World Trade Center

World Trade Center

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World Trade Center ---- Oliver Stone, September 11th, and Nicolas Cage

Aug 27, 2006 (Updated Aug 27, 2006)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:brilliantly emotional and realistic, a true story, impacting imagery, well acted and very well Directed

Cons:none

The Bottom Line: I highly recommend the film because it is extremely well crafted, leading an emotional journey through true events that transpired.


Oliver Stone decided to go out and make a film about one of the darkest days in American History. But, instead of a film that focuses entirely on the horrific events, he works in a story of hope and tribute to the "every-man." He also does so without bringing conspiracy theories or politics into the equation, rather opting to tell a story from a point of view that some very brave people have to share. This is based on the true story that a New York Port Authority Police Officer wrote, and was developed into a screen-play that found its way to Oliver Stone. The story is that of Sgt. John McLoughlin, who was the officer in charge for the Port Authority on September 11th, 2001. When the call went out he led a team into the concourse between the two towers, intent on going up Tower 1 to try and help with the situation. Taking a team of 5 men in, the first tower collapsed before they made it up the stairs.

Trapped under the rubble, three officers begin to go through the struggle of staying alive in the hopes of being rescued. Unaware of why the buildings were hit, and not even knowing that one has come down, they are alone under a pile of debris with little hope of being found. Both family men with children, they cling to the hopes of seeing their beautiful wives again, and being able to be there for their children. The story doesn't just focus on the men who are trapped, but their families as well, as we get to see the stories of what their wives went through that day start to unfold. With no news about what is really going on, and only television news reports to rely upon, they are entirely in the dark about what is going on with their husbands. They don't know where they are, where the went, or even if they were one of the first responders at the towers. This lack of knowledge leads to a lot of worrying that is depicted very well by those acting it out.

Showing these elements of a much larger story, Stone is able to weave in a lot of emotion using specific images and camera movements that could bring a tear to anyone's eye. There are a lot of events that were not shown, which was used as a trigger to make the viewer think about what happened, and exactly what was taking place. One such example is that they don't show the first tower come down from the outside when it occurs, but rather it is felt by those within the center concourse. The theater shakes as this happens, and leaves everything in a sudden and ominous silence that really leaves you with the emotional undertone of the moment. Stone puts a lot of different moments like this in the film, and gives the same view that a lot of us had in the confusion surrounding this day. We were all shocked into wondering what was going on and why it was happening, and as more events unfolded we were left numb with the emotional impact. There are parts of the film that indeed left me just as numb, and in that regard I have to give Stone a lot of credit.

I haven't mentioned a lot about the actors in the film, because I think that is really secondary to what was depicted on film. Nicolas Cage played Sgt. John McLoughlin, Maria Bello (History of Violence) played his wife, Michael Pena (locksmith from Crash) played Will Jimeno, and Maggie Gyllenhaal played his pregnant wife Allison. Jimeno was the man trapped with McLoughlin under all that rubble for so long. In all of these roles, I lost track of the acting, and really fell into the story because of how well they performed. They all felt as real as if they had actually been in this experience, and it added a lot to the realism of the story. The casting deserves credit, because with the wrong actors, they might have taken away something from the main theme of World Trade Center.

It's of importance to note that at no point does this film try to preach about how you should feel, or how you should react to what has transpired or to what is being depicted. It uses a lot of imagery, as well as impressive cinematography to put you right at ground zero though, as if you are experiencing that day all over again. It could indeed stir up a lot of memories from then, as it did with me, and that is something to be prepared for when you decide to see this movie. Well acted, brilliantly directed, and full of many well crafted scenes, World Trade Center touches on the feelings that an entire country, nay, most of the free world felt, when they heard, saw, or experienced first hand the events that took place on September 11th, 2001 in New York City. A film not to be missed, Stone has crafted a great homage to all those that were heroes that day.















Recommend this product? Yes


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