Sully” (rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some peril and brief strong language).

Rare is the motion picture that combines a solid story with compelling direction and near flawless performances.  “Sully,” released September 9 by Warner Bros., offers that rare cinematic experience.

Perhaps what makes this film even more unique is that although most audiences will be well aware of the story of airline pilot Chesley Sullenberger, the Bay Area resident who became a hero January 15, 2009 after safely landing his plane on the Hudson River in New York with no fatalities among the 155 souls aboard, the film takes us inside the investigation and facts to which few were privy at the time.

The film, starring Tom Hanks in the title role, is based on the autobiography, “Highest Duty,” co-written by Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow, about the US Airways Flight 1549 event, known as “Miracle on the Hudson.” 

In this, his 35th theatrical feature as a director, Clint Eastwood helms a fast-paced, well-balanced film that benefits from strong visuals and a terrific cast.  Despite their respective impressive careers, “Sully” marks the first film on which Eastwood and Hanks have teamed. 

Eastwood brings great reality to the story, and Hanks, as he has done so often, transforms himself so that it doesn’t take long for the audience to get past the actor and totally commit to his character.

Look for “Sully” to be among the most acclaimed films of the year, by critics and filmgoers alike, and it should be flying high during awards season in top categories. 

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