At the grand old age of 86, Clint Eastwood continues to work fairly prolifically as a director and his output continues to be of a pretty high quality, and this latest piece doesn’t buck the trend. It’s essentially a dramatic reconstruction of the remarkable events in New York in 2009, when the airline pilot Chesley Sullenberger made an emergency landing on the Hudson River with zero casualties. Given that the entire incident only lasted a few minutes, and most of the audience will be familiar with the outcome, the bulk of┬áthe drama hinges around the subsequent investigation which attempted to blame, rather than praise, Sullenberger for his actions.

There is predictably solid, if unspectacular, work from everyone involved. Eastwood’s clarity of storytelling suits the subject matter well, and such is the depth of experience Tom Hanks can drawn from that he makes this kind of thing look effortless. The extraordinary nature of the true events being depicted is what elevates this from TV-movie blandness however, and the humble, unassuming nature of Sully himself, who is not interested in showing off but rather in doing the most reliable job he can, is something it seems everyone involved in making the film took on board.

A genuinely incredible true story that deserves its own film9
The decision to focus on the aftermath, rather than the incident itself8
The generally lo-fi TV movie feel of the whole thing5
Clint Eastwood continues to churn out good films in his 9th decade8
Tom Hanks can do this kind of thing in his sleep8
Bechdel Test passes
  • Features more than one named female character
Bechdel test failures
  • None of the named female characters talk to each other
8Overall Score

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