Saturday September 11 will mark 20 years since the world stood still and watched on in horror as the 9/11 terrorist attacks played out on TV screens around the world.

19 men hijacked four commercial airplanes on the morning of September 11, 2001 and travelled towards major US landmarks in an attack orchestrated by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

2,753 people were killed at the World Trade Center in Lower Manhatten, New York, when two flights intentionally crashed into the north and south towers.

184 people were killed at the Pentagon in Washington when American Airlines flight 77 crashed into the building.

40 passengers and crew died near Shanksville, Pennsylvania when a flight crashed into a field.

In the days leading up to the anniversary major networks and streaming platforms are rolling out a range of programmes to commemorate the lives lost and look back on one of the darkest days in US and world history.

Here is a list of some of the best documentaries and films available in the lead-up to the 20th anniversary of 9/11.


The BBC has released two major documentaries two decades after the attack.

Surviving 9/11 – “A deeply personal film that moves between accounts of the two-hour period when terrorists attacked the Twin Towers and the Pentagon and hijacked Flight 93 and the story of the 20 years since.”

9/11: Inside the President’s War Room – “Twelve hours with the president on 9/11 – with direct testimony from President Bush, Vice-President Cheney and senior staff – as it changed them, America and the world.”


Turning Point: 9/11 and the war on terror – “This unflinching series documents the 9/11 terrorist attacks, from Al Qaeda's roots in the 1980s to America's response, both at home and abroad.”

World Trade Center – This film follows the story of first responders who struggle to find survivors amid the World Trade Center’s tragic collapse.

Channel 4

Bin Laden: The Road to 9/11 - The new documentary from Channel 4 will follow the life of Osam bin Laden, the man behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks. 

Children of 9/11 – This documentary follows the life stories of six young people whose parents died in the 9/11 attacks. The show is available to watch on All 4.


Within the National Geographic section of Disney + there are documentaries following the tragic events of 9/11.

9/11 Firehouse – The documentary tells the extraordinary story of Ten House, the firehouse stationed right next to the Twin Towers.

9/11 Rescue Cops – The extraordinary story of the heroism and sacrifice of the New York Police Department’s elite rescue squad.


9/11: Life Under Attack – “This new 90-minute documentary for ITV revisits September 11, 2001 - the day that changed the history of the modern world when two airliners slammed into the World Trade Center in New York and another into the Pentagon in Washington - to tell the personal stories of those who lived through the events and recorded them as they experienced them in the moment.”