‘United 93’: The Best Movie of all Time

 

I watch United 93 every year. It is my way to never forget. I watched it on Monday night. It is my favorite movie of all time, edging out Schindler’s List and Stand by Me. Two long quotes stand out.

Ben Sliney on the ground: “Everybody lands, regardless of destination. … Shut off the East Coast. Shut off all the internationals from Europe. Shut off South America. Shut off the West Coast. Nothing over the top either. … Yeah, Canada too. … Nobody comes in, and nobody takes off. Land them all. … Listen, we’re at war with someone and until we figure out what to do about it, we’re shutting down. That’s it. We’re finished.”

Thomas E. Burnett, Jr. in the plane: “This is a suicide mission. We have to do something. They are not going to land this plane. They are not going to take us back to the airport.” … “We are alone up here. Nobody is going to help us. We’ve got to do it. Okay?”

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There are 25 comments.

  1. Dr. Bastiat Member

    I haven’t seen it. I really should watch that movie some time…

    • #1
    • September 11, 2019, at 9:48 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  2. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins Post author

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    I haven’t seen it. I really should watch that movie some time…

    Absolutely.

    • #2
    • September 11, 2019, at 9:52 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  3. Franco Member

    It’s a good movie. The best movie of all time? Even Trump doesn’t use that level of hyperbole. You need to see more movies.

    • #3
    • September 11, 2019, at 10:12 AM PDT
    • Like
  4. Miffed White Male Member

    I remember seeing it in the theater, and the absolute silence in the crowd as people filed out when it ended.

    Went to the United 93 memorial in Pennsylvania back in April with my 12-year-old son. Very well done museum, but emotionally devastating to walk through and try to explain things to him. Broke down a couple times.

    • #4
    • September 11, 2019, at 10:41 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  5. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins Post author

    Franco (View Comment):

    It’s a good movie. The best movie of all time? Even Trump doesn’t use that level of hyperbole. You need to see more movies.

    I have seen hundreds of films. Tell me one film that is better.

    • #5
    • September 11, 2019, at 11:41 AM PDT
    • Like
  6. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins Post author

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    I remember seeing it in the theater, and the absolute silence in the crowd as people filed out when it ended.

    Went to the United 93 memorial in Pennsylvania back in April with my 12-year-old son. Very well done museum, but emotionally devastating to walk through and try to explain things to him. Broke down a couple times.

    God bless you. God bless us all.

    • #6
    • September 11, 2019, at 11:41 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. Miffed White Male Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    I remember seeing it in the theater, and the absolute silence in the crowd as people filed out when it ended.

    Went to the United 93 memorial in Pennsylvania back in April with my 12-year-old son. Very well done museum, but emotionally devastating to walk through and try to explain things to him. Broke down a couple times.

    God bless you. God bless us all.

    with regard to the 9-11/Pearl Harbor analogy, I now understand why my dad was still so PO’d at the Japanese well into the 1970s.

     

    • #7
    • September 11, 2019, at 11:45 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  8. Unsk Member

    Good Post and a Great Reminder Gary. 

    • #8
    • September 11, 2019, at 12:58 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. Franco Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):

    It’s a good movie. The best movie of all time? Even Trump doesn’t use that level of hyperbole. You need to see more movies.

    I have seen hundreds of films. Tell me one film that is better.

    Wow. You are pretty darn sure of yourself aren’t you. I guess it’s subjective. But some people are more subjective than others.

    What’s the second best film of all time? Now I’m curious.

     

    • #9
    • September 11, 2019, at 1:06 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. Samuel Block Member

    I actually preferred World Trade Center with Nicolas Cage. Oliver Stone will surprise you with that one.

    It’s been a while since I’ve seen United 93, so I’ll have to check it out again.

    • #10
    • September 11, 2019, at 1:57 PM PDT
    • Like
  11. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins Post author

    Franco (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):

    It’s a good movie. The best movie of all time? Even Trump doesn’t use that level of hyperbole. You need to see more movies.

    I have seen hundreds of films. Tell me one film that is better.

    Wow. You are pretty darn sure of yourself aren’t you. I guess it’s subjective. But some people are more subjective than others.

    What’s the second best film of all time? Now I’m curious.

    Here are my top 25:

    1. United 93, 2006. Ben Sliney on the ground: “Everybody lands, regardless of destination. … Shut off the East Coast. Shut off all the internationals from Europe. Shut off South America. Shut off the West Coast. Nothing over the top either. … Yeah, Canada … Nobody comes in, and nobody takes off. Land them all. … Listen, we’re at war with someone and until we figure out what to do about it, we’re shutting down. That’s it. We’re finished.”

