United 93 (2006) – Encore Review

united 93“We have some planes.” – Mohammed Atta

Number of Times Seen – at least 5 times (Theater on 1 Sep 2006, at least twice on DVD, 18 April 2013 and 7 Jul 2015)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – Chronicles the events leading up to and including the fateful and courageous happenings aboard the doomed highjacked plane United 93 on 9/11.

My Take on it – This is very high on my list of all time favorite movies because it is such an intense visualization of true events.  Unfortunately, no one will ever know how close to the truth this movie is, but Director Paul Greengrass does a wonderful job of constructing a linear timeline of events on that fateful morning and delivers a heart-pounding 110 minutes of an intense thriller.

Despite knowing the tragic outcome, we get so involved in the story that we constantly root for the courageous men and women every minute of the way.

The choice to use unknown actors (or the real people in some cases) helps with focusing on the group instead of the individuals.

The camera movements and the intensely close filming make us feel like a fly on the wall during these events which raises the level of realism.

Really loved how they were able to ignore characters and locations as the story shifted purposely giving us no closure in exchange for advancing the story and action.

To me, this is one of the best movies ever because of its intensity and its ability to leave lasting impressions for many days, weeks, months and even years in its wake.

Bottom Line – Amazingly filmed in a way to make us feel as if we are experiencing everything along with the characters.  The realism is intense.  This is both a sad and moving film to watch due to its mixture of heroism and grief.  Loved how they minimized certain scenes and characters when they were no longer irrelevant to the events transpiring. Was glued to the screen once again for the entire running time and really felt the intensity and shock of it all, all over again.  Unbelievably made and I Highly Highly Recommend this movie.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia –  To make the movie as authentic as possible, director Paul Greengrass cast a number of real-life participants in the events of September 11, 2001 to play themselves. The principal “real-life role” in the movie is Ben Sliney, the FAA’s National Operations Manager, who made the decision on 9/11 to shut down all air traffic operations in the United States. Sliney had just been promoted to the National Operations Manager position, and September 11, 2001 was his first day on the job. (This explains why he receives applause from the FAA flight monitors when he walks into the control center in Herndon, VA, at the beginning of the movie.) Several officials who were with Sliney in the FAA control room on 9/11 play themselves (including Tobin Miller, Rich Sullivan, and Tony Smith). In the scenes at Newark Airport, several air traffic controllers who were in the Newark control tower on 9/11, and who witnessed the air attacks on the World Trade Center, play themselves. In the scenes at the air traffic monitoring centers in Boston, New York, and Cleveland, the air traffic monitors are all played by real-life air traffic controllers, including several who were at these locations on 9/11, and who monitored the hijacked flights. In the scenes at the Northeast Air Defense Command Center (NEADS) in Rome, NY, most of the military personnel are played by real-life military air traffic controllers, including several people (notably Major James Fox) who were at NEADS on 9/11. Also, on United Flight 93, the actors playing the pilots in the movie are real-life airline pilots, and the stewardesses are played by real airline stewardesses, some of whom actually work for United Airlines. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (no change from original review)


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13 thoughts on “United 93 (2006) – Encore Review

  1. Agreed man, this is an unbelievably well-made movie, but it’s so difficult for me to watch again. Kudos to you for doing so. Great trivia there, too. Had no idea that was that ATC’s first day on the job, that’s insane

    Liked by 1 person

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