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Written and directed by Paul Greengrass, United 93 was released into theatres five years after the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon to much critical acclaim. As You Know (we assume), the film is Based on a True Story. United 93 was one of the hijacked planes on 9/11; after the plane had been hijacked and word got out that the other hijacked planes had been crashed into the Twin Towers, the passengers rose up and took out the terrorists, leading to a Heroic Sacrifice when the plane crashed in a field in Pensylvania instead of its intended target, killing all aboard but doubtless saving many other lives. Greengrass approached the daunting challenge of retelling the events of the titular flight with the same cautious, apolitical tone with which he guided Bloody Sunday.

Using largely unknown actors and real professionals, the film was denounced as Too Soon by many, but lauded by many others as a gentle, much-needed catharsis. It plays out in Real Time across nearly two-hours and was filmed Faux Documentary style using separate isolated stages.

This movie contains examples of:

 "When was the last time we had a hijack?"

"It's been quite a while..."

  • Retirony: A variation in that he's taking a vacation, not a pension.

  "My anniversary's coming up - I'm taking my wife to London for a couple days."

  • Shown Their Work: All the inaccuracies of 9/11 were accurately portrayed. It is commendable that rather than stripping down the confusion to make things easier for an audience to follow, all of the misinformed pieces of information are out there, just as it was in real life. Different groups were referring to the wrong planes by the wrong numbers. There were differing reports on how many planes were out there. The news reported a fire on the National Mall when there was none.
  • Storming The Cockpit
  • Strawman European: There's a German fellow aboard who advocates that the passengers just let the terrorists do their task. When the passengers ignore him, he even goes so far as to shout a warning to the terrorists before being subdued by the passengers.
    • It's worth pointing out that while it might seem insane now, official policy on all airlines prior to 9-11 was that passengers should not interfere if there is a hijacking, under the assumption that if the hijackers intended to blow up the plane they'd have already done so, and dealing with hijackers should be left to professionals.
      • This is a real national/cultural divide. America has long had a firm policy against negotiating with criminals or terrorists. A number of European countries are entirely willing to negotiate in order to get hostages released. The result is that hostage situations in European usually end with negotiated releases. It's not unreasonable that a European would want to wait for a deal to be struck rather than everyone getting killed.
  • Villainous Breakdown
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