Sully On release from 2nd December
After a bird strike caused both of his plane engines to fail, Captain Chesley Sullenberger was forced to make an emergency landing of his US Airways Airbus on the wintry Hudson river in 2009. All 155 passengers and crew survived and Sully was a hero—except perhaps to himself and insurance investigators. Director Clint Eastwood brings his ever-troubling eye to another lone professional on whom the world projects its salvation fantasies. As corporate imperatives and rapacious media close in on Sully, Tom Hanks excels as a man traumatised and taciturn. The crash becomes more terrifying with each replay.
Life, Animated On release from 9th December
Movies now provide us with emotional reference points from bildungsroman to self-help manual to memento mori. Diagnosed with autism at the age of three, Owen Suskind used Disney cartoons (Bambi to The Lion King) to negotiate the daunting journey to adulthood. This Sundance award-winning documentary combines fly-on-the-wall footage with original animation.
The Eagle Huntress On release from 16th December
Since the 1920s when Robert J Flaherty sexed-up Nanook of the North’s story, “window-on-the-world” documentaries have tweaked reality. Here artful music or storytelling might jar, but as 13-year-old Kazak Aisholpan trains as the first female eagle hunter in 12 generations, reservations evaporate. The Mongolian Altai mountain landscape looks sublime; Aisholpan, equally composed feeding her eagle strips of raw flesh or selecting a gauzy bow for her pigtail, is compelling.