Monday, October 23, 2017

Movie Review: Sully

I enjoy movies based on true events, but because it is a true event you know how it will end. This presents a challenge for filmmakers to create suspense, tension, and hold the audience's attention without the audience becoming bored. Sully succeeded marvelously.

Sully is a 2016 drama film based on the true story of a pilot who landed a commercial jet on the Hudson River and all passengers lived. by writing their name in it. It is rated PG-13 for language and is appropriate for teens and older.

The Good

Tension. Even though I knew what was going to happen, I was still at the edge of my seat during much of the movie wondering what was going to happen and whether they were going to make it.

Acting. The acting was all really well done. The characters made me feel like I was watching the actual event happen.

Cinematography/Special Effects. The visuals were really strong. It looked like I was actually sitting in New York watching the plane go down or sitting in the plane while it crashed. During the rescue scene, I felt like I was on the plane trying to get out and on the rescue boats heading to the Hudson to save lives.

The Bad

Story Structure. This movie is not told in a linear fashion but jumps around in time to try and show Sully's mental state and set up a question then show the answer. While I understand why they chose to go with this approach, it didn't add to the film. It actually detracted by breaking up the tension.

What I Would Like to Have Seen

I wish the filmmakers had opted for a more linear mode of storytelling. The drama was there. The questions were there and were obvious. The timeline of the story didn't need to be manipulated so much to make the point; the audience is smart enough to figure it out for ourselves. The pilot's concerns and mental state were obvious and clearly portrayed.


Sully was a great film that did an excellent job presenting real events and made the audience feel like it was actually happening and they were part of it. The filmmakers did an excellent job keeping the audience at the edge of their seats with incredible tension making us wonder whether the plane would make it or not even though we already know how it ended. The choice of nonlinear storytelling is the film's main weakness, and while I understand what the filmmakers were trying to achieve, it was unnecessary and didn't add. I give this film a solid 4.5 out of 5 boxes of popcorn.



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