United 93 is a film I have had on my Sky Player for a while now, but for some reason had been putting off watching it. I think it's definitely the sort of film you have to be in the right mood for, and if you're looking for a film to entertain and cheer you up, then steer well clear. By sheer coincidence, I watched it late last night, turning off at the end, going to sleep, and waking up to hear reports of the death of Osama Bin Laden, supposedly the architect behind the events that this film depicts.
The events of September 11, 2001, are ones that will be firmly embedded in many people's minds in one those 'Where were you when.....' moments that are so rare throughout history. Terrorists seized control of a number of planes and ultimately destroyed the Twin Towers and murdered countless numbers of people in the act. Although we will never know exactly what the plans were, one thing we do know is thaqt one particular flight's terrorist mission was thwarted by the bravery of some of the passengers: United Airlines flight 93. This film depicts the events that happened on the plane, giving us some build up to the passengers boarding, and then following in real time the events that occurred on board, flicking occasionally to the flight control centre to give an impression of what things were like in there during all the events.
I suppose the one thing that's never going to be clear is exactly how events transpired and who did what and said what and looked at who and acted first, but from snippets of phone conversations that loved ones made fearing the worst, Paul Greengrass has directed a powerful and moving film that disposes of any kind of Hollywood over dramatics and instead focuses on the events and some solid acting to relay this flight's plight in just over an hour and a half.
With that in mind, the film builds up very slowly, giving us a real time display of people boarding the plane and everything happening very methodically and just as normally as you'd expect any generic flight's procedures to. Greengrass is also careful to make sure he shows those who took over the plane in their nervous moments before doing something that they believed was right, albeit terrorism. Greengrass shows them as nervous, even petrified, yet determined,and while sympathy is not exactly the word I'd use when seeing how scared they may have been, it does at least try to portray any emotions they may have been going through.
The build up is rather slow, and even with the escalation of events such as air traffic control realising something is very wrong and the planes being taken over the powerful elements of the film don't really come through until the final half an hour. When they do, it's a frantic half hour of visual closeups and shaking cameras as if to show the movement on the plane. Many of the shots are of facial closeups and focus also on the hands of the terrorist pilot, sweat beads on terrorists and passengers alike, and as the passengers and cabin crew build up their motivation to launch an assault against their captors, it's very tense and riveting viewing. The last ten minutes will leave you open mouthed, and Greengrass does away with any fanfare of an ending, just finishing the film with how we know the flight ended, a very powerful depiction of something so terrible.
I suppose a certain amount of artistic licence is needed to show how the passengers must have been feeling and how events on board the plane actually happened, but Greengrass as director and those involved in the scripting of the film have done a good job of filling in the blanks, using real tapes of phone conversation between passengers and loved ones, colleagues and 911, as well as the reactions of those on the ground, especially the air traffic control centre. What results is an immensely powerful film that focuses on the tragedy of the day as opposed to sugar coating and glossing over with any soundtracks or big names. The acting is very good, and all involved depict real people with everyman skill, no one standing out, everyone convincing and believable.
I spent the first half an hour of the film knowing the end and therefore waiting for things to pick up, but when they did, it was extremely powerful. We'll never know exactly what happened on board or the order in which events transpired, but Greengrass has done a very good job of increasing awareness. When I went to bed last night, I had the full intention of writing this when I woke up today - the coincidence of last night's events have made it seem even more powerful in my mind, but even without this, it's a film I highly recommend. Not easy viewing, for sure, but highly recommended.
The horrific events of September 11th 2001 where the twin towers in New York were attacked and destroyed by terrorists are one of those events that you will always remember and remember what you were doing when the news broke. It was an event that changed the face of the world forever and will never the be the same. It's hard to imagine it was nearly 9 years ago now. I have to admit whenever I watch reportso on that fateful day it still fills me with terror and is harrowing.
For the likes of myself who were not directly affected by these events we were able to carry on as normal, but I feel for all those that were affected directly and lost loved ones and family in the aftermath. United 93 is a movie that recounts those events and shows we must never forget.
The movie starts with a prayer from one of the hijackers as he takes a moment to talk to his god about this actions and the calm before the storm.
All begins that day quietly and normally and no-one is aware of the horror that is to follow. At the air traffic control systems command centre the night shift is finishing and the day shift is getting started.
Meanwhile at the Air traffic control centre in Boston, American Flight 11 has stopped responding to the tower. It appears that the flight is off course and someone suggests that this could be a hijacking but at this stage nobody realises the importance of that suspicion.
As the movie progresses the true story unfolds in real time. The flight that is off course is Flight United 93. Reports start to come in that a small plane has struck the North tower of the World Trade Centre. It is quite disturbing I thought in this film to see the poor level of communication between air traffic controllers in the different centres across the country.
