480 seconds that changed everything

Image via Keith Bernstein/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Image via Keith Bernstein/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

‘Sully’ film review

By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist


On January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 was en route from New York City to Charlotte. Captain Chesley Sullenberger (Sully) and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles were piloting the plane, feeling that their journey would be an easy one. That is, until a bird flew inside the plane’s engine and caused it to collapse. With only a few minutes to figure out where to land the plane, Sullenberger did the unthinkable by landing it in the Hudson River and saving everyone on board.

This is the story of Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) and Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) enduring questioning by the NTSB about how they handled the situation. Sullenberger questions whether or not he is a hero, and how the media attention of the Miracle on the Hudson would affect him and his family. Sully explores the events that lead to the reasons why Sullenberger landed the plane in the Hudson River, and we also learn more about him as a character from his experiences in flight.

Throughout the film, we see different angles of the situation, allowing the audience to investigate what caused Sullenberger to land the plane in the river. It comes full circle when we see the flight recordings, brilliantly reenacted by Hanks and Eckhart. The film has detailed explanations of how they handled the situation and what happens when an emergency happens on a plane.

The film is almost entirely filmed in IMAX, which is one of the reasons to see it in theaters. It has very sharp and colourful images, and you can see every detail in Tom Hanks’ face. It is very interesting that Clint Eastwood was even able to put an IMAX camera in a plane to film the interior scenes, considering there is not a lot of space in a plane for shooting.

Like most of Clint Eastwood’s films, the score of the film has lots of jazz music, including some ironic lounge music during the scene in which the plane is in the Hudson River. The theme song is also made by Clint Eastwood.

Stay during the credits to see the real Chesley Sullenberger, Jeffrey Skiles, the rest of the crew, and the passengers of US Airways Flight 1549 give their thoughts on the “Miracle on the Hudson,” and give thanks to Sullenberger for saving their lives. Because there were no other ways to land the plane, Sullenberger did the right thing by landing the plane in the Hudson River. There is no question that he is a hero, as he saved the lives of everyone that was on the plane on that day.