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5/10
Good intentions and some powerful moments but overall a disappointment
imaginarytruths10 August 2006
I honestly didn't think it was very good at all, though I respect the intentions of the filmmakers. Whatever one wants to say about Oliver Stone, he showed a commitment to faithfully telling the story of these two Port Authority cops trapped in the wreckage of the World Trade Center and their worried wives.

I liked a lot of the scenes in the beginning, the little mundane details like when Michael Pena's character is going about his everyday street beat. But the scenes at the WTC itself are really awkward, especially the cross-cutting between real footage and the actors. They just don't match, neither the film stocks nor the actors' reactions. A couple of moments with Pena standing there on the concourse were effective in creating a sense of horrific surrealism, and the moments right before the collapse were sudden and chilling...but overall it was not as powerful as I was expecting. For a film called World Trade Center, I guess I was expecting a little more context and not something focused so narrowly on these two Port Authority cops and an ex-Marine from Connecticut (as the only person outside these two cops' families whose story is told in the film, the focus on him reeks of jingoism in a GI Joe/Rambo vein).

I know it's a little unfair to compare this to United 93, but I need to in order to illustrate the point. U93 told a specific story (the experience of the passengers on the plane) and placed it within a context (what was happening with air traffic control and the military). The lessons that are demonstrated in the actions of the passengers are enhanced by contrasting them with the helplessness of the "professionals" responsible for their safety. It's telling a dramatically powerful story, conveying a theme , AND providing a larger historical context of what happened that day. Oliver Stone, by comparison, has failed to effectively tie the experiences of these two trapped cops with the larger events of the day, and his film suffers as a result. And in the end the film largely shortchanges the stories of the 2749 families who didn't get good news that day.

OK, so the film focuses on a narrow story of these two trapped cops and their families (and the gung ho marine, but he has limited screen time). Was their story well told? The scenes amidst the wreckage were compelling, but the back-and-forth with their wives became annoyingly schmaltzy. Yes, Maggie Gyllenhaal gave a strong performance as the pregnant wife and a lot of the moments with her family (esp the brief scene with the Colombian mother-in-law praying) were emotionally poignant, but so much of the family stuff was lame melodrama. And to be honest, even Maggie's performance was a little generic. I understand that these characters are all closely based on real life, but it still felt very Lifetime movie of the week. As for Maria Bello in the role of the other wife, I loved her in A History of Violence, but she was bland in this. The kid actors playing her children were mostly awful, and the film dragged whenever their story was on the screen. The resolution is mostly handled well, I really like what Oliver Stone is trying to convey about these small gestures of heroic goodness in the face of such desolation. But the power of these scenes is undermined by his tendency to pour on the sappiness while largely ignoring the greater horror of the day. It feels like a soap opera set against the greatest tragedy of our age, and that just doesn't work for me.

In short...not intense enough, not enough context, too much melodrama, not enough of a sense of reverence for what happened, highly impressive job of recreating the debris field, a charismatic performance from Maggie, overall a mediocre film.
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1/10
Another Pearl Harbour
morc-49 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I knew this was going to be utter hail America bull even before watching it. We have a club of 10 people, who regularly attend the theaters and watch random movies. Believe me, if I had a choice, I would have never had any interest in watching this. But anyway, as I predicted, well as we all predicted, actually, we were bored through the whole film. Except for those moments where we along with the rest of the theater were laughing at especially the marine and the other cheesy moments in this disaster of a film. When it was finally over, people just stood outside laughing at how bad the film was and talking about this marine, who wanted to dig through tons of rubble with his super fantastic American marine knife!! "Don't worry, I won't leave you! I'm a marine!" Yes! He actually says that! And then we are told, that he goes to Iraq for 2 years to get revenge. I ask then, was he one of those enraged psychos who raped Iraqi women and murdered their families down there then ? And what has Iraq to do with WTC ? What a joke.

What an insult to the people who died or had friends or family members who died at this terrible tragedy. I will never see a Nicholas Cage film again nor an Olive Stone one. What maniac thought up the lines of that marine ? I'm baffled.

