Reviewed by: Todd Adams
Starring: John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Cate Blanchett, Angelina Jolie, Jake Weber, Kurt Fuller, Vicki Lewis, Matt Ross, Jerry Grayson, Michael Willis, Philip Akin, Mike O'Malley, Neil Crone, Matt Gordon, Joe Pingue / Director: Mike Newell
“Pushing Tin” is an involving relational drama set against the backdrop of the world of air traffic controlling.
Viewers looking for action will probably not rate “Pushing Tin” as highly as I have. And viewers strictly screening out offensive material will likely be quite offended by this film. “Pushing Tin” has a story surrounded by high job and family stress, a rowdy work environment, and reliance on drinking and infidelity. In my opinion, the message “Pushing Tin” conveys through all of this material is both moral and worthwhile.
I expected “Pushing Tin” to be only of interest for people like myself who have an interest in the world of air travel. Instead, I was pleased to discover an original and intense relational drama. Two air traffic controllers (John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton) go head to head in both their work and personal lives. If you buy into this character conflict, “Pushing Tin” should keep you alert and in suspense to its end. The air traffic backdrop is an original stage for a story in which the interactions between the main characters and their wives become quite complex indeed.
I think all of the acting in “Pushing Tin” is well done. John Cusack’s highly competitive, upfront and verbal character contrasts interestingly with his under spoken and mysterious rival in Billy Bob Thornton. Though the story itself is not to be taken seriously, the actors realistically carry out a personal struggle based on some heavy life issues.
“Pushing Tin” presents sin and its consequences without any glorification. The grim stressful world of hidden sin is delivered very well through Cusack’s character, and honesty is revealed as the only path—even if painful—to healing. If Christians were perfect and lived in a perfect world, we’d have no use for a movie like this. And be aware that some foul language, sexually related comments and topics, and one scene of partial nudity all mandate a mature audience for this film. It is rare for Hollywood to show immoral issues for the life-damaging sin they are, and especially to present characters who are struggling their way through them. Even the concept of salvation is presented in this movie, though the main character resists it. Overall, “Pushing Tin” presents a world quite similar to the real fallen world we live in, and left me with a definite sense of being warned about the consequences of immorality.
In summary, I found this rather slow moving film to be original and intense. I recommend this movie for mature viewers only. The topics “Pushing Tin” encounters are unfortunately all too true to life, with stinging consequences and no safe place to hide. With all that said, “Pushing Tin” should appeal to both women and men: this is a romance based drama set amongst the testosterone of male egos. And if you like the world of air travel, the air traffic controller backdrop is an added bonus.