10 Best Films By 2013's Most Highly Praised Directors
10. Paul Greengrass - United 93
Paul Greengrass has helmed big-budget, adrenaline-packed features like The Bourne Ultimatum and The Bourne Supremacy, but thanks to his background in media journalism, his eye for realistic human drama is stronger than ever. In Captain Phillips he most successfully combines his shaky-cam documentary aesthetic with pulse-pounding moments of action, but it's with United 93 that he orchestrates his greatest triumph. A real-time recreation of the lone flight that failed to reach its target on 9/11, United 93 contains an unthinkable amount of raw, tragic power. As it documents the efforts of the ordinary Americans trapped on the doomed aircraft, their whispers growing from a hushed plan to a furious last stand, the film paints a portrait of uncanny, uninhibited, mangled heroism. Towards the end of the movie, one shot depicts a multitude of frenzied hands struggling to wrest control of the plane. It is an image that stands as a breathtaking, haunting tribute to the extraordinary bravery of those passengers in the face of inconceivable odds. The film's trailer sums up its message best: "On the day we faced fear, we also found courage."