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United 93
poster from United 93 10 out of 1010 out of 1010 out of 1010 out of 1010 out of 10
Rated: R
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Current Voter Rating: 8.912 (91 votes)
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Every American should see this movie. If not, you are letting down your country and dishonoring those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

There isn't a whole lot for me to say here. The movie was directed perfectly by Paul Greengrass and is shot in a documentary style (aka "shaky camera"). There is no wasted time on character building, there are no dramatic plot twists (we all know what is going to happen), and there is no Hollywood fluff such as big explosions or corny one-liners. Many on the ground who participated in trying to make sense of the chaos on that fateful day portray themselves in this film, such as FAA Herndon, VA operations manager Ben Sliney (below), further enhancing its authenticity.

picture from United 93

This film is as real as a portrayal as we could hope for. The terrorist assholes are portrayed as holistically as possible: we see their anxiety, their ruthless determination, and their barbarism. We also see them as four unique individuals, yet they are united in purpose and hatred of America and everything for which we stand. I admire the four actors who agreed to portray these hijackers (a risky endeavor in and of itself) and who did so without trying to sway us into sympathizing with their characters.

The movie gives a blow by blow account of what went on that day, including the confusion and breakdown in communications between flight centers, the FAA, the military, and the President (though he is not shown on screen). My heart was pounding in suspense and dread as I waited for the hijackers to begin their assault. The film's high point is in showing the turning point on board United Flight 93 when passengers and crew went from fear and compliance to courage and defiance. I watched in awe as flight attendants were boiling water and gathering anything they could use as weapons. We see different reactions from various passengers, all of whom seem very real to us. They are not movie stars to us (and thank God for that because this movie would have been absolute crap if it had Kurt Russel, Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise, or any other Hollywood celebrity playing the hero)...instead they are our countrymen and we love and respect them. Watching from the comfort of my reclining theater seat I thought to myself, as all of us have done at some point or another, what would I have done in that situation? Would I have panicked, cried, or called my love ones to tell them goodbye? Would I have cowered in my seat or would I have fought back?

picture from United 93

From what I have read and seen and heard about September 11, this movie gives a very accurate portrayal. However, it was my understanding that the plane went down before the passengers were able to breach the cockpit. In the film, they do make their way into the cockpit but are unable to bring the plane under control. A trivial detail, the true answer to which is only known by those now in heaven (except of course for the four who will not be joining them).

thumbs up!As I said from the beginning, every American should see this movie. If not, you are letting down your country and dishonoring those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

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So far, the average rating for United 93 is: 8.912 (91 votes)

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