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Lives in Los Angeles intersect following a random car-jacking.
Movie studios, by and large, avoid controversial subjects like race the way you might avoid a hive of angry bees. So it's remarkable that Crash even 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 from Miss 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 for Million 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 as Nashville and Short Cuts. A knockout. --Bret Fetzer
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All that said, because of strong language and brief nudity it should be for adults only.
My initial reaction to “Crash” is mostly positive. It is overall an excellent film with an important message. It seeks to examine racial attitudes in America during the early years of the 21st century, and it mostly succeeds. Set in Los Angeles, it follows the lives of several people of different ethnicities, and social and economic backgrounds. The purpose of the film is to demonstrate that racial prejudice exists in every person, either openly or deep within. That prejudice will eventually manifest itself in words or actions, given the right circumstances,
“Crash” is certainly well written and acted. Directed by Paul Haggis, it features an impressive cast that includes Sandra Bullock, Terence Howard, Ryan Phillippe, Don Cheadle, Thandie Newton, Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser, and others. Every actor turns in a first-rate performance. Each scene is well crafted and highly dramatic, the movie held my interest from beginning to end, and certainly gave me something to think about afterward. Highly recommended. (4½ Stars ^ 5)
Deep seated, thought provoking and timely, this is much deeper than what it is advertised to be. To borrow some analysis from one reviewer here, this film is entirely about people's perceptions and prejudices, how the majority are perceived and judged, all without a word of conversation between them or an interface being shared. The characters “crash” into each other from unique, mostly violence-based origins and we then are witness to their subsequent nuanced inter-connection, bringing the film to an emotionally charged ending.
A great, star-studded cast gives this movie the depth and atmosphere needed to pull off the multiple scenes of profound, hard-hitting racism…I personally thought that Sandra Bullock, Matt Dillon and especially “Ludacris” Bridges magnificently served up the hard hitting racial profiling that this film uses as its genesis. I especially appreciated how each of their characters also became humbled in the end (spoiler?), realizing that each of their internal prejudices were just an awakening onto a larger social stage; that awareness and understanding of each person’s path is at least as important as one’s own perception, that the ability to see life through another’s eyes, to try to experience what they are experiencing, especially people of color, is such an amplifying issue today. I myself, one that would almost certainly be characterized as a semi-affluent white male, became inspired by the message of this movie; eager to place myself into a role of one of the many minorities depicted here…to feel what it’s like to be pulled over by the police for having done nothing illegal but for being black or hispanic. To be targeted and looked down upon, even in 2018 when social equality was allegedly fought for and won in 1865 but still had to be further reinforced one hundred years later by Congressional Legislation, signed into law as the Civil Rights Acts of 1964. I find it not only reprehensible but physically disheartening…I do not believe I could survive daily with this constant shadow, this constant examination, exploration, inspection, interrogation, inquiry, investigation, observation, probing, questioning, scrutiny of my life and my actions as it is constantly with innocent minorities today. This is the power of this movie and the depths that it drives one to contemplate…
And these are only a few of the topical issues that this film surfaces…you will still question your morality while justifying your lack of racial stereotyping. This movie does nothing to remove the black gangsta, privileged upper-class white socialite or Mexican gang-banger conventions…in fact, it often radically embellishes them. What it tries to do instead is realize that from each perceived societal group, good often emanates and that societies’ prejudice just might ought to consider that before passing judgment…
We constantly crash into one another in good and bad ways.
The point is that we're all the same. There is no 'other'. We are all fighting our battles. Let's be gentle with one another.
The father's scream after his daughter is shot is a scene I'll never forget
Likewise when the chop shop guy opens the van.
Beyond brilliant. The only movie that ever changed me.