Screen Gems Movie Reviews
with Kennie Bass. You'll find it First On Fox!

World Trade Center August 11, 2006
World Trade Center
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Rating: PG-13 for intense and emotional content, some disturbing images and language.

On the heels of "United 93" comes the second movie about the September 11th attacks, and the first big budget film.

Oliver Stone directs "World Trade Center."

For such a major movie about such a complex issue, "World Trade Center" is surprisingly simple. Stone focuses on two New York Port Authority Officers who were trapped when the twin towers collapsed, and on the heroic effort to save them.

Shown through the eyes of the responders who answered the emergency call, Stone spares us many of the horrific images of that day. Instead, we go inside the disaster from the moment of the first cries for help.

As the sergeant, John McGloughlin (Nicholas Cage) leads his fellow officers into danger, all in the line of duty. McGloughlin asks for volunteers to go with him into the towers to help with evacuation efforts. Among those answering the call is Will Jimeno (Michael Pena).

The officers work their way through the building, but are buried under tons of rubble when the building collapses. Their fellow emergency workers set about the task of digging through the destruction to save them.

This movie is very different from "United 93," although both evoke many of the same emotions.

As a director, Stone shows remarkable restraint. Instead of conspiracy theories, we get a story about the men and women who put their lives on the line for others. We also see how their families had to deal with the consequences of September 11th.

It's hard to watch but at the same time the selfless acts of the police and firefighters are uplifting. You truly get the sense that in the darkest of times, the best of us rose to face the challenge. And that gives hope in the face of an increasingly uncertain future.

Cage and Pena are remarkable as the trapped officers. Maria Bello and Maggie Gyllenhaal do a great job portraying the women who love them.

On my rating scale, "World Trade Center" hits a Home Run.

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