1/10.
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1/10
A classless play on emotions
hugodinwitty12 August 2006
I know that many people who don't like this movie say so just because they thought it was made at an inappropriate time. Personally, I hated this movie on its own merit as poor film-making. It seems that Oliver Stone just decided he wanted to make a movie, any movie, about 9/11, and didn't care about the content of the movie. The end result was a movie of such pitiful quality that one could go though the script and replace the term "police officer" with "miner" and "World Trade Center" with "a coal mine" and the entire script would work perfectly as a cave-in disaster movie. It's that generic. Stone tries to carry the movie just by showing how sad the families were and how scared the policemen were, meanwhile allowing the audience no interesting plot points to hold on to, nor any significance to the tragedy. In the end, I have to conclude that Oliver Stone just wanted to get some cheap emotional reactions from the crowd, because at one point the movie says that it is about the potential for good in humanity and how strong we can be in the face of adversity. Stone quickly forgets this, because only about 15% of the movie even shows people coming together to help one another. The other 85% of the movie is spent watching the families argue or seeing flashbacks to their happy memories, which is a good way to get audience reaction but hardly lends any significance or depth to the plot. I don't in any way want to belittle the pain that these families had to endure, which is why I am disappointed that that pain was exploited to make a bad movie. September 11 was the most important and tragic event in my lifetime, and I think it deserves more respect than to be made into a generic, poorly-written disaster movie less than five years after it happened.
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9/10
A life-affirming movie about courage
Jason M. Rothman26 July 2006
It's a little known story from a day we know all too well. "World Trade Center" tells the gripping true story of two of the last men pulled out of the rubble of Ground Zero alive.

Nicolas Cage and Michael Pena play Port Authority Police officers. In the film's heart- pounding opening minutes, we watch the attack unfold through the eyes of these first responders. As the routine morning becomes anything but routine, the officers glimpse news reports (we are thankfully spared any images of the plane striking the towers) and get bits of information from cellphone calls to family members as they race downtown. But what's most striking is how little the men know about what's really happening. As the officers prepare to the climb the North Tower, they are unaware the South Tower has even been hit. Communications gear is failing, and there is confusion all around.

Through impeccably detailed sets and flawless special effects, director Oliver Stone and his film-making team recreate these hectic moments in all-too-realistic detail. You're right there, on the street, looking up and watching the chaos unfold in 35mm and THX surround sound. If you didn't know any better, you'd think Stone had a crew shooting in Lower Manhattan that day. You have to struggle to remind yourself everything you're seeing was recreated on a sound stage on inside a computer.

Screenwriter Andrea Berloff further enhances the realism with believable dialog. She not only effectively captures the "cop talk" (half the time, there's so much lingo being bantered back and forth, you don't understand what the heck the characters are saying -- as it should be), she also delivers a truth and honesty to the conversations and interactions. The words never feel contrived.

The quality cast does the script justice. It's remarkable how well Cage, a major movie star, disappears behind the mustache and hunched shoulders of Sgt. John McLoughlin. Pena (last seen as the locksmith in "Crash") is instantly likable as Ofc. Jimeno. Their performances are even more noteworthy considering they spend the majority of the movie flat on their backs. They are also well supported by Maria Bello and Magie Gyllenhaal as their respective wives, who spend much of the film enduring an agonizing wait to learn the fate of their husbands.

Stone's storytelling is also more methodical and straightforward than it's been in recent years. He mercifully ditches the frenetic editing style he's employed in films like Natural Born Killers and Any Given Sunday.

***Not Political***

When one hears that Oliver Stone, director of such politically charged films as JFK and Born on the Fourth Of July, is making a movie about 9/11, your first tendency is to say, "uh oh." But this may be the least political movie Stone has ever made, one both red states and blue states can agree on. It's not about the roots of terror, or who's to blame for what. It's not about villains. It's about heroes. Though set during one of America's darkest hours, it tells a life-affirming story of courage, love and the strength people can summon inside. The movie reminds us how we all felt that day, how we all came together. Some say it is too soon for a movie like this. But as our nation sits so sharply divided, it's not a minute too soon to remember the unity of purpose we all had on 9/11 and ponder whether we can ever get it back.
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5/10
National tragedy as formula storytelling
anhedonia2 September 2006
Something surprising happened while watching Oliver Stone's "World Trade Center" - I realized how much more I appreciated Paul Greengrass' "United 93." Greengrass' film was lean, stripped of any backstory for any of the characters. Very simply, it told what happened that horrible day on the plane - though he used some license - and didn't wallow in needless sentimentality.

