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Pushing Tin (1999)



Average Rating: 5.5/10
Reviews Counted: 66
Fresh: 32 | Rotten: 34

Solid performances by the leads, but the generic ending needs help.


Average Rating: 5.3/10
Critic Reviews: 17
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 9

Solid performances by the leads, but the generic ending needs help.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 33,632

My Rating

Movie Info

The intense world of air-traffic controllers is played for both drama and laughs in Pushing Tin. John Cusack plays Nick Falzone, the top air traffic controller at New York's Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) Center, where he negotiates air traffic and landing patterns for the Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark airports, America's most congested airspace. It's a tough, stressful job that's highly demanding and Nick is very good at it -- and he takes no small amount of pride in that. So Nick is


Drama, Comedy

Glen Charles, Les Charles

Aug 14, 2001

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (96) | Top Critics (25) | Fresh (32) | Rotten (34) | DVD (11)

A lively flight!

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton take hold of a scene and shake it awake and make it live.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie takes a dive at the end, but it's wonderful fun before that.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Can't really answer why this one got made. It's very uninteresting.

June 28, 2002 Full Review Source:

A very impressive film with its serious treatment of the difficult art of transforming hatred.

March 4, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Debased sitcom-style filmmaking.

April 28, 2001 Full Review Source: Matinee Magazine
Matinee Magazine

Droll, relatively lifeless.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

Pushing Tin overshoots the runway by the equivalent of at least one of the Brothers Charles' better tv episodes.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Nitrate Online
Nitrate Online

An embarrassment for all concerned.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

The thought that real-life air traffic controllers are anything like the folks in Pushing Tin is enough to make me travel on Amtrak

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

It placed all the stress problems on the laps of the controllers' twisted personal lives.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Pushing Tin bids for originality by focusing on an offbeat profession. Every other aspect is pretty stale, though, from the smart-alecky characters to the romantic-triangle plot.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

I liked most of what I saw, but it was also difficult not to acknowledge how much stronger it might have been with just one more screenplay rewrite.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

An original premise is made into something far too conventional.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

Contrived, meandering, cliched and just plain preposterous.

January 1, 2000
TV Guide's Movie Guide

In settling for caricatures and contrivance, Pushing Tin is closer to the sitcom.

January 1, 2000
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A disappointing movie from Mike Newell, whose eye for offbeat material fails him here.

January 1, 2000
Philadelphia Daily News

Audience Reviews for Pushing Tin

Pushing Tin is quirky. I usually like quirky but I didn't like this much. I can see what they were trying to achieve and I'm not sure why it didn't work. If I'd read the script I probably would have cast exactly the same people. I didn't think anyone was on bad form, the script was OK and the story wasn't that bad and when a film is good, why not make it that little bit longer but here it just felt overlong and unconvincing. I really can't put my finger on why I didn't like it, maybe the dialogue and some of the questionable comedy just didn't work for me, I don't know. It well may be that it is dated now. Post 9/11 it does seem harder to laugh at near misses in the sky and the title scene where they quote a line about Thousands of safe landing a year but everyone makes a fuss over one near miss - while flying past the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre doesn't exactly read well these days. Much like Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie's marriage, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Too harsh?
February 15, 2013

Super Reviewer

Pushing Tin is a very entertaining film that blends comedy and drama. I thought that the film was very well done, and I much preferred it the second time around. This is a well acted film with a great cast. John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton are great here, and they make the film work. This is an entertaining film, and the characters are very intriguing and keep you involved. The plot of the film is very good, layered with a well written script and it has good directing provided by Mike Newell. This is a well put together film that if you want a different type of comedy, is definitely worth checking out. The film has its flaws, but Cusack and Thornton are able to constantly make entertaining and worthwhile that you end up not caring so much about its imperfections. Pushing Tin is a refreshing comedy, one that has some great characters, each with an interesting back story. Thornton however steals the show and he delivers the energy that makes this one worth watching. There's also a serious tone to the film, and it adds more atmosphere. If you want a different type of comedy film, then give this film a shot. The performances are great, the jokes are well written, and the directing is very well done. However to appreciate this film a bit more, you may need to watch it a second time as it's offbeat humor may not appeal straight away. The film grows on you after a while, and in the end, you realize how good this film really is. A definite must see Pushing Tin is a truly unique and eccentric comedy drama film.
July 4, 2012
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

The films is pretty good, then it falls apart and doesn't quite recover. The performances are the best part, and I liked that this film was about a subject that hasn't been shown on screen before. Too bad the screenplay craps out, otherwise this would be a far better film. I'll be nice and give it a solid B-.
August 13, 2009
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

A wonderful film about becoming the second best. Cusack is his perfect self, he represents the insecure everyman who is given a run for his money by the "interesting" Billy Bob Thornton. Thornton's character of Russel is brilliant, he's slightly odd, quite slimy and maybe a tad evil without ever being these things. It's how Cusack and others play off him that really create such a sinister being. Jolie is perfect, she's never looked better and her role is fantastic although she has a lack of screen time. Blanchett is also reduced to playing a typical wife, though her innocence and chemistry with Cusack do create someone sympathetic. The film is often laugh out loud, but overall it's not the most memorable of the bunch.
July 2, 2008

Super Reviewer

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