This Charlie Sheen ‘9/11’ Movie Is Not A Parody, Unfortunately

We should be offended, as Americans. And humans.
By  · Published on July 21st, 2017

We should be offended, as Americans. And humans.

Last week, US distributor Atlas Distribution company released the poster for a film called 9/11 starring Charlie Sheen, Gina Gerson, Luis Guzman, and Whoopi Goldberg. It promised the story of people who lived through the attacks of September 11, 2001. And at first glance, it was hard to know whether it was a real movie or some kind of weird Funny or Die joke.

Today, we’ve learned that this is not a joke. It’s not a tasteless parody of a 9/11 film. It’s not even a Tropic Thunder-style farce mocking the way Hollywood too often goes way too far in its quest to mine box office bucks from real world tragedy. It’s none of these things. It’s a real movie. From director Martin Guigui, famous for, uh — 2016’s William Forsythe-led Jake LaMotta film The Bronx Bull, I guess — 9/11 tells a story “based on actual events,” about a “group of 5 people find themselves trapped in an elevator in the World Trade Center’s North Tower on 9/11. They work together, never giving up hope, to try to escape before the unthinkable happens.”

Anyone who lived through 9/11 should be deeply offended by the premise alone, let alone the absolute trash filmmaking apparent in the trailer. Even in their somewhat craven post-9/11 movies, both Oliver Stone (World Trade Center) and Paul Greengrass (United 93) were respectful enough of the nation’s most tragic day to use care and consideration in telling their stories. Each of those movies purported itself with the weight of the tragedy. This low-rent dumpster fire is at best indecent, at worst morally repugnant.

I’ve long been someone who is proudly unflappable by movie trailers. Not easily offended, to say the least. But this is offensive, both to Americans and anyone who values cinema. To release it on the weekend before September 11th is even more abhorrent.

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Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)