On Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009, the world witnessed the “Miracle on the Hudson” when Captain Chesley Sullenberger, nicknamed “Sully,” portrayed by Tom Hanks, 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.
“Sully” is a dramatic account of the landing of Flight 1549 into the Hudson River in New York City, piloted by the seasoned airline captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger. Tom Hanks is terrific as Sully, the man many people, including passengers on the flight, called a “hero.” However, tension mounts when the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigates the crash, believing it might have been possible for Sully to have returned to LaGuardia Airport. They investigate, despite Sully safely landing the plane and securing all 155 passengers on board. As Sully’s co-pilot says, “He landed the plane on the Hudson, not in it.” This event occurred on Jan. 15, 2009, and the frigid temperatures were a concern for those waiting to be rescued.
The focus of the movie is on Sully, who believes he did the best anyone could do, given the circumstances, and the short time he had before a decision needed to be made. Some people believe that the left engine was not incapacitated but could have thrust them onward to the airport. Sully doesn’t buy it. In the end, following simulated tests, the engine is recovered and the results are revealed. We don’t want to spoil the ending here. One comedic scene, which helps relieve the tension, occurs when the co-pilot (portrayed by Aaron Eckhart) is asked if he would have done anything differently than Sully did. “Just one thing,” he replies. “I would have done it in July!” This drew a lot of laughs from the audience. Unfortunately, despite this inspiring film being based on the true story of the “Miracle on the Hudson,” it contains a couple of strong utterances of language, which prevents us from awarding it our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal.