United 93

Of the four passenger jets hijacked on 9/11, United Flight 93 is the only one that didn't reach its target. This was due to the heroism of its passengers who learned about the other hijackings and the hits to the World Trade Center and the Pentagon via phone calls to loved ones after their own plane was commandeered. When they realized that they were to be used as a bomb, they took matters into their own hands. The events depicted are drawn from numerous phone calls made to friends, families and associates during the hijacking.

As a former pilot, I personally prefer the footage that shows the con- fusion, the consternation, and ultimately the incredulity of the stunned people who manned the control towers, the flight service centers and the FAA, along with the U.S. military. Amid mounting chaos, those guys managed to land every commercial aircraft in United States airspace (approximately 4200) in just under three hours, an unprecedented action done with blinding speed and total safety. The hijacked planes had their transponders turned off so any plane still in the air would be an enemy.

From the extras on the DVD, I know the actors actually called upon the families of the victims they would portray, to see their homes, meet their families and hear their voices from phone messages left just before they died. As a result, the actors are consistently authentic in their portrayals. In addition, a number of the air traffic control officials who were on duty that morning portray themselves in the film.

I had avoided seeing this when it was first released, but Seattle stage actor Cheyenne Jackson was cast as Mark Bingham, one of the heroic passengers, so naturally I wanted to see "our guy" on the silver screen.

I'm glad I did.
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Here is a link to a trailer:
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