(Nicolas Cage in World Trade Center)
An elegant, powerful, moving and genuinely personal document about the horrors that happened inside and outside of the World Trade Center… because of its scope, [it’s] grander than United 93 and perhaps has some loftier cinematic aspirations. And as much as it’s all about the real men and women whose acts of courage nearly got them killed that day, World Trade Center is nonetheless an Oliver Stone film through and through.
Then a more critical view from a colleague:
It’s easily the most traditionally-shot film Stone has made in some time…no insane jump-cut editing, no bleached film stock… But it’s dull. The basic problem is that the two protagonists — Port Authority policemen trapped in the rubble of the fallen towers — are immobile for most of the film, which isn’t exactly cinematic…
The film is sincerely made, well acted, and there’s definitely some emotional catharsis at the end, but Greengrass’ United 93 is far, far better, for, I think, two reasons: the semi-doc style makes it very immediate; and most of United 93 is about how a variety of people and agencies reacted to the day’s events. This macro view seems to checkmate World Trade Center‘s micro viewpoint at every turn.
So, it seems one of the first hurdles for World Trade Center may be to live up to United 93. And after that, the hurdles may keep on coming.