Sully: Is The Book Better Than The Movie?

Chances are, you’ve heard about “the miracle on the Hudson.” On January 15, 2009, Captain “Sully” Sullenberger successfully landed US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson river, after dual engine loss at 2800 feet. Never, in the history of aviation, has such a landing ever been attempted. It was an incredibly unlikely event, and one that could have ended in tragedy if it weren’t for Captain Sully’s heroic actions, which saved the lives of 155 passengers and crew members. 

The story is so incredible that it inspired a book, written by none other than Captain Sully himself. His book, Sully: My Search for What Really Matters, is the story of one man’s dedication, fearlessness, and hope. It centers on the important life lessons that Sully learned during his time in the military and through his work as a commercial airline pilot. As a powerful, moving, and ultimately redeeming work, the book does an excellent job of reminding its readers that life’s challenges can be overcome if we’re prepared. 

But, as amazing as the true-to-life events may be, it raises the question: is the book better than the movie? 

Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks, Sully has all the ingredients of a classic blockbuster. Already a hit with (most of) the critics — boasting a score on Rotten Tomatoes of 82% — Sully is sure to be a contender for “Best Picture” at the Oscars. That said, while some critics are calling the film adaptation “… a fierce, stark, haunted drama of horror narrowly avoided,” and “A typically sturdy, no-nonsense directorial effort from Clint Eastwood, who crafts the film with his a stylistic juxtaposition of visual simplicity and sobering emotional complexity,” others are claiming that the movie “… would work better as a video exhibit at an aviation history museum than it does as a dramatic narrative.” 

So is the movie better than the book, or is the book better than the movie? There’s only one way to find out, and that’s to give them both a try. In any medium, the story of “the miracle on the Hudson” is an incredible tale of human triumph, and easily one that will be told and retold for years to come. That’s why we suggest starting with the audiobook, which is read by the real life Captain Sullenberger. Whether or not it’s better than the movie, there’s no substitute for hearing the story direct from the actual hero himself.

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