on September 7, 2005
This is the truest movie out there on racism, and the preconceived notions we ALL (no matter what color) try not to admit to to a certain extent. This was not a "lets bash the white man" movie either, the racism was across the board. The biggest surprise was to come about an hour in, and I was stunned to see the revelation of that storyline (with Matt Dillon). This film requires paying attention to, please stay with it, it will pay off. High recommend!
on May 6, 2005
A wonderful, intelligent, compelling examination of racism, filled with pathos, humor. Haggis shows us a world other films are afraid to tackle. Superb perfromances all around. I will be seeing it again soon.
on August 4, 2005
There are simply not enough words to describe how excellent this film is. Other reviewers have gone in depth as to its plot, style, craft and comparisons to other films.
This is a film that deals honestly and openly with race relations, especially as played out in America. We all harbor stereotypes, fears, judgments and yet a fascination with "the other" and we often do not realize just how this effects us and society as a whole. The movie digs deep into these emotions and draws them out brilliantly in a montage of triggers that are all woven together in a period of 24 hours in L.A.
Black, white, Puerto Rican/Mexican, Arab/Persian, mixed ethnicity, you name it, it's all in here and it's refreshingly in your face. It is for that very reason that the film is about hatred and hope, violence and redemption. Perhaps most poignantly, it is filled with all the complexity of modern life and provides no easy answers.
You will be left speechless. All of the actors, most well known, play roles that are against their "types" of roles and it is for this reason that it is perhaps so impacting and believable. It is a brilliant piece of cinema, one that should make us all realize that sanitizing culture in the name of political correctness is a time bomb.
Do not miss this film.
on April 5, 2006
Lions Gate really wanted to release a new Director's Cut with only 3 minutes of extra reel, didn't they? As a moviegoer who has admired Crash for what it was, I have to say that the marketing push has gotten over the top. This DVD is worth it if you didn't purchase the first copy, but let me tell you that this product is a complete waste of money for those unfortunate fans who think they are getting a full-package deal with this new, "you-have-to-get-it" DVD that they call Director's Cut, but really is just the same DVD case with a few changes wrapped in a new cover. I'm not impressed.
on June 24, 2006
I just finished watching this film. I find that it takes a very simplistic and childlike view of race relations. It's extremely melodramatic in all of the wrong ways. It started out as intriguing with the development of plot, but the resolutions were weak and tepid. This has a very TV-movie quality to it, and I am SHOCKED that this movie won the best movie of the year. The only thing I can think of is that the liberal Hollywood elite wants Americans to think that there is still a tremendous amount of civil strive between races. This hostility is what fuels the Dem base. There is of course still racism in this country, but there is no way it is this ubiquitous, and this movie constantly veers towards parody unintentionally with its heavy handed "everyone's a little bit racist" cries.
on March 30, 2006
A great cast and good intentions make most of this film go down easily--too easily. Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock, Matt Dillon, Thandie Newton and Terrence Howard do sterling work in this tale of culture clashes, prejudices, and coincidences in Los Angeles, and scene by scene the film is gripping with some amazingly powerful and poignant moments. However, the script's desire to throw stereotypes up on the screen, while brave, is also its weakness: too many of the overwhelmingly large number of speaking parts are, in fact, stereotypes, and no amount of happy wish-fulfillment or well-intentioned scenes that come across as patronizing (an injured Bullock embracing her Latina housekeeper and telling her she's her best friend) can paper over the fault lines the film purports to examine. Cheadle, as he was in "Hotel Rwanda," is the throughline of the movie, and his knockout final scene with his mother has a dramatic punch and ambiguity that the rest of the movie needs; too often, it feels like something that would've been incendiary in the mid-90's after Rodney King and O.J. (especially if Spike Lee had tackled it), but now seems simultaneously overwrought and tame. You'll admire the performances (a deserving SAG win), but the more you think about the movie as a whole, the more it seems too tidy--and putting it up against the brainy "Good Night and Good Luck" and the shattering "Brokeback Mountain," it's flaws are even more apparent, especially the awful video quality. It's a water-cooler "buzz" film right now (thanks to the Oscar idiocy), but how it will stand up over time is a very big question mark--it was #36 in Entertainment Weekly's year-end critic's roundup, and #56 in PREMIERE'S. ("Brokeback" and "Good Night" were #2 and #3, respectively.) Good for high school civics classes if they can get past the (voluminous) profanity, and for those more interested in praising the film's reach over its actual grasp.
on May 26, 2006
First let me say that I'm not an angry fan of one of the movies that didn't win the Oscar; this review isn't about that. I didn't read all the other reviews, so I don't know if what I say has been covered, but here's my 2 cents...
After many people recommended that I see this film, I finally broke down and rented it. I can honestly say that it in no way moved me or affected my outlook on life like so many people said it would. It left me asking why this film is so hyped and lauded.
The theme of the story is constantly rammed down your throat and played out by characters who are complete and extreme stereo-types of their races. Matt Dillon and Sandra Bullock's characters are laughingly predictable, as are Ludacris and Larenz Tate. The only thing I found touching about the film was the relationship of the locksmith and his daughter, which took all of 10 minutes of the movie. The other characters were so unredeming and abrasive that I didn't care what happened to them.
The end of the story brings hardly any change in the characters, and those that do are not based in reality. For those who have seen it, look to Sandra Bullock's character as reference. Keep in mind, this is suppose to be a day in the life of these people.
So what do you take away from this film? 'That we are all racists.' How profound.
If you want to see a good film about racism with well thought-out characters that you actually feel for, rent 'American History X'. There is redemeption and emotion 10 times over what you find in 'Crash'.
on March 14, 2006
Crash is a terrible overplayed afterschool special. The worst part of it is that a few older actors admitted they didn't want to see Brokeback Mountain , so it appears they voted for this by default. (frankly, those actors shouldn't be voting if they haven't seen the movies and should be kicked out of the academy).
It doesn't really matter anyway, the oscars have lost all integrity. The Crash team basically paid for their 'best picture' award. (The distributor even admitted that the few million they spent sending 130,000 dvds to academy members would pay off in about $10 million in additional revenue for Crash if they could get it to win 'best picture').
If you want an idea of what movies to watch based on awards from organizations with members who are movie fanatics and actually watch the movies that they vote for, then I would say check out the GOLDEN GLOBES, the INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS and the BAFTA (basically the British top movie awards). Interesting how ALL these groups gave the best picture of 2005 award to Brokeback Mountain. Remember, the Oscars are about business and making more money , not honoring the movie and movie fans.
on July 15, 2006
Wow , having just watched this movie last night on DVD, I was blown away by the lack of substance in this movie... I was expecting to come away with deep feelings about race and class and instead came away feeling robbed and cheated !!! I feel the whole story was weak, What the heck was Don Cheadle doing ??? I love him as an actor , but he was given nothing to work with in this movie..and while i'm at it ,, what the hell was the point of Sandra Bullocks character ?? i supposed i'll be black balled for my review by other Amazon users but i feel strongly that this movie could never compete with a Shawshank Redemption which didn't win the Oscar 12 years ago...
on April 26, 2006
Now don't get me wrong; Crash is decent, and completely watchable. Best Picture material? Uh, no.
Look, I think it's fine and even occasionally necessary to remind people that racism exists and that, despite conscious or unconscious tendencies toward racism, people are more complicated than we think at first glance. Yes, sometimes there's a reason (although not an excuse) for racism.
And having said all that, I still don't think Crash is anything close to a great movie. It whacks you over the head again and again with its message that a) all races are okay, and b) even racists are people, too. It accomplishes this message by taking a minimally simplistic view of racism--racists are baaaaad people--and complicating it, albeit as minimally as possible, by giving all the racists one redeeming quality.
Yes, Matt Dillon's character is racist... but he loves his father! Yes, Sandra Bullock's character thinks all people of color are lazy... but she actually cares about her Latina housekeeper! Yes, Don Cheadle's character is insensitive toward his girlfriend/partner (he calls her white, but she's not; he calls her Mexican, but she's not that either)... but he loves his mother!
And so on. It's something we've all come across in our everyday experience and thought about in much more nuanced terms than this film cares to do. If you have a sixth-grader, then perhaps this film is for him.
Now, let me repeat: this film is decent, and watchable. Perhaps I'd be less disappointed if Academy voters hadn't, in a colossally dumb move, annointed Crash as the best picture of the year. It isn't, not by a long shot. But it's still enjoyable: well-directed, DEFINITELY well-acted, and the soundtrack is excellent. I just think that our national discourse on racism (and yes, movies are appropriate vehicles for this discourse) ought to move beyond such simplistic views.