*** Official UNITED 93 Review Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Quentin, Apr 28, 2006.

  1. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

    Feb 4, 2002
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    Los Angeles
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    Quentin H
    I have seen it.

    Word to the wise - do NOT see it alone. This is a film that dredges up powerful emotions and you really need someone to discuss it with afterward.

    I honestly am not sure what I think of it as a film. It's well made...but, more documentary than narrative. It's just more of an event than a movie.
  2. Bryan Beckman

    Bryan Beckman Second Unit

    Mar 2, 2005
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    Edit: This was originally posted in the discussion thread, but now that it's in the review thread, I'd like to officially give it an A- grade. This rating applies solely to the film itself, and not to the actual events on which it is based.

    I just got back from an early afternoon screening. The film was excellent, but similar to my reaction to Munich, I'll need some more time to fully digest what I've seen.

    Most of the reviews I've read warn that the film may be too much for some people to handle, graphically and emotionally. Graphically (while it's on my mind), I found Munich to be much tougher to watch, probably because Spielberg allowed his camera to remain stationary for many scenes. Greengrass' camera moves so quickly that my brain wasn't able to process all of the action that was going on. If anything, I got a little queasy from all the shakiness. Those who couldn't stand The Bourne Supremacy for all the handheld shots may not like this one either.

    Emotionally . . . I guess I'm still waiting for that reaction to occur inside me. Maybe it will. Maybe it won't.

    Cinematically, I think (with the possible exception of the constant shaky-cam), that Greengrass made all the right choices. He doesn't hit us over the head with any sort of message, when there were numerous opportunities to do so. He simply lets events unfold before our eyes.

    I'm pretty sure now that what an individual takes away from the film is in large measure a function of how much he or she brings into it. For some people it's not the right time. For others it is. Some will see it for a hopeful catharsis from the events of that day. Others will see it for the human interest story. I saw it to gain understanding. Your mileage will vary, of course.
  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator

    Dec 9, 1998
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "United 93". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

    If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.

  4. Ray Chuang

    Ray Chuang Screenwriter

    Jan 26, 2002
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    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] out of [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    This is truly one of the most gripping films I've ever seen in many, many years--especially the last 45 minutes of the film. They have successfully captured the "feel" of that terrible morning; the images from that film will haunt you for days. [​IMG]

    Some people might not be able to take the emotionalism of this movie, but those who can will be rewarded with one of the best films of 2006--maybe one of the best in the last 4-5 years.

    I really hope its has strong Oscar consideration in 2007. [​IMG]
  5. Shane Dodson

    Shane Dodson Stunt Coordinator

    May 7, 1999
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    Two words I think best describe this movie...



    Both simultaneously.

    The final 30 minutes is the most intense experience I've ever had watching a movie.

    When that final shot (those who have seen it know exactly what I'm talking about) fades to black and then...SILENCE.

    The auditorium was moderately filled...but you could hear a pin drop. I've never experienced such a pronounced silence in my 30-plus years of seeing movies theatrically.

    It's not an easy movie to watch. It's not a movie I would even remotely call "enjoyable" or "entertaining" (but then, it doesn't even try to be) and I would dare say I have absolutely NO desire to see it again right now.

    But, for those who are ready for it, it is a movie that NEEDS to be seen.

    I have the utmost respect for Paul Greengrass as a filmmaker. He has pulled off what would seem to be impossible: a respectful, insightful, and completely non-exploitative unfolding of the events of that morning on September 11.


    - Shane D.
  6. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor

    Apr 19, 1999
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    Metro NYC
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    My review from the discussion thread:


    I wasn't prepared enough.

    My God.

    It was devastating for me. My heart was pounding from the opening credits and I thought I would have a cardiac arrest during the final unrelenting half hour.

    United 93 is as excellent and as powerful as you have heard. It is infinitely respectful of it's story and not sensational in any way, shape or form.

    As others have said, it's not a film to recommend or not. It is an experience unlike any other I have ever had watching a film, similar to TPOTC but different also.

    It's a film that celebrates courage, determination sacrifice, and above all, LOVE.

    If you see it, see it with someone you love.

