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Sully (2016)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 9 September 2016 (USA)
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The story of Chesley Sullenberger, an American pilot who became a hero after landing his damaged plane on the Hudson River in order to save the flight's passengers and crew.

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, (based on the book "Highest Duty" by) (as Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger
... Jeff Skiles
... Diane Higgins
... Lucille Palmer
... Charles Porter
... Ben Edwards
... Elizabeth Davis
... Mike Cleary
... Egyptian Driver
... Lorrie Sullenberger
... Reporter #1 (as Laura Lundy Wheale)
Onira Tares ... Reporter #2 (as Onira Tarés)
... Reporter #3
... Katie Couric
... LT Cook
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Storyline

On Thursday, January 15th, 2009, the world witnessed the "Miracle on the Hudson" when Captain Chesley Sullenberger, nicknamed "Sully", glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career. Written by Warner Bros.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The untold story behind the miracle on the Hudson

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some peril and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 September 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Miracle on the Hudson  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$35,028,301, 11 September 2016, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$125,070,033

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$238,552,082
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The incident takes place on January 15, 2009. The remainder of the film unfolds between January 15, 2009 and May 4, 2010. See more »

Goofs

For dramatical purposes, many aspects of the NTSB investigation were not portrayed correctly. No accident investigator tries to put blame on a pilot, or makes them justify their actions. They are only interested in improving aviation safety by studying all the facts. (Many countries do not even allow investigation reports to be used for legal purposes.) Then, the investigation is based on a transcript of the cockpit voice recording, which often takes weeks and sometimes months to prepare (e.g. acoustic engineers researching the source and the significance of each sound). Likewise, simulator trials take a long time to prepare, refine and interpret. Although the NTSB holds public hearings, they are not run like a court proceeding - they are a tool go gather additional information from interested parties, and to discuss evidence and findings. See more »

Quotes

Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger: This is the captain. Brace for impact.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Photos of the real plane and rescue are shown during the credits. They are followed by a brief video with real people from that day including the passengers and Captain Sullenburger. See more »

Connections

Featured in Sully: Neck Deep in the Hudson: - Shooting Sully (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Flying Home (Theme from 'Sully')
Written by Clint Eastwood, Tierney Sutton, and J.B. Eckl
Performed by Tierney Sutton Band (as The Tierney Sutton Band)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
He's the Captain now
8 September 2016 | by See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Society has a tendency to go to extremes – hero worship for those who probably don't deserve it and character assassination for those who have the gall to be less than perfect. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger has experienced both. On January 15, 2009, Sully made the decision to land the crippled aircraft of US Airways flight 1549 right into a river … an event immediately labeled "Miracle on the Hudson".

Surprisingly, this is the first film collaboration for Tom Hanks and director Clint Eastwood. Both have cinematic experience with true life stories and real people: Hanks most recently in Captain Phillips and Bridge of Spies; and Clint with American Sniper and J. Edgar. This one is the perfect fit as Hanks takes on a good man who takes pride in doing his job, and Clint brings to life a story that showcases the best of human nature.

Tom Komanicki adapted the screenplay from the book "Highest Duty", co-written by Sully and Jeffrey Zaslow. Much of the attention is given to the doubts and uncertainty Sully experienced during the NTSB review. The scrutiny of his work by the committee (played here by the ultra-serious Mike O'Malley, Anna Gunn, Jamey Sheridan) left his career and reputation dangling, inspiring nightmares that are much worse than yours and mine.

Certainly we are in awe of what Sully pulled off that morning, but as movie goers, we are anxious to see the plane crash/splash/landing. Clint comes through in breath-taking fashion. While it lacks the hysterics and drama of the upside-down plane in Flight, this re-creation is so realistic that we nearly obey the flight attendants repeated instructions of "Heads down. Stay down". Even the cockpit chatter, passenger evacuation, and first responder's (many of whom are real life folks, not actors) activities are played in matter-of-fact manner … more people just doing their job. We shiver knowing the icy Hudson River water is 36 degrees, and we feel Sully's anxiety as he desperately tries to get a final count … a count that he prays will hit 155.

Aaron Eckhart plays co-pilot Jeff Skiles and has a couple of memorable scenes, and Laura Linney embraces the thankless role of telephone wife of Sully during the aftermath and hearings. We get a glimpse of Sully's background with flashbacks to his flight lessons at a Denison Texas private airfield, as well as a portion of his military service. Hanks is the perfect choice for a role that would have suited James Stewart just fine if it were the 1940's.

The conflict here comes from the NTSB inquiry. Backed by computer simulators that show the plane could have coasted back to LaGuardia, we get the distinct feeling that the committee's goal is finding human error – naming a scapegoat (other than Canadian geese) for their "lost" plane. It's Sully who reminds us that the committee is simply doing their job … just as he was, Skiles was, the Flight Attendants were, and the first responders were.

This is technically expert filmmaking. We know the ending, but are glued to the screen. Frequent Eastwood collaborator Tom Stern handles the cinematography, and like the acting and story-telling, the camera work avoids any excess or over-dramatization. The film provides one of the best examples ever of the duality of hero worship and intense scrutiny, and how a person can be a hero by simply doing their job. The closing credits show clips of the flight's reunion and every survivor would agree that the best among us allowed a continuation of life … something that could have gone to the other extreme.


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