    Thomas E. Burnett, Jr. in the plane: “This is a suicide mission. We have to do something. They are not going to land this plane. They are not going to take us back to the airport.” … “We are alone up here. Nobody is going to help us. We’ve got to do it. Okay?”

    Four airplanes were hijacked on 9/11/01. Only three reached their targets. This is the story of the plane where the passengers fought back. On Sunday, May 1, 2011, I took a break from the news that Osama Bin Laden had been killed to watch this movie again. I have watched this movie more than any other movie. This movie is presented in “real time” like “High Noon” and TV show “24” are. This was the last movie that I saw with Marilee in a Flagstaff theater before her stroke.

    1. Schindler’s List, 1993. “I could have got more out. I could have got more. … This car. Goeth would have bought this car. What did I keep this car? Ten people right there. Ten people. Ten more people. … This pin. Two people. This is gold. Two more people.” 

    Do not see this movie alone; have a friend with you. But don’t cheat yourself by not seeing this. This is one of the two most powerful movies that I have ever seen. 

    1. Stand By Me, 1986. “I never had any friends like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?” Captures the essence of being a 12 year old boy. A complete joy. 
    2. Atlas Shrugged, Part I, 2011. “NOOOOOOOOO!” I drove 300 miles one weekend and then 200 miles the second weekend to watch this film. The book changed my life when I read it while in High School. The dialogue and movie was true to the book, which was great for me, but not so much for someone who has never read the book. This was an independent production which showed. Still, it was gripping, exciting and deeply moving. Read the book and watch the movie.
    3. High Noon, 1952. One of the most inspiring movies I know; being true to yourself, and standing for what you believe, regardless of the consequences. Also, this movie is presented in “real time” like “United 93” and TV show “24” are. 
    4. [Edit: I don’t want to bear the static I would receive about this movie.]
    5. American Pie 2, 2001. “Nadia, I am a band geek. I just never joined the band.” A guilty pleasure of mine; a movie that I love and watch “the good parts” over and over again, but am a bit embarrassed about since others may find the movie to be too silly or not refined enough. American Pie 2 is the second of three movies. The original American Pie is good, but the third film, American Wedding, is a waste of time.
    6. Punch Drunk Love, 2002. Last words: “So here we go.” A guilty pleasure of mine.
    7. Bridget Jones Diary, 2001. “I like you very much. Just as you are.” … “Just as you are? Not thinner? Not cleverer? Not slightly bigger breasts or slightly smaller nose?” “No.” A guilty pleasure of mine.
    8. Fearless, 1993. “Pray for us now and in the moment of our death.” 

    “This is it. This is the moment of your death.” 

    How a man was transformed by surviving an airplane crash.

    1. Away from Her, 2006. “You probably think that I am being foolish.” “No, I should be so lucky.” A husband deals with his wife’s Alzheimer’s disease.
    2. The Accidental Tourist, 1988. “I’m beginning to think that maybe it’s not just how much you love someone. Maybe what matters is who you are when you’re with them.” 
    3. Scent of a Woman, 1992. “I don’t know if Charlie’s silence here today is right or wrong; I’m not a judge or jury. But I can tell you this: he won’t sell anybody out to buy his future!” How to tango, drive a Ferrari, and deliver a great speech while blind.
    4. Gran Torino, 2008. A Clint Eastwood masterpiece. “Get off my lawn!”
    5. Once, 2006. Instead of teaching two actors how to sing, the director taught two singer/composers how to act. For me, the best musical in the 2000’s. Song: Falling Slowly.
    6. Shawshank Redemption, 1994. “Get busy living or get busy dying.” Great and inspiring.
    7. What the Bleep Do We Know?, 2004. Metaphysics made easy. 
    8. Breaking the Waves, 1996. You have to be very open about sexuality to watch this.
    9. It’s A Wonderful Life, 1946. I always choke up at the end. 
    10. Enchanted April, 1992. Being true to yourself. Seeing inner beauty, not outer. Benita would watch this every April with her girlfriends.
    11. Femme Fatale, 2002. Would you do things differently if you could do it over? Everybody (Roger Ebert included) miss the switch in plain sight. I also missed the major shift in the movie. “I am your f***ing fairy godmother!”
    12. The Last of the Mohicans, 1992. “Wherever you go, I will find you, even if it takes a long, long time.” 
    13. Amazing Grace, 2006. How one person with a vision led to the abolition of the slave trade in the United Kingdom. Nothing can defeat an idea whose time has come.
    14. A Man for All Seasons, 1966. “I am commanded by the king to be brief, and since I am the king’s obedient subject, brief I will be. I die His Majesty’s good servant, but God’s first.”
    15. The Lives of Others, 2006. Subverting a totalitarian regime. The best movie of all time according to William F. Buckley, Jr. Subtitled in English.
    • #11
    • September 11, 2019, at 2:23 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Samuel Block Member

