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9/11 at 20: Poignant new movies, TV series and documentaries examining the fateful day


A first responder digs through the remains of the fallen World Trade Center after the horrifying events of 9/11.


On Sept. 11, 2001, the world changed. Twenty years have passed since 9/11, the terrible day when nearly 3,000 people died in a series of terrorist attacks. The echoes of that momentous day still reverberate today, and the events that unfolded still often seem incomprehensible.

Many films, TV series and documentaries have explored the causes of 9/11, relived the events and traced myriad chilling consequences that unfolded in the aftermath. As we approach the 20th anniversary of 9/11, several new films and shows examine events in New York and around the world, from the Twin Towers that Tuesday morning to the War on Terror in the present day.

Here are some of the new titles that explore the causes and consequences of that terrible day.

In the months following the attacks, eyewitnesses stepped into a small video booth to share their accounts. Twenty years later, those same witnesses reflect on the tragedy and on America now. It’s available on NBC’s Peacock streaming service.

With no narrator’s voiceover, this poignant documentary is made up of video recorded firsthand by people on the day. 

Jeff Daniels narrates this documentary film from Apple and the BBC, which takes you inside the White House in the immediate aftermath of the attack. Former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are among those giving their view of that fateful 12 hours, as well as Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell. If you don’t have Apple TV Plus, you can still watch the film free on Sept. 11.

Worth Netflix

Worth is a Netflix drama unpacking the human cost of 9/11.


This Netflix drama film stars Michael Keaton as real-life attorney and renowned mediator Kenneth Feinberg who, along with Camille Biros (played here by Amy Ryan), had to calculate compensation for the families of 9/11 victims. The events of the day have been portrayed in earlier films like United 93 and World Trade Center, but Worth is a sensitive and heartbreaking account of those left behind. 

This five-part documentary series returns to survivors and first responders to examine the events of Sep. 11, 2001. Having premiered in August on National Geographic, it’s now available to stream on Hulu.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell, President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute

US Secretary of State Colin Powell, President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute look to the future after 9/11.


Netflix’s five-part documentary series explores how the attacks led to the War on Terror and the tragic conflict in Afghanistan that ended so terribly in recent days. Survivors of the attacks are joined by former White House staff, CIA agents and military veterans from both sides of the war in Afghanistan. 

This PBS documentary traces the devastating decisions and consequences that ushered in “an age of fear, mistrust and division” from 9/11 to the present day.

Spike Lee’s four-part documentary explores the impact of 9/11 on his beloved New York City. This HBO series has faced controversy, however: Lee had to re-edit a portion of the series devoted to widely debunked conspiracy theories. 

Top standup comedians and other performers discuss how comedy helped process the tragedy. Interviewees include David Cross, Janeane Garofalo, Marc Maron, Cedric the Entertainer, Doug Stanhope and Jimmy Carr.

This documentary follows the lives of four children whose fathers were killed on 9/11.

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