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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 August 2006, 12:19 GMT 13:19 UK
9/11 film released across the US
Police officer John McLoughlin and Nicolas Cage
Police officer John McLoughlin (left) is portrayed by Nicolas Cage
Cinemagoers in the US are getting their first chance to see Oliver Stone's controversial World Trade Center film with its release on Wednesday.

Starring Nicholas Cage, the movie tells the true story of two police officers who were thought to have been the last people pulled from the Twin Towers.

Most reviews have been positive, with many praising the film's sensitivity.

But some survivors have criticised it for being released so close to the fifth anniversary of the attacks.

Carie Lemack, whose mother Judy Larocque was a passenger on one of the hijacked flights, said she had walked out of cinemas showing the film's trailer.

Carie Lemack
Carie Lemack, who lost her mother in the attacks, has criticised the film
"I didn't want to have to see my mom's murder, I don't know why I have to experience it every time I'm going to watch a movie," she said.

Mary Fetchet, who lost a son in the attacks, disagreed.

"I think these movies are very important, the stories have to be documented," she said after attending an advance screening in New York.

'Sensitive'

During filming, Oliver Stone vowed the movie would be "sensitive" and said he "didn't want to offend people in Lower Manhattan".

Meetings were held with New York residents and victims' families and it was decided to make the majority of the film on a Los Angeles sound stage.

Any movie dealing with that subject matter is going to have to find moviegoers willing to go along for the ride
Paul Dergarabedian
Box office analyst
The collapse of the Twin Towers is not recreated and is only shown as news footage playing on television screens in the background.

The film's producer Michael Shamberg said families, survivors and members of the emergency services who were consulted by film-makers "feel strongly it is never too soon to remember the courage and heroism of that day".

World Trade Center is the second major movie about the 11 September terrorist attacks to be released this year.

The first, United 93, dramatised events on a flight that crashed when passengers fought back against hijackers.

It had modest box office success, making around $31.5m (16.5m) in the US.

Oliver Stone directs a scene in the World Trade Center film
Oliver Stone directed the film, which was mostly shot in Los Angeles
World Trade Center is expected to "do solid business" at cinemas, according to Paul Dergarabedian of box office tracking service Exhibitor Relations.

But he added: "Any movie dealing with that subject matter is going to have to find moviegoers willing to go along for the ride.

"This is not escapist entertainment and these films have been created for a higher purpose than box office - letting people see the event through the eyes of a film-maker."

Oliver Stone has pledged to give 10% of the film's box-office receipts from 9 to 13 August to four 11 September-related charities.

But some survivors and relatives have said that figure is too low.

"I want to ask them if the movie is well-received to give more money to the memorial," said Monica Iken, who lost her husband Michael in the attacks.

The film opens in the UK on 29 September.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
See clips of the new film about the Twin Towers



SEE ALSO
9/11 film criticised by families
05 Aug 06 |  Entertainment
9/11 film premieres in New York
04 Aug 06 |  Entertainment
Stone explains 11 September movie
21 Feb 06 |  Entertainment
Stone vows 'sensitive' 9/11 film
03 Nov 05 |  Entertainment
Stone film to make 9/11 donations
27 Jul 06 |  Entertainment

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