9/11 (2017 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Martin Guigui|
by Patrick Carson
|Music by||Jeff Toyne|
|Edited by||Eric Potter|
|Distributed by||Atlas Distribution Company|
9/11 is a 2017 American drama film directed by Martin Guigui and written by Guigui and Steven Golebiowski. It is based on the stage play Elevator by Patrick James Carson, which takes place during the September 11 attacks at the World Trade Center in New York City. The film stars Charlie Sheen, Whoopi Goldberg, Gina Gershon, Luis Guzmán and Jacqueline Bisset, and was released in the United States on September 8, 2017.
Jeffrey Cage (Charlie Sheen) works in the Twin Towers on 9/11. He arrives at the North Tower with his wife Eve (Gina Gershon) to sign divorce papers and are in the elevator when American Airlines Flight 11 crashes into the building, stopping the elevator. Along with them is Eddie (Luis Guzman) a maintenance man and Tina (Olga Fonda) a woman who has come to the Twin Towers to break up with her wealthy lover and Michael (Wood Harris) a delivery man. They try to open the elevator doors to escape but they are unable to do so and they are stuck inside.
Metzie (Whoopi Goldberg) is a dispatcher who communicates with the people stuck inside the elevator. She tells them that they only have one choice; to break the elevator door open and send the maintenance man to the power room to rewire the elevator back. The group inside the elevator begin to come up with plans to pry the door open. At first they use their hands but it is stuck too tightly, then they try to open the emergency shaft above but it can only be opened from the outside.
Metzie tells the group that the firefighters cannot make it to the top floor and they must unbolt the locking mechanism to open the doors. Finally they pry open the elevator, unlock the locking mechanism and break through a block of drywall into a janitor's room; only Eve gets out before the elevator's breaking cables make it impossible for the others to escape. Jeffrey tells Eve that he loves her and promises to meet in the lobby, then everyone in the elevator lie on their backs and brace for impact as the elevator begins to rumble and fall. The elevator smashes into the lobby, but everyone survives. Eve finds a firefighter to help her open the elevator door and everyone gets out except Jeffrey who is trapped in the elevator as it falls lower. The firefighter goes on top of the elevator and opens the emergency shaft. Just as the firefighter is about to pull Jeffrey up, the scene fades out, leaving their fate debatable.
- Charlie Sheen as Jeffrey Cage
- Whoopi Goldberg as Metzie
- Gina Gershon as Eve
- Luis Guzmán as Eddie
- Wood Harris as Michael
- Olga Fonda as Tina
- Jacqueline Bisset as Diane
- Bruce Davison as Monohan
- Faune A. Chambers as Holly
- Ian Fisher as Fireman
The first trailer was released on July 21, 2017, receiving backlash. Zack Sharf of IndieWire described the film as appearing to be "one of the most offensive films ever made" in part due to "the collapse of the Twin Towers [being] used as a ticking-time clock." The New York Daily News also noted that the trailer had been "panned on social media as 'offensive'."
The film was released on September 8, 2017, almost 16 years after the attacks took place.
The film was panned by critics. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 11% based on 9 reviews, with an average rating of 2.6/10. On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 20 out of 100, based on 4 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
Kimber Meyers of the Los Angeles Times gave the film a negative review, saying "9/11 trades on the emotional weight of its namesake day, manipulating audiences into feelings that have nothing to do with the mess that is actually on screen." In an equally unfavorable review, Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter noted that 9/11 "proves so exploitative that its end credits' dedication to the victims and first responders feels tawdry". Jezebel reviewer Rich Juzwiak wrote that although the film fades out with the words "Never Forget" written on the screen, "I won't, 9/11, but you've done your damnedest to make me want to."
Alonso Duralde of TheWrap praised the performances of Gina Gershon and Jacqueline Bisset and wrote: "Sixteen years later, 9/11 remains too touchy a subject for a movie as clumsy as 9/11 to get entirely right. And even if the film relies too much on the real-life horror of the actual event to loan it some gravitas, the performances touch the emotions honestly and deservedly."
Sheen's history with the 9/11 Truth movement
In 2006, Sheen called in to the far-right conspiracy theorist radio program The Alex Jones Show to voice his support to the then-growing 9/11 Truth movement. Sheen suggested that the Twin Towers had been destroyed due to a controlled demolition, which was then followed by a cover-up by the US government. He went on to state: "It seems to me like 19 amateurs with box cutters taking over four commercial airlines and hitting 75% of their targets -- that feels like a conspiracy theory." In 2006, Sheen spoke at a 9/11 truther convention in Los Angeles with Alex Jones, and later reaffirmed his beliefs about the conspiracy on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
When Sheen was interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter in September 2017, he reaffirmed his belief in the 9/11 truther movement, remarking, "I was not just coming up with stuff about 9/11. I was parroting those a lot smarter and a lot more experienced than myself, who had very similar questions. Not to put this behind us because, as brilliantly written, we must 'never forget,' but there are still a couple of things just rooted in simple physics that beg some measure of inquiry."
Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson, who lost his father in the 9/11 attacks, condemned the film in an Instagram post, citing Sheen's history with the Truther movement. Others also noted that it seemed to be a hypocritical move by director Martin Guigui to cast a vocal 9/11 Truther in a film about the attacks. Co-star Gina Gershon claimed to not have known about Sheen's earlier conspiracy-related statements until after filming on 9/11 had wrapped; she remarked that she would have spoken to Sheen about those comments before committing to the project.
- List of cultural references to the September 11 attacks
- Collapse of the World Trade Center
- United 93
- World Trade Center
- List of firefighting films
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