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"WORLD TRADE CENTER"
(2006) (Nicolas Cage, Michael Pena) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Heavy *Extreme *Heavy Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor Minor *None None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate None Extreme Heavy *Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Family members worry about and rescuers try to find victims buried in the rubble following the attacks of 9/11 and subsequent collapse of the World Trade Center towers.
PLOT:
It's early on the morning of September 11, 2001 and Control Sergeant John McLoughlin (NICOLAS CAGE) of the New York Port Authority has left his wife, Donna (MARIA BELLO), and kids in bed as he heads off for work. A 21-year-veteran, he has a number of rookies under his watch, including Will Jimeno (MICHAEL PENA), but the day looks routine, with the only advisory being for them to be on the lookout for a runaway headed for the city.

Then the unthinkable happens, as a plane crashes into one of the World Trade Center towers. John, Will and a number of other men, including Dominick Pezzulo (JAY HERNANDEZ) head down there, unsure of what's happening, and don't believe rumors that another plane has struck the other tower while they're en route.

But when they get there, chaos reigns and they immediately go into action, grabbing firefighting gear in the concourse level between the towers. Before they can make their ascent, however, the first tower collapses, burying John and his men under an enormous amount of debris.

With only three of them surviving but unable to get out, John and the other survivors must contend with their injuries, additional collapses, as well as the passage of time. Their respective families -- including Will's pregnant wife Alison (MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL) -- anxiously await any sort of word about their whereabouts and condition.

Meanwhile, ex-Marine Dave Karnes (MICHAEL SHANNON) travels to the city and proceeds on a one-man rescue mission, driven by his calling from God and his belief that this is the only thing to do. As other rescuers arrive on the scene, including former paramedic Scott Strauss (STEPHEN DORFF), the trapped men try to hold on as long as possible, while their loved ones hope and pray for the best.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Some older teens might be interested in it, but younger kids will probably shy away from this one unless they're fans of someone in the cast.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For intense and emotional content, some disturbing images and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • NICOLAS CAGE plays the solemn veteran cop who leads his men on a rescue mission only to become victims themselves when the towers come crashing down. Trapped along with but apart from Will, he tries to keep both of them alive. He briefly uses strong profanity under duress.
  • MICHAEL PENA plays a rookie in the department who likewise finds himself trapped in the rubble and tries to keep both of them alive. He also uses some profanity under duress.
  • MARIA BELLO plays John's wife who worries about him following the collapse, all while having to keep her family strong, including dealing with her teenage son who lashes out at her.
  • MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL plays Will's pregnant wife who likewise worries about him and how to handle questions from her young daughter about her father's whereabouts.
  • MICHAEL SHANNON plays an ex-Marine who feels a calling from God to travel to the city and do what he can. He then sets out on a solo rescue mission, and ends up finding and saving some trapped men.
  • STEPHEN DORFF plays a former paramedic who arrives on the scene to help (admitting that he's been in and out of rehab).
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this drama that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Brief sexual content includes the sight of a hooker (possibly a male transvestite) on the street, a mannequin in sexy lingerie, and some boxes of condoms and such briefly seen in a drugstore's family planning aisle.

    With the film dealing with the attacks of 9/11 (which are not seen in it, although the aftermath is), the scenes leading up to, during and after those incidents could be quite unsettling or suspenseful to viewers, particularly if they're still sensitive about the subject. Certain visuals (including the long distance sight of a body falling from a tower) could be rather disturbing. That also includes a large portion of the film involving several cops being trapped and pinned in an enormous amount of debris, their attempts to stay alive, and then rescue attempts to get them out.

