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Movie studios, by and large, avoid controversial subjects like race the way you might avoid a hive of angry bees. So it's remarkable thatCrasheven got made; that it's a rich, intelligent, and moving exploration of the interlocking lives of a dozen Los Angeles residents--black, white, latino, Asian, and Persian--is downright amazing. A politically nervous district attorney (Brendan Fraser) and his high-strung wife (Sandra Bullock, biting into a welcome change of pace fromMiss Congeniality) get car-jacked by an oddly sociological pair of young black men (Larenz Tate and Chris "Ludacris" Bridges); a rich black T.V. director (Terrence Howard) and his wife (Thandie Newton) get pulled over by a white racist cop (Matt Dillon) and his reluctant partner (Ryan Phillipe); a detective (Don Cheadle) and his Latina partner and lover (Jennifer Esposito) investigate a white cop who shot a black cop--these are only three of the interlocking stories that reach up and down class lines. Writer/director Paul Haggis (who wrote the screenplay forMillion Dollar Baby) spins every character in unpredictable directions, refusing to let anyone sink into a stereotype. The cast--ranging from the famous names above to lesser-known but just as capable actors like Michael Pena (Buffalo Soldiers) and Loretta Devine (Woman Thou Art Loosed)--meets the strong script head-on, delivering galvanizing performances in short vignettes, brief glimpses that build with gut-wrenching force. This sort of multi-character mosaic is hard to pull off; Crash rivals such classics asNashvilleandShort Cuts. A knockout.--Bret Fetzer
Intense.... My husband and I curled up last night on the couch to view what we were told was a "thinking" movie. We were not disappointed one bit. This movie gets you thinking about your own life and how you view other races on a daily basis.
Don Cheadle and Matt Dillion are superb - Sandra Bullock was good but I would have enjoyed seeing her put her acting skills to work more. As we viewed the movie I felt so tense for what I perceived to be the next thing to happen but I was delighted to find that I was wrong. We expected a lot of violence but here wasn't much and only one fatality! Shocking! There was humor to be found and things I laughed at that I thought twice about afterwards. I especially liked how this movie had a good pace... you never really have time to get bored with one plot before it moves on to the next. Great transitioning from plot to plot - literally, one door closes and another opens!
This movie definitely kept our attention and gave us so much to discuss afterwards. I highly recommend this movie but don't watch it alone - you'll want someone to review it with!
An Interesting Film / Worth Watching But Not a Great Film Dealing with race in a film is a difficult task because emotions inevitably become intense. Crash deserves credit for being able to weave in stories about race with some talent. However, the problem with the film is that Haggis simply using "Hollywood stereotypes" as a starting point and then, implements a strategy with his characters playing with them like there are puppets or a deck of cards without letting his characters develop realistically. Those who are not afraid to admit their naivety and ignorance will probably find the film more powerful than those who have truly learnt the ridiculousness of 'generalizations'. My guess is this film will appeal to suburbanites with very superficial urban experiences or racial ones, who have been bred on way too much television. Those with 'real' urban or varied experiences will see that the film as lacking depth and maybe serving as a very mild introduction into the complexity of race issues. While Terrence Howard is powerful in this film, unfortunately, too many tricks by the director and the "Magnolia" allusion make the film come off a little phony / Made-for-TV. The film may have worked better as a satire or with a different director but with the same screenplay.Can you see the real me, me, me, me? Churchill said "we will fight them on the beaches" and Roosevelt said "[this day] shall live in infamy" and Jack Kennedy said "ask not what your country can do for you."
Wouldn't it be remarkable if the words we cherish most as both prescient and haunting at the end of the last century came from Rodney King, "can't we all just get along?"
That's the key to the Lion's Gate release of the Paul Haggis film, "Crash." Because the racism from white to black, black to white, white to hispanic, hispanic to Persian, hispanic to asian, asian to white all seem so foolish and unrealistic, until we stop and recall how we thought that, saw that, felt that or said that, just 12 hours ago.
The interlocking path of intersecting stories somehow operate seamlessly with a number of surprises and while the plots don't have a "feel good" result, perhaps one does get a hopeful result.
I saw this on the heels of "Run Lola Run" and no, I'm not going to connect the German Punk film with the American indictment of our ability to profile everybody in a literate poem to xenophobia. Except . . .
There is a hint that if we were just a little kinder to eachother once in awhile . . .
Well worth the effort. Sandra Bullock is wasted except as a soothsayer who in one scene manages to off and insult the entire United Nations. Matt Dillon is excellent. Rest of the cast extremely good. Cheadle as always is excellent. 5 stars.