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'WTC' gets the faith?

The reviews are pouring out for Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center—and are tipping the scale to the positive side with a repeated observation that this is not your typical Stone-agenda film. You can catch mainstream media reviews at Rotten Tomatoes (where it's running a 71% fresh rating at the time I typed this).

As for reviews from the Christian media, the presence, role and portrayal of faith and the divine gets a joint thumbs up. Christianity Today gives it 3.5 stars, observing that:
The film . . . has a surprisingly high degree of Christian content. It's there in the crucifixes that adorn the walls of private homes and hang from rescuers' necks; it's there in the Lord's Prayer that McLoughlin shouts in a moment of peril; it's there in a startling vision that Jimeno has when he slips into unconsciousness. It is especially there in a subplot involving David Karnes (Michael Shannon), a former marine who abandons his job in Connecticut, gets a haircut, and puts his old fatigues back on—all because he believes that God is calling him to New York. And once he gets there, he plays a key role in finding McLoughlin and Jimeno under all that rubble.
Hollywood Jesus has two reviews up, the one by David Bruce noting more of the spiritual aspects of the film, including:
In the midst of unimaginable horror there can be a profound sense of divine presence. Stone’s film brings to mind the famous Hebrew shepherd’s poem, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me.” And so it was. And so it is.
HJ’s other review, by Nathaniel Bell, concentrates more on what the film lacks:
The startling thing about World Trade Center, directed by the immodestly political Oliver Stone, is that it isn’t in any way political. This may be difficult to comprehend if you’re familiar with the heavily politicized Nixon and JFK (the former being a ham-handed character profile, the latter a deliriously enjoyable piece of paranoid hokum), both of which take liberties with history and are clearly informed by a singular, hotheaded sensibility. People may in fact be shocked by the integrity of the enterprise, with its harrowing recreation of Ground Zero (the remarkable production design is by Jan Roelfs) and its earnest depiction of bravery and patriotic togetherness.
Christian Hamaker at Crosswalk.com notes that Stone “tells this heroic tale largely through the eyes of the rescuers and the families left in limbo as they wait to learn more details.” It’s the concentration on people, says Hamaker, that propels “the film into something much richer than it might otherwise have been:”
It’s an American story about pulling together, helping each other through a crisis and, crucially, responding to a divine sense of calling – both vocationally and through immediate experience – even at the risk of our own lives. Central to the story is a former Marine (Michael Shannon), who, feeling a call by God, gets his hair cut, suits up in his fatigues, and heads to Ground Zero, determined to find survivors among the men who were trying to do their duty on that horrifying day.
Dr. Marc T. Newman of Agape Press also likes the film, but his review comes with plenty of spoilers so read at your own risk. After describing one particular scene, Newman makes a comment hinting at the power the film carries: “Viewers who have come to see The Lord's Prayer as a rote exercise will not think so again -- ever.”

Keep checking in with Hollywood Jesus (which may post more reviews) and Rotten Tomatoes (which has what I’ve found so far as the most extensive collection of links to reviews).

(Image: Paramount)

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