It is not easy to watch a movie like United 93 that details such an emotional moment in history, especially because when 9/11 happened, I really felt a connection to the brave passengers on that flight who I believe saved many more lives in Washington D.C. by their resolve not to be puppets on that plane. They took action, and they gave their lives for their country. That is exactly how I feel about it. I have long felt they should all be awarded the Presidental Medal of Freedom.
At any rate, so many emotions come to the surface when watching this. It is really a reverent experience.
United 93 was done with an extremely documentary type of feeling with no flash, no glam, and no glitter to the presentation. It is just the straight dope on the facts with any exposition for anything. This is not Airport, the disaster film. We do not get a lot of fluff or chit chat other than some very brief on plane visuals to help us get to know a bit about what the people might have been doing and talking about on the flight.
The movie actually only has a few locations, and all shots are as factual as can be, taken from the official report of the 9/11 commission. In fact, a lot of the actors are the real people, such as flight controllers. It all adds to the realism of the event.
Along with the lack of exposition, there is also the lack of dramatic license and supposition. The families of United 93 were all involved with the film and gave their permission for the project. It was important to the filmmakers to honor all of them, so again, this is not some flashy disaster film.
It ends with the crash in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after several minutes of panic and fight aboard the plane. The production did its best to put forth what might have happened. It does get violent, but not overly so.
I found United 93 to be quite respectful. It is almost low key in spots, but again, that was a conscious decision not to turn this bit of history into an Airport movie. It does its job.