The final part of the movie concentrates on what takes place on board united 93 flight. This is made largely based on the real transcripts that were received relating to actual phone tools from the plane by passengers to loved ones. We switch between many different emotions between the passengers beginning to realise what is happening and then despairing and then realising they needed to do something to take action and try to regain control. I think it's hard to imagine how any of us would react in that situation knowing that we most probably faced imminent death.
The great thing about this adaptation is that it didn't disguise any of the events or make them seem better than they were. Nothing was cleaned up and the who horror and bruatality of the events were laid bare for all to see. It is not made like a disaster movie with background dramatic music as this is portraying real life events that shook the whole world to it's very core.
The hijackers themselves are not just shown as ruthless men who are hell bent on taking lives, but also human as well with their own fears and are as frightened as others. They themselves are taking orders and have to follow them for that they believe in. I personally don't have any sympathy for them but the movie did make an effort to show their insecurities as well.
If you want to relive these events and watch a powerful accurate film about this historic event then this is a must see then definately worth watching, but if you can't bear to watch again as these events unfolded then probably best to avoid.
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
The mainstream film about 9/11 is undoubtedly the Nicolas Cage/Oliver Stone collaboration World Trade Center, but the best one is United 93, which was written, co-produced, and directed by Bourne Supremacy helmer Paul Greengrass. The film is a dramatic reconstruction of the events of United Airlines Flight 93, which was hijacked on September 11th, 2001, with the intention of being as authentic as possible, to the extent of asking the families what clothes their departed loved ones where wearing, and even having the same air traffic controllers from that day be in the film.
We were all worried that something like this might wind up painfully exploitative, but Greengrass has done the event a real service by sticking to realism and only showing what we know about the events. Those on-board aren't all-American heroes who take the bad guys down and save the day: they're scared people who make a decision to storm the cockpit, with dark consequences.
While it features no soundtrack and is almost documentary-like in style, it manages to be more genuine and affecting than Stone's film as a result: it's difficult to call the film manipulative, and any sentiment it induces is well-earned. What I admire most is how even-handed the film is: the victims and the terrorists are both dealt a fairly non-judgemental light, and we don't have the terrorists shouting "ALLAH AKHBAR!" every five seconds like a stereotypical jihad.
A very mature, neutral look at the events of that day. Very visceral, and purportedly, very accurate, Greengrass' resistance against painting characters in moral shades of black and white is what makes this so engrossing. The final shot is truly chilling.
United 93 was on the TV lately as part of a remembrance of the 9/11 atrocities, with other films, documentaries and press coverage also covering the events. I watched World Trade Center first, and can't say I was overly impressed by it as a either a tribute or an informative recollection. This is despite it having bigger names in the cast and greater popularity than United 93, which I thought was easier to watch on the whole.
It's difficult to review a film like this as it's based on real events and so is not designed to entertain as such. Therefore, I really hope I don't offend by any of my comments.
United 93 tells the story of the one plane, hijacked by terrorists on 9/11/2001, which didn't reach its target. This offers something a little different to other films and documentaries, such as World Trade Center, as it focuses on the hijack of the plane, rather than the aftermath of those that crashed into their targets.
This was released in 2006 and so there were a few years in which the directors and crew were able to collate facts and figures and design the film to replicate the events. I was going to say 'accurately replicate the events', but saying something definite like that would be a great source of debate, especially as the events of 9/11 are already subject to conspiracy theories and the like.
Throughout the 106 minute running run, the majority of scenes are filmed from within the plane. There are, however, scenes showing the air traffic controllers and stations that were in contact with the plane during this time.
We see the events unfold initially with the terrorists preparing for their 'job', and scenes of them later amongst the innocent passengers as they wait to board their flight.
The actors who are on the flight are representative of the average passengers, and I don't recall seeing A-list actors anywhere sticking out like a sore thumb and distracting the attention from the meaning of the film. The focus is therefore on these passengers, the terrorists, and the atmosphere within the increasingly claustrophobic plane.
United 93 is rated certificate 15 as this contains scenes of violence, though as it recounts true events, they feel far more harrowing.
The film works in the sense that atmosphere and tension is built up to the point where it's almost hard to watch, and the films draws you in to experience how it may have felt to be on board that plane.
It also works because it draws out a range of emotions and I don't think anyone who watches could remain unstirred and unsettled. At first, because I knew what was going to happen, I wanted to shout at them not to get on the plane. A huge sense of grief, empathy for the passengers, families and friends, and great sadness strikes when the terrorists take control of the plane.
Force and violence is used as the terrorists battle to control the passengers, and some passengers decide to fight back as they become aware that if they don't they'll go down with the plane anyway. This was brutal and stomach-churning at times, but necessary as this is what happened and without it we wouldn't have had a true sense of the intensity of the situation.
We don't see the plane actually crash down, or the events after this, but we see the plane heading straight down. We're made aware at the end, by way of text, that the plane thankfully failed to hit its target but that no there were no survivors of flight 93.
As I've said, this isn't a film to entertain, more of an informative tribute to those who lost their lives or were affected by the events. Because of that, things like shaky camera work can't really be reviewed as such. None the less, the film has a sense of realism, intensity and drama, and evoked emotive reactions.
It's a film I would recommend, if only to allow you to get a better feel for what happened and to allow a more empathetic approach to be taken. I know I felt shocked after watching it, even though this is years after the events and I knew what had happened, how many people lost their lives...
It's a harsh, brutal and sad film, but one that hopefully inspires a solidarity in human compassion.
I'm sure you all remember the appalling few hours that encapsulated the hatred Al Qaeda have for America and its citizens. While the multiple tragedies unfolded that day I remember being glued to Sky News, simultaneously weeping for the lives lost and railing against the appalling American government whose strict and completely unfair foreign policies were undoubtedly the catalyst for the attacks. However, politics aside, what happened on 9/11 was truly sobering. The news coverage that day was punctuated with stutters and stammers as even our highly professional newsreaders struggled with their emotions and sought words that would perhaps comfort us.
Since that day, eight years ago, I have had an interest in the atrocities born of the fact that it was such a very frightening time even for those of us living over the pond in the UK. I think a lot of us watch and read as much as we can about 9/11 simply because we find it so very hard to comprehend the vileness of the perpetrators and the vast loss of life that occurred. However, don't you find that the majority of programmes, films and documentaries based on the events of this day are highly sensationalised? Made by movie moguls with ratings in mind, rather than telling the true story of the attacks? I do, so when I was given a copy of the United 93 DVD it sat on the shelf for months as I simply couldn't bring myself to open and watch it - I shall be honest, the thought of watching another 9/11 film left me feeling quite cold as I simply did not believe it could do justice to the terror and bravery of the passengers on the flight who sacrificed their lives to avoid the plane crashing into the White House.
There isn't a huge plotline to this film and as far I can see the makers have attempted to keep it as close to real events as possible. The first segment of the film is dedicated to showing ordinary Americans making their preparations for the flight, of course none of them are aware that anything is amiss on that particular day and in the US they have much more of an air travel culture than we do in the UK so they are setting out on trips that many of them have undertaken many times before. Obviously, as the viewer I was aware of the tragic outcome of the flight so watching these poor people go about their daily lives was extremely harrowing and filled me with dread. Interspersed with these scenes were clips showing the terrorists as they made the final adjustments to their plans, these sections were filmed in a jerky manner which immediately made the viewer aware that they were 'the bad guys' and despite knowing exactly how the film was going to end I found myself hoping that they would have a change of heart or that something would happen to prevent them boarding the plane.
Of course, as we all know they did get on the plane and wreaked the havoc which resulted in the deaths of all onboard. When the hijackers make themselves known there is a hint of disbelief on United 93, I think the film tried to show us that none of the passengers initially believed they were in the midst of a major terrorism incident although when they were told about the horrors of the twin towers panic began to set in.
I have nothing but admiration for the Americans on board this flight. The film shows their survival instincts coming to the fore as they firstly thought there was a chance they may walk away from this cowardly, horrific attack and then as the realisation sunk in that this hijacking was part of a far bigger plan and it was unlikely any of them would survive.
The actors and actresses in United 93 were superb. I should imagine it was an extremely emotive film for them to be involved in and I silently thanked the casting agents for giving the roles to 'unknowns' as if there had been even one big name involved then I believe the film would have lost all credibility. As it was watching these people was a revelation as to how the real people on board the flight would have acted, albeit there would undoubtedly have been more panic in the real life situation and I doubt very much whether every passenger would have behaved in such a calm manner as they did in the film. Having said this, towards the end when the passengers in the film all realised they were going to die a series of telephone calls were made to their loved ones. I found this small segment to be extremely poignant and think that, for me at least, it really brought home the fact that they were real people with real feelings involved in this extraordinarily sad situation.
I also liked the fact that the camera would sometimes skip to what was happening in the control room, where the events of that appalling day were unfolding at breakneck speed. I believe many of the people in the control room were the real flight controllers and engineers who were involved in the actual United 93 hijacking. This must have been appalling and invigorating for these people in equal measure because despite the fact there was nothing they could have done to help the passengers, they must have been filled with remorse and anger at this event happening on 'their watch'.