Stone, on the other hand and rather surprisingly, seems to have gone out of his way to make something that would be so palatable and inoffensive that it would turn out rather bland, above anything else.

The 45 minutes of "World Trade Center" are terrific. After offering us quick glimpses into the lives of Port Authority cops John McLoughlin (Nicolas Cage) and Will Jimeno (Michael Pena), Andrea Berloff's script gets us right into the attacks on the Twin Towers.

The crumbling of the towers, which still is incredibly difficult to watch, let alone fathom, is handled with taste, but also is awfully gripping. We get a real sense of the terror and panic and then Stone gets the claustrophobic atmosphere right. With close-ups of Pena and Cage amidst the ruins, he gets us so close, we can almost taste the rubble and concrete dust.

But that's the last time we really see or feel any sense of genuine, gripping storytelling in this film. I realize criticizing a film about 9/11, especially one that displays its American stars and stripes so blatantly, is tantamount to treason these days. After all, as this administration and its minions love to point out, if you disagree with them, you're not only unpatriotic, but also an appeaser of the villains. It's poppycock, of course. Dissent is undoubtedly American, but these chaps so love draping themselves in the flag that jingoism overwhelms all reason. Why bother with rational thought when you can scare people?

What struck me while watching the film is realizing how much goodwill was channeled toward the United States after the attacks and what's ultimately sad is how this president took all that goodwill and squandered it by launching an utterly pointless war in Iraq. We could have done so much good in the world, instead of now being one of the most hated nations in the world. And Bush has now turned 9/11 into a political slogan for political (and personal) gain.

The problem with Stone's film isn't so much the story, but how Berloff chose to tell it. According to Berloff, cops, rescue workers, even family members tend to enjoy speaking in exposition. There are moments that surely someone of Stone's calibre should have realized needed to be rewritten because the dialogue seems mediocre at best.

Where the film suffers is when the story cuts between the two trapped men and their families, especially their wives. Maria Bello as Donna McLoughlin and the always wonderful Maggie Gyllenhaal as Allison Jimeno never get much to do with their sorely underwritten roles. It's a true testament to Gyllenhaal's talent that she turns a rather sour role into a passionate, moving performance. Poor Bello, on the other hand, isn't that fortunate. She's relegated to spending more time than she should weeping.

The trouble with these scenes is not that Berloff tries to wring some emotion out of them, but that they come off as unabashedly sentimental. And the emotions are entirely unearned.

Pena proves, just as he did in "Crash" (2005), that he's able to be something special on screen. His character is far more engaging than Cage's; Pena's emotions come off without any artifice.

I can't help but feel that "World Trade Center" could have been the gut-wrenching experience Stone intended it to be had he and Berloff approached the story much in the way Greengrass did "United 93." Stone's movie is far from lean. It's padded with needless sentimentality and moments that just try so hard to earn some emotion, any emotion, that they come off as utterly false. And that's unfair to the people whose story is being chronicled here.

Watching Cage and Pena trapped should be gripping stuff. But even their dialogue is reduced to exposition. And when Berloff finally leaves the two men and their families, we get Dave Karnes (Michael Shannon), a man so moved by what he saw that he came down to the Twin Towers and proved to be McLoughlin and Jimeno's miracle. We all know Karnes is a real person, but I very much doubt that he speaks in bumper stickers. But that's exactly what Berloff has him do.

The first 45 minutes of the movie showed what Stone truly is capable of doing. The rest is rather tepid. And unbelievably forced. Who knew that Oliver Stone, of all people, would resort to formulaic storytelling. Perhaps he's been so stung by conspiracy accusations and was so keen on appeasing his critics and forgetting the execrable "Alexander" (2004) that he opted to make the kind of movie Ron Howard would make. That's not a compliment.
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1/10
Boring movie
stiedvar821 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
if you regard the fact that the tittle give the movie away, it is still pretty predictable from the start.. But i mean almost two hours of to police officers lying under wtc rubble.. and nothing else just a view of how their families are coping.. It's so American..it's so like the pearl harbour movie, so subjective and predictable. "America lives yey for us.. boo to the bad guys" but what about the other people who really died, what about the REAL family tragedies. All the widows, and single parents left alone after the fall of the towers, and all the children who has lost one or two parents? well anyway, another movie and another waste of time
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1/10
Not the Movie Oliver Stone SHOULD Have Made
electrictoothsyndrome6 March 2007
This is not the 9/11 film that Oliver Stone - director of JFK - SHOULD have made. Just as Fahrenheit 9/11 was Michael Moore's journalistic failure, World Trade Center was Stone's sellout.

Instead of another 9/11 movie that attempts to give the American public an easy hero or two, why not just make a movie that examines what REALLY happened on that day? Why not just take a risk as a filmmaker and human being to bring forth the truth about 9/11 rather than subscribe to the flag-waving? Loving your country means accepting that it's not always going to be on the side of right and having the courage to help change it anyway you can. To some people, the extent of their cultural influence is their measly vote. In Oliver Stone's case, he reaches millions of eyes with his movies, yet he chooses to make pandering pieces of feces like this.

Go back to making movies about dead rock stars if this is the best you can do, Oliver.
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1/10
Like watching paint dry
ronnay_barkay3 February 2007
Im just after pulling myself away from the TV and that awful movie, World Trade Center, to write this review.

Now. This is like watching a snuff movie. It depicts the events that happened on September 11th,2001 and we all remember so vividly because it was only a few years ago.

Most of the time you're watching Nicholas Cage screaming in pain. and when you're not watching that you're watching another guy scream in pain.

Shall I go on? It's badly edited, although well made, but who cares. It's not entertaining or thought-provoking or funny. It doesn't spark any debate. World Trade Center is just a very bland, uninspiring piece of film making.
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1/10
A Pile of Rubble
loufalce24 March 2008
Awful "docudrama" concerning 2 cops who get buried under tons of rubble on 9-11. How dare Oliver Stone- who was quoted as saying America had it coming- make a movie to exploit this tragedy. Has America become so desensitized to the violence of the real world that we make films to exploit tragedies for the sake of entertainment? This and the earlier Flight 93 were the first- and hopefully the last films to capitalize on this tragedy. They died early deaths at the box office and it is easy to see why. As far as WTC is concerned, it does feature an average performance from Cage, and the rest of the no-name cast simply functions as a prop to support the paper thin screenplay. Needless to say, it is chock full of errors and anachronisms, but it is an Oliver Stone film, right? Beyond bad, this film is a slap in the face and an insult to anyone who either survived or died on 9-11. Exploitative garbage, pure and simple.Zero stars.
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8/10
Stone Salutes
ccrivelli200510 September 2006
Oliver Stone salutes the ordinary heroes of this extraordinary circumstances. He puts himself way behind their stories, so far behind in fact that he is almost imperceptible. In Italy, the academics, snobs and other fauna dismissed it as rhetoric and banal. I have the words of the laid back "opinionist" Barbara Pallombelli accusing Stone of "inventing" How silly really. The ignorance between the cultures seems insurmountable sometimes. The story was told by the two men under the rubble and their families. They were working people, not professional "opinionists". They will hum the theme from Startsky and Hutch to keep themselves alive. I wonder what pseudo intellectual would have done.The film is a gripping depiction centered mostly on two men and their families. The event caused a catastrophe that is still growing, based mostly in personal interest and massive inter cultural ignorance. The film is not about that. The film is about the tiniest enormity of the domestic drama. I wept and longed for a private happy ending. The rest, well the rest is still part of our daily existence. Most of the detractors accuse World Trade Center of not being an Oliver Stone film, if he had done a classic Oliver Stone film he would have been accused of that. Stone will be controversial even for standing still. My hat to you Mr Stone, please keep going your own way.
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1/10
This was awful
Kura Arastar13 August 2006
This is the first movie I've ever got up during the showing at a theatre and walked out. Yeah I know some people are going to panic and whine that I'm a horrible person for not liking the World Trade Center movie, but this was just annoying. The previews show a bright, outdoors thing with lots of police and firefighters and such, when in reality most of the film is just two guys trapped in the dark, in the rubble, talking in strained voices about their family, while their family acts upset at home. Don't get me wrong, I respect the event, but the importance of a historical event doesn't mean everyone should go see a poorly done movie about it. So in conclusion, the film is very repetitive, constant poor lighting and typically unchanging scenery make it unpleasant to watch for a long time, and it was very hard to connect with the characters.
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7/10
A surprisingly good film
Kyle Florence13 August 2006
I went into this film without expectations. I saw Flight 93 and enjoyed it and I am very interested in all events surrounding September 11th, so this film appealed to me. Now, I must say that I am not an Oliver Stone fan, however, upon hearing this movie was nothing like an Oliver Stone film I decided to check it out.

