A day many New Yorkers will remember well is January 15, 2009. It is a day known as “The Miracle on the Hudson.” United Flight 1549 had just taken off from LaGuardia Airport when it struck a flock of birds causing it to lose both engines. Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) realized getting back to the airport was not possible and pulled off an unbelievable water landing on the Hudson River. The most miraculous aspect about the whole incident is not one passenger or crew member lost their lives.

This is the story most people already know. However, there is one we don’t know about. Since this was classified as a “crash” the bureaucrats needed someone to blame. While most of the country hailed Captain Sully as a hero, there were some who wanted to label him as the goat as they believed he could have made it back to the airport.

Oscar winning director Clint Eastwood may be in his mid 80s, but he has not lost a step behind the camera as he delivers one of his best works to date. He truly captures the emotion of what it must have been like to be part of United 1549, from being a member of the crew, to the passengers perspective to being one of the rescue workers that day. Not only that, while we know the result of what happens, Eastwood finds a way to deliver edge of your seat sequences.

This marks the first time Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood have worked together and they make a heck of a good pairing. Hanks allows the audience to connect with Sully on a personal level. This was a man who was not ready to be thrown in the spotlight. Most of us only know the man we saw on television or read about, but Hanks lets us see how he always viewed himself as someone who was doing their job and then found himself with self doubts when the investigation began.

The movie does have its lull moments, but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Clint Eastwood filmed some of the movie using IMAX cameras and it is well worth it to see the movie in that format. To get such a powerful movie at this time of the year, early September, is very rare, so go out and enjoy it.

3.5 Swords