Pushing Tin (1999)

Pushing Tin
Director: Mike Newell
Writer: Glen Charles, Les Charles
Based on: Darcy Frey‘s article “Something’s Got To Give”
Cast: John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Cate Blanchett, Angelina Jolie, Jake Weber, Kurt Fuller, Vicki Lewis, Matt Ross

Nick (John Cusack) is an air traffic controller – a job with a lot of responsibility and pressure. But he’s extremely good at it, he loves it and he’s happy with his wife Connie (Cate Blanchett). That is, until Russell (Billy Bob Thornton) shows up. Russell is aloof, cool and calls Nick’s entire standing into question. Threatened by everything about Russell, Nick gets into a giant pissing contest with him.

Pushing Tin has very funny moments and a pretty good cast, but boy does that testosterone-fueled competition between Nick and Russell get exhausting. A little more focus on the women would have made the movie so much better.

The movie starts off quite well, though it is a bit info-dumpy. I enjoyed John Cusack in his adrenaline rush, and Cate Blanchett is always a wonderful sight. But then Russell shows up and things start to go downhill a little bit. For one, I don’t see Billy Bob Thornton’s attraction, not in this role or any other, so him showing up as the epitome of the mysterious bad boy everybody flocks to just didn’t work for me.

And the other problem was that the pissing contest between Russell and Nick just gets really, really, really annoying. After about 15 minutes of it, I just wanted to get out the kindergarden aunt inside of me and put them both in separate corners until they acquired at least a bit of maturity.

And that could have been so easily diluted if they had focused a little bit more on the women in this film. Cate Blanchett does such a wonderful job – and has about 15 minutes screen time in total. Angelina Jolie is good in her role as well, and extremely funny, but Mary’s basically just a plot facilitator and dropped pretty unceremoniously once she’s played her part in Nick’s and Russell’s development.

Generally the movie is quite enjoyable and fun, even if it’s a little too long. But in the end it’s pretty forgettable.

Summarising: If you have nothing better to do.


  1. *kreisch* *froi* ! In 2,5 Tagen kommst du zu mir!

    Hab mir gedacht, wir könnten am See Boot fahren gehen, falls sie dort Schwimmwesten für die Kinder zum Ausborgen haben. :)

    • Bootfahren ist super! :) Und ich hab auch irgendwann den Rettungsschwimmerkurs gemacht (nur nie die Prüfung), also ich fühle mich auch qualifiziert, deinen Kindern hinterherzuspringen. ;)

      Ich komm übrigens, wenn alles glatt geht, um 19.44 am Freitag an. Ich bin zu Mittag aber noch am AKH wegen meinem Aug und wenn die Wartezeiten noch länger sind als sonst, muss ich auf einen späteren Zug ausweichen…

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