“Pushing Tin” refers to what air traffic controllers do … they “push tin” around in the skies. If this explaination sounds bad, wait until you see the film.
Nick Falzone (John Cusack) is one of the aforementioned “controllers”. He is the zaniest and the craziest and, according to the film, he is also the best, until Russell Bell (Billy Bob Thornton) comes to town. Are you yet convinced to avoid this film? The cast, in theory, is quite good: John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Cate Blanchett and the always-stunning Angelina Jolie. Cusack is usually good and in fact his performance was exceptional in “The Thin Red Line”. Cate Blanchett just came off of an Oscar nomination for “Elizabeth” as did Thornton for “A Simple Plan”. Angelina Jolie is definitely one of the sexiest women on the screen today. The biggest surprise is the awful performance from multiple Oscar nominee Billy Bob Thornton. You will not find a bigger fan of the character whom Thornton created in the brilliant “A Simple Plan”, but his steroetypical mannerisms, like grinding his teeth as he talks to show that he is “withdrawn” and “cool”, are as grating as finger nails on a chalkboard. Even director Mike Newell, just off of his brilliant film “Donnie Brasco”, should have know better than to make a film that is as by the numbers and predictable as this. Making matters even more unbearable the is awful ending, and by the time the film reaches this “climax” you are defied to care.
Generally the tone of “Pushing Tin” is uneven, unfocused and boring. It is listed as a “black comedy” and while there are humorous moments you will not be laughing much.