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Much better than I was expecting. All the scenes on the ground (air traffic control, both military and civilian) were very compelling. Interesting to read that a lot of the cast were playing themselves or were in that line of work themselves so gave it a very documentary-like feel. Lines were delivered by someone who knew the subject and industry rather than an actor. In fact, they did a better job than bone fide actors IMO.
Worth a watch if it comes up on the TV schedules for sure.
(PS: I'm not American).
Interesting to read that indeed. I was very impressed by the scenes on the ground, this is a theme that has been very explored (not that it's censurable), but how it was lived by all the air traffic control, who knew nothing about what was going on, and specially with that 'documentary-like feel', made it very interesting.
First half was like a documentary and the second half totally changed the genre. It's neither bad or good as a movie. But the scenes were a bit disconnected from each other. The cinematography could be much better. All indoor shots made me uncomfortable rather than getting me into the movie. They should have keep some shots of plane from the outside. Overall good movie; worths watching. 5/10.
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In 5 official lists
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This movie ranks #22 in A.V. Club's The Best Movies of the 2000s
This movie ranks #107 in Tim Dirks's 100+ Most Controversial Films of All-Time
This movie ranks #186 in Empire's The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time
This movie ranks #241 in TSPDT's 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
This movie ranks #938 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die