“Flight 93” Movie Review

By Ruth on May 19, 2015 in movie, review

Flight 93 is the story of the heroic passengers that took back their plane in an effort to stop a 9-11 terrorist attack.

flight 93 2

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.

flight 935

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.

Jeffrey Nordling as Tom Burnett

Jeffrey Nordling as Tom Burnett

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.

Kendall Cross as Deena Burnett

Kendall Cross as Deena Burnett

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.

Ty Olsson as Mark Bingham

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.

Monnae Michaell as Lisa Jefferson

Monnae Michaell as Lisa Jefferson

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.

Gwyneth Walsh as Esther Heyman

Gwynyth Walsh as Esther Heyman

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.

Laura Mennel as Elizabeth Wainio

Laura Mennell as Elizabeth Wainio (on the right)

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.

Brennan Elliott as Todd Beamer

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!

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JEFFREY NORDLING, COLIN GLAZER, GREIG THORLACIUS, MICHAEL ROBINSON & TY OLSSON in Flight 93 *Editorial Use Only* www.capitalpictures.com sales@capitalpictures.com Supplied by Capital Pictures

in Flight 93
*Editorial Use Only*
Supplied by Capital Pictures

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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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth

43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl
Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA
Entertainment Writer
Available For Interviews and Reviews
Substitute Teacher


  1. desiree May 19, 2015 Reply

    that look lkike i like to watch the m ovie

  2. Edward May 19, 2015 Reply

    I’m sure this movie will be keeping viewers on the edge of their seats.

    • Author
      Ruth May 20, 2015 Reply

      Definitely it will. Very emotionally stirring

  3. Sandra Watts May 20, 2015 Reply

    I have not seen this yet. I’m not sure about it. Thanks for the review though.
    Sandra Watts recently posted…iPetCompanion HomePlay: Play with Your Pet, from Anywhere. -…My Profile

    • Author
      Ruth May 20, 2015 Reply

      I can understand Sandra but of the 9/11 movies this one if probably the least graphic. No gory scenes or anything. But emotional just the same.

  4. Megan Scharlau May 21, 2015 Reply

    Oh gosh I’m sure I’d cry at this movie

    • Author
      Ruth May 21, 2015 Reply

      Definitely a tear-jerker

  5. denise low May 22, 2015 Reply

    I would love this kind of movie. I will check it out.

  6. Dana Matthews May 23, 2015 Reply

    Looks like one of those movies that would keep me on the edge of my seat!

    • Author
      Ruth May 24, 2015 Reply

      Definitely Dana. Very emotionally driven too.

  7. Jerry Marquardt May 24, 2015 Reply

    This sounds like a fantastic movie, thank you for the review. I am going to go see it now.

    • Author
      Ruth May 24, 2015 Reply

      Good. Enjoy Jerry!

  8. Tim Stephens June 4, 2015 Reply

    I’ve watched this movie before and it’s just emotionally draining because of the connection to the real events. Just reading your review has really hit me in the chest. I think like you I should watch this again so that I can remember the sacrifice of those passengers. On a side note… I didn’t know you were a teacher… me too… keep on fighting the good fight…

    • Author
      Ruth June 4, 2015 Reply

      Tim wow your words inspire me. Thank you so much for stopping by.

  9. Penni June 6, 2015 Reply

    I saw this movie a while back and agree that it is quite a moving account of what is believed to have transpired on Flight 93. It was an emotional experience to watch it, and hard to stop thinking about it for many days after!

    • Author
      Ruth June 7, 2015 Reply

      Penni that is an excellent way to put it.

  10. Anita E June 11, 2015 Reply

    I saw this when it was released at the theatres. I knew going into it that it would be an emotional and intense experience. I think it is one of the best, if not the best film adaptation of the events of 9/11. I don’t think there was a false note throughout the film. I don’t believe the filmmakers took dramatic license or “played up” certain scenes even though they certainly could have, as, like you said, we don’t know everything that happened on Flight 93. I’ve only seen the film once because of the intensity although I would watch it again. It is definitely one of those films that will stay with you long after you walk out of the theatre.

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