    During that, one mortally wounded cop apparently takes his own life via a gunshot, while the victims' loved ones worry and occasionally bicker about them, and what they can do to help. Accordingly, all sorts of thematic elements are present, while some of the victims are rather bloody, and some minor and miscellaneous characters drink in a few scenes.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there is some shaky, handheld camera footage in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • A miscellaneous person has beer.
  • A friend or family member of Allison's drinks beer and then does so again later.
  • Scott admits that he's been in and out of rehab for years.
  • A miscellaneous person has a beer at a gathering.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A very bloody woman runs by the cops, and we then see a few other people with varying degrees of bloodiness, mostly soaked into their clothing.
  • A cop has blood down the side of his head, while another seen moments later has blood on his face and shirt.
  • A cop is badly wounded and blood pours out of his mouth.
  • Allison vomits into the toilet (from nerves and/or being pregnant).
  • We see a flashback to John asking his wife if she vomited yesterday as she did today (not seen), leading them to believe she's pregnant.
  • Cops in a station watch as some of their comrades return from the scene, covered in white dust and some dried blood.
  • In the dark, we can partially see some blood on the side of Will's head.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The terrorists (never seen or mentioned) obviously have both for hijacking and crashing the planes into the buildings.
  • Donna's young teenage son wants to go into the city to try to find his dad. She and others tell him that wouldn't do any good, but he won't listen, eventually yelling at her that she doesn't care about his father.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling, suspenseful, or scary to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • In addition, the entire film, including the anticipation of the events leading up to the attacks, as well as the aftermath could be unsettling and/or suspenseful to viewers.
  • Various people on the sidewalk react to the sudden and low shadow of one of the planes passing overhead.
  • We hear news on the TV that the first tower has been hit, and then see footage of the resultant fire (also on the TV news).
  • Various people feel and hear the impact and shudder inside one of the towers when it's hit.
  • The cops comment on rumors that the other tower was hit as well.
  • The cops see a person lying on the sidewalk, surrounded by helpers, and wearing a neck brace.
  • The cops arrive on the scene and find chaos: People running or staggering away, office papers floating everywhere and views of the burning tower (including a close-up view of the impact area). We then see (from a very long distance) a body falling from the tower, but we don't see the impact.
  • A very bloody woman runs by the cops, and we then see a few other people with varying degrees of bloodiness, mostly soaked into their clothing.
  • As John and his crew prepare to head up in a tower, they hear all sorts of structural creaking and related noises that don't sound good.
  • While traveling through the concourse level between the towers, John and his crew hear some awful sounds of collapse from above them. Others there panic and flee, and once the massive amounts of debris start falling outside their position, John yells for them to run for the elevator shaft. They do, just as the debris and resultant dust cloud blasts through the glass doors and engulfs all of them. A tremendous amount of debris then comes raining down on them, crushing some and trapping others, including John, Will and another cop (this sequence is very intense).
  • Now trapped in the debris of the collapse, John and Will are pinned down. Another cop tries to free Will, but can't budge the debris, and they plead for him to stay and not leave to try to get help. We then hear more sounds of collapse and more debris then rains down on them, with one large piece slamming into the one free cop, badly wounding him (blood pours out of his mouth). John is also hit by more debris, causing him to scream in agony.
  • A badly wounded and trapped cop pulls out his gun, implies he's going to commit suicide, and then fires a shot. The gun seemed to be pointed up into the air away from him, but he dies right at that moment, so it seems he shot himself.
  • The collapse of one of the towers is seen on TV news coverage (and we then see more such footage).
  • John tells Will not to fall asleep as he might not wake up (meaning death), with both then constantly reminding and urging the other not to let that happen.
  • Blasts of fire repeatedly stream through the wreckage near Will and John who can't move out of the way, followed by more falling debris, some of which lands on or near John, causing him to scream in agony. We then see that Will was partially seared by some of those fireballs.
  • A dead officer's handgun suddenly starts firing on its own, with Will try to duck for cover, but he can't move due to being pinned down.
  • John and Will discuss (while trapped) how many hours they might have left before they perish.
  • There's a sound of an explosion and more debris collapses down onto John and Will (in a long sequence).
  • We see TV footage of Building 7 collapsing at the site.
  • A trapped cop appears to fade away and die (and we then see an image of Jesus holding a bottle of water for him), but is later seen alive.
  • Several rescuers crawl through many feet of tangled wreckage, trying to get to Will and John (who's many feet below him). They then try to free them from the wreckage, but it takes a long time, and Will is worried that John (who they haven't reached yet) is going to die. He then tells his rescuer to cut off his leg so that they can extract him and move on to John, but the rescuer won't do that.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Various cops wear sidearms.
  • A badly wounded and trapped cop pulls out his gun, implies he's going to commit suicide, and then fires a shot. The gun seemed to be pointed up into the air away from him, but he dies right at that moment, so it seems he shot himself.
  • A dead officer's handgun suddenly starts firing on its own, with Will try to duck for cover, but he can't move due to being pinned down.
