6.0/10
26,558
179 user 58 critic

Pushing Tin (1999)

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

Director:

Mike Newell

Writers:

Darcy Frey (article), Glen Charles (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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ON DISC
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Ramón Menéndez
Stars: John Cusack, Debi Mazar, Michael Madsen
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Cusack ... Nick Falzone
Billy Bob Thornton ... Russell Bell
Cate Blanchett ... Connie Falzone
Angelina Jolie ... Mary Bell
Jake Weber ... Barry Plotkin
Kurt Fuller ... Ed Clabes
Vicki Lewis ... Tina Leary
Matt Ross ... Ron Hewitt
Jerry Grayson ... Leo Morton
Michael Willis ... Pat Feeney
Philip Akin Philip Akin ... Paul
Mike O'Malley ... Pete
Neil Crone ... Tom
Matt Gordon ... Ken
Joe Pingue ... Mark
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

23 April 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mi espacio See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$33,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,555,032, 25 April 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$8,406,264, 4 July 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS | Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Billy Bob Thornton's character (Russell Bell) states in the movie that he is half Irish (his father) and half Choctaw Indian (his mother). In real life, Mr. Thornton's father is of Irish ancestry, while his mother is half Choctaw Indian and half Italian. See more »

Goofs

The police in the movie during the bomb scare are supposed to be Nassau County Police, but the lights on there cars in the movie are blue and red, no Nassau county police car at the time of the movie had blue lights on it, and they still don't have any forward facing blue lights. See more »

Quotes

Know-It-All Schoolboy: [In response to his teacher's request that the class say "metaphor"] That wasn't a metaphor. That was a simile. "Laying pipe" is a metaphor.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tangled Web (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Jingle Bells
Written by James Pierpont (uncredited)
[Incorrectly credited as Traditional]
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User Reviews

 
Not that good, not that bad
23 September 2002 | by VolstagSee all my reviews

Pushing Tin is somewhat of an odd movie. It's not really funny enough to be considered a comedy, and it's not really compelling/dramatic enough to be considered a good drama. It attempts to pull off both at once, but never really succeeds.

The pacing seems a little "off". You always expect the movie to pick-up at some point but it never really does. It does manage to move along quick enough that it keeps you awake (barely), but I always found myself wanting the story to move someplace / anyplace to keep me more interested than I was.

The story itself primarily centers around the antics of Nick Falzone (John Cusack) and Russell Bell (Billy Bob Thornton), both of whom are air traffic controllers. To it's credit, I've never seen a movie about ATC's, but at the same time Nick and Russell could have been in any other profession and the story would have held up. I sometimes think the writer chose ATC's simply because no one else had done it.

The main conflict centers around Nick's desire to out-do Russell. Why he feels the need to do this is never adequately explained. It's also somewhat of a mystery as to what Nick is hoping to accomplish by out-doing Russell. Most of their competitions are basically irrelevant and don't prove much anyway: holding onto a match the longest, shooting freethrows, stacking as many planes into a queue as possible, etc, etc. Their "battle of wits", as it were, eventually begins to involve their significant others. Unfortunately the respective wives (Blanchett and Jolie) are seemingly little better than pawns in Nick and Russell's bizarre and meaningless mind game. They don't have much depth of character, nor any wants/desires of their own (beyond the superficial), and, as a result, you don't really care what happens to them.

So, in short, Pushing Tin isn't that funny (though I seem to remember it being billed as a comedy) nor is the story engaging enough to be considered a good drama. As noted in my header, it's not a bad movie, but it isn't that good either. Worth a rental if you've seen everything else.

I rate it 5/10.


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