World Trade Center

Rated 3.0

Well, here it is: Oliver Stone’s 9/11 movie. You might expect a salacious spectacle here, some incendiary blast of paranoid revisionism told in a tossed salad of cheap (if expensive) shots. But if so, you’ll be disappointed. By Stone standards, World Trade Center is a picture of restraint. It recalls the day as experienced by Port Authority Police Sgt. John McLoughlin and officer Will Jimeno (Nicolas Cage and Michael Peña respectively), who braved the burning trade-center towers, got trapped in the rubble of their collapse and toughed it out until being rescued. Were it not for the enormity of the event and its automatic emotional valence, this might just come off like a slickly made two-part episode of any decent TV police drama; it makes few demands of the intellect, preferring instead simply to go for the gut. Though first-timer Andrea Berloff’s script is sometimes disingenuously PG-13ish, Stone wears its message—about responding to the affliction of brutalizing impotence with patience, love and bravery—rather well.