Movie/DVD Review: United 93

Film: United 93
Studio: Universal Pictures
Originally Released: April 28, 2006
Watched: September 11, 2008 via Netflix
Ebert Rating: 4 Stars
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 91%
My Netflix Rating: **** (Really Liked It)
Wikipedia Entry

Prelude

In commemoration of the 7th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks this weekend and to honor the memory of those who died that horrible day, I’ll be reviewing two films that came out in subsequent years regarding the horrific events of that faithful day which changed our world: “World Trade Center” and “United 93.” God Bless the souls of the men and women lost that day 7 years ago today… If you’re interested in first hand accounts of that day feel free to peruse “Partygirl’s Archives” as she documented the events in NYC on 9/11 and the subsequent months first-hand.

Synopsis

This film follows in real-time format the events of 9/11 from the perspective of the air traffic controllers who monitored the four hijacked flights that crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania that day. From there it follows the possible events that may have occurred aboard Flight 93 as the passengers aboard the flight fought back against the terrorist hijackers and prevented them from reaching their intended target.

Thoughts

With 9/11 still fresh in most minds that lived through it 7 years after the fact, seeing the footage of the planes crashing into the Towers and the Pentagon was not easy to do sit through. The pace of the movie itself was a bit agonizing as we literally followed the air traffic controllers for about 2/3 of the movie as they attempted to figure out which planes had been hijacked. The actual action between the hijackers and the passengers really consisted of only a third of the movie or so. So in a sense, it conveyed the drama and agony of the day very well but I personally would have wished to have seen more of the passengers as opposed to air traffic control. A made-for-tv film of the days events was also made around the same time, “Flight 93” and for my money that was the better film. Overall though, the film did portray the heroics of the passengers quite well and the perspective of what went on in air traffic control was a fresh view from what was shown in the media at the time.

DVD Features

In true “tribute” fashion the DVD features consisted of the following:

  1. Commentary track by Director Paul Greengrass
  2. Documentary: “United 93: The Families and the Film.” This is a one hour documentary where the families of the passengers and crew were interviewed and spoke of their lives post 9/11 and their views on the making of the film. It is heart-wrenching.
  3. Biographical tributes to all deceased crew and passengers aboard United 93
  4. Trailer for the short documentary, “Twin Towers.”

The documentary about the deceased passengers and their families was very touching and moving and the biographical shorts on each passenger and crew was very classily done. In short, it’s a very well-done and fitting tribute to the lives of the heroic passengers who were on Flight 93 that day.

The Verdict

This film and the DVD set as a whole is a great tribute to the brave men and women of United flight 93 who fought back against the Terrorist hijackers that day. It is a great historical documentary that is definitely a great tribute to the heroics that came out in the face of pure evil that day. Let us never forget them.

Highly Recommended

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