The camera work on United 93 was perfect for such a very emotional and dramatic film. Filmed in real time it was very choppy, focussing upon the terrified reactions of the passengers on the flight which in my opinion was the right way to go as I've seen too many dramas which have inadvertently glorified terrorism through allowing the viewer to bond far too well with the terrorists. In this film you see glimpses of the hijackers but never for one moment are you allowed to feel any empathy or strength of feeling towards these vile men who hold human life in such disregard.
Watching United 93 put me in mind of a snuff movie; although these obviously weren't the real people who died on that sunny day in Pennsylvania, it felt like a very voyeuristic 111 minutes as in essence you're watching the final moments of real people even though they were being portrayed by actors. The end sequence where the passengers attempt to take back control of the flight left me feeling numb and caused goosebumps to break out all over my body, the emotions I felt as I watched the events unfolding were varied but mainly I felt shock and absolute devastating horror. I'd be lying if I said I immediately heralded the bravery of the passengers as this emotion came later on as I sat stunned after the final credits had ended.
United 93 (the film) has come in for some criticism since it's release. From various quarters I've heard that the actors weren't right for the roles, there were breaks in continuity and even glaring errors about what life is like in the control room whilst such a massive event is taking place. If I could get a hold of one of these critics I'd like to shake them for surely they realise this film wasn't made to titillate or create a realistic film of life on an aircraft but, in essence, as a tribute to the amazingly brave passengers on the flight whose selfless sacrifice surely saved many other lives on the ground.
There are just three bonus features on the disc, all of which are moving and emotional to the point that I have merely glanced through them and not watched in any great detail. The first is sixty minute feature entitled The Families and the Film, this is very hard to watch as it's basically the relatives of those killed on United 93 giving their account of the day and how they reacted upon the news of the death of their loved ones. They also discuss why they wanted to support the making of United 93 and tell the viewer how important it was to them to see their relatives' achievements marked in this way.
The second bonus feature is a commentary from Paul Greengrass, the director of the film, and the third and final feature is a series of written biographies in which the passengers and crew of the flight are remembered by the people who knew them best.
So not many bonus features, but then it would be in extremely bad taste had any features been included which weren't directly related to the tragedies so I honestly think they were chosen very wisely.
I've just watched United 93 on the TV and enjoyed it more than I thought I would, my dad has had the DVD for ages but I've never watched it because it looked too depressing but when there was nothing on TV tonight I decided to give it a try.
The film is based on board one of the planes from 9/11, United 93 was the plane that was supposed to hit the White House but the passengers fought back against the hijackers and forced the plane to crash land in a safe area where the only deaths would be the people on the plane.
It's done in a very sad way because as the film starts you see all the passengers getting on the plane like they would on a normal day but the camera work is done in a choppy way that makes it obvious that something bad is going to happen.
When the terrorists take over the plane I think the frightened looks of the passengers are amazing and so life like because it must have been so terrifying to be in that position and I think the actors showed their talent in these scenes.
There are no big names in United 93 and that's good because such a serious story shouldn't be overshadowed by the Hollywood stars. All the actors were brill though and they acted with the terror and fear that all of the passengers must have been feeling on that horrible day.
The end was very moving because all rational speech stopped and the film was very chaotic with the passengers all screaming and the terrible sounds of the terrorists chanting their prayers above it all. The men playing the hijackers were also very realistic and I think they portrayed the emotions of the extremists in a true way because even though they were on a suicide mission they must have been scared themselves as the time came for them to die. I think there was a bit of remorse in one of the terrorists as well because if you watch the man who has the bomb on him then you can see that there are loads of different emotions on his face and I think one of them might be guilt.
This was based on this tragic flight but obviously it has been mostly made up because no-one got out of any of the 9/11 crashes alive. I think a lot of it has been based round the phone calls the passengers made to their families when they realised their flight wasn't going to go as they had planned when they left their home that morning. Some of the passengers are shown making these phone calls and that was a distressing part of the film because the camera would linger while they pressed the button to end the call and then you knew that the person had accepted the fact that they were about to die.
Some of the film takes part away from the plane and in the control room which made the story seem more fast paced than if they'd set it completely on the plane. It was strange watching this because they wanted to help the passengers but even though they did what they could there wasn't much they could do in the end to stop what happened. I think the main emotion in the control room was anger because the trained staff felt so helpless but they did show grief for the people on the plane as well.
I would recommend this film to you all and because of the subject matter it's a very moving film but the story is given in an interesting way and hasn't been made sensational like a lot of the dramas based on 9/11 are.
