Pushing Tin ★★★ 1999 (R)
Nick (Cusack) and Russell (Thornton) are rival air traffic controllers at the Long Island tower that oversees New York's three main airports (JFK, La Guardia, and Ne wark). Nick is a cool professional and a family man, with stayathome wife Connie (Blanchett) and two kids. Russell is a cowboy whose wife Mary (Jolie)is young, wild, and usually drunk. The guys' rivalry at work is intensified when Nick sleeps with Mary and his paranoia and guilt get to him. The technical and journalistic aspects (it's based on a New York Times article) of the tower scenes get things started in surprisingly exciting fashion, and the four leads keep the intensity going with excellent performances despite some script lapses and questionable plot devices at the end. 124m/C VHS, DVD . John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Cate Blanchett, Angelina Jolie, Vicki Lewis, Jake Weber, Kurt Fuller, Matt Ross, Jerry Grayson, Michael Willis; D: Mike Newell; W: Glen Charles, Les Charles; C: Gale Tattersall; M: Anne Dudley.