Monday, October 17, 2016

Movie Review: Sully (2016)

by Varun Bhatia

Director: Clint Eastwood
Cast: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney.
Rating: 3.75/5

Sully is based on the true story of US pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who saved the lives of everyone aboard Flight 1549 after multiple bird strikes had failed all the engines.

The brilliance of Sully lies within its nonlinear plot. If this plot had been linear, I doubt the movie would have been bearable. Eastwood has a brilliant eye for direction, as he stretches a story that would hardly make a 45-minute movie into a 96-minute movie, without boring you for a single second. The storytelling was absolutely spotless.

The film takes a realistic approach to the events that follow after the miracle landing of Sully - the effects the incident had on the pilot, co-pilot and the government case that ensued.

The short runtime is what sets it apart from other movies based on true stories. I appreciated the lack of pretend drama and the fact that the movie hardly follows any mainstream movie cliches.

Acting is another plus for this movie; Hanks plays up the cool, yet disturbed Sully fabulously. You can see the amount of research he has put into his role. Aaron Eckhart has improved by miles compared to his previous work; this might be his best performance for me at least. No one else has a role even remotely as big, but I would like to acknowledge Anna Gunn for her portrayal of a NTSB agent.

The slow piano score that picks up in places fits the movie brilliantly, it truly encases all emotions, especially PTSD. Although no other instrument would have done justice to the tone of the movie, the score is rather forgettable.

The editing is sharp and to the point, which is what prevents the movie from getting boring in places where most movie of this type fail.

There isn't much to be said about the cinematography or costuming; considering the setting of the movie they are neither great nor terrible.

The low point however is the lack of threat or high-stakes, which makes the movie a little bland. There is a missing sense of danger, which if incorporated would have added to the movie's list of pluses.

Also the ending was quite sudden, which although it avoids cliches, makes you wish they showed a bit more.

All-in-all, Eastwood has made another good, indeed very good, movie.  Even though it might not be on par with American Sniper, do not miss it as it makes for a great watch.

Nomination Chances:

There is a low-medium chance for Hanks to be nominated for best actor.  A medium chance for the editor to be nominated.  A low chance for best adapted screenplay.

Rating Key:

0.5-1.5: Why was this movie even made?

1.75-2.5: A few good scenes, nothing memorable, disappointed me.

2.75-3.25: The movie did exactly what was expected of it, didn't add anything, but at least  it didn't fail.

3.5-4.25: The movie exceeded expectations and will help you look intellectual at discussions with friends.

4.5-5 Instant classic. This movie should be Oscar Nominated at the least.

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