In your Sunday night move this weekend, Tom Hanks takes on the role of real-life airplane pilot, Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger. Directed by Clint Eastwood, Sully tells the remarkable story of Sullenberger, who maneuvered an emergency landing onto the Hudson River in 2009.
It’s not the first movie to go sky-high, and they’re not all so serious. Before we tune into the acclaimed biopic on Sunday night, here are ten more plane movies worth a mention.
- Air Force One
Harrison Ford is POTUS and Gary Oldman is the bad guy. These Hollywood stalwarts take the action to the skies as Ford wrestles control of the titular plane back from a bunch of Russian hijackers.
Spoof movie masterminds David and Jerry Zucker are behind this faithful-to-its-title parody of disaster movies. Along with Jim Abrahams, the brothers direct slapstick hero Leslie Nielsen in this ‘80s comedy classic.
- The Aviator
Leonardo DiCaprio excels as high-flying, big-spending Howard Hughes, in his second collaboration with Martin Scorsese. It’s a who’s who of golden era Hollywood with performances by Kate Beckinsale and Cate Blanchett as Ava Gardner and Katherine Hepburn. But it’s not all style and no substance, as the film depicts Hughes’ extravagance (including his passion for planes) with heartbreaking grandeur.
- Con Air
This ‘90s action hit stars Nicolas Cage as a paroled army ranger on his way home. His mode of transport? A plane, of course. Called Jailbird, it’s a prisoner transport plane populated by a motley crew of jailbirds played with aplomb by Danny Trejo, Ving Rhames, John Malkovich, Dave Chapelle, and Steve Buscemi.
Alcoholic airplane pilot: those are not words you want to hear before getting on a plane. This plane pic chronicles exactly such a character, played with intensity by Denzel Washington; while its tight, tense action sequences are directed by Robert Zemeckis.
This Jodi Foster-starring thriller throws kidnapping into the mix. Foster is on her way home with her daughter, to bury her husband. She soon finds her daughter missing, but when she seeks help from the crew they (creepiness alert!) claim her daughter was never on the flight.
- Red Eye
Horror maestro Wes Craven takes horror to a new level – literally – in this flight fright fest about a young woman roped into a terrorist plot. Starring Cillian Murphy and Rachel McAdams, it’ll make you think twice about making small talk with fellow passengers
- Snakes on a Plane
Samuel L. Jackson didn’t even read the script. He just knew he was in for a ridiculously fun romp. If that’s the way you approach this movie, about snakes on a plane (obviously!), you’ll enjoy it too.
- United 93
Paul Greengrass takes a tense look at the last moments of United Airlines Flight 93, one of the planes hijacked during the 9/11 attacks. Portrayed in real time, this film and its heartbreaking ending will stay with you for a long time.
- Up in the Air
Jason Reitman continued stepping out of his father’s shadow, with his third directorial feature. The movie follows the lonely tale of Ryan Bingham, whose job it is to fly back and forth across the country to tell people they’ve been fired. Magnificent performances from Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, and George Clooney saw them all nominated for acting Oscars in 2010.
Watch Tom Hanks takes to the skies as a real-life hero in Sully, your Sunday night movie on 22 October at 20:05 on M-Net.