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



(article), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

2 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Playing God (1997)
Crime | Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Stripped of his medical license after performing an operation while high on amphetamines, famed LA surgeon Dr Eugene Sands abandons his former life only to find himself crossing paths with ... See full summary »

Director: Andy Wilson
Stars: David Duchovny, Timothy Hutton, Angelina Jolie
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A reporter interviews a psychic, who tells her that she's going to die and her life is meaningless.

Director: Stephen Herek
Stars: Angelina Jolie, Edward Burns, Tony Shalhoub
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Romeo & Juliet gets transplanted to the Bronx.

Directors: Joseph Bologna, Renée Taylor
Stars: Lainie Kazan, Joseph Bologna, Barbara Carrera
Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

When a robbery goes awry, the bandits all end up in a puddle of blood and only one lives and goes to jail for five years. Upon his release, the girlfriend wants her new boyfriend to kill ... See full summary »

Director: Tony Cinciripini
Stars: Rosanna Arquette, William Forsythe, Angelina Jolie
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A shady lawyer attempts a Christmas Eve crime, hoping to swindle the local mob out of some money. But his partner, a strip club owner, might have different plans for the cash.

Director: Harold Ramis
Stars: John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Connie Nielsen
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Martin Blank is a professional assassin. He is sent on a mission to a small Detroit suburb, Grosse Pointe, and, by coincidence, his ten-year high school reunion party is taking place there at the same time.

Director: George Armitage
Stars: John Cusack, Minnie Driver, Dan Aykroyd
Foxfire (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The story of five teenage girls who form an unlikely bond after beating up a teacher who has sexually harassed them. They build a solid friendship but their wild ways begin to get out of ... See full summary »

Director: Annette Haywood-Carter
Stars: Hedy Burress, Angelina Jolie, Jenny Lewis
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Eleven articulate people work through affairs of the heart in L.A.

Director: Willard Carroll
Stars: Gillian Anderson, Ellen Burstyn, Sean Connery
Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

The story revolves around a possible conspiracy behind the real life murder of the Oregon's Head of Corrections Michael Francke.

Director: Gill Dennis
Stars: Scott Plank, Anna Gunn, Andrew Prine
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Beyond Borders is an epic tale of the turbulent romance between two star-crossed lovers set against the backdrop of the world's most dangerous hot spots. Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie... See full summary »

Director: Martin Campbell
Stars: Clive Owen, Angelina Jolie, Linus Roache
Mojave Moon (1996)
Comedy | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Al McCord is hanging out at his favourite restaurant when he meets an attractive young woman (Ellie) who is looking for a ride from the city out into the Mojave Desert, where her mother ... See full summary »

Director: Kevin Dowling
Stars: Danny Aiello, Anne Archer, Michael Biehn
The Fever (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Tells the story of a woman who gets involved in politics with no previous contact with world events.

Director: Carlo Gabriel Nero
Stars: Vanessa Redgrave, Cameron D'Angelo, Kiera D'Angelo


Cast overview, first billed only:
Barry Plotkin
Ed Clabes
Tina Leary
Ron Hewitt
Pat Feeney
Philip Akin ...


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:







Release Date:

23 April 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi espacio  »

Box Office


$33,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$8,406,264 (USA) (2 July 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 »


At the beginning of the movie, when Ed is believed to "go down the pipes", his scope shows two Continental Airlines flights with the same number (COA1250), supposedly representing two different planes. See more »


Nick Falzone: [Nick finds Mary crying in the supermarket] Anything I can do?
Mary Bell: No, fine.
Supermarket Clerk: [to Mary] Is this man bothering you?
Supermarket Clerk: [to Nick] What did you say to her?
Nick Falzone: Hey! Hey, go away. Go battle evil on aisle twelve!
See more »


Featured in Best! Movies! Ever!: Airports (2007) See more »


I'm Not Running Anymore
Written and Performed by John Mellencamp
Courtesy of Columbia Records
by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Interesting, detailed characters and workplace. *** out of ****.
7 December 1999 | by (Michigan, USA) – See all my reviews

PUSHING TIN (1999) ***

Starring: John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Cate Blanchett, Angelina Jolie, and Jake Weber Directed by: Mike Newell Running time: 124 minutes Rated R (for language, and some sexuality/nudity)

By Blake French:

"Pushing Tin" is really nothing more than a very interesting character study that maintains support from its script to succeed. So many movies these days have well-written characters but not the thriving screenplay to back them up. At last, we can enjoy a film with strong comic performances, smart dialogue, and an engaging atmospheric environment.

The film stars John Cusack as a hot shot air traffic controller named Nick Falzone, nicknamed "the zone" because he is truly the best at his profession. He lives in New Jersey with his happy housewife, Connie, and their son. (who is seldom mentioned or seen.) He has an intense, stressful work life, enjoys having fun with his co-workers, and seems to have a pretty optimistic look at life.

All things change, however, when Nick meets his new neighbor, Russell Bell. He's a roughneck motor cycle-driving, quiet and challenging man who really needs to shave. Nick immediately feels tension between Russell and himself. And it just so happens that Russell is also an air traffic controller, making things even more competitive between these two individuals. The two soon begin efforts to try to impress the other, in and outside the job.

The personal battles between Nick and Russell soon put each of them in bed with the opposite's wife. Nick is the first to commit adultery when he falls for Bell's highly attractive young wife, Mary. While he meant well, by taking her out for dinner after observing Mary sobbing at the grocery store, when they got home, things obviously got out of hand.

The movie is very detailed both in the workplace and in its colorful, intriguing characters. The original tasting flavor of being placed in an air traffic control tower is quite captivating. The characters stare at the plane monitors like children at a television screen while playing a video game. The characters themselves are relevant, ordinary people, which is why they are so easy to relate to. Even though some of their personalities and motives are instantly obvious, we still have lots of fun watching their everyday living style

While some comedies would eventually regulate into a formalistic climax and follow predictable events, "Pushing Tin" is too smart for that. The ending is happy and light hearted, but it's most of the fun getting there. Mike Newell, director of "Four Weddings and a Funeral," knows exactly what he wants out of the actors here, and they do exceedingly well at giving what he requires. Each fits their character perfectly, especially Cusack, Jolie, and contributing an Oscar worthy performance, Thornton.

"Pushing Tin" offers a variety of characters and contrasts them effortlessly. In particular, during a just-for-fun basketball game, Nick makes a sudden bet for $100 that Russell can not make a hoop from a certain point in the court. Russell excepts. Nick nervously changes his gamble to fifty cents, but Russell stands firmly on the original amount. He shoots...and misses. "Close enough, Russell," pardons Nick, "Lets call it even." Russell walks over to him manly and states "You either make it or you don't," as he hands Nick the cash promised. The chemistry between these characters is as effective as pouring oil in to water. And that is exactly how it is designed to be.

Brought to you by 20th Century Fox.

20 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Does nobody like this film?! Melsta-2
Air traffic control student's perspective jeffisontheair@aol.com
Did Connie really cheat? puritansgrave
What was Russell's dark secret he admitted to Mary? M_Y_L_O
What does the title mean? kayzed
question dgave
Discuss Pushing Tin (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: