On September 11, 2001, two American Airlines and two United Airlines domestic U.S. flights are hijacked by terrorists. After the collision of two planes against the World Trade Center and one against the Pentagon, the passengers and crew of United Flight 93 decide to struggle against the four terrorists to take back the control of the airplane. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Khalid Abdalla claimed that he accepted the part of lead hijacker Ziad Jarrah partly because he had been previously offered roles as fictional terrorists that he felt were offensively stereotypical, and he wanted a real-life al-Qaeda terrorist to be portrayed responsibly. See more »
The United logo at the gate was not in use in 2001. See more »
I saw this at a special screening. I have not stopped thinking about it since. A emotional and powerful film that I will remember forever. I can't fault anyone who doesn't want to see this film. But please put to rest any fears that this film was made purely to turn a profit and serves no purpose.
For all those who were afraid that this film would be exploitive, propaganda filled Hollywood schlock, I'm sorry to say that could not be farther from the truth.
Though for the most part I'm still at a loss for words I'll do my best to give you a short and sweet overview.
Paul Greengrass has done the seemingly impossible by making a Hollywood film about this subject everyone is afraid to touch, but made it in such a way that it's hard to find fault, despite everyone's initial misgivings. No 'rah rah' patriotism. No veiled political stances. No cartoonish villains. No making the enemy sympathetic. Just a brilliantly executed look at what did happen and what 'might' have happened on that fateful day.
What makes it more effective is that all throughout you don't recognize any of the actors. They may as well be "real people". You're never thinking to yourself, 'oh that's Nicolas Cage', conscious of the fact that it's acting. And come to find out, many of the air traffic controllers and military personnel are playing themselves! This makes it all the more real and draws you in and takes you back to that day.
And when the passengers decide to fight back? There's no swelling of violins or slow motion shots. They don't have a rallying cry or 'lets do it for Uncle Sam' type speech to motivate everyone. No, these passengers were reacting spontaneously to the situation as it played out and were acting on their survival instinct. You can't help but think how you would react in that situation and makes it all the more compelling and powerful.
I won't say this film is for everyone. It IS hard to watch at times. But I'm so glad I did see it. Very cathartic in a way. And trust me, this film couldn't have been done in a more professional, classy way. This feels genuine; of course they are going to 'profit' off it, but you get the sense that the filmmakers and everyone involved poured their hearts into this project and did this to tell a story. A more dignified and heroic story I don't think I've ever seen.
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