Flight 93: The Movie



Tense made-for-TV movie about Sept.11 skyjacking.
  • Review Date: May 29, 2006
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Passengers cope with the grim situation of being hijacked on a suicide terrorist mission, and ultimately they decide to foil the marauders even at the cost of their own lives.


Some quick slashings with box-cutter knives (some blood shown), and a man is splashed with boiling water. The worst is left to the imagination.

Not applicable

Hardly any rough language.


Even the aircraft insignia are left out, though soft-drink labels show on a beverage cart being used as battering-ram.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is not the theatrical United 93 motion picture but a less-hyped cable-TV movie telling the same story of the ill-fated but heroic passengers of a September 11 plane commandeered by terrorists. Unlike the other film, this does not drop F-bombs of mass destruction, but there is still considerable intensity and tragedy, especially in the passengers and their families realizing that death is inevitable. There is some violence, as the terrorists take over the aircraft with knives and threats of a bomb.

What's the story?

FLIGHT 93: THE MOVIE follows events in the air and on the ground during 9/11 with an emphasis (initially) on the mundane chores of passengers and flight crew getting ready for the transcontinental flight, while their families begin the day at home. Also on board Flight 93 are the Islamic suicide terrorists, more or less led by Ziad Jarrah (Amin Nazemzadeh). By the time the terrorists take control of the plane and cockpit by force and sharply altered its course, the passengers have already gotten word via their own cellular phones of three other airliners made to go kamikaze. Some of them tearfully say goodbye to their families, some pray. The soon-to-be famous Todd Beamer (Brennan Elliott) stays on his hookup with a shocked Verizon Wireless operator (Monnae Michaell), giving her updates right up until the end -- when several of the hostages vote to rush the terrorist-occupied cabin. The plane crashes (offscreen, but a farmer watches it wheeling overhead) in a Pennsylvania field rather than hitting an intended target, almost certainly one in Washington D.C.

Is it any good?


No, this is NOT the United 93 theatrical movie about the hijacked Sept. 11 passenger airline that gave the USA Todd Beamer's alleged words "Let's roll" as an anti-terrorist rallying cry. It's actually a made-for-TV drama on exactly the same subject, released to home video at the same time United 93 was in wide release. The two features are mirror-images of each other, both laudable and honorably non-sensationalized attempts to dramatize the incomprehensible horror of the day. Flight 93 (produced for the A&E cable network) is, arguably, a little more family-friendly because it eschews profanity. Viewers who didn't think Hollywood had much business making money retelling this raw-wound story probably won't be convinced by either film.

Viewers with the benefit of the DVD commentary track can hear the filmmakers discuss how much of what you are seeing is speculation based on the cellular phone calls and control-tower transmissions, and how much is true -- like the order going out to US military fighter-interceptors to blow the hostage flight out of the air if it gets near victims on the ground. Tweens and younger kids could be inclined to concoct fanciful solutions in which the flight might have been brought down safely. You can use that as a springboard for many serious concepts, about heroism, hopelessness, and sacrifice.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the way that the passengers, even in the dawning realization that there was no escape, rallied and thwarted the terrorists' goal of dropping Flight 93 on Washington D.C. This is a complex and loaded topic, dealing with self-sacrifice and mortality; expect kids to have a lot of questions. Ask teens with memories of September 11 and the wall-to-wall news coverage whether they thought this story needed to be told, and whether it satisfied anything they did not know or feel before. With older and more movie-savvy kids, you can talk about how the movie compared with other, vintage movies about real-life military attacks on the innocent, from flag-waving propaganda movies after Pearl Harbor to a spate of celebratory TV movies in the '70s after Israeli troops successfully freed terrorist hostages at Entebbe Airport. On another level, this movie and its theatrical twin are not like those at all. Does that make them more successful as tributes, or just another form of propaganda?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 30, 2006
DVD release date:May 3, 2006
Cast:Brennan Elliott, Jeffrey Nordling, Ty Olsson
Director:Peter Markle
Studio:Sterling Entertainment
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:violence and emotional intensity

This review of Flight 93: The Movie was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Story of 9/11 hijacking: harrowing, not for kids.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 13 years old Written bydklink April 9, 2008
Teen, 13 years old Written byadriannah is awesome September 30, 2011

Adriannah is awesome+ i am a comedian!!!!!!!! LOL

the movie Flight 93 is a good movie to show young adults, around the age of 13+. There are positive messges in this movie that young kids could here but some parents are picky about what they let there kids watch. There are many good role models and i am only 13 years old and i am writing this after i watched this movie in health class, my teacher said it was ok to cry and alot of us cried because of the sadness in this movie i though it was just a wonderful movie it is very touching and will just tovh your heart. There is actualy some violence which includes mahamadd bin laden or how ever you spell his name well he stabs one of the guys on the plane because he was going to call te police and he didnt want that to happen so he stabbed him so no one would think that they were dangerous! well thats all i have to say and this is me adriannah a girl that is 13 saying that this is a good movie for everyone that is between the ages of 13+ well thats all i have to say! BYE LOVE YOU ALL JK btw that means jsut kidding for all the adults taht dont speak us teens language! lol and that means laugh out loud gosh guys get you facts right i am also a comedian please leave me some comments and tel me what i could do to be funnier and i have a website called leave me alone im a comedian.org its funny
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 14 years old Written bymovieslug August 9, 2009

one of the saddest movies ive ever seen

this movie is very hard to watch and is not for entertainment porpeses there for i fell it shold not be ratted there is death vilolence and very stressfull moments i do not recomend to anyone 13 and under
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Great role models


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Star Wars Guide