Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

World Trade Center


When I first heard about it, I had to wonder if Oliver Stone was going to ride off into looneyland with some sort of conspiracy theory. Luckily he left that to the looneytunes director of Loose Change and other Internet bug brains.

This movie is very good, and very, very, very, very, very, very hard to watch. I don’t suppose I shall ever be able to view these images without choking up and getting angry and seriously wanting to kill somebody. That somebody is still hiding in an Afghan or Pakistani rathole due to the criminal incompetence of the George W. Bush administration … but let’s not go there any further.

The script by Andrea Berloff is stunning. I don’t recall hearing a single line that didn’t ring true, didn’t sound like something somebody from this place and time would have said in the terrible situation of that day. There are no phony, overblown heroics here, no cardboard heroes, just ordinary, everyday heroism. There is a considerable dramatic challenge in having your two main characters absolutely, totally immobilized for about 45 minutes of this 2-hour film, and Stone manages to make it work. This may not be quite as gripping as the masterpiece United 93, but it’s damn close.