Blu-ray United 93 [Blu-ray/DVD] [Universal 100th Anniversary; Includes Digital Copy] (Blu-ray 16032802),
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United 93 [Blu-ray/DVD] [Universal 100th Anniversary; Includes Digital Copy]

  • R
  • Blu-ray/DVD
  • 2 discs
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • UNITED 93, director Paul Greengrass's meticulous reconstruction of the events surrounding the crash--the result of a heroic struggle between the passengers and hijackers--of the fourth plane to be hijacked on September 11, 2001, is a landmark in filmmaking. Greengrass has chosen the most politically and emotionally charged source material available to an artist in the early 21st century, and shaped it into a psychologically draining, terrifyingly real, and technically brilliant film. Like his first feature-length work, BLOODY SUNDAY, UNITED 93 doesn't follow a traditional cinematic narrative structure; via hand-held cameras, grainy DV stock, and frenetic editing, it instead presents a visceral (at times sickening) in-the-moment documentary-style experience that maximizes the film's unavoidable air of tension and dread without being crassly manipulative. Yet for all of its precision and craft, UNITED 93 still depicts one of the most terrifying ordeals the United States has ever had to face--and that it was released less than five years after those events took place plays an undeniably enormous role in how the film is received. It is impossible to watch UNITED 93 and not be profoundly moved, whether that emotion is fear, sadness, anxiety, or pure rage. And it is an emotional catharsis far removed from what is the filmmaker's delicate hand and deft touch. Greengrass, though, is quite fearless in his depiction of the chaos of the day--the President is frustratingly missing; the FAC, NORAD, and local air-traffic control centers are shown in a disoriented panic; and the terrorists are brutal and remorseless--and, to his credit, he avoids soft-pedaling any political agenda and doesn't blindly canonize the flight's passengers. Rather, their heroism is treated as the product of a logical decision made by ordinary men and women who found themselves in the most extraordinary and illogical of situations. And that, ultimately, is where the power of UNITED 93 lies.
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  • Credits
    Lewis Alsamari, J. J. Johnson, Gary Commock, Trish Gates, Polly Adams, Cheyenne Jackson, Opal Alladin, Starla Benford, Nancy McDoniel
  • Critic Reviews
    "This unflinching, powerfully visceral portrait of the events aboard one of the terrorist-commandeered flights on Sept. 11, 2001, is the most gut-wrenching and captivating film this year."
    USA Today

    "Greengrass treats his subject matter with serious-minded sensitivity....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."
    Sight and Sound

    Ranked #6 in Rolling Stone's "The 10 Best Movies Of 2006" -- "The gifted director Paul Greengrass has crafted a humane tribute to the power of resistance."
    Rolling Stone

    "A persuasively narrated, scrupulously tasteful re-creation of the downing of the fourth and final plane hijacked by Islamist terrorists on Sept. 11..."
    New York Times

    5 stars out of 5 -- "Greengrass's picture unfolds with grim authenticity....Sobering, enlightening, important."
    Ultimate DVD

    Ranked #8 in Film Comment's "20 Best Films Of 2006."
    Film Comment

    "[A] meticulously if not agonizingly scrupulous film..."
    Film Comment

    "[A] movie experience that's undeniably agonizing -- but also unexpectedly bracing....The movie is tightly built, but Greengrass is patient, letting events unfold at the pace of reality." -- Grade: A-
    Entertainment Weekly

    4 stars out of 4 -- "[The director] imagines a sea of arms reaching into the cockpit in a way that redefines heroism. Far from being exploitive, the effect is inspiring: This is the best of us."
    Rolling Stone

    4 stars out of 5 -- "A ferocious requiem, squinting for truth through tears of rage....UNITED 93 is an eloquent tribute to their fear and fury."
    Total Film

    5 stars out of 5 -- "[A]n emotional mosaic so forceful, so credible, that viewers will feel as though they are watching the fateful day unfolding, once again, before their very eyes."
    Box Office

    3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[A]s riveting as it is morally confounding....The movie eschews facile judgments and false heroism..."
    Premiere

    "[A] realistic piece, and the impact is shattering beyond anything American movies have offered up this year, or last."
    Movieline's Hollywood Life

    Included in Entertainment Weekly's "Top 10 Films Of The Year" -- "In its scary and lacerating way, a revelation..."
    Entertainment Weekly

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