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‘World Trade Center’ honors heroes

In this edition of the “Critic's Corner,” “Today” movie critic Gene Shalit reviews Oliver Stone's new film, starring Nicolas Cage.
/ Source: TODAY

Oliver Stone's new film about the fate of two police officers on 9/11 is open in theatres all over the country. “Today” movie critic Gene Shalit says “World Trade Center” honors the women and men of that fateful day.

Director Oliver Stone’s “World Trade Center” is a virtuosic microcosm of the catastrophe that changed America forever. Thousands perished, hundreds were heroic, a very few were lucky. This chronicles a providential pair of indomitable policemen, John McLoughlin (Nicolas Cage) and Will Jimeno (Michael Pena). Almost as soon as they rush inside, it all crashes and both are buried under massive slabs of concrete. Immovably pinned, Cage in agony, Pena hallucinating, unable to see each other but able to hear, they talk in desperate gasps about anything, straining to stay awake and fend off fatal sleep. At home, their anguished wives Maria Bello and Maggie Gyllenhaal are tormented by not knowing. Then fate ascends, embodied in Dave Karnes (Michael Shannon), a Connecticut accountant and ex-Marine. Sensing divine direction, he reaches New York to surreptitiously search the ruins. The writing, the direction, the emotional percussion of Cage and Pena’s performances — all masterful … and true. If this were a movie, you wouldn’t believe it.