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Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 11.43%
Pretty Bad: 30%
Total Crap: 1.43%

6 reviews, 34 user ratings

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Pushing Tin
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Scott Weinberg

"A schizophrenic, strange comedy/drama, but worth a look."
3 stars

Interested in what Air Traffic Controllers do? Well, based on this, you probably won't learn much, although those scenes are done quite well. I suppose you could make tax accounting LOOK exciting with the proper lighting, editing and John Cusack. The main 'plot' is not all that impressive, but Pushing Tin offers some fantastic actors playing some well-written and funny characters.

Basically a bunch of dick-waving. John Cusack plays this intense (and hyperactive) Controller who has his reputation as "The Zone" threatened when a mysterious NEW Air Traffic Controller shows up at work. Seems he's brilliant at his job, but somewhat of a flake, and Billy Bob Thornton turns up the 'odd' a little in this one. These two macho guys keep one-upping one another until a little wife-poking occurs, and that's when things get really interesting.

Far and away, the cast is the best thing in this movie. John Cusack, as Nick Falcone, is completely believable and sympathetic. As he does in nearly every role, his 'regular guy' persona serves as the surface, with something perhaps brewing underneath. (Grosse Pointe Blank and Say Anything come immediately to mind and he saved Con-Air from being a complete cartoon.) Billy Bob Thornton is always pretty commanding, although his Russell Bell seems a little underwritten. We want to know a little more about him, but we're not given enough. Ah, Angelina Jolie is hypnotizing in her scenes, and she shows some real skill in a pretty familiar (although well written) character, as Russell's wife, Mary. But Cate Blanchett alone is worth the three bucks to rent this one. She is dead perfect as Nick's wife, Connie. I had to keep reminding myself that she's English. If this movie had made any noise at all, she could be considered for a Best Supporting Actress nomination. (Hey, ever hear of Marisa Tomei?)

All in all, worth seeing. There are few nice touches, like actually fleshing out some of the smaller characters and some of the gags really fly, but I suppose that can be expected from the writers of Cheers. If there were ever a movie that is worth seeing just for the joy of watching some actors, here it is.

If you're a fan of anyone in it, or if you really dig blips on a radar screen. Offers a few interesting insights on this high-pressure profession, but I doubt it's really accurate. It does, however, act as a solid advertisement for train travel.

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originally posted: 10/20/99 16:05:44
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User Comments

11/22/08 Shaun Wallner Interesting Movie! 3 stars
2/08/07 Matt Disappointingly lame look at one of the world's worst jobs. Opportunity squandered. 3 stars
12/12/06 shanice not good 2 stars
8/19/06 Michele funny 4 stars
2/24/06 Bad Critic Great performances from everyone, especially Cusack. Very funny and likable. 4 stars
11/14/04 Paul Holding The critic is a little harsh but nonetheless there is some truth to it. Good cast 4 stars
8/01/04 julio laliberte this story has no point 2 stars
10/12/03 laura paterson i found it funny but Jolie annoyed me! 4 stars
7/31/03 francis Misses the mark, not sure why. Credibility a problem. Where did Jolie's lips come from? 3 stars
4/22/03 mr. Pink A low point for everyone in this movie. how could this have happened. Unconvincing, boring! 1 stars
3/26/03 Jack Sommersby Jolie's cleavage is more interesting than the unrealized story. 2 stars
3/13/02 Hyacinth Andrews I didn't notice Angelica Jolie was in this. As all too often, she's wasted. 2 stars
4/02/01 Jesse L Cusack and Jolie both falter badly 2 stars
1/24/01 Sully completely predictable - not a typical Cusack funky style flick. Jolie is so fucking sexy!! 3 stars
11/05/00 Gray A film couldn't be more average. It's so average I'm unsure whether or not there was a plot 3 stars
10/01/00 Fishsticks Not bad although it didn't fit somehow.. 3 stars
6/26/00 stranded on the Island too contrived, although it had its moments. Too sitcom-like. 3 stars
3/23/00 Tom McNulty Missable. 3 stars
1/04/00 Gotham DK This film surprised me. Good rapport between characters. Lame ending, though. 4 stars
12/18/99 SID Long and pointless. The runway scene and Angelina Jolie's breasts save it from being awful. 2 stars
8/03/99 Pierce Lanson Great start, good acting, crappy ending. 3 stars
8/01/99 Meepos Could have been great, but something was missing. 2 stars
6/15/99 David Everything seems right on paper, but why is the film so passionless? 2 stars
5/28/99 pipeman Disappointing finish to an otherwise good film. Walk out 20 min before the end. 3 stars
5/23/99 Ami the Wonderbread Blanchett, Cusak, & Thorton were all fantastic, but too bad no real story 3 stars
5/20/99 Carisa Pretty good. I enjoyed it. Esp. Billy Bob Thorton an John Cusack were great. 4 stars
4/30/99 Lisa I really wanted to love this film, but I didn't! 3 stars
4/27/99 Michelle Interesting concept and characters that just didnt' live up to their potential 3 stars
4/27/99 George C. Boring scenes in the control room-adults playing video games 3 stars
4/26/99 Daddy Rich Cusak and Thornton were great. Jolie is a fucking hottie! 4 stars
4/26/99 Mr Showbiz A gem of an idea that's woefully under-served. 3 stars
4/21/99 schloofy this is smart and well acted. a great workplace comedy 4 stars
4/03/99 E Don't hold your breath for this film to end up as in-flight entertainment. 3 stars
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  23-Apr-1999 (R)


  22-Jul-1999 (M)

Directed by
  Mike Newell

Written by
  Glen Charles
  Les Charles

  John Cusack
  Cate Blanchett
  Angelina Jolie
  Vicki Lewis
  Jake Weber

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