Pushing Tin (1999)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  23 April 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 24,229 users   Metascore: 47/100
Reviews: 175 user | 91 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

A feud develops between two air traffic controllers: one cocky and determined while the other is restrained and laidback, which inevitably affects their lives.



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2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Barry Plotkin
Ed Clabes
Tina Leary
Ron Hewitt
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Nick and the other boys (and Vicki Lewis) working the hotspot of air traffic control in New York are impressed with themselves, to say the least. They thrive on the no-room-for-error, fast-paced job and let it infect their lives. The undisputed king of pushing tin, "The Zone" Falzone, rules his workplace and his wedded life with the same short-attention span that gets planes where they need to be in the nick of time. That is, until Russell Bell, a new transfer with a reputation for recklessness but a record of pure perfection shatters the tensely-held status quo. The game of one-upmanship between the two flies so high as to lead Nick into Russell's bed with his wife. His sanity slipping just as fast as his hold on #1, Cusack's controller is thrown out-of-control when Thornton's wanderer quietly leaves town. Nick must now find a way to regain his sanity and repair his marriage before he breaks down completely. Written by Lordship <lordship@juno.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A Comedy about Life, Love, Airplanes and Other Bumpy Rides. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:





Release Date:

23 April 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi espacio  »

Box Office


$38,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,555,032 (USA) (23 April 1999)


£211,735 (UK) (5 November 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie first met on the set of this movie. They fell in love and were briefly married. See more »


When Russell Bell stands on the runway to feel the effect of wing tip vortices from a landing 747-400, he stands directly under the jet as it flies over head. Wing tip vortices roll off the tips of wings in a swirling motion and travel outward and downward. In reality, one would need to be positioned several feet outboard of the wing tips to feel the effect; farther if the airplane were higher. See more »


Nick Falzone: [to Russell Bell] I called your house and Mary said you'd be out here.
Nick Falzone: She sounds good
Nick Falzone: Oh, she wanted I give you this message, "See, I told you Colorado wasn't far enough".
See more »


Featured in Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) See more »


Dancing with Myself
Written by Billy Idol and Tony James
Performed by Billy Idol
Courtesy of EMI Records Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

A decent in-flight meal, but too much turbulence
12 July 2000 | by (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

Here's 1999's winner for the film least likely to be shown during an overseas flight. Cusack stars as a hotshot air traffic controller whose top dog status is threatened by the arrival of the equally gifted but enigmatic Billy Bob Thornton. Cusack's mounting rivalry with the inscrutable Thornton eventually consumes his personal life as he falls prey to Thornton's sexy wife (Angelina Jolie) and his marriage (to Cate Blanchett) gradually disintegrates. Director Mike Newell showed great flair in balancing comedy and drama in 1994's "Four Weddings And A Funeral", but here the mix is less assured and the extremes far too close together. Only fitfully amusing, "Pushing Tin" too rarely concentrates on its examination of air traffic controllers and their daily stresses, opting instead for a simple one-upmanship plotline with a superficial and sometimes flippant look at the men and women within whose hands we entrust our lives. The four leads are more than adequate in their roles, though the characters portrayed by Blanchett and Jolie (excellent during her brief appearances) are all but forgotten for long stretches at a time. As for rental possibilities, visibility should remain zero.

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