World Trade Center (2006)
Soaked in turgid music, awkwardly sentimental scenes and painful dialogue, Oliver Stone's World Trade Center has become nothing close to what one could expect from such a decorated director taking hold of such an important subject matter. Stone, who previously has been known to go down paths others might not have dared, doesn't even ask questions for the viewer to ponder. There's no intriguing look behind the superficial, the meta-level of the happening is never discussed, and politics is never mentioned. Instead, World Trade Center is a film about a handful of stereotypical characters. I grant that the story of McLoughlin and Jimenez is highly interesting, but that doesn't mean that they are interesting characters per se. And it certainly doesn't mean that close to an hour of tearjerking from wives, kids and family has any artistic or entertainment value. Maggie Gyllenhaal and Maria Bello are being dragged around as if they were in a season ten soap opera.
Towards the end, I felt fairly certain that very few people outside the US can feel good about watching this film. If you try to do so in a critical and fairly objective state of mind, you'll find yourself baffled at the perspectives of some of these characters. There are segments around halfway through its running time that give hope for a better film, but all in all Stone has had a completely wrong focal point in helming this project.