World Trade Center

A realistic depiction of 9/11?

I almost couldn't believe my eyes, said Cal Thomas in The Buffalo News. Oliver Stone has created 'œone of the greatest pro-American, pro-family, pro-faith, pro-male, flag-waving, God Bless America films' ever made. 'œYes, that Oliver Stone.' He may be best known as a 'œdues-paying member of the Hollywood left,' a kook who admires Fidel Castro and insists that the CIA assassinated John F. Kennedy. But Stone's new movie, World Trade Center, belongs in the pantheon of great patriotic films. The film tells the harrowing story of two police officers who rush into the crumbling World Trade Center, only to be buried alive in the rubble. They survive solely because of their remarkable bravery and their unshakable faith—and that of the men who risk all to save them. 'œThese are real men who love their wives and children and are not afraid to say so. They are religious men who pray without shame or reserve.' Stone has made some terrible movies in the past, but this is a masterpiece, and he now 'œdeserves the thanks of a grateful nation.'

The film is 'œundeniably powerful,' said John Podhoretz in the New York Post. But by turning the al Qaida attacks into a tale of the 'œtriumph of the human spirit,' the movie presents a 'œfundamental falsification of the meaning of 9/11.' In Stone's hands, 'œthe worst day in modern American history' is transformed into 'œa story of joyous survival.' What do you expect from Hollywood? said Ryan Sager in The New York Sun. Sept. 11 forced us to face incomprehensible loss and a frightening new enemy that could strike on American soil. Re-creating that complex experience is a tall order for any commercial film. Perhaps one day, someone will make a movie that accurately reflects what it means to be suddenly plunged into 'œa clash of civilizations,' and 'œto live with the grief of that day.'

Despite its uplifting tone, World Trade Center is a big step in that direction, said Kathryn Jean Lopez in National Review. Stone insists that his film is not political, but it is impossible to watch the movie and not take away a 'œpolitical message.' The film reminds us how 'œregular guys' were 'œcalled upon to do something selfless, and answered that call.' It reminds us 'œhow Americans react to evil.' As we approach the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, it's become far too easy to forget what our nation suffered, to let the horror fade away. Stone's film rekindles 'œthe united outrage we feel when Americans are murdered. It's about why we fight.'

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