Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. Greengrass has made not only a thoroughly fact-checked film but a film that uncontrovertibly comes from the heart.
  2. 100
    Far from being exploitive, the effect is inspiring: This is the best of us.
  3. 100
    This is a masterful and heartbreaking film, and it does honor to the memory of the victims.
  4. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    100
    The superb United 93, from the British writer-director Paul Greengrass, does not waste time defining the undefinable. Nor does it strain for poetry when, with this story, prose is enough.
  5. It's Greengrass' way of asking a question that looms large in these post-9/11 days: Are we all praying to the same God, or is one man's God better than another, and one man's God vastly more terrifying?
  6. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    100
    One of the most harrowing, viscerally upsetting films ever made.
  7. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    100
    An unflinching, powerfully visceral and haunting portrait of the tragic events aboard one of the terrorist-commandeered flights on the fateful morning of Sept. 11, 2001.
  8. 100
    United 93 is powerful not only in the way it provides hope through the actions of a few unlikely heroes, but in its ability to take us back through time to a day many of us would prefer not to remember, but will never forget.
  9. 100
    You’re unlikely to come across a more powerful film this year.
  10. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    100
    Impossible to recommend as a great Friday night out, yet agonisingly vital as thought-urging cinema.
  11. 100
    There's no cheap uplift to their victory, no pop catharsis. What's great about United 93 is that you never feel it's just a movie - even though, as a movie, it's terrific.
  12. What United 93 demonstrates, as if we needed proof, is that it is too soon - it may always be too soon - to sort out the feelings from that day.
  13. 100
    I am here to tell you that Greengrass has fashioned one of the most powerful films I have ever seen, and that watching it makes you value your loved ones and your privileges more, perhaps, than you ever have. He has made a film that makes you feel, makes you think and makes you want to connect. And that, finally, might be the greatest thing that art can do.
  14. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    100
    Brilliant, tightly focused, and momentous.
  15. 100
    It is the highest compliment I can pay Greengrass to say that he is a master of the mundane, the routine and the everyday.
  16. 100
    May be the most wrenching, profound and perfectly made movie nobody wants to see.
  17. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    100
    The controversial film that is unbearable--and unmissable.
  18. Quite remarkably, though, its clear-eyed view of an unprecedented American tragedy leaves us with emotions that audiences of those earlier days would readily recognize -- love of country, bottomless grief, an appreciation of life's preciousness and fragility. A film that can do this and also teach is to be cherished. And seen. It's time.
  19. 100
    Greengrass’s movie is tightly wrapped, minutely drawn, and, no matter how frightening, superbly precise.
  20. Pulling the bandage of sentiment cleanly away from oozing concepts like ''heroism'' and ''our nation's war on terror'' in the aftermath of recent wounds, here's a drama about the most politically charged crisis of our time that grants the dignity of autonomy to every soul involved.
  21. A respectful, accomplished, non-exploitative piece of historical filmmaking and -- for audiences -- a gripping white-knuckle ride all the way.
  22. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    90
    The result is a tense, documentary-style drama that methodically builds a sense of dread despite the preordained outcome.
  23. 90
    United 93 unfolds with the terrible inevitability of a modern-day "Battle of Algiers," with Greengrass exerting superb control of tone, structure and pace...United 93 may be the best movie I ever hated.
  24. Instead of using actors, Greengrass employed many of the actual air traffic controllers and military commanders who were on the ground that day. Also aiding his film's universality is Greengrass' use of little known actors in the central roles, preventing stardom from affecting our ideas about heroism and patriotism.
  25. 88
    There's nothing about United 93 that qualifies as entertainment in the traditional sense: It is an unpleasant, wrenching experience, which is just as it should be.
  26. I wouldn't recommend the movie to anyone, but if the families of the victims take something positive from it, as their cooperation with Greengrass suggests they do, that's justification enough.
  27. 88
    It's a long, brutal and honest look at a shattering event some Americans would apparently prefer not to see depicted - but also a respectful, inspiring one that's in no way exploitative or emotionally manipulative.
  28. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    88
    The movie is hard going, not least in the sense of powerlessness it leaves in an audience that knows exactly what will happen. And yet you come out feeling that the filmmakers have done the right thing by these people, and by this day.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 320 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 26 out of 154
  1. NickA.
    Jun 29, 2007
    10
    Paul Greengrass, acclaimed director of 'Bloody Sunday' and 'The Bourne Supremacy,' provides this film with intensity beyond climax; tautly and intoxicating retelling the events of the ill-fated journey of United Airlines flight 93, which would cease its travel in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Breaching my personal list of the "100 Greatest Movies Ever Made," Greengrass' '93' is easily the most emotionally strenuous film in a decade, leaving its viewers shocked and still and utterly silenced in horror by its conclusion, which, despite being a film of unparalleled quality, couldn Full Review »
  2. SteveC
    Oct 23, 2006
    10
    An inspiring and beautiful film, a moving tribute to the victims of 9/11. I was really surprised how interesting this film was.
  3. BobB
    Sep 17, 2006
    10
    Alan P. gave it a2:
    A film I left with the feeling I had been cheated. There could be no involvement with any character, the situation or
    activity. A film made to cash in on the desire for emotional self flagellation over an event few really understand or comprehend. I was was left with the question why bother making such a film.

    Whoever wrote this is a frickin idiot. I know that sounds harsh, but it's the truth. No character development...I wonder why...maybe because that was the point!

    Here's a message for you Alan P., When you're giving a film a 2 and you're surrounded by 9s and 10s, either you've proved hundreds of people wrong or you're too intellectually shallow to comprehend even a minute of this masterpiece.
    Full Review »