Film Review Only:
United 93 is a very touching and emotional film based on one of the events that took place on 9/11 in 2001. The film focuses on the one flight - United Airlines flight 93, which departed Newark airport in New York and headed for San Francisco. The terrorists on board aimed to crash the plane into the Washington building.
The terrorists speak in their own language in the film but you see subtitles at points too. All of the acting is done according to what was known and what was thought to have happened on the plane. Loads of phone calls were made, which are also acted out during the film and the setting created is really quite emotional.
4 terrorists, who had knives, hijacked the plane and one even strapped a bomb to himself - whether it was real, no one knew. The terrorists attacked and killed a number of people including the pilot and the other cockpit crew after forcing their way in. The film is quite bloody at times so not for the faint hearted!
It's a really touching film and I would say it was acted out very well. It gives a terrifying account of what really happened and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it as it was interesting and very touching. Despite this, I resorted to punching a pillow very hard after the movie to release annoyance and stress built up during it.
The most satisfying thing about the movie is that the passengers actually fought back towards the end and tried to regain control. They did thankfully torture a couple of the terrorists, which was good to know. The film gets quite dynamic, quickly switching between the scene on flight 93 and in the control centres. The camera action is pretty good although some of the fighting is very blurred and you can't quite tell what's going on, which gives a sense of franticness that was obviously present during the flight. It's a very touching film and I'd recommend watching it to get an insight into what really happened with flight 93.
Thanks for reading,
United 93 (2006) is a film directed by Paul Greengrass (Bourne Trilogy fame). It chronicles the onboard events of this doomed flight on 9/11 as it has become known. 11th September 2001, for those needing a reminder, was the date of the terror attacks on America in which the World Trade Towers were destroyed.
The film starts very calmly with passengers arriving at Newark Airport, New Jersey and follows the process that any frequent flyers can easily relate to, the boarding of the plane, the safety demonstration, the take off. Everything about air travel is beautifully and realisitclly captured.
On the plane is shows the work of the various avation authorities and air-traffic controllers. It is here that the first signs for concern appear as planes start dis-appearing and losing contact with air traffic controllers.
For the first few hours this is just a normal flight, to the viewer it appears that one of the would be hyjackers has lost his bottle. However, as the history books will testify this calm doesn't last long.
One of the most interesting things about this film is that some of its stars were involved on the day for real. They wanted to tell their story in film and this element keeps it real and makes it a stirring watch.
The scenes in the airtraffic control centres amaze me. How do people on a daily basis live under the pressure that these people are under? I make mistakes in my job but nobody gets hurt. These people make a slight mistake and hundreds of people die. Thats on a normal day, how do they remain so professional and calm on a day like 9/11?
For anyone alive on this day this will remain the one event that they will always remember. Seeing the planes hit the twin towers is a moment that will stay with me forever. Seeing this film takes this event from a phyiscal attack on a nation to an attack on individuals. The characters on the plane trying to save themselves.
It does raise the question, what would you do? The courage of those onboard saved United 93 from hitting its target and killing hundreds on the ground. This film perfectly captures that unbeliveble courage.
The end sequence of the film is immense with the plane coming to its final and tragic resting place. This is a great film, taking a very raw and emotive event and protraying it is an accessable and delicate manner, such a huge task to take on. A great film to ensure that the memories and courage of the passengers on United 93 is always remembered.
This was the must see movie of 2006.
WOW! What a movie. What sets this movie apart is the fact that they do not depict the terrorists on this fated flight to be complete idiots. They also show thier emotion and the feeling of dread that comes across from them as they realise what they are about to embark on is really rather human. It is difficult to know what genre to put this movie into as some of the scenes are so realistic and brutal (Not in a bloody violent way) that it could very well sit in horror as you put yourself in the shoes of the people on the plane. I was gripped with terror and I wondered if faced with the same situation, what would I do. I hope I never find out. This movie kind of slipped under the radar a little bit but gave a truck load of unknowns one of the best movies of the year. A real movie to test what you are made of.
Just bought the dvd of United 93 and was amazed at how amazing the film was. Despite the worry that the film was made as a Hollywood blockbuster type movie, this is not the case.
The film is an accurate account of what happened on the day of September 11th 2001, and at times it feels like you are watching events as if they are happening now, it is that real. The story shows the amount of confusion on the day, with communication between various government bodies none existent.
The story of the passengers on United 93 is harrowing, and the film very cleverly makes you feel that you are on board the plane fighting for survival with everyone else.
Despite everyone knowing the outcome of what happened to United 93, the film still makes you feel they have a fighting chance of winning the battle with the hijackers, and you are literally screaming for them to do it.