The storyline for the film, as stated, was based on the stories of a few Port Authority police who survived the collapse of the building while being trapped for hours in the rubble. At the beginning we are introduced to each of the characters and their families. It's enough to get us involved with each of them but leaves enough room to elaborate as the film unfolds. The film moves rather nicely without going too fast or slow. The vast amount of the film takes place after the towers collapse while the men are trapped in the rubble. The story is told through the trapped police officers current situation as well as what their families are going through at the same time.

I felt this story to be very natural and not Hollywood-ized, something I had been worried would happen. All the events seemed plausible, they didn't throw anything in for added drama. All of the characters were completely believable and you ended up loving all of them by the end. I will caution you though, there are some intense scenes in this movie so if you are unable to deal with some of the events from that day you may not want to see the film.

The cinematography and sound really aided this film. All of the filming was crisp and clean, the special effects were great and you could hardly tell this had been filmed after the towers were gone (the shots containing the towers that is). There were some great scenes from life in new york; shots of the skyline and the subway as well as some breathtaking aerials. The sound was spot on, you could feel the building collapse as the scenes unfolded on the screen. It was a great job all around.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised at how good this was, it lived up to Flight 93, although it has an entirely different feel to it. This film is not ground-breaking work, but it wasn't meant to be. It was meant to tell the story of a few brave men and their families and their experiences during September 11th, and it accomplished this very well.
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1/10
Amazingly uninspired
ShowMeTheCredits5 November 2007
With a tragedy as large as this, and a bucket-of-possible-plots as filled as this, it's quite disturbing to see Oliver Stone hit his low-point of his entire career on this exact project.

With a mere fifth of the runtime away, we have our heroes in distress, with little to no character buildup been done to carry us through the last four-fifths of cinematic pain with any kind of relation to the characters put on the screen.

It's as if the story is so well-known that the script writer sees no point in drawing out the basics, which is perfectly understandable as you'd have to be literally dead to not know a heck of a lot about 9/11, and that counts for Americans and Eskimos alike. What is disturbing is that it sees no point in drawing out a story for us in which we get to know the characters on screen, either. The entire runtime seems to be wasted on emotional porn of such low quality that you start to wish for the people on screen to die soon so that the end credits will come and rescue you. You don't know who they are, what they're like, who they know, not even what their names are, and yet you've been staring at them for hours. The only thing letting you know that they're "the good guys" is the ever-present string ensemble playing fiddle for them all along.

This movie presents no story, no character buildup, no suspense, no action sequences (expecting to see the towers fall in state-of-the-art CGI wonder? Forget it, what you get are the shadow of a plane on the ground, and the sound of tower 2 falling, plus some rubble, that's it), no nothing, really.

This movie is so superficial it's impossible to say what it really wants to say, if anything. The problem is, it says nothing, and it takes more than two hours of it to accomplish that.
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Sad way of money making
John Kerkhoven3 November 2006
This movie brings nothing new. The only reason why people are going to watch disaster-movie nr 911 is because it stars the twin towers.

It's a sad way of making some dough out of this (film-wise) uninteresting event.

A couple of thousand people dieing is (how sad as it may be on a personal level) no unique happening; how many people die in Dafur, Ethiopia every month? Yet, I see no movie about that! There is probably more money to make with Americans dieing than with Africans starving.

More interesting would have been a movie that deals with the "why?" question... Why does the US draw so-much aggression? If you are looking for answers to that question you will have to look elsewhere; not to be found in this movie.

