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United 93

9/11 2001. While hijackers have taken over a couple of airplanes already and are heading towards their targets across the United States, flight United 93 is being delayed in a traffic jam. While the first planes have hit the World Trade Center and authorities all over are trying to get control over the airspace, United 93 has taken off and four hijackers have managed to get control over the aircraft. The passengers are scared and hope for a good ending but when a couple of them manage to contact their relatives by phone and hear of what’s happening with other airplanes, they realise that this is a one way trip unless they do something about it. They decide to stand up against the hijackers and regain control in an attempt to save their lives and that of thousands of others that might get hurt if they don’t succeed.

Sound and Vision:
The image is exactly as the director intended which results in sometimes a bit chaotic footage with not always the right sharpness, all to give the additional documentary and realistic feeling. Compression errors or edge enhancement are absent and overall we get good quality that perfectly fits the atmosphere.

The soundtrack is perfect for this movie with a constant low rythm that creates a disturbing atmosphere while surround speakers are nicely used for occasional effects. Dialogues are perfectly understandable.

Extras:
United 93: The Families and the Movie: A 60 minute documentary that shows how the families of those on United 93 have experienced the tragedy. Several cast members visit the relatives of the character they play and all in all we get a good view on how closely the families were involved in the creation of the film.
Audio commentary by director Paul Greengrass
Memorial Pages: text pages with biographies and pictures of the passengers and crew of United 93

Conclusion:
United 93 tells the story of the one airplane that didn’t reach its destination on 9/11 2001 and does it in a pretty decent way without too much “American Heroism”. The documentary style along with the perfectly fitting soundtrack make for a compelling atmosphere and personally I was positively surprised by the movie as I had expected your typical American movie that shows just how great Americans are. Instead we get a movie that takes a rather neutral tone and shows what possibly happened aboard the craft based on phone conversations the passengers had with their relatives in the time before the airplane crashed. Better than expected!

Our Score:
6.0

posted in: DVD, Reviews, Universal
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