The ending brought me to tears, and you can't do anything but feel sorry for the horror the passengers went through. They knew that they were going to die if they did nothing, so had nothing to lose with trying to retake the plane.
Everyone should see this film, as a reminder of why we must continue to fight terrorism.
RIP to all the passengers of United 93.
I remember when United 93 was coming out there was a lot of controversy surrounding it - some people thought it might be too soon to be making a film about the September 11th Terrorist Attacks. But it has been 5 years, and I suppose it is easy enough for me to say as a non US Citizen that it feels like it is long enough for the subject to be broached. The movie is filmed in an almost documentary style and in real time. Basically it tells the tale of Flight 93 as best as it can with the information available and a disclaimer that some of the events had to be dramaticised as just not enough was known. It is a very harrowing film, maybe made just that bit worse because you know how it is going to end, and, although I cannot be sure just how much of it is real or accurate, it did hit me in ways I had not expected. Was it too soon to make a film like this? I suppose it's not up to me to decide. But the film was made with the approval of the relatives of the victims so that, for me, is enough justification for someone's right to make such a movie. And a powerful movie it is too.
United 93 released in 2006 is an American September 11th documentary drama film based on all the evidence gathered from United Airlines Flight 93. It is directed by Paul Greengrass, an English born director famed for his production of the Bourne Trilogy.
J.J. Johnson ... Captain Jason Dahl
Gary Commock ... First Officer LeRoy Homer
Polly Adams ... Deborah Welsh
Opal Alladin ... CeeCee Lyles
Starla Benford ... Wanda Anita Green
Trish Gates ... Sandra Bradshaw
Nancy McDoniel ... Lorraine G. Bay
David Alan Basche ... Todd Beamer
Richard Bekins ... William Joseph Cashman
Susan Blommaert ... Jane Folger
Ray Charleson ... Joseph DeLuca
Christian Clemenson ... Thomas E. Burnett, Jr.
Liza Colón-Zayas ... Waleska Martinez
Lorna Dallas ... Linda Gronlund
Denny Dillon ... Colleen Fraser
September 11, 2001, just another ordinary day. The film opens with hijackers praying in a hotel room, and then leaving for the airport. Captain Jason Dahl the plane pilot says goodbye to his wife before leaving for the airport.
At the airport, everything runs smoothly; the passengers (including Hijackers) and crew pass through security and board an internal United Airlines flight. However the smooth running is roughed up when Flight 93 runs into peak time traffic, and the flight delayed. The other 3 would-be-hijacked flights take off.
Flight 93 does take off and passes by Manhattan & Downtown New York. One of the hijackers catches a final glance of the World Trade Center before the plane gets airborne.
Air traffic control notice one plane has turned right towards the centre of New York, and soon after reports come in about a plane having crashed into the North Tower. Whilst Air traffic is preoccupied with trying to work out what has happened, the other plane strikes the South Tower.
News of the attacks reaches the plane by passengers illegally using their phones, but at the same time hijackers don red headscarves and take over the plane.
Without trying to ruin the rest of the story, however well known it may already be, the passenger's phone home, contact their loved and dearest, before risking their own lives, to save potentially tens of thousands.
The soundtrack for this film was produced by John Powell. Although there are no star tracks, the overall quality is very good, it add loads to film mostly through mood. My favourite track is Prayers.
It is by no means an understatement when I say this is the most moving film that I have watched. On paper this film could have been an absolute disaster but with a world class director, no star actors, a plot as close to the truth as is possible they have produced one of the best films of this millennia if not ever.
This film is as close to perfection as is possible, minus the doggy CGI at the end. The story is world class, acting outstanding, music brilliant.
I defy anybody not to cry at the end.
91% Rotten Tomatoes
1) World Trade Centre
2) Into the fire
3) Countdown to Ground Zero
September 11th 2001 will be remembered by everyone who was aware of the news at that point, going down with legendary events as Diana dieing in 1997 and the assassination of JFK and Martin Luther King.
Thousands of people lost their lives that day as Western Society and America was attacked by Muslim militants. Four planes were hijacked, 3 met their targets, one did not. United 93 is the tale of that plane, set in 'real' time, this film is most definitely the most intensely emotional film I have ever seen. Based upon recordings that could be heard by other planes and transmission centres, united 93 tells of the Heroes of 9/11.
The film opens as 4 hijackers pray to Allah in the morning before they board that plane. The camera captures the care free attitude of the passengers as they bored the plane, chat away to friends, look back on a holiday, look forward to a holiday. These snap shop images don't just represent the people on that plane, but every American citizen who woke up with that care free attitude that day before they were cruelly forced to reflect.
