Rated: R for language. Reviewed by: Frank Release date: September 8, 2017 Released by: Black Bear Studios
9/11 is based on Patrick James Carson's play Elevator and it is easily a better script for a play than a film.
Five people captive in an elevator at the World Trade Center on the day of the 9/11 attack spend time attempting to escape, airing their grievances with life, their situation and each other.
Jeffrey Cage (Charlie Sheen) is the confident successful steady business man who has little time for his family. In fact he has just ending a meeting with lawyers to discuss a divorce from his wife(Gina Gershon). They are two of the five caught in the elevator box by the damage to the towers. Whoopi Goldberg is the radio relation manager who is attempting to understand why all the elevators under her control and oversight are not functioning. Her communication with Eddie (Luis Guzman) who is in the elevator helps the situation for the five captives. Wood Harris (who is the most effective in his part) is Michael a man with a child who has a birthday that day and he is caught delivering mail in the tower and eventually in the tragic elevator. Olga Fonda is Tina a young woman who reveals she is the mistress of a wealthy older man and bitter about it.
Dialogue in a closed space very seldom works effectively on the big screen, one example that does work is Room but that was unusual and special and had some very exciting scenes outside of the Room. 9/11 has excitement, but at times the dialogue is not enough for a film with such a gigantic effect on an entire nation. It does hold our attention as we learn more about the characters, but it is most effective when they send messages to their families who are at home watching the burning buildings on TV. The emotions during the phone calls reach out effectively to twist our emotions. Jacqueline Bissett is a grandmother who receives one of the calls and must work with a young boy insuring him his parents will be safe.
Over time it is easy to feel concern for the characters and their plight, but an epilogue filling us in on what happened after the tower fell would have made the story far more satisfactory.