    Punch-Drunk Love and Breaking the Waves? Wouldn’t have guessed… that Emily Watson though!

     

    • #12
    • September 11, 2019, at 2:37 PM PDT
    • Like
  13. Mark Camp Member

    Franco (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):

    It’s a good movie. The best movie of all time? Even Trump doesn’t use that level of hyperbole. You need to see more movies.

    I have seen hundreds of films. Tell me one film that is better.

    Wow. You are pretty darn sure of yourself aren’t you. I guess it’s subjective. But some people are more subjective than others.

    What’s the second best film of all time? Now I’m curious.

     

    Lawyers learn the rule, ‘never ask the witness a question you don’t know the answer to.’

    Franco, I just read Gary’s response to your question. See which.

    New rule for Ricocheteers: never ask Gary a question that you don’t know the answer to.

    Point Robbins.

     

    • #13
    • September 11, 2019, at 3:03 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Vince Guerra Member

    I have tremendous respect for that movie but I’ve only seen it once. I started it a second time but just found I didn’t want to go there again, though I plan on having my teenagers watch it

    The best movie of all time is as subjective a label as ever existed. United 93 probably wouldn’t make my top 10, but it might rank near the top the list of “most important” films to watch along with Schindlers List, The Stoning of Soraya M, Fiddler on the Roof, Saving Private Ryan, Amistad, and others. 

    • #14
    • September 11, 2019, at 4:35 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  15. Aaron Miller Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    I have seen hundreds of films. Tell me one film that is better.

    Die Hard

    But I’ll check out United 93 on your recommendation. Thanks.

    • #15
    • September 11, 2019, at 4:46 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. LC Member
    LC

    It’s not my favorite movie of all time nor do I think it’s the best movie ever. But, I do think it is a great movie. Without a doubt, the best film Paul Greengrass has made. I think Greengrass should have won best director that year instead of Scorsese. I love Scorsese, but I’m still bitter than he finally won the best director award for a remake. I know The Departed is super popular and well-loved, but I enjoyed Infernal Affairs, the movie it’s a remake of, much more. Scorsese directed it well, but it is not his best. Greengrass was able to capture the technical filmmaking aspect and the emotional aspect of the story of United 93 impeccably well.

    • #16
    • September 11, 2019, at 5:08 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Bob Wainwright Member

    I’ve seen it twice I think. Each time, when it was over, it made me feel it would have been worth it to have been on that flight, if the payoff would have been that I could have gotten my hands around one of their scrawny necks. 

    • #17
    • September 11, 2019, at 5:21 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. Franco Member

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):

    It’s a good movie. The best movie of all time? Even Trump doesn’t use that level of hyperbole. You need to see more movies.

    I have seen hundreds of films. Tell me one film that is better.

    Wow. You are pretty darn sure of yourself aren’t you. I guess it’s subjective. But some people are more subjective than others.

    What’s the second best film of all time? Now I’m curious.

     

    Lawyers learn the rule, ‘never ask the witness a question you don’t know the answer to.’

    Franco, I just read Gary’s response to your question. See which.

    New rule for Ricocheteers: never ask Gary a question that you don’t know the answer to.

    Point Robbins.

     

    I thought his list was interesting. I’m not going to argue taste, but it was rather strange.

    In the same day, Gary has equated a few US States to Nazi and Communist regimes merely for deciding not to hold a primary, declared that Republicans can’t win the general election unless they run someone other than Trump ( I can understand the prediction Trump could lose, but not one that holds chances for another Republican to win) and the ( unnecessary) claim that this is the best movie of all time. 

    So I now believe he doesn’t have any sense of perspective. If he is sincere, I can’t imagine him navigating life. So I have to determine he’s not sincere. It may be why he hates Trump so much, since Trump does something similar. He makes outrageous claims to get attention and sow chaos.

