2006 - France, United Kingdom, United States - 111 minutes
Writer and Director - Paul Greengrass
Internet Movie Database User Rating - 7.9/10 - Link to IMDB
Roger Ebert's Rating - 4 of 4 Stars - Link to Ebert's Review
My Rating - 5 of 5 Stars

I added this film to my NetFlix queue with trepidation because I tend to shy away from films that exploit real-life tragedies, but it got such good reviews during the time it was in the theaters that I decided to give it a try. I'm so glad that I did because it is truly a rewarding experience.

To me, the events of 9/11 continue to be somewhat surreal in my mind. I sometimes have to remind myself that I, indeed, did see those two towers collapsing on television and think that just a few miles from my home, the Pentagon was laid waste by another attack. But the event of that day that has always been paramount in my mind was what took place in that airplane somewhere above Pennsylvania. That horrible day was surely not lacking in heroes, but those few ordinary people on that plane became, probably, the most extraordinary heroes of the day.

The film is extremely well done in that it does not contain any of those standard Hollywood elements normally associated with films of this sort. Instead, the viewer is given a close-up view of the events in the plane, at aviation tracking stations, and at military headquarters. As a viewer, you feel you are actually there observing the events as they happen.

The depiction of the hijackers reminded me of Paradise Now in that they are not evil devils but simply young men who have been brainwashed in order to carry out a mission of evil and destruction.

The thing that gave this DVD its fifth star in my rating was the documentary on the disc. It is an hour long and shows some of the actors in the film meeting the family members of the people they portrayed. What the family members have to say, and their lives since the time of the event are engrossing.

This film is very worthwhile viewing that gives further insight into an historical event that will be discussed and debated for many years to come.

Neil Turner
September 10, 2006

United 93