United 93 not only features just the plane journey but also that of the people situated in Airport transmission centres, places monitoring air traffic control and also the army. In fact many of the people featured in these scenes are in fact those who were working on that day. These scenes get both praise and criticism from me.
I like the fact that during these scenes the surprise and laid back attitude of the monitors is shown. Airplane disappearing of signal and the sound of hijackers is greeted with open arms almost. "A Hijack?" We haven't had one of them for 20years!" I think the little captions like that give the film that 'real' edge that could have been lacking otherwise.
However the buzz of the techies going about the business nattering away in techno-gibberish was hard to follow. The amount of centres shown got me in a right muddle as i hadn't a clue sometimes what centre I was at or what the heck these guys were talking about. This confusion would be my only criticism of the film.
The film starts of slow and slowly builds up and up until a final crescendo. I can only liken the ending to titanic but a lot more intense. You know the out come but how does it get there. I was watching it drastically wanting the passengers to win to recapture the plane and land safely again. But as events played out that didn't happen.
It was emotional stuff as the passengers of the plane held there last minute conversations with their loved ones. Exchanging messages that will be remembered forever by them and also as the passengers realised what was happening as they learn about the twin towers; prompting them to die a hero's death and try stop these bastards from killing more/targeting America's Capital Building. The film captures the teamwork and spirit of the plane heroically and the spirit of the Air Hostesses was fantastically shown as they scrambled make shift weapons from hot water to bottles of wine.
I found this film gripping stuff with an emotional climax. The ending was at the correct point and any longer would have taken some of the rawness away from the film.
Paul Greengrass directed this film and i applaude him for what is a superb piece of cinema in which these people can be remembered.
If you like intense documentary style films you should rent this film out. Similar to titanic, its a film you know the outcome but desperately want to change it. For Hollywood to put its influence on the film make everything all right.
The film was widely seen as one of the must see of 2006 and generally should be watched by everyone who can stomach it!
This film is a terrific memorial to those who lost their lives on that plane. When I think of 9/11 it will be these people I remember that day as they started the war on terror and won the first battle. I think of these people as well just for a massive middle finger at the bastards that carried out those atrocities that day, since that day and those who will carry them out in the future.
This film is based on the true events of 9/11 that shook the world. Four planes were hijacked that day, three of which hit their target; this film follows the story of the fourth plane.
The film has many characters, yet no main characters or lead roles. It is the story of forty ordinary strangers who came together to try to fight against the four terrorists taking over their plane. The film doesn't just focus in on one or two of these passengers, but shows the story of them all as a whole. All the actors used were relative unknowns, which I felt worked better for this sort of film than if there was someone instantly recognisable in there. The unknowns gave it a more realistic feel. Whilst there was a lot of characters in the film this obviously means not as much character development can be done in the time scale than when focussing on just a few main roles. Due to the film being based on real events, there was just enough character development, as you couldn't help but care for these characters anyway, knowing this really happened. Had it been a completely fictional story then the lack of character development may have made me not care too much for the characters, but this wasn't the case here. Despite not being you're well known actors, all the cast put in outstanding performances on such an emotive film.
First up I'm going to hold up my hands in complete ignorance and admit; I knew nothing about this fourth plane before watching the film. I didn't in fact even remember the third plane until it was mentioned in the film. I know that sounds shockingly bad of me, but I was only 16 when it happened, and a little wrapped up in my own world and whilst of course I clearly remembered the Twin Towers, I don't think I had heard much if anything about the other two planes.
For me at least going into the film, this added a different aspect to most, in that I DIDN'T know what was going to happen.
That said, for most people, everyone already knows the story, and of course the outcome and the ending, and if this is the case you may think that the movie won't have you on the edge of your seat, as you already know from the outset how it's all going to end up.
What I would say is that when I watched this for the second time, and obviously knew what had happened by this point (not only from watching the film before, but also doing some research on the matter) that I was just as gripped and on the edge of my seat as the first time I watched it and despite knowing how it was going to end I was willing things to happen.
So for me I spent the first part of the movie wondering what on earth was going on, as I had expected this to be a film about one of the planes that crashed into the Twin Towers. After both planes had crashed I was left feeling confused. Then the third plane crashed and I was even more confused. Putting the confusion aside, I watched the story of the fourth plane and put aside any questions I had for later.
The film was utterly gripping and tense throughout and this remained the same even when watching it the second time. The fact that it is a true story of course affects you more, and it was very emotional to watch. There were grown men crying in the cinema where I first saw this. It was quite difficult and disturbing to watch but utterly compelling at the same time.
