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Pushing Tin
Pushing Tin
Actors: John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Cate Blanchett, Angelina Jolie, Jake Weber
Director: Mike Newell
Genres: Comedy, Drama
R     1999     2hr 4min

Nick Falzone (John Cusack) is the busiest, and the best, air traffic controller on Long Island - until Russell Bell (Billy Bob Thornton) roars into town like a motorcycle-riding cowboy. Fueled by caffeine and machismo, the...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Cate Blanchett, Angelina Jolie, Jake Weber
Director: Mike Newell
Creators: Gale Tattersall, Alan Greenspan, Art Linson, Michael Flynn, Darcy Frey, Glen Charles, Les Charles
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Romantic Comedies, John Cusack, Love & Romance
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 10/05/1999
Original Release Date: 04/23/1999
Theatrical Release Date: 04/23/1999
Release Year: 1999
Run Time: 2hr 4min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 2
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
See Also:

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Member Movie Reviews

Reviewed on 5/25/2023...
Pretty fun but then it seemed to fizzle out.
Reviewed on 1/26/2011...
This was an entertaining movie and it gave me a few laughs, but I really expected more of a bang from it considering the cast of leading characters. I can only give it a three star rating, as I really expected more from it. Chris G.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Rachel J. from GANSEVOORT, NY
Reviewed on 9/12/2010...
Amusing interactions between Cusack and Thornton and wired-up fellow air traffic controllers. A good movie.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Kay F. (TahoeGal10) from HELOTES, TX
Reviewed on 9/26/2008...
Older movie, but very good. This is the movie that Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton got together to be a couple. I would rate it a four star.
3 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Zen And The Art Of Air Traffic Control
Brian E. Erland | Brea, CA - USA | 06/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Nick Falzone (John Cusack) is at the top of his profession, the number one air traffic controller servicing one of the busiest airports in the U.S.A. Nicknamed "the zone" he is the epitomy of focus and control. This need to be the best is not restricted to the control tower, but permeates every aspect of his life. At first it appears that Nick is the master of his own destiny, unbeatable in everything he puts his mind to. That is until a fellow employee breaks down on the job and Russell Bell (Billy Bob Thornton) is hired to replace him.

Russell may be new to this particular airport, but he has a reputatiion amongst fellow air traffic controllers that has reached almost 'urban legend' proportions. Known as a maverick, a headcase, a lunatic, but also a brilliant air traffic controller, rumor has it that Russell was fired from his last job for laying on a runway in front of an oncoming 747. Whether truth or fable, Russell is given a second chance and his reputation as a highly skilled controller is evident from his first day on the job. Nick realizes his position at the top of the heap may be in imminent danger.

Hoping to study his new rival in a different setting, Nick invites Russell and his wife to his home for a company party. Up until now Nick's wife Connie (Cate Blanchett) had been considered the prettiest wife amongst co-workers. However when Russell's wife Mary (Angelina Jolie) arrives at the party it becomes immediately obvious that a new consensus of opinion has been reached. Now the competition really begins.

Nick's obsession for outdoing Russell escalates. Russell on the other hand plays along with the pretense of competition while remaining unattached and emotionally undivested in what the outcome may be. You see Russell has already passed through his own "dark night of the soul" and has overcome his inner demons. He has no further need or desire to prove anything to anyone. That of course is what bothers Nick most of all. For a man like Nick one of the major benefits to winning and being number one is the acknowledgement of defeat from your opponent. For Russell there is no defeat, for there was no competition.

As Nicks' life disintergrates around him Connie moves out after learning he slept with Mary. He eventually suffers a nervous breakdown and is given a leave of absence from his job. Alone and emotionally shattered, his once famous ability to focus and control every situation has been called into question. His only hope now is Russell, someone who has already been there. Russell shows him the folly of his obsession and points him towards a new perspective of reality. To fully embrace this new way of life a rite of passage is required, one that demands trust and bravery. Will Nick have the courage to see it through to the end?

Marvelous script, extraordinary cast with great chemistry (Billy Bob and Angelina married shortly after completing this film) and witty dialogue. A movie to be enjoyed over and over again."
Pushing Tin
Susan Evans-murphy | Patterson Lakes, Victoria Australia | 06/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This has to be one of the funniest films I have ever seen. John Cusack plays airtraffick controller extraordinaire Nick Falzone. The environment could be any work place that encompasses a great amount of stress. Billy Bob Thornton (Bell)arrives on the scene, a quiet but brilliant, airtraffick controller. The complete opposite to Falzone's personality. The reaction of the two main characters to each other is swift and combustable. Falzone happens to chance meet (Angelina Jolie)Bell's wife followed by one night of togetherness. Falzone and Mrs. Bell are already feeling guilty. She tells Bell of the occurence and the fun begins. Bell cleverly plays mind games on Falzone by "noticing" Mrs. Falzone (Cate Blachett). Falzone's becoming fanatical about the (implied)relationship between Bell and Mrs. Falzone.Nothing is happening but his desperation drives his wife away.The best scenes are those in the car after the funeral of Mrs.Falzones dad and the scene on the aeroplane. All the actors do a great job of defining real life scenarios, John is wonderful and has a great cast alongside him to present this fabulous film."
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slider | Oceanside, CA United States | 06/09/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is one of these movies where two diametrically different characters, Nick Falzone(John Cusack) and Russell Bell(Billy Bob Thornton), go head-to-head in a battle of wits and testosterone to see who is the better man. One will fall to an all-time low, while the other rediscovers himself and helps the man who has fallen.As Air Traffic Controllers for one of the worlds busiest TRACONs, the New York-New Jersey air corridor, Nick and Russell are working in one of the most high-stress jobs around. Nick is known as "The Zone" for his ability to "push tin" faster than any other air traffic controller. Nick and his tight-knit group of work buddies are suddenly thrown a curve ball when Russell Bell transfers in from Denver. At first, they assume Russell is just another back-woods controller who wont make the cut. But, Russell has a unique talent for pushing tin that bothers Nick. Suddenly, this guy, who wears a feather in his headset and carries his own wooden chair to work is making Nick look bad. Nick has finally met his match.Rumors and video tape about Russell soon fly all over the TRACON and upset the finite balance Nick and his buddies have. Nick is so bothered by this mysterious character that he tries to push a few of Russell's buttons, but to no avail. Everyone, including Nick's wife Connie, find Russell "interesting".At the same time, Nick finds Russell's wife equally intriguing. It's not long before marraige vows are broken and friendships are strained, with Nick coming out the loser. Nick Falzone has to go to extraordinary lengths to undo the damage. In the end, Russell Bell is the one who saves him. I didn't quite know what to expect when I bought this movie. I must admit, I had stereotyped Billy Bob Thornton as some hick who had made a short break in the movies, but I was completey wrong about him. And, John Cusack was not on my short list of favorite actors, either. But when these two actors were cast together for this movie, the outcome was nothing short of hilarious. Angelina Jolie played a great supporting role as Russell's inebriated wife. Just a funny and satisfying movie from start to finish. And, Im now a Billy Bob Thornton fan.If you liked this movie, I highly recommend you see 'Bandits'."