Flight 93 is the story of the heroic passengers that took back their plane in an effort to stop a 9-11 terrorist attack.
First of all, this was one of the first Brennan Elliott films I had the privilege of viewing as Brennan had recommended it highly to me. I watched it this past summer, and I was thoroughly impressed. But that was before I become an “unofficial movie reviewer.” This is one of those films with which the majority of Americans will connect immediately since 9/11 is still one of those days of horror in our history. While there have been many documentaries and films made about this day in our history, this is one that seeks to reconstruct the story of this fateful flight as faithfully as possible (at least in my opinion).
In order to review it, I watched this film again, and I was reminded of everything about it that was fantastic. Additionally, I now recognize many of the actors/actresses (not just Brennan), and for that reason, I believe I had a richer experience when watching it.
As to any content advisory, there is some minimal profanity and some violence (not gruesome nor overdone), so please note this is suitable for older children and up. Also, I noticed that there are a number of reviewers who gave this movie horrible marks due to perceived historical inaccuracy and one-sided storytelling. While we don’t know everything that occurred on the real Flight 93, much of it is well-documented, and this movie seems to follow that well. As far as those who believe that this film was biased against the terrorists, that is the intention. Don’t even get me started on these issues surrounded 9/11 as I was married to a man for far too long who sided with the 9/11 terrorists. As a proud American, I salute these heroes who gave their lives that many more lives would be saved. Indeed, this film is an incredible homage to their memory.
Most Americans (and many around the world) remember the horrors of the day September 11, 2001, as if it were yesterday. It’s one of those events that if you are old enough to remember, you know where you were when you heard the horrifying news that changed air travel and our perception of safety forever. The movie details everything leading up to the events of this final plane hijacking on that infamous day, and the pathos and horror that the members of the flight and crew of United Flight 93 would have experienced. In my humble opinion, all of this is portrayed as accurately as possible on the screen.
Due to the impressive career that Jeffrey Nordling has had, there is no doubt that I have seen him in some of the shows/films listed on his resume (even though I cannot recall specifically at the moment). As Tom Burnett, he gives a strong and uplifting performance that is filled with true emotion. This is the role for which I will now always remember him as I see him on other works in the future.
At first I didn’t recognize Kendall Cross, but when I saw Cedar Cove listed in her resume, I stared at her picture until I remembered her recurring role from season one. Upon further examination of her works, I realized she was in First Wave as well (how many of these actors/actresses were on that series–more than I ever realized). As Deena Burnett, my heart just breaks for her. Of all her roles in which I have seen her, this is no doubt this is her most outstanding performance. Not that she was not good in the other roles, but this one actually gave her an opportunity to play an emotionally gripping role in which she connected with a great tragedy. Perhaps that realistic portrayal endears me more to her than some of the lighter (and not so light), fictitious roles she has done.
Another actor with impressive credentials, but this role is the only one in which I recall seeing him. Indeed he gives a rousing and soul-stirring performance, and the next time I see him, this will be the role of which I will be reminded.
This is an actress I am including because I was quite moved by her portrayal of Lisa Jefferson. I will get to Todd Beamer in a moment, but she is part of that tale of pathos that always comes to my mind when I remember Flight 93. Her acting career may not be as prestigious as some, but this role was absolutely tailor-made for her (she even looks like the real person–sometimes a struggle to tell them apart). Monnae’s connection to this role was phenomenal, and I hope to discover her in other works as well.
Another gem of an actress that I recognize from Hallmark films! (So glad to have the Hallmark connection.) Although Gwynyth’s role is small, it is well-done and overflowing with poignancy. In fact, all the goodbyes said over the phones in this film are remarkably touching. She is one I am certain to continue to anticipate in future , and she always brings such authenticity to her roles no matter the size of the part.
Lately, Laura Mennell seems to be in practically everything I see! Hallmark has been enamored with her of late, and I had no idea this was actually the first time I saw her. This past summer, I watched this film long before I became a Sebastian Spence fan and saw her in Stolen from the Womb. Regardless of the size of her role nor what is asked of her, Laura is a gifted actress who brings her very best to each and every one. In fact, her acting always seems to be a cut above the ordinary, and she often stands out as an exceptionally versatile actress. When she is on the screen, I cannot help but look at her. There is some kind of genuine charisma this woman has which just draws me to her. While she is beautiful, she is a strikingly talented actress who seems to be able to handle any and every role thrown her way.
When I think of the tragedy of Flight 93, Todd Beamer is always the name I most closely associate with it. It was his story that tugged at my heart when I heard all the stories from that crash, and when I learned this summer that Brennan Elliott played this role, I could not contain my excitement. I immediately ordered the DVD, and upon watching it, I was overwhelmed with how impeccably Brennan portrayed this American hero.
Upon my second viewing of this outstanding film, I viewed his role and acting talent through eyes that are now much more familiar with his prowess. While much of the film is emotionally charged (rightfully so), the way in which Brennan portrays Todd Beamer is almost a spiritual experience (and I don’t say that about just anyone). He brings such raw emotion that is both believable and riveting. In fact, it is his character who is the only one who can bring me to tears. I was able to keep my composure until he prays the Lord’s Prayer (with Monnae’s character), and then I just dissolved into floods of tears! In truth, I don’t know how he and Monnae were even able to get through that scene, but I guess that’s what makes them both accomplished actors and professionals. Such dynamic and inspired acting and an electrifying tribute to the fallen heroes!
And then the conclusion that reminds us of the supreme sacrifice these men and women made. I was so immersed in the last portion of the film, and the credits were a stirring tribute to those who died in this crash. If you are searching for a film with exceptional, emotionally driven acting and a story that will memorialize a time in our history when patriotism trumped terrorism, Flight 93 is the one to see. (Did I mention it features one of my favorite actors? I may have forgotten, but no doubt you can guess. And I’m eternally grateful as I would not have been made aware of this film if I hadn’t been following the career of Brennan Elliott.)
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