Flight 93 (2006)
The two films made this year about the fourth hijacked plane from 9/11 are easily interchangeable due to similar names and build-up. The difference is that United 93 was given a cinematic release whilst this film was a made-for-TV production. What is impressive, however, is that with the relatively small budget this film could boast, compared to for example Oliver Stone's misfocused World Trade Center, the result is impressive. As most TV-movies, Flight 93 keeps it simple and invisible when it comes to style and direction. At times the film moves into what resembles clear-cut documentary-style, and (naturally) due to the logical sources of information, a lot of the human drama unfolds from telephone conversations between the people on the planes and their relatives on the ground. In many ways, the story about the United 93 becomes more interesting than what happened at the WTC, because the situation is a lot more clearly set out. To make a film from WTC is very challenging when it comes to which focal point to choose and which scale to convey it on. Oliver Stone had trouble with that decision, but the makers of Flight 93 are lucky not having to make one such. This is a confined, high-strung situation showing people's desperation whether they be passengers, flight personnel, or hijackers performing acts which they have made themselves believe are right and sensible, but which I bet a lot of money they realize deep down that border on pure evil.
Flight 93 is a level-headed, matter-of-factual portrait of what happened (to the degree that it is possible to determine) on that plane on the morning of September 11th 2001. It is well-acted, cleverly directed and totally enthralling. Director Peter Markle does a brilliant job of maintaining suspense throughout and also of keeping this a rather objective state of affairs. For a film like this to be really effective, you need to be able to put yourself in the position of the hijackers, and possessing that quality makes Flight 93 powerful, because what this film is about is a situation on a plane and the people on it - not world politics.