Mr. Stone misses a golden opportunity here. He has taken a milestone in geo-politics and could come up with nothing more than a combination of a "run of the mill" disaster movie and a tearjerker.
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2/10
Shadows the truth of the day.
jhf348815 August 2006
Before you brush this review off as someone that is just looking to cause problems or badmouth a movie let me give you my background. I live in NJ less than 5 minutes from the city. My family is heavily in twined in the Port Authority of NY/NJ. My grandfather is a retired Lieutenant and my uncle has been a PAPD officer for 12 years and I have both friends and family that worked in the world trade center in the PA executive offices.

The movie itself concentrates on two PAPD officers, Will and John. It follows their ordeal up to the point of rescue. OK. Seems good. But what about the 2700+ people that were lost on that terrible day. The writers spent too much time basing the movie on two men and their "story of triumph" that the true events of the day were left in the shadows.

There were times during the movie that I almost forgot what I was watching because it seemed like these were the only two men (along with their families) affected by the tragedy. The ordeal seemed no different than that experienced by the miners that were rescued in pennsylvania several years back. There was no rescue of other people even mentioned until the ending credits, at which time they finally acknowledged that people were actually lost.

The movie gives the impression that September 11th and the days following was an uplifting experience because two men were found alive. It fails to document all that was lost and never recovered. If a movie must be made about such a tragedy then the movie should show it like it is. There should be no dramatic rescue with uplifting music. The day was terrible, the events were terrible, and the story was terrible. Lets not make the worst day in our country's history into an uplifting "happy ending" version of titanic.

Throughout the movie there were 3 mentions of lost people other than the main characters. The first of an unnamed elevator operator, the second was a quick clip of "missing person" posters, and the final was the ending credits that gave the true numbers. Those three scenes are what September 11th was. It was not a love story. It was not a triumph. And more than anything it was not material for a Hollywood movie.
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1/10
Cringeworthy
steve-32459 March 2008
Sentimental, self righteous and dull. It failed to address any of the myriad issues that could have been explored. Instead, we get cheesy apparitions of Christ and macho chest bangers who dissolve quickly to tears, all driven by an overload of emotion. It was clichéd beyond belief and a sadly missed opportunity. Ultimately, it did a disservice to the heroes of that horrendous event. Some of the early morning city-scape scenes were interesting. The special effects were unnoticeable, the way it should be. This presentation of reality gave the film the authenticity it was looking for. Nick Cage was underwhelming in World Trade Center. Among his many excellent works: Weatherman, Lord of War, Matchstick Men, Adaptation, this must be low point for him as it was for this Cage fan. The supporting actors were a partial salvation to the generally awful film-making. I think Oliver Stone is gradually revealing himself to be overrated. I wouldn't recommend this film to anyone, particularly if you're an American; For a start, it insults your intelligence and your sensitivity but, more significantly, it makes a mockery of your identity and your history. I'd be offended. Miss it now.
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10/10
World Trade Center - An Experience
Andy Taylor26 July 2006
Many of us remember that morning so vividly. September 11th, 2001. I had the opportunity to see the film from Paramount Pictures and directed by Oliver Stone last night with about 50 firefighters from the Tucson Area as well as a handful of law enforcement officers.

I really wasn't sure if I wanted to see the film. I remember watching the TV, glued to it, for answers to the questions that I never will have answered as to how something so horrible could happen. This film doesn't attempt to try to answer that question, instead it looks at the spirit of people and how we can come together to help others.

I am so glad I went to see this! It is a powerful work of film that tells the story without sensationalizing the event and the anger and hatred for the attackers following the attacks. It's a film of last words and feelings we tend to develop after years in a relationship. There are tears of joy, laughs, and tears of sorrow interlaced throughout this film with Strong acting from a huge cast including Nicolas Cage and Michael Pena.

