Release Date: April 28th, 2006 by Universal Pictures.
The Cast: David Alan Basche, Richard Bekins, Susan Blommaert, Ray Charleson, Christian Clemenson, Khalid Abdalla, Lewis Alsamari, Ben Sliney, Maj. James Fox, Gregg Henry.
Directed by Paul Greengrass.
BASIC PREMISE: On September 11th, 2001, passengers aboard United Flight 93 rebel against four terrorists who hijack their plane.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: United 93opens with the terrorists saying their last prayers in a hotel the night before their departure onto United Flight 93. After that point, writer/director Paul Greengrass structures the film into two basic, important settings without any deviation: the Northeast air traffic control center and inside Flight 93. The first half depicts the escalating chaos and confusion in the control center as three planes (represented by bright green dots on a computer screen) disappear from radar—along with voices from the cockpit which suggest a hijacking. When the terrorists hijack Flight 93 in the second half, that’s when United 93 becomes difficult to watch and frightening, as if you’re actually on the flight as well. Fortunately, to heighten the realistic feeling, none of the actors look recognizable—and a few individuals from the control center play themselves. On top of that, there are no unnecessary romances or dramas which would distract from the horrific events during that tragic day. By maintaining a focused, straightforward plot full of details, Greengrass has made a powerful film that will grip you from the very first frame until the last.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Although none of the passengers on the plane have any character development, it’s inevitable to feel like crying as soon as their flight gets hijacked. The most touching moments that will make your heart sink are when some of the passengers say their last good-byes to their loved once via their cell-phones—one kind woman lends her phone to another passenger. As long as you’re human, by the end of this film, your emotions will be profoundly impacted and you will feel the innate—although depressing—desire to openly discuss your feelings about 9/11 with everyone else around you.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
IN A NUTSHELL: An emotionally-intense, gripping and powerful film!
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
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