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With the anniversary of September 11th coming up, I wanted to bring together a list of 9/11 movies and t.v. shows that honor the memory of the victims. Let’s Roll.
#1. The Looming Tower [HULU Original]
This HULU original miniseries The Looming Tower is based on the non-fiction book by Lawrence Wright. The Pulitzer Prize-winning book explains in unprecedented detail the growth of Islamic fundamentalism, the rise of al-Qaeda, and the intelligence failures that culminated in the attacks on the World Trade Center.
The miniseries turns the focus from the 9/11 terrorists (as portrayed in the book) to the conflict between the FBI and CIA (as portrayed by Jeff Daniels and Peter Sarsgaard) with the terrorists becoming a subplot.
Alfreda Frances Bikowsky
Bikowsky is one of the most controversial members of the CIA for her involvement in the Bin Laden Issue Station and the Global Jihad unit. According to The Senate Intelligence Committee Report on CIA Torture, Bikowksy is one of the torture program’s chief apologists and the media called her “The Unidentified Queen of Torture“.
Not only did Bikowsky serve as a basis for the role of Diane in The Looming Tower but also Maya in Zero Dark Thirty. It’s a pity that Maya is portrayed as a hero in Zero Dark Thirty.
For the most part, the series is tissue free. However, the final episode will definitely have you chocked up.
#2. United 93
United 93 is one of the most famous 9/11 feature films that came out in 2006 featuring FAA Flight Operations Manager Ben Sliney as himself and many unknown professional actors such as Broadway’s Cheyenne Jackson. The fact that most of the faces are unfamiliar to the moviegoer made it all that more powerful a movie unlike the Nicholas Cage helmed World Trade Center.
Roger Ebert said that the movie “does honor to the memory of the victims“.
Four stars. You will need those tissues. When the trailer was shown in movie theatres it caused public outcry due to the sensitivity of the material.
#3. Flight 93
The television made movie, Flight 93, did not have the big-budget that United 93 had however it is worth a watch due to the telephone calls between the stewardesses and passengers of 93 and their family and loved ones.
Flight 93 had the fortune of being the last flight to crash meaning they had a chance to learn what happened to the other flights and make phone calls to their loved ones.
Four Star. This television-made movie will have you reaching for those tissues. Not only is the film based on the tragic flights of 9/11, but the phone calls between passengers of United 93 and their loved ones will have you weeping.
Favorite call that I like to re-watch: Honor Elizabeth Wainio (Laura Mennell, The Man in the High Castle) who called her step-mother (Gwynyth Walsh) with passenger Lauren Grandcolas’s (Jacqueline Ann Steuart) borrowed cell phone.
#4. Zero Hour: Last Hour of Flight 11
As part of the t.v. series, Zero Hero, “Last Hour of Flight 11” is a dramatic docu-drama about the final hour of Flight 11’s journey before crashing into the World Trade Center. There is also a story of a woman who had just learned she was pregnant before arriving at work at The World Trade Center on 9/11.
Interposed with the dramatizations are interviews with family members of the victims.
Due to the 9/11 storyline, “The Last Hour of Flight 11” will warrant a tissue but the docu-drama nature and runtime of 53 minutes keep the episode from getting too emotional.
#5. 25th Hour
A New Yorker (Edward Norton) is convicted of dealing drugs and takes time to re-evaluate his life before facing his prison sentence in this movie based on the David Benioff novel that was written before 9/11.
The 9/11 Connection
While not a story about 9/11, 25th Hour is a love note to the city of New York in the aftermath of 9/11. From the camera panning over Ground Zero to the mention of minority groups, the movie is a haunting view of post-9/11 New York.
Tears are not guaranteed. While Edward Norton is the box office draw, New York City is the star of the movie and the tragedy of a post 9/11 NYC is heartbreaking.
#6. Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story
James Woods (Indictment: The McMartin Trial) does a great job starring as Rudy Giuliani in this pre-Trump movie about his work as a D.A. and Mayor in New York City. He drew worldwide attention and respect for the way he helped the city of New York heal post-9/11.
Giuliani became known as “America’s Mayor” when Oprah Winfrey used the term on September 23, 2001, at a 9/11 memorial at Yankee’s Stadium.