  • Some National Guardsmen carry automatic weapons.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: An incomplete "What the f..." "That's why I can't f*cking talk," "Holy sh*t," "(No) Bullsh*t," "Schmuck," "Hell no," "This is gonna be a bitch," "Didn't bring you down here to scratch your ass," "Freaking," "Whole freaking world," "Bastards," "Utter hell," "A tough nut," "This whole thing is crap," "She's pissed," "Alyssa the pissa," "I'm gonna kick his ass when I see him," "Screw up," "What the hell happened?" and "Get off your ass."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A dead officer's handgun suddenly starts firing on its own.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • We didn't note any suspenseful music, but it's possible there is some during the suspenseful scenes (and that we were so caught up in the moment that we didn't make a mental note of it).
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word (with another incomplete one), 6 "s" words, 7 hells, 5 damns, 3 asses, 1 crap, 1 S.O.B., 8 uses of "Oh my God," 2 each of "G-damn," "Jesus" and "Oh God" and 1 use of "Oh Jesus."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see John showering, but only see a brief torso and up view of him.
  • We see Will in his boxers in the locker room, and another cop jokes about them, asking if they also make them for men (based on the color and design, not the cut).
  • We briefly see a hooker on the street (who might be a male transvestite) dressed in some scanty but non-revealing attire.
  • In passing, we briefly see a store mannequin wearing some sexy panties and a bra.
  • Allison shows a little cleavage.
  • We see a flashback to Will playfully kissing Allison in bed (both are clothed), but then see that she's quite pregnant with their first child (so nothing sexual occurs).
  • In the background of a scene set in a drugstore, we see the family planning aisle in the background along with boxes of condoms and home pregnancy test kits.
  • Allison shows a bit more cleavage as she leans over.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • The family members of John, Will and others anxiously await any sort of word or news about their loved ones at Ground Zero (many scenes depict that).
  • John's kids watch TV news coverage of the event, knowing he's somewhere in the middle of it.
  • Donna's young teenage son wants to go into the city to try to find his dad. She and others tell him that wouldn't do any good, but he won't listen, eventually yelling at her that she doesn't care about his father.
  • Donna laments that she can't remember the last thing she said to John.
  • Donna recalls a memory of John working in his workshop with their son (the memory makes her sad for thinking he might not be there again).
  • Allison's young daughter asks if her daddy is coming home, and Allison says she doesn't know.
  • John hallucinates about talking with Donna while he's still trapped. He wonders if he loved her enough or loved her good, and she responds that after a while they kind of stopped looking at each other. However, she then tells him to hold on (to get out alive).
  • Another mother talks and then cries about her son who's missing somewhere in the wreckage.
  • Various family members see many posted fliers listing missing loved ones.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The real life event, and the historical accuracy and/or any artistic license taken with the facts.
  • How the public's reaction to the event has and has not changed in the intervening years.
  • The comment that the police force was not prepared for something like this, and had no plan in place for something of this size.
  • First responders and rescuers.
  • The comment (taken from a movie) that pain is your friend, meaning that if you're feeling pain, you're still alive.
  • Will feels guilty about his actions and how they affected some other cops for the worse.
  • Scott admits that he's been in and out of rehab for years.
  • We see an emergency room staffer sucking small "rocks" out of a survivor's mouth via suction (from being stuck in the wreckage).
  • The comment that the events of 911 obviously showed the evil that people are capable of, but also the goodness in others that we forget could exist.
  • VIOLENCE
  • While we don't see the actual attacks on the World Trade Center towers, we see the resultant damage via TV news coverage, as well as footage of dazed, wounded, and/or bloody victims.
  • While traveling through the concourse level between the towers, John and his crew hear some awful sounds of collapse from above them. Others there panic and flee, and once the massive amounts of debris start falling outside their position, John yells for them to run for the elevator shaft. They do, just as the debris and resultant dust cloud blasts through the glass doors and engulfs all of them. A tremendous amount of debris then comes raining down on them, crushing some and trapping others, including John, Will and another cop (this sequence is very intense).
  • Now trapped in the debris of the collapse, John and Will are pinned down. Another cop tries to free Will, but can't budge the debris, and they plead for him to stay and not leave to try to get help. We then hear more sounds of collapse and more debris then rains down on them, with one large piece slamming into the one free cop, badly wounding him (blood pours out of his mouth). John is also hit by more debris, causing him to scream in agony.
  • A badly wounded and trapped cop pulls out his gun, implies he's going to commit suicide, and then fires a shot. The gun seemed to be pointed up into the air away from him, but he dies right at that moment, so it seems he shot himself.
  • Blasts of fire repeatedly stream through the wreckage near Will and John who can't move out of the way, followed by more falling debris, some of which lands on or near John, causing him to scream in agony. We then see that Will was partially seared by some of those fireballs.
  • There's a sound of an explosion and more debris collapses down onto John and Will (in a long sequence).



  • Reviewed August 2, 2006 / Posted August 9, 2006

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [American Made] [Battle of the Sexes] [Flatliners] [A Question of Faith] [Stronger]

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