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United 93  rating

Review: written 2006

Real and intense docudrama

This movie is intense, realistic, unflinching and moving. That is not to say it is a fantastic film - it is efficient and appropriate to the subject matter, but is definitely not shot in a cinematic style - it is claustrophobic and more interested in authenticity of characters and events than in exciting style - as well it should be. This works perfectly as you are never taken out of the feeling that you are actually watching the events unfold.

The movie is essentially a real time depiction of events on the plane, along with corroborating scenes in air traffic control, and especially the relatives on the receiving end of phone calls from the planes. The script and what we see has been hung primarily on the phone calls made from the plane on mobiles and air phones, giving the events a horrible authenticity. It is not the memory of two dimensional bad guys on a suicide mission you remember - the politics and response are not addressed here - it is above all the trauma and agonising loss of the people left on the ground that you remember - the real cost of the loss of United 93. It is impossible to watch and not imagine you and your loved ones in that situation - and this is where the film is a success, it makes a huge geopolitical terrorist event something personal and real to each of us.

A story of heroism in the face of tragedy that is an essential watch.

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