  7. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator

    Jun 30, 1999
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    My emotions ran the gamut while watching this film that places the viewer inside the frightful situations faced by various air traffic control rooms, NORAD, and United 93 on that one fateful day in 2001. Amongst the confusion that drives the narrative of the film, it never loses its dramatic tension, instead, with each minute that passes, the stakes grow higher and higher, and by the time the film ends, the viewing experience leaves you drained in so many ways.

    The film is not easy to digest, and not for the casual movie-goer, but the horrific highjacking of United 93 and the passengers' response to their situation is nothing short of awe-inspiring in the face of the ultimate personal cost to each one onboard.

    There's no point in rating this film, just know that the narrative is told expertly in cinematic terms, and the question of seeing it is totally a personal choice.
  8. Dave Hackman

    Dave Hackman Stunt Coordinator

    Jan 11, 2000
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    A must see

    This movie definitely lives up to its high praise. It’s filmed in a manner that discourages detachment and facilitates the humanistic bonding for the men and women aboard United Airlines Flight 93 and their counterparts working inside the air traffic control towers. There wasn’t much time for meditating on what ifs or how comes due to the wonderful back and forth pacing between these two groups.

    The tension builds as the day unfolds with each switch of perspective one-upping the last, until only one of the four hijacked planes is left flying. From here, we stay aboard the United 93 plane and witness the final heroic but sad moments before impact.

    The most frustrating scenes in this movie derive from the unacceptable incompetent military response and the Bureaucratic controlling FAA. It appeared as if forms signed in triplicate were required as in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy before the simplest of actions would take place. The military seemed so lackadaisical and befuddled that they might as well have been asleep during the threat.

    None of the actors stood out and this is a compliment. They were all wonderfully real and all seemed like everyday folks going about their respected days.

    This is a great film and was a pleasure to watch.

  9. Simon Massey

    Simon Massey Cinematographer

    Aug 9, 2001
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    Simon Massey

    I echo the sentiments of many reviews here. Although I doubt I would want to watch it again, it was still worth seeing. I can't get over how unbelievably tense I felt during this film. An absolutely first class film from start to finish this could easily have been 2 films one from on the ground and one from in the air. Both stories were equally compelling and for the last half an hour was really hard to watch.

    What really made this film was that Greengrass recognised there was no need to try and manipulate any emotions - the events were powerful enough in themselves without any swelling music or speeches. An amazing film and a tribute to the people who died on United 93.
  10. Stephen Orr

    Stephen Orr Screenwriter

    Mar 14, 1999
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    Saw it tonight with wife and sister-in-law. Not a fun movie, but the best I have seen this year, and the most important I have seen in a LONG time. When they showed the footage of the second plane hitting the tower, I relived the moment...and I went cold again. Powerful, powerful film.
  11. todd stone

    todd stone Screenwriter

    Dec 1, 2000
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    fantastic movie. very emotional.
  12. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

    Jan 12, 1999
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    Monroe, LA
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    Tim Glover
    I was the first one at the door this morning at Blockbuster to get the new dvd of United 93.

    I always seem to have trouble reviewing a film like this. I am fearful of trivializing it by giving it a review. I can't separate the emotion of it all from how it's made. Same with Passion of the Christ.

    United 93 is by far the most powerful & intense movie I've seen this year. The final 30 minutes for me at least might just be the most intense, anxious, and riveting I've EVER been during a film. I'm fairly old too.

    The movie feels so short. It literally goes by with no fluff or garbage. Might just be the tightest and most focused screenplay in a long, long time.

    I love reading James Berardinelli's reviews. Even when I disagree with him, he writes well and I find alot of what he sees in films, I do too. I'll close with one of his remarks:

  13. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Screenwriter

    Aug 25, 1999
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    My wife and I just finished watching United 93 (on DVD) for the first time. We are both numb from the experience. We got so lost in this film that we stopped feeling like we were watching a movie and started feeling like we were onboard the plane. Absolutely incredible storytelling.

  14. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

    Dec 28, 1998
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    Yea amazing film really.

    Besides the emotional scenes already mentioned I also thought the FAA headquarters,air traffic control centers and NORAD scenes were excellent.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] out of 4 [​IMG]s from me.
  15. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

    Jan 16, 1998
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    Neil Joseph
    Even though we knew the outcome of this flight, I found myself hoping that the passengers could overcome the hyjackers and control the plane without it crashing... in other words, the film really puts you into the minds of the people involved.


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