Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hammervision's 10 Best of the Decade: No. 8

UNITED 93 (2006)

Few movies have rattled me so deeply as United 93. Directed by Paul Greengrass (of The Bourne Supremacy and Ultimatum) with the utmost precision and grace, and an almost alarming sense of urgency and realism, millions avoided the movie in theaters and still have yet to see it. That's a shame because United 93 is a powerful, gut-wrenching movie that honors the passengers on that flight and never once stoops to trivializing the drama or reveling in sentimentality or cliches. In fact, part of the reason the movie works so well is that the set-up is pure Hollywood (terrorists take over a plane and it's up to the passengers to take them down), and as an audience, we're accustomed to seeing that story arc play out in a certain way (usually with Bruce Willis). When United 93 ultimately deviates from that arc, it's devastating. The last twenty minutes of the movie are a visceral tour de force. Seeing it for the first time, I could barely breathe and it felt like my stomach was in my throat. Greengrass puts you on that plane. And that plane is going down. United 93 is brutal yet brilliant and demands to be seen.

Here's the running list:

10. Mission: Impossible III
9. The Royal Tenenbaums
8. United 93

Agree? Disagree? Post your thoughts below, and come back soon for No. 7.

- John


At 9:20 AM, Blogger Matt said...

Solid pick. Great movie!

At 8:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A solid movie and good safe choice dealing with a touchy subject that had to have a film made about it. I don't know if it would have made my top 10, but I suppose if I thought about it, it might? I don't know. If you said quick name 10 great movies from the past decade I don't know if I would have this on the tip of my tounge, but it was a good movie.

At 10:02 PM, Blogger Hammer said...

Anonymous - I would be very interested to hear your picks. Hint - it's a lot tougher than it seems. I've second guessed (and triple guessed) almost every movie on this list.

At 8:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hammer, I agree that it is really hard to select 10 movies from a decadeto concider the ten best, but the ones you are picking are just not them, in my opinion. I liked your last pick of There Will Be Blood, however, that isn't the best movie of its own year and yet it is in the top ten? I commented on your other posts as well, have a happy thanksgiving and I will post you my top ten after I post on your other comments.


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