It’s OK to get Sullied

Most of us know the story: In 2009, US Airways Captain Chesley Sullenberger–“Sully”–made an emergency landing on the Hudson River six minutes after taking off from LaGuardia airport in NYC. The plane lost complete power when a large number of birds crashed into it. plane-in-water-2The media was all over the story and we learned every last detail. Then we learned all about the ensuing investigation–the media was all over that too. At issue: was the emergency landing in accord with emergency protocol, or did Sully take an unnecessary risk because he wanted to show some swag?

What was it like to lose all control of a commercial flight, heroically save said flight and everyone on it, and then be challenged for your judgment? Sully wrote a book about it called Highest Duty. Now, Clint Eastwood has taken that book and made it into a movie, Sully, starring Tom Hanks.

Here’s a review of a review by Carrie Rickey, the critic I used to rely on for my movie-going decisions when I lived in Philadelphia a long time ago.


(website motto is “drilling beneath the headlines.” )

Review by Carrie Rickey


Sully and First Officer Jeff Skiles

Spoilers skimmable? Absolutely. I’m not sure there are any!

Bottom line: It’s an excellent Eastwood movie:

Watching the characters modulate their answers while being accused of showboating creates the same degree of tension as watching them land a plane without working engines.

Her Analysis: I love what she has to say about the movies that Clint Eastwood directs–they’re great because they never give black-and-white answers.

She explains that this movie explores the nuances of:

personal responsibility, masculinity, the threat of untimely death and the kind of courage plane-in-the-watermistakenly referred to as heroism.

The many shades of Clint: She further says that Eastwood the man fits into as much of a gray area as do most of his movies: “Here is a guy who publicly inveighs against political correctness,” she points out. She explains that he then goes on to make two consecutive movies about the same battle in WW II–one film from the perspective of the American soldiers (Flags of Our Fathers); the other from that of the Japanese (Letters from Iwo Jima), which is completely in the Japanese.

Our due respect:
Carrie Rickey is a critic who respects her audience by engaging us with intelligent critique and enlightening content.

9/11: Rickey observes that the movie’s timing, opening on the eve of 9/11’s 15th anniversary, is apt because it is uplifting–it tells the story of how everyone on board came together to make a dangerous situation turn out well.


But we know that part.