie Review - Jackie K Cooper
"Sully" (Warner Brothers)

If you've been holding out for a hero in the movies, well your wait is over. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger is a genuine, verified, true blue hero who saved the lives of one hundred and fifty five passengers and crew when he landed his damaged aircraft in the Hudson River. This crash is part of his story told in the new movie "Sully," but it is only part of the story.

The rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would say, is the investigation into the crash where Sully's (Tom Hanks) actions, as well as those of his co-pilot Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart), are questioned. It seems saving one hundred fifty five lives is not enough when weighed against the cost of an Airbus A320. There has to be an investigation to determine if Sully's account of events might not have been the most practical one.

It is amazing how director Clint Eastwood fills every possible second of screen time with drama and human emotion. He creates a collision course between Sully and the NTSB and lets Sully's career and reputation hang in the balance.. Sully states in the film that he has been flying for forty two years but his career is being determined by two hundred and eight seconds.

Tom Hanks was born to play the role of Sully. He is the one actor who can imbue this character with intelligence, humility, calmness and compassion. During the time of the crash it is these traits that embody Sullenberger. He is never thinking of himself, but always thinking of the safety of the people who are within his care. It is a magnificent role that is matched by Hanks' magnificent performance.

There are other actors who shore up Hanks' performance such as Laura Linney, Eckhart, Mike O'Malley, Jamey Sheridan, Michael Rapaport, Ann Cusack and Molly Hagan. It should also be noted Katie Couric does a good job of playing Katie Couric.

Audiences are desperate for a true hero and this movie provides one. Hanks creates a man who is not only a good person but also a great pilot. He is also the best defender for himself and his co-pilot. There is a sharp brain underneath that thatch of gray hair and it comes in handy time and time again in this film.

The film 's length is only ninety six minutes but there is not one wasted word or action. Eastwood knows exactly where this movie is going and he knows each and every specific scene he needs to tell the story. And tell it he does with just the right blend of action and emotion.

The movie is rated PG-13 for mild profanity and the crash scene.

Some good movies have been released this year but "Sully" is the first to have the total look of a winner. The film, Eastwood and Hanks should all be recognized when awards season rolls around.

There is no mention of religion in this movie but the event is said to have been miraculous. Perhaps Eastwood should have used the title from an old film of the 1940's - "God Is My Co-Pilot".

I scored "Sully" a heroic 8 out of 10.

Jackie K Cooper
www.jackiekcooper.com