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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11, Eleven Years Later

Written by Kirk Baird

United 93 opened in theaters nationwide to critical acclaim in April, 2006. Months earlier, the trailer for the film — a white-knuckle and gut-punch re-enactment of the hijacked flight that crashed in Pennsylvania — was famously derided by audience heckles of "Too soon!"

"Too soon" seems so distant and quaint now, especially as Sept. 11 has become a cottage industry in our popular culture 11 years later.

Musicians including Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Tori Amos, and Toby Keith have flocked to the theme. Writers explored the attacks and the aftermath in an assortment of fiction (Terrorist by John Updike and Falling Man by Don DeLillo) and even non-fiction (the bestselling The 9/11 Commission Report). And, of course, filmmakers followed United 93's lead with sobering examinations of a post-9/11 world, including Reign Over Me, World Trade Center, and most recently Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

For a nation that once collectively said it was "too soon" to discuss the tragedy, we are spending a lot of time absorbing Sept. 11, 2001, reading about it, and watching it.

"Too soon?"


With the 11th anniversary of the attacks today, here are some Sept. 11-themed movies and documentaries:

*9/11: The Filmmakers Commemorative Edition (2002): French brothers Jules and Gedeon Naudet happened to be filming a documentary on NYC firefighters when the attacks happened, and their cameras captured moments of heroism, chaos, and death that are impossible to forget.

*Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004): Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore explores the Sept. 11 attacks, and the role of the Bush administration, in his controversial documentary.

United 93 (2006): Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum) directed this tense recreation of the heroism of 40 strangers who stood as one against the terrorists who seized control of their plane.

*World Trade Center (2006): Oliver Stone directed this true story of the rescue of two Port Authority policemen trapped in rubble after they volunteered to help the victims of the World Trade Center attacks.

Reign Over Me (2007): Adam Sandler stars in this drama about a suicidal New Yorker who lost his family in the attacks with Don Cheadle as the friend who tries to help him.

Man on Wire (2008): This Oscar-winning documentary details the famous high-wire walk by Frenchman Philippe Petit in 1974 between the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers as well as history about the buildings themselves.

Mooz-lum (2010): A moving drama that explores post-9/11 life for a black Muslim in an increasingly wary society.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011): A grieving 9-year-old boy goes on a great adventure through New York City as way to be close to his father, who died in the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

*Unfortunately, these movies are out of print.

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