Year: 2016
Production Co: Malpaso Productions/FilmNation
Studio: Warner Bros
Director: Clint Eastwood
Producer: Clint Eastwood/Frank Marshall
Writer: Todd Komarnicki
Cast: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney, Anna Gunn, Michael Rapaport

Ordinarily you wouldn't put directors like Quentin Tarantino, Zack Snyder, Michael Bay and Woody Allen in the same category because their styles are so different, but it's the fact that have such distinctive styles that puts them in the same category.

Clint Eastwood is the opposite. No matter what his subject matter, he's one of those directors who only seems interested in story in the purest sense. He's not about influences, visuals or his own personal taste – he seems to want nothing more than to take the script, put it on the screen and stand out of the way while it does its job.

That's why a lot of the reviews about Sully use words like 'sober', 'straightforward' or 'workmanlike' – something happened in the world, this is what it probably looked like, and that's it.

If there's any flourish it's in the structure of the unfolding story. Both Eastwood and screenwriter Todd Komarnicki realise the full story of US Airways Flight 1549 wouldn't be very cinematic. It started with the dramatic 2009 water landing on New York's Hudson River and ended with officials sitting in conference rooms arguing about what happened.

So Sully deals with the nerve-sawing few minutes from the 2009 incident and the resulting National Transport Safety Board investigation by chopping the whole whirlwind few weeks up, moving from the adversarial questioning to the landing to Sully wondering what's going on around him and back again for maximum dramatic effect.

Tom Hanks is once again perfectly cast as the capable but perpetually worried everyguy Chesley Sullenberger, aided by his copilot Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) when their flight from New York is hit by birds, resulting in the loss of both engines. Even when dealing with the amazing visuals of the plane barely missing the top of a Manhattan bridge or skimming violently across the water (or Sully's PTSD-induced nightmare visions about what could have happened if he'd made the wrong choice), Eastwood keeps everything low key and easily digestible.

Like his famous on-set directing style, there's no shouting or flashy accouterments in the onscreen images. They just tell you what happened and wrap it all up with cool efficiency.

Sully is supposed to have been just as cool and capable when he was so sorely tested, so maybe it was the perfect approach and Eastwood the perfect director to tackle the story. As he again proves, he's only as good as the scripts he chooses, and Sully tells its own story ably and confidently with a minimum of fuss.

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