Totally recommend this film although it may certainly be tough for those that lost loved ones in the buildings.
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1/10
Total and big disappointment! Non-American viewers, beware!
moni25 November 2006
First, I vote 1 for this dreadful piece of celluloid just because IMDb hadn't provided negative votes yet. Absolutely big disappointment coming from one of the finest directors of all time - Oliver Stone. Having in mind that he directed such masterpieces as JFK and Naturally born killers, I have no excuse for him making such blatant propaganda movie except for the paycheck. Every single cliché you name it, you have it here. Patriotism is flowing from every possible hole, the opposite of smart Bush showing like a cockroaches from every frame. Yes, for sure, Americans do deserve to have such idiotic film made for such tragic event, so let them have it. A apropos, when do we have movie about more than half million innocent civilians killed in Iraq by Americans? For all those women and children cold-heartedly slaughtered and maimed by American soldiers and not even statistically put as collateral damages? A movie about how the US invasion of Iraq provoked and increased the uniting of the world terrorism in that poor country? Where is THAT movie, mister Stone?
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1/10
Paramount wasted their money - don't waste yours
AwwDannyBhoy9 October 2006
The remarkable thing about the film 'Apollo 13' is that although you know how the story ends, the film-makers still achieve story telling of the highest order. Not so, this shameless piece of Yankee propaganda.

It is arrant nonsense to say that this is not a political film - there would be NO film without the politics, yet Stone affects to ignore that this awful event prompted one of the most evil misuses of military-industrial power in modern history. More innocent Afghanis were slaughtered by an act of blind vengeance than the total number of innocent victims of September 11th.

As another person commented on this site, you'd think that the two NY cops buried in this film were the only victims... This film represents the low point of an otherwise interesting and often laudable career as a film maker.

And apart from all the above, even if you take issue with the politics I refer to, I defy you say that this is not the most boring two hours you've ever endured in a cinema.
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well-made movie
I was afraid this movie would be over Hollywoodized like Pearl Harbor was. However, the movie was made in good taste and was very emotional. It was the first time i had ever teared up at a movie. It captured that period very well and it brought back a lot of memories of that day for me and the days that had followed. The acting was pretty good, especially Michael Pena, who seemed to actually be living the experience instead of acting it out in a movie. When the movie ended the audience was silent(pre screening)and didn't clap, not because they didn't like it but out of respect. I felt really in-touch with the characters and while i teared up in some parts I also smiled and even laughed at some parts as the characters tried to cheer each other up. Expect it to win some awards.
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1/10
Total Disappointment
Matias Naldardjian3 November 2006
I'm absolutely disappointed with this film. When you are about to see a film of this magnitude, you expect to see something that can touch your heart, and make you feel. The only thing that I fell with this movie was boredom. OK, yes... I'm from Argentina and I don't lived with my own flesh and blood the S-11, so I can't know how it feels for the Americans. I totally agree. And there's where the film fails! Oliver Stone directed the film for Americans, not for outsiders. There's no great FXs, and the script and the history it's completely boring for those who not live on the US. (Honestly, I don't know where'd go all those millions that cost this movie.)

The characters -and specially the marine- are crude imitations: They don't make you feel the pain, the despair, the fury, the hopeless and the grief that America lived in S-11 (unless, obviously, that you lived it).

And in my humble opinion, all the fault falls down on Oliver Stone. He failed on every key matter of the film.
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9/10
Straightforward Approach Works for Stone
LAKERS3411 August 2006
There will of course inevitably be films made about 9-11 and they will no doubt take many different approaches in telling their stories. This film, the second major effort at depicting the 9-11 attacks, approaches the story head-on, literally from Ground Zero, from the viewpoint of some of those most directly involved in the incident: Rescue Workers. The fact that this film was directed by Oliver Stone was/is a surprise. The film is benign in the sense that it does not postulate about what happened that day and why, which is not your typical Stone movie. Instead, it takes its time telling an intimate story about a group of Rescue Workers caught up in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers and their battle to survive/escape an unimaginable hell.

The film works because Stone takes the time to flush out his characters; we genuinely care about these people and feel their emotions as things turned from bad to worse that day. Cage, Bello, Pena, et.al. play their roles effectively, making us aware that 9-11 affected "ordinary people" and caused them to perform in an extraordinary way.

All in all, an excellent film. While it is big-budgeted and full of big names, it simply tells one of MANY stories to be told on that day effectively and faithfully. As with United 93, I would recommend bringing Kleenex.
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8/10
Very Well Done Movie!!! With No Political Agenda...
dianajay11 August 2006
We weren't sure whether or not we would want to see this movie. Oliver Stone is someone who's movies we don't usually agree with. After reading many of the reviews on this site, we decided to give this movie a chance.

