United 93 Reviews
Nobody makes films like Paul Greengrass. He brings a raw realism to everything he does. Here, with 'United 93', he focuses on the four hijack missions that took place on September 11th 2001, specifically the one that didn't reach its target. It's emotional, unbearably intense and profoundly unnerving. Not a movie that you'll enjoy, but one that you must see.
Intense, realistic and utterly compelling. Mixing dramatisations of actual events, eg the air traffic control scenes, with best guess estimates of what happened in United 93 we have a movie that is part-docu-drama, part-fiction (though probably quite close to the truth). This gives the movie a great grittiness.
Very well set up too. The scenes of passengers and crew getting on the plane are like any flight. This makes the movie even more engaging, as it shows it the characters were just everyday people going about their everyday lives, until fate changed that.
Even when action is called for, there's no gung ho, Bruce Willis-like heroics. It's all pretty realistic and engaging.
The sense of realism and real people is helped by having a cast of largely unknowns. Many of the air traffic controllers and some of the USAF personnel are played by themselves. No Hollywood pretentiousness and glamour.
And then there's the tension. Director Paul Greengrass builds the intensity well, and ends the movie at the height of it, i.e. perfectly.
Even though you know how it is going to end, you can't look away for a second, it is that compelling.