     

     

    • #18
    • September 11, 2019, at 6:07 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins Post author

    LC (View Comment):

    It’s not my favorite movie of all time nor do I think it’s the best movie ever. But, I do think it is a great movie. Without a doubt, the best film Paul Greengrass has made. I think Greengrass should have won best director that year instead of Scorsese. I love Scorsese, but I’m still bitter than he finally won the best director award for a remake. I know The Departed is super popular and well-loved, but I enjoyed Infernal Affairs, the movie it’s a remake of, much more. Scorsese directed it well, but it is not his best. Greengrass was able to capture the technical filmmaking aspect and the emotional aspect of the story of United 93 impeccably well.

    Paul Greengrass is quite liberal. However, I was really pleased with both Paul Greengrass and Rush that Rush had a long and great interview with Paul Greengrass for the Limbaugh Letter.

    • #19
    • September 11, 2019, at 6:09 PM PDT
    • Like
  20. James Gawron Thatcher

    Gary,

    The strangest thing for me personally was that where 93 landed, it was only about 1/4 mile from where my parents’ small cottage on the lake was. We used to drive over to Shanksville’s general store (nothing but a crossroads) and pick up a few groceries..etc.

    Sometimes reality puts fiction to shame. That morning I was flying to New York to attend my Rabbi’s younger brother’s wedding. As I was parking the car in long term parking I had the radio on. All that it said was that a plane had hit a building in New York. I assumed that it was a small prop plane but I sat there and listened for a minute or two. Then bit by bit everything was turned upside down. By the time I got out of the car, I knew that every plane on the North American continent was grounded.

    In the airport on a giant screen, I watched both Towers come down in NYC where I had been headed only minutes before. Later when I heard that the last plane had come down in Shanksville it felt like Gd was talking directly to me. 

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #20
    • September 11, 2019, at 6:17 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  21. Cow Girl Thatcher

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):
    with regard to the 9-11/Pearl Harbor analogy, I now understand why my dad was still so PO’d at the Japanese well into the 1970s.

    That’s interesting…in 1973 I wanted to buy a car. My very first car. I asked my dad to come with me and help me negotiate the terms. I was very interested in getting a Toyota Corona. My friend had one and she really liked it, and so did I. Plus, at that point, American compact cars were weird and odd (think Pinto and Maverick). 

    He was not very enthused at me buying a Japanese car. Super not enthused. But, he helped me at the dealer and I got one, and it was a great little car. But, when my next sister wanted to buy a car–she got an American made car. My parents never purchased a Japanese made car ever again. He’d spent WWII in the Philippines as a radioman in the Navy. He didn’t like Japanese anything.

    • #21
    • September 11, 2019, at 11:19 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. cdor Member

    Franco (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):

    It’s a good movie. The best movie of all time? Even Trump doesn’t use that level of hyperbole. You need to see more movies.

    I have seen hundreds of films. Tell me one film that is better.

    Wow. You are pretty darn sure of yourself aren’t you. I guess it’s subjective. But some people are more subjective than others.

    What’s the second best film of all time? Now I’m curious.

     

    Franco, please, why argue about this? There is plenty else with which to disagree. 9/11 brings gut-wrenching tears to us all. Gary watches this movie to remember. It means a lot to him, perhaps because of that. We all do something to remember. 

    • #22
    • September 12, 2019, at 6:52 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  23. Mark Camp Member

    Cow Girl (View Comment):
    think Pinto and Maverick

    OK, I’m there. I am picturing a green Pinto and a gold Maverick.

    What do I do next?

    Hey, wait…were you saying that my first two cars were weird?

    • #23
    • September 12, 2019, at 11:24 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. Randy Weivoda Moderator

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):
    I remember seeing it in the theater, and the absolute silence in the crowd as people filed out when it ended.

    I saw it in a theater, too. Even though everyone knew exactly how it would end, the movie kept me on the edge of my seat. I haven’t seen it again but I remember thinking it was very well done.

    • #24
    • September 14, 2019, at 2:31 PM PDT
    • Like
  25. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins Post author

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):
    I remember seeing it in the theater, and the absolute silence in the crowd as people filed out when it ended.

    I saw it in a theater, too. Even though everyone knew exactly how it would end, the movie kept me on the edge of my seat. I haven’t seen it again but I remember thinking it was very well done.

    Every year it takes me right back to that terrible, terrible day.

    • #25
    • September 15, 2019, at 12:44 PM PDT
    • Like