“Tomorrow, New York is going to be here and we’re going to rebuild, and we’re going to be stronger than we were before…I want the people of New York to be an example to the rest of the country, and the rest of the world, that terrorism can’t stop us.”
You’ll cry when you see the real-life footage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America.
#7. The Space Between
The Space Between is a feature film about Montine McLeod (Melissa Leo), an alcoholic flight attendant, who gets stuck with nine-year-old Pakistani-American Omar Hassan (Anthony Keyvan) after their flight from New York City to Los Angeles gets grounded on the morning of 11 September 2001.
Losing people that you love, it hurts. There’s going to be days when you think you can’t possibly stand how much it hurts. Honestly, you feel like your heart’s going to explode from the pain. But then you wake up the next morning and you open the blinds and you just keep going. For a while, you’re just living in that space.
Four Star. This movie is a raw look at hurt, loss, anger, denial, and tragedy. The tissues will be needed.
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Continue the Conversation
What is your favorite 9/11 movie or t.v. series?
Great list! Thanks for sharing! I think I’ll watch a couple of films next weekend.
I haven’t watched Zero Hour: Last Hour of Flight 11 yet. It looks like a great show depicting 9/11 incident. I remember vividly what happened that day…
Wow I didn’t know it was so many 9/11 films. That day is still one I will never forget
This was indeed a tragic part of the entire world’s history. It’s touching that the victims and rescuers can be paid tribute to through these films.
I’ve never watched anything about 9/11 and to be honest, I don’t think I’m ready to. It still feels too close to home. I appreciate this guide though.
I have heard of some of those, but not all of them. The only 9/11 themed movie that I actually watched was World Trade Center with Nicholas Cage, which focuses on the Police that helped out. It was a great movie. I need to check out those others you listed.
These movies are all good! I already watched some and swear it’s wonderful!
Wow….I don’t know any of these, on the entire list. I think I will begin with “The Space Between”.
I remember how scared I was when I heard about 9/11, back when I had just started second grade. Although we were in Toronto, it was so confusing and frightening to see our teachers crying so much, when we didn’t first understand what what happening.
I’ll have to give these a look. I’ve actually never heard of any of them, which is terrible, considering they’re all pretty big films.
This is such a devastating day to remember. But a great list of shows and documenteries to watch. Thank you.
I admit that I find it hard to see these films because they bring to mind those moments, those emotions, that day, a trauma that still resides in everyone’s hearts.
What perfect timing for me to run into this article with 9/11 being tomorrow. I was only in 5th grade when this happened but still remember watching the live news footage in class and just knowing it was a HUGE deal. I’d definitely be interested in watching some of these films. Also, YOU ARE AWESOME for putting a “tissue rating” in because I always appreciate a warning ahead of time!
All of these sound so compelling! I’ve seen one or two of these but I’d like to check them all out eventually, especially over the next weekend for sure! Thanks for sharing.
Ha! I have never seen ANY of these movies before!
United 93 was so powerful. I haven’t seen the others.
Thank you for this. I had no idea that that many movies were made concerning this eventful day in history. I have Hulu so I’m going to check out a couple over this weekend. Thanks for sharing!
All these movies regarding 9/11 sound good. I have not watched any though but will!
Thanks for the list! I’m going to have to find a couple of these movies.
I could tear up just reading about these movies. It’s hard to believe it’s been 19 years. Thanks for the reviews, it’s so important that the victims are remembered well.
I love documentaries so maybe I’ll watch Zero Hour: Last Hour of Flight 11. I haven’t heard of it till now. Great list for 9/11!
I have not watched any of these movies as this is still such a sensitive subject for me. I would love to watch the Rudy one, though. He did an amazing and inspiring job. I did, however see one very odd program about a lady that pretended to be a survivor and got all kinds of attention for it.
I will have to find copies of these movies. My husband may not want to watch it because it will only make him sad. My step daughter’s best friend was on that flight. It was devastating to hear of the news of my stepdaughter’s friend’s tragic death.
Oh Kristine. I am so sorry to hear about your step daughter’s best friend. to have such a degree of connection to the victims makes it all that more real and heartbreaking.