Sully is the dad movie dads have been waiting for. America’s crotchety grandad Clint Eastwood directs America’s favourite dad Tom Hanks in a retelling of the “Miracle of the Hudson”, when Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger landed a stricken passenger plane on New York’s Hudson river.
Heroes always say that they’re “just doing their job.” Sully dares to ask “what if they actually were heroes?”
As the eponymous pilot, Hanks channels the same stoic gravitas he did in Captain Philips and Bridge of Spies to, presumably, the same unimpressed shrug from the Academy. (Did everyone just forget Hanks is funny?) He’s joined by countless capable character actors, including Laura Linney as Worried-Wife-On-The-Phone and Aaron Eckhart sporting the moustache your dad had before you were born.
Eastwood’s steady hand ensures the film doesn’t come close to resembling a character study. Sully is pure plane crash – sorry, “forced river landing” – procedural and, to that end, it kinda works. Avoiding Flight’s structural problems by interspersing the central event throughout the narrative with flashbacks, said dramatic landing is genuinely gripping. Multiple perspectives and an almost-absent score underscore the reality of the events while subtly evoking the spectre of September 11. Your dad will love it.