Top 9/11 Films That Have September 11 Foundations
September 11 has laid the foundation for quite a few films.
Since the attacks on Pearl Harbor during World War II, 9/11 has been the most significant of all terrorist attacks on the United States. On September 11, 2001 many lives were lost and since then tensions have been high. The impact of this tragedy and the ongoing tension since then has been a catalyst for many controversial politics since and has also inspired quite a few memorable films. Here are a few movies that that are dependent on the 9/11 attacks.
World Trade Center
Starring Nicolas Cage and Michael Peña, “World Trade Center” tells the story of the emergency responders during the 9/11 attacks. A majority of the film takes place at ground zero where these responders became trapped underneath the rubble of the aftermath. I would classify this film as one of Nic Cage’s better performances because he doesn’t fall into the eccentric character that many tend to emulate due to this subject matter. While the events are emotional in general, this film is a bit more anxiety driven due to the claustrophobic cinematography.
Filled with anxiety and heartache, “United 93” takes place on United Airlines flight 93 which was another attempted hijack on September 11, 2001. On this flight, the passengers are believed to have discovered the terrorists’ plans and in a heroic attempt, they rebel and presumably force the plane to crash. This was a film that has its roots more on the indie circuit but found mainstream success due to its subject matter. The most emotional part of this film was watching the passengers attempt to call their loved ones to say goodbye.
“Farenheit 9/11” was highly controversial and in my opinion, the Michael Moore documentary that brought him into the public spotlight. While “Bowling for Columbine” received critical acclaim, “Farenheit 9/11” has been the subject of debate due to its accusatory claims against the Bush administration and being the fuel for many 9/11 conspiracy theories. It may not have the heart of other September 11th themed films, but it is one of the most memorable due to controversy.
Reign Over Me
Adam Sandler is known for his comedies but every now and then he makes an attempt at a dramatic role. “Reign Over Me” was not promoted as a 9/11 film but its foundations are based upon the horrific event. Instead of focusing on a collective group, this film focuses on one man that falls into mental illness due to the loss of his family on that day. While Don Cheadle tends to carry this film with his performance, he certainly brings out one of the better performances from Adam Sandler.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
This was another 9/11 film based on the individual. In this case “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” surrounds the emotions of a boy who lost his father in the September 11th attacks. It’s more “in your face” when it comes to the heartwarming moments which may be less appealing to those looking for emotions to occur naturally. The plot surrounds a game between this boy’s father (Tom Hanks) and himself where he would leave clues for scavenger hunts. Finding a mysterious key that his father had not been able to give him, the boy seeks out to discover the emotional mystery behind this last scavenger hunt and reconnecting with his father one last time.
I put this film on the list because it is an example of a patronizing attempt to capitalize on the emotions of 9/11. Forgive me if I spoil this but I don’t think anyone should watch this movie. Up until the film’s final moments, “Remember Me” has nothing to do with 9/11 and then when the camera pans out, it shows Robert Pattinson’s character in one of the twin towers on September 11th. While there are many great films that depict how many felt that day, “Remember Me” is a prime example of what not to do with such a tragic event. It was an obvious attempt to incite emotion through an out of place element and I’m sorry to say that this film almost seems disrespectful to that tragedy. For those looking to remember those lost on that day, I would hope you would seek out a film that makes a fluid attempt at honoring the victims throughout rather than a misplaced ending hoping to invoke emotion.
While there were many other films that captured the September 11th attacks from a cinematic perspective, these were a few that I remembered for various reasons. I would love to hear some of your own more memorable 9/11 films.