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Review: “World Trade Center” by Oliver Stone Essay (Movie Review)


The purpose of this study is to analyze the movie World Trade Center (2006) directed by Oliver Stone. The assessment will capture the nature of the crisis presented in the movie, the steps taken to alleviate the crisis and the skills employed in the rescue operations. The study will also assess the development of the virtue of resilience as depicted in the movie.

A crisis occurs as a result of an unexpected situation that is precarious and life threatening. In most cases, the cause of the threat is predominantly unidentified. The situation causing the crisis may result from poor system performance. Crises are associated with complex systems.

Simple systems do not necessarily cause crises. In any crisis set-up, an immediate solution must be sort. One of the characteristics of a crisis is that it occurs unexpectedly. Due to the uncertainty manifested by the crisis, it may cause a lot of anxiety to the parties concerned (James & Gilliland, 2013).

The nature of the crisis presented

Crises may be put in various categories ranging from development, situational and eco-systematic crises. The type of crisis presented in the movie World Trade Center (2006) directed by Oliver Stone is a situational one. A situational crisis occurs suddenly (James 2008). It is not designated to appear at any particular place. It randomly occurs.

It is not possible to forecast a situational crisis hence the need to employ some crisis preparedness techniques arise. The most ideal situation is to have disaster preparedness systems in place so that they could be used in case of any crisis. Situational crises are usually very powerful, outrageous and disastrous.

In the movie World Trade Center (2006) directed by Oliver Stone, immediately when the South Tower was hit, the victims were seen jumping out of the tower. When the South Tower started to rubble, the police officers from Port Authority Police had already begun their rescue operations.

They entered the concourse of the tower with the security equipment. When one the officers named Pezzulo was trying to free his colleague’s leg from the rubble, the North Tower began to rubble, and Pezzulo was critically injured and died.

Family members were anxiously waiting for the rescue of members from the rubble. The fate of the trapped members, Mclaughlin and Jimeno, was unknown hence this caused anxiety. Nobody knew whether they were dead or alive.

Steps for alleviating the crisis

At first, John Mclaughlin noted that a plane was flying dangerously overhead. When the North Tower had been hit, he together with other officers rushed to the scene and started the rescue operations. They were unaware of the threat that was to happen and its magnitude.

This was a confident move in dealing with a threat of unknown magnitude. When the second tower started to rubble, the officers took cover in the service shaft. Some of the officers like Amoros and Rodriques did not manage to reach the service shaft.

This demonstrated an excellent way of getting an immediate solution to the crisis. While John McLoughlin and Willy Jimeno were still trapped in the rubble for long hours, McLoughlin tried his best to keep Jimeno from falling asleep. This portrayed that the two were still hopeful that they would be rescued. Family members desperately waited for the rescue of their loved ones.

This was a courageous way of expressing hope in the midst of crisis. Friends stood next to the family members. Even though they were quite helpless in offering any sort of help, they expressed love and comfort during the crisis. They turned to the church and God for divine intervention. This was an important aspect taken for granted during the crisis.

Coping skills

The wives of the two police officers, Donna McLoughlin and Allison Jimeno, remained strong amidst the crisis that was affecting them. Their children looked upon them. They had to be strong. Any signs of desperation would have negatively affected their children. The two ladies may have been thinking of the responsibility that would be laid with them in case of their husbands’ death.

The trapped officers endured pain. In one of the scenes, Jimeno legs were trapped in the rubble. This showed that he endured pain from the weight of the rubble on his leg.

Unlike many other crises where the affected parties appeared helpless, this was not case with the said police officer. On realizing that there was a metal bar above his body in the trapped situation, Jimeno used it to produce some noise so that the rescuers could hear it and eventually came and helped them.

Crisis victims often experience some inability to cope with the situation encountered. Some signs of person’s inability to cope with the skills required are portrayed in the movie World Trade Center (2006) by Oliver Stone. Some desperation may have gripped the two officers trapped in the rubble.

They wanted to get out of the trapped situation as soon as possible though it was impossible as they remained trapped for several hours (Halbfinger, 2006).

The two officers could also have been bewildered by the situation they were in. None of them may have gone through such an experience before. The trapped officers may have feared that the situation could have been more dangerous. There was a confusion which affected their ability to think clearly.

Developing resilience

US Marine officers were there for so many hours (Halbfinger, 2006). They dedicated themselves wholly to ensure that all the rescue operations were accomplished. The noise from the metal bar produced by Jimeno alerted them, and they were able to identify the location where the two were trapped (Stone, 2006).

The family members, colleagues and friends all came to the hospital to support the rescued victims (Wright, 2012). This demonstrated their unity and hope for the better. The children of the trapped officers, especially McLoughlin’s, were teenagers. Having witnessed what happened to their fathers, the children developed some resilience towards such a future occurrence.


A crisis situation can happen any time. Proper management of a crisis scenario plays a major role in ensuring that people’s lives are saved (Hergenhahn, 2005). This can take various dimensions depending on the situation. Crisis victims normally require both physical and psychological healing.

If psychological healing is ignored, the victim ends up suffering even after the physical healing has been administered to them. It is important to employ the services of a trained counselor to offer psychological therapy. Trained counselors are able to identify the cause of psychological trauma and, therefore, guide the victim step by step through the healing process.


Halbfinger, D. M. (2006). Oliver Stone’s ‘World Trade Center’ Seeks Truth in the Rubble .New York, USA: The New York Times.

Hergenhahn, B.R. (2005). An introduction to the history of psychology. Belmont, USA: Wadsworth Publishing.

James, R.K., & Gilliland, B.E. (2013). Crisis intervention strategies. (7th ed). Belmont, USA: Cengage Learning.

Stone, Oliver. (Director). (2006). World Trade Center [DVD].United States, Paramount Pictures.

Wright, H. N. (2012). The complete guide to crisis & trauma counseling: What to do and say when it matters most. Ventura, USA: Regal Books.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Review: “World Trade Center” by Oliver Stone." September 24, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/review-world-trade-center-by-oliver-stone/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Review: “World Trade Center” by Oliver Stone'. 24 September.

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