Sully opens with the title character and his copilot, Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) being investigated for landing a jet airliner in the Hudson River. Research and computer simulation makes the claim that the jet had enough fuel to return to LaGuardia Airport 30 seconds after landing. Given his 40+ years of flight experience, Sully insists that landing in the Hudson River saved 150 lives and that the computer projections are wrong.
The central conflict of Sully is man vs. machine. The special effects enhance this theme as we witness the plane landing on the Hudson from three different perspectives. Yet, it is the heroism of the New Yorkers that makes Sully such an enjoyable film. Given that this incident happened a mere eight years after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Sully reveals the redemption of the American character. If the primadonna behavior of overpaid professional athletes is making you feel down, then go see the behavior of real Americans in Sully.