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United 93 (2006)

tomatometer

91

Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 203
Fresh: 184 | Rotten: 19

Potent and sobering, United 93 is even more gut-wrenching because the outcome is already known. While difficult to watch, director Paul Greengrass' film has been made with skill and treats the subject matter with respect, never resorting to the aggrandizement of which Hollywood has sometimes been accused. Especially effective is the cast of mostly unknown actors, who portray the passengers of the doomed flight as ordinary people who respond with bravery to extraordinary circumstances.

89

Average Rating: 8/10
Critic Reviews: 45
Fresh: 40 | Rotten: 5

Potent and sobering, United 93 is even more gut-wrenching because the outcome is already known. While difficult to watch, director Paul Greengrass' film has been made with skill and treats the subject matter with respect, never resorting to the aggrandizement of which Hollywood has sometimes been accused. Especially effective is the cast of mostly unknown actors, who portray the passengers of the doomed flight as ordinary people who respond with bravery to extraordinary circumstances.

audience

82

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 127,748

My Rating

Movie Info

Bloody Sunday director Paul Greengrass marks the five-year anniversary on the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States with this speculative meditation on the events that took place onboard the fourth hijacked plane, and the actions of the passengers who gave their lives to ensure the safety of others. Told in real time and acted out by a cast of unknowns who were provided with detailed studies of their real-life counterparts, United 93 attempts to reconstruct the airborne

R,

Drama, Action & Adventure

Paul Greengrass

Sep 5, 2006

$31.5M

Universal Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (212) | Top Critics (49) | Fresh (184) | Rotten (19) | DVD (32)

Greengrass takes pains to keep events believable and relatively unrhetorical, rejecting entertainment for the sake of sober reflection, though one has to ask how edifying this is apart from its reduction of the standard myths.

December 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (3)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

United 93 might be an insular response to a global tragedy, but -- taken on its own, limited terms -- it is powerful and sincere, giving reign to pity and fear without indulging jingoism or sentimentality. For that at least it deserves applause.

June 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This limitation in source material has had a peculiar effect on the script. Never is there a moment of repulsive sentimentality or exploitation, but neither is Greengrass able to realize an ultimate purpose.

May 12, 2006 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Even the undeniable heroism of the passengers on United 93 doesn't edify as it should.

May 3, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

... this is a picture we all must see.

April 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

... left me feeling curiously unmoved and even slightly resentful.

April 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Slate | Comments (4)
Slate
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Above all, one truth remains: the sacrifice of the 40 passengers on Flight 93 is truly remarkable. The film portrays their courage in the face of staggering odds in its own subjective and respectful way. It achieves what it wants as a film.

March 5, 2014 Full Review Source: Stop Smiling
Stop Smiling

A black hole

August 30, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion | Comments (8)
CinePassion

A flawed, but gripping well-crafted piece of drama...

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

This is not a film you go to for enjoyment, but because you have a duty to endure it.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source: BrandonFibbs.com
BrandonFibbs.com

a real-time reconstruction of events on the doomed flight that manages to encapsulate all the anxieties and sorrows of our age.

August 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

I can say that United 93 has been done well -- with intelligence, compassion, efficiency -- and yet still question whether it was worth doing.

July 25, 2007 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

A supreme achievement.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Amazingly detailed in its narrative cohesion and editing, United 93 is a noble tribute to the tragedy of 9/11.

February 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

Greengrass recreates the attacks on the World Trade Center utilizing existing news footage and it still retains the horror of that day. Despite knowing the ultimate outcome of this film, UNITED 93 is a harrowing and important film.

January 12, 2007 Full Review Source: Murphy's Movie Reviews
Murphy's Movie Reviews

Cinema verite at its very best!

January 4, 2007 Full Review Source: AALBC.com
AALBC.com

Unlike 'World Trade Center,' this harrowing chronicle has scarcely a hint of Hollywood. ...'United 93'... thrusts itself into the heart of the action, whether you're ready to go there or not.

December 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

...a story about the resolve of a group of strangers that banded together in the most difficult of times to do what they knew in their hearts was right.

December 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Nolan's Pop Culture Review

In a way, the film is a memorial. It honors the passengers who fought back by visualizing their experience and imprinting it on our screens for years to come.

November 10, 2006 Full Review Source: Christianity Today
Christianity Today

Un tenso y atrapante relato que imagina, con un realismo casi documental, lo que pudo haber sucedido a bordo del fatídico vuelo.

November 7, 2006 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

Impossible to recommend as a great Friday night out, yet agonisingly vital as thought-urging cinema.

November 4, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

It's a film for our time.

November 2, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

United 93 terrifyingly conveys the nature of the threat facing the world today and poignantly conveys onscreen the decision by a few brave individuals to fight back.

September 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound

reminds you how profound an effect a movie can have. How the hand guiding the camera, can dive into your guts, twist them around, and rip out feelings you never knew about

August 31, 2006 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

...a visceral, emotionally wrenching film and an appropriate, honorable tribute to the genuine heroes on that fateful flight.

August 29, 2006 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Audience Reviews for United 93

Required viewing every 9/11.

Stay tuned at themoviefreakblog.com for the full review.
September 1, 2013
spielberg00

Super Reviewer

out of all the things you could pick to make money off of, you chose this???
July 24, 2012
LoughnerWasLucid

Super Reviewer

While we can never be sure what exactly happened aboard this flight, the sober, realistic mood of this film paints a believable, appropriate portrait of the events. The film manages to stay concise and gripping, never seeming too long or too dull.
June 14, 2012
rjayhutchinson

Super Reviewer

Thomas E. Burnett, Jr.: We have to do something, they are not going to land this plane.

"United they stood."

United 93 tells the story of the one plane that doesn't reach the terrorists planned destination. It tells in extraordinary detail the events of the day from the ground and from the United 93 airplane. This movie is a sobering and terrifying film that looks real and makes you almost feel like you are in the plane too.

This story isn't an easy one to tell. Any minor detail could seem like exploitation if used in the wrong way, but this was done in such a fashion where you can tell Greengrass wasn't just using the events of that day, but telling a story about real life heroes. When the terrorists took the plane over, the passengers gathered near the back of the plane and came up with a plan to try to retake the plane. They knew the pilots didn't have control of the plane and they also knew that planes had been hitting the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon. So they acted in such a way that saved the lives of who knows how many people.

This isn't the easiest movie to get through. A lot of it is watched in a quiet trance, as you wish the story could end differently, but you know it won't. The starless cast makes this movie feel like real life. We aren't watching Russel Crowe or Brad Pitt in the plane trying to retake it. We are watching strangers and it goes a long way in making the film feel much more real.

United 93 mauy end up going down as the best movie ever made on 9/11. There's going to be many more made I'm sure, but this one just grabs the viewer and makes them relive the dread of that day through the people that had to endure that, and I'm not sure if another film about that day will ever be able to accomplish that as well as United 93.
February 12, 2012
blkbomb
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

    1. First Officer Leroy Homer Jr.: I don't care how many windows you break.
    – Submitted by Matt S (19 months ago)
    1. Todd Beamer: I got it, it's a fake!
    – Submitted by Kerby H (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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