It is definitely one of the tensest films I have ever watched and it's one of those where you almost hold your breath the whole way through. Whether you know how it ends or not you are willing things to happen, on multiple watching even though you've seen it before you are willing parts of the movie to change. It's the sort of film where you feel like almost screaming at the screen in a "no don't run up the stairs!" sort of way, although obviously there are no stairs here, but you get my point, you want to save the character from their fate and will them to make the right choice that could save themselves.
This film is definitely not light entertainment; in fact it is hard to call a film dealing with such a horrendous matter entertainment at all. That said it is gripping throughout and I think as well as the empathy everyone feels for those affected by 9/11, there is also our own personal fears of something like this happening to us that heightens this experience, in a "what would I do if happened to me" way.
It is a very emotional film, and one that will stay with you a long time after watching. I feel that this is mainly because of the true subject matter, and as a fictional film I'm not sure if this would have affected me all that much, or even if I would have rated it. That said it's impossible to disentangle this from the true events and assess it just as a film, which is essentially what makes this film a success. It does kind of cash in on peoples emotions and use an event like this to make a film that's sure to be a success, as its impossible not to be affected by this film due to the subject nature.
That said the film did seem to be done quite well, it built the tension well, and dealt with the matter as accurately as I could imagine it having been. It did feel very real, which only added to the experience.
Director: Paul Greengrass
Runtime: 111 Mins Approx
The facts behind this movie are very sad. And it is one of those days that everyone will always remember where they were at the time and what they were doing. I was about 12 years old when the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001, and I was in my geaography lesson at school, and the teacher brought the tv into the class, and everyone was getting excited thinking we were going to be watching a movie, but once he actually turned the TV everyone quickly fell silent, while watching the shocking images on the news.
=== Disk 1: Main Feature. ===
This movie is a docudrama, written and directed by Paul Greengrass.
The film starts, early on September 11th 2001, in a hotel room, with hijackers praying. We then see the planes crew and passengers, arriving at the airport, and the air traffic crew preparing to do their daily routines.
After a slight delay, in which time we are hoping that it won't take off, although we truely know the outcome, the flight finally takes off, Not long after a plane crashes into the World Trade Centre, At first, everyone believes this is an accident, but after hearing a strange transmission from one of the other planes, the air traffic crew are certain something is wrong.
Back on United 93, we see the hijackers disagreeing on the best time to put their plans into action. One of the terrorists rushes into the toilet, where he asembles a fake bomb, using clay and wiring, and tells the others that it is time. 2 of them stab a passenger with a knife, and then break into the cockpit, killing both pilots. They then put a picture of their target into the cockpit and lock the door.
After become increasingly convinced that something is wrong, the FAA Director of Operations, Ben Sliney decides to close all US airspace and ground all aircraft.
Lots of passengers start using their mobile phones, and the planes, phones to call their loved ones and tell them whats happening, And after hearing about the World Trade Centre being crashed into, they start to realise what is going on, and that if they don't do anything to stop it they are all going to die, and lots more people on the ground may also be killed.
They decide to storm the cockpit and try to reclaim the plane, and they make a phone call to family and friends once again to tell them of what they intend to do. The crew and passengers, then salvage anything they can find and make weapons from them, they are all still wary of whats going to happen if they do manage to take the plain, but then they find out that one of the passengers is a pilot, although he hasn't flown a commercial plane before and they decide to go ahead with their plans.
They all rush towards the terrorists, and as one of the hijackers slashes at them with a knife, the passengers over power him, and soon realise the bomb is a fake. He tries to get into the cockpit, and attacks the passengers with a trolley, mace and a fire extinguisher. One of the passengers, gets him and breaks his neck.
We then see them storm the cockpit, where the other hijackers have belted themselves in to make it harder for them to be removed. And as they are all fighting over the flights controls, the plain is heaing towards the ground
=== My Opinion. ===
This film is extremely sad, but also very powerful at showing us what a group of brave passengers, would go through to stop terrorist attacks on their country. I haven't said exactly what happens at the end of the movie, but we all know what did happen to the poor people on the plane and the ending is very upsetting. Director Paul Greengrass does a remarkable job at allowing us to see what happened, and by using non-famous actors, we get a deeper sense of realism to the film, which makes it more powerful and upsetting to watch.
The film will definetly upset most viewers, so I'd only reccomend watching it if you really want to know what happened. Due to the nature of the film, I can't really say the film was entertaining, but it did its job of showing the bravery of the passengers, who at the time of getting on the plane were strangers to each other, but towards the end they were all united together in stopping the threat.
5 out of 5 stars.
(Also Posted on Ciao.)
A real time account of the events on United Flight 93, one of the planes hijacked on 9/11 that crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania when passengers foiled the terrorist plot.