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The Looming Tower           review by Bobby Blakey

“Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.”

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There have been numerous films and TV series focusing on the tragedy of 9/11. More often than not it has focused more directly on the planes and terrorist attacks side of it, but with the Hulu original mini-series The Looming Tower they focused more on the all of the events leading up to the tragedy itself. The series stars Jeff Daniels, Tahar Rahim, Wrenn Schmidt, Bill Camp, Louis Cancelmi, Elle Rae Peck, Sullivan Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg, Peter Skarsgard, and Alec Baldwin.. Could this bring something new to the story worth seeing or will it fail to stand up on its own?


The Looming Tower follows the rising threat of Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda in the late 1990s and how at the time, the FBI and the CIA may have inadvertently set the path for the tragedy of 9/11. The series follows members of the I-49 Squad in New York and Alec Station in Washington D.C., the counter terrorism divisions of the FBI and CIA, respectively, as they travel the world fighting for ownership of information while seemingly working toward the same goal – trying to prevent an imminent terrorist attack on U.S. soil. With shows like this we all know that there are elements changed for the story and with all the conspiracies surrounding 9/11 who knows how much actually happened and how much didn’t.


What this show does well is create a path of events that showcases not only how things might have gone as they planned the attacks, but also how much of the government nonsense both helped and hindered keeping it from happening. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel watching this as it leading up to an event we all know what happened makes for a hard sell to make it feel like something new. Thankfully the great performances across the board made it stand out with Jeff Daniels once again showcasing his great dramatic ability in one of his best roles since Newsroom. The rest of the cast are great as well, but for me Daniels had not only the standout role, but also felt like more of the center piece right up until the end.


They did an interesting thing and kind of gave us both sides of the attacks without trying to make it feel like it was being sympathetic to the terrorists. I was surprised how much I got sucked right into this story and even more so how irritated I was with the unwillingness of the government to cooperate with each for the greater good to prevent this from ever happening. They interweave some of the actual footage of the varying news reports, hearing footage and both the attacks and aftermath of the attack that is a hard slap in the face to remind you this is far from fiction.


No matter what side you sit on in your beliefs of what actually happened this is a great mini-series that tackles the subject in an interesting and engaging way. Grab your copy of The Looming Tower available now on Blu-ray and DVD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

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