It is a very impressive, well executed movie... with excellent acting, directing and editing!!! It is a movie that will remind you of that day, however, it is a movie about heroes, friendships and triumphs. Yes, there are points in the movie that you will tear up and even cry, yet there is also laughter at some points and there is a lot of positive throughout the movie even though it is was a time of crisis and horror surrounding the situation. The horror of that day does exist in the movie, however it isn't overplayed or too dramatic to watch.... Also, that is not the main part of the movie. The movie is based on the lives to two of the trapped survivors as they tell/recall what happened to them on that day.

The audience sat in awe watching the movie... nobody ever got up to leave their seats... and everyone was amazed at the end of how well the story was told. I've never seen the Theatre so crowded on a weeknight (almost at capacity)... and it was being shown on multiple screens at a big theater.

I do recommend all American's see this movie... as it pays tribute to the heroes and shows some of the good that came from the tragedy.
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1/10
WTC - Wasted time and Cash
lgorenc1 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The horrifying destiny of thousands of ordinary people and hundreds of servicemen and rescue workers on 911 is certainly worth making a disaster movie, but this film is dull and boring in its essence. First of all, for 60 minutes we watch two guys being trapped under the rubble of WTC tower fighting to stay alive. Not much of a plot. We hear people talking in abbreviations, we see flashbacks from their everyday lives, we see their families shattered by uncertainty and suspense, we hear them rant about cheesy stuff that would make any other movie, not this delicate, pathetic and a complete washout. What we don't see is an insight on these dramatic events themselves. I can't criticize this film from an artistic point of view, but rather from a political one. As we hear a number of explosions inside the WTC, the tagline should read: The world saw evil that day. Millions of people saw an inside job.

There's this dull character, Marines staff sergeant Karnes, a big bully-like hunk, with the IQ of a mongoose and a mindset of a thoughtless pawn, who is determined on finding the survivors and pulling them out. He even takes a haircut for this occasion. As he sets an example of what good, heroic and obeying citizen should look like. In the end he says US will need lot of good men to avenge this. The end credits show that he served two tours of duty in Iraq, which means "let's avenge this on the first country that comes along". Or the one Mr. Bushy points at. When we hear media anchors in the movie rant about the attacks from all over, one can't help but to compare these descriptions to what US is doing to other countries on a regular basis. They also have no respect for human lives, they also bomb civilians, they also use terror as the mean to an end, and then they stage a false-flag attack so they could bomb even more countries under the excuse of war on terror. Here we have a subtle message that US should avenge their dead, but when the others do that, it's called terrorism. Why hundreds of thousands of people had to die in Iraq? Just because Uncle Sam yearned to avenge the events so suspicious that even their own brainwashed fellow citizens find them hard to believe? Why did they bomb Serbia, which also fought Muslim terrorists within its own borders, under the excuse of humanitarian disaster, when alleged 100.000 refugees in Kosovo were nothing compared to the millions right now in Iraq? Not to mention the body count. Double standards for the privileged world power we all should feel sorry for. Poor little Americans. Yet, the Hollywood machinery also makes a profit.

Please come and shower us with some more of that depleted uranium before you make another movie like this one.
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1/10
It had no message, so I loved it! Go America! Pass me another Budweiser!
Biff Tread10 August 2006
If you liked this movie, you might be a redneck. Leave it up to the citizens of an oblivious, myopic, imperialist country like ours to love a movie that "redeems" the events of September 11. Leave it up to such citizens to like a movie because it does NOT make a political comment, or any other kind of comment, and is, instead, a story of courage and the "triumph" of the "human spirit." How very refreshing. It all reminds me of the sarcastic musings of a Beckett character, who says that before he dies, he hopes to become more able to find "the good in the bad, the bad in the worse." People, if we're always finding the mote of hope in the sea of tragedy, then why should we consider ANYTHING a tragedy? The reactions most people have to this movie are a symptom of a disease--and they are a hint that September 11 has basically changed nothing about the way we think about the world. They are a sign that "it" will probably happen AGAIN. So--go watch this flick, crunch your popcorn, shed a few sappy tears, then get back into your Hummer, fill up with 70 bucks of gas, run over a few homeless people (why can't they just get a job?!), and continue about your day.
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