DC 9/11: Time of Crisis

Aug 7, 2005 (Updated Aug 7, 2005)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:An outstanding cast and make-up crew. Also some decent acting from Penny Johnson.

Cons:The story would have been better with less emotion and more facts.

The Bottom Line: A look at the Bush administration during the attacks on 9/11. I think it's worth renting once. I won't be buying this one though.

Directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith
Timothy Bottoms as President George W. Bush
Mary Gordon Murray as Laura Bush
David Fonteno as Colin Powell
John Cunningham as Donald Rumsfeld
Penny Johnson as Condoleezza Rice

DC 9/11 2003

DC 9/11 starts out on the morning of September 11th, 2001. President Bush was visiting a school in Florida where he was discussing the importance of reading with school children and their teacher. While the President was speaking with the class, the second airplane struck the second tower in New York. President Bush was interrupted and notified of the second attack. Shortly after this second attack, all kinds of hell starts to break loose. The White House has a credible threat against it. Twenty some odd aircraft are still in the air. The Pentagon is struck by a third aircraft. By this time the President is flying in Air force one with a fighter escort. Vice President Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfeld are all assembled in the underground bunker below the White House.

After a frenzy of attacks and threats the President is finally able to make contact with his key members in the White House bunker. There was much confusion and there was reports of attacks and snipers all over the United States. Then Air Force one itself received a very credible threat against the President. The source even knew the secret code word for Air Force one that day. It seemed the attacks were nation wide and very well coordinated. The Vice President made the call to engage and shoot down the final commercial Airliner that was apparently hijacked and not responding to repeated radio messages. The Aircraft was believed to be heading for Camp David or The White House. Needless to say the President was worried about his wife and daughters. As we all know some passengers were able to figure out what was happening and took the terrorist out themselves and lost their lives as a result. DC 9/11 is a recreation of 9/11 and how the President and his administration reacted to it immediately and long term.


Apparently a lot of people did not like this recreation of 9/11. Because the gentleman who wrote the film is a Hollywood director and movie maker who is a Republican. I wasn’t aware that there was such a thing but I guess there is. This film maker is Lionel Chetwynd and he makes films such as; The Heroes of Desert Storm, The Hanoi Hilton, Ike: Countdown to D-Day , American Valor and The Siege at Ruby Ridge. I don’t know much about the mans politics but I have seen several of his films and found them enjoyable. However, I must say that DC 9/11 is not one of his best. This films debut was on Showtime in 2003 and is now available on DVD.

The best thing about this film was it’s uncanny cast. The cast assembled for this film and the make up crew made for a very convincing looking Bush administration. Timothy Bottoms as George Bush and John Cunningham as Don Rumsfeld were near dead ringers for their parts. The best acting came from Penny Johnson as Condoleezza Rice. Penny Johnson did a superb job with her part as Condi. I was also impressed with the recreation of the sets. There is also actual footage in the film. Watching the actual news reporting in the background and the recreation of the events brought back some old feelings. It was those feeling and emotions that prompted me to join the Army for a second time. That was three years and eleven months ago now.

We get to see a lot of things that went on behind the scenes in this film. We also see a lot of George Bush and his emotions. I suppose anyone would have been emotional. The film “Supposedly” shows President Bush just like he was. I believe the film did that for the most part. He goes through an emotional roller coaster during the first two to three days. There has been an attack on American soil and thousands are killed and wounded. Who attacked us and why? We are at war but with who? Meeting after meeting with intelligent agencies. Phone call after phone call to world leaders and leaders in New York. I never actually thought about what the President and his administration went through during and following the attacks. It was mind boggling.

The story was decent but I think it could have been better. I believe Lionel Chetwynd a better job with his film by not showing every single emotion that the President had. It was chaos and confusion for everyone and the film shows that quite well but it was missing something. It was tough to watch the President with a speech before 9/11. During 9/11 his speeches were not good and he was running on adrenaline. I just found a lot of the film emotional and uncomfortable for me to watch and enjoy. I don’t enjoy a lot of sorrow and hurtful emotion in a film and this one is chalk full of both. I think the film could have delivered the same true events with less crying. I hate to see ladies and Presidents cry man!

In the end I was glad that I did see the film. There was a lot more that went on during that first day that I realized. I did not know that the administration was under the impression that the scope of the attacks were much larger. It was also interesting to see how the war on terrorism came to be. They were given several options by the C.I.A. and the military. Iraq, the Taliban and the Al-Queda were all discussed in the film. This is where what “actually” happened gets fuzzy in my opinion. The film really goes into some depth on who, how, when and why our counter strikes would take shape. I also found this part interesting. One scene that stuck in my mind was when the President asked the Directors of the FBI and the CIA what they could come up with by cross referencing all of their combined terrorist information. The reply was, “Our computers do not network Mr. President…”.

Although I found some of the film interesting, it could have been better. It really needed less emotion and more facts. However, I believe that a lot of people would be glad they took the time to see this film once. It is a decent account of what was happening in DC before, during and after September 11th, 2001. I give DC 9/11 three of five stars.

Similar Films

9/11 Station 1, Ladder 7

My Rating: 6.5 of 10 Stars
Rating: [R] Some strong brief language
Run Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

Thanks for the read,

Joe McMaster

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