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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 24 May 2017
Recommended by USA friends, so thought I'd try it. Wasn't disappointed.
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on 8 September 2014
I bought the video on the recommendation of a friend who said it was 'absolutely fantastic' and as he's a film buff, and very hard to please, I went for it. I watched it. Its 'ok'... Maybe he talked it up too much and it spoiled my experience, but it was alright. It shows you how peoples lives are entwined.
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on 26 November 2015
Utterly superb, and featuring perhaps the single most heart-stopping, tear-inducing moment in cinematic history.
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on 3 May 2017
Good
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on 19 June 2013
An enjoyable film with twists & turns. Don't know if the director's cut adds much to it but it was just as cheap.
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on 15 April 2017
Brilliant watch
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on 25 December 2010
Flawless performances from an understated cast, yet the vignettes offer barely a few minutes screen time apiece and most have probably enjoyed several weeks build-up in fur lined trailers "in-character" before playing to the lens.
Best performance? Take your pick, I won't be arguing, but for me Matt Dillon deserves the nod if only for the demonstrating just how far he has travelled since 90210 and THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT...

The film is far from perfect, and not the accurate portrayal it was held to be. The issues are as raw as you'll find them, but the characters remain superficial throughout. We get to know OF them without getting to KNOW them. I'll suggest Haggis took an enormous risk - and won - hanging his hat on story in favour of depth. None become worthy people. All are deeply flawed and possibly only one deserves redemption by the time the titles roll.

The film uses a well tried if complicated formula. Take a multiple of disparate characters and observe as they proceed in parallel toward the concluding common plot point where unrelated lives finally knit together. Use Pulp Fiction as your template, but there the similarity ends. This movie is best enjoyed completely unspoiled, so for synopsis you'll have to look elsewhere. Taking a break midway doesn't mean confusion, but missing even a single minute risks denting your appreciation of the complete work.
The direction is fluid and cohesive, though there is visibly still too much gloss for this set of LA tales. Haggis styles-it-out like Michael Mann...when he feels up to it.Heat [DVD] [1995]
While replete with epithets and stereotypes intended to flesh out the race based social commentary, I recommend Spike Lees "Joints" for cinematic accuracy on the American (because it is unique) race issue. Lee tells it like it is because he really was "there". Bold enough to tell white folks the truth. Honest enough to tell black folks the TRUTH. Highly controversial, often offensive, leaving no-one unscathed. Jungle Fever [DVD]

CRASH is class conscious, at times aloof and intellectual where it ought to be gritty ghetto. A "black" film for republicans? Unkind but valid. Haggis chooses race to steer the story carefully to his conclusion that our failure to understand each other is neither black nor white but human. We are equally capable of being exploited and of exploiting others. It's just a question applying sufficient motivation.

CRASH saves its gilt-edged moment to the three-quarter mark, whereupon we are treated to a "SIXTH SENSE" revelation so solid that Haggis could have followed with dancing girls wearing Hitler fatigues and still not lost the Oscar. Speaking of which, it is obvious why folk regard the Academy Award as a steal. Brokeback Mountain [DVD] [2005]was the one THEY just couldn't vote for. Though I am yet to see Gylenhaal & Ledger, CRASH has too many vulnerabilities to have been assured victory in a straight punch-up. Ultimately the piece is bereft of character development, although due correction would turn this into the prelude to the long running franchise needed to fatten so many characters before your cinema ticket had run out.
It remains simply brilliant story telling with no wasted footage. If you had read it, if someone recounted the way we did when video still meant Betamax, or you watched it unfolding scene by scene, it delivers its taller tale with clarity and with very few plot holes. It is exceptional entertainment that lands only metres short of art. Watch it for the first time and you'll be talking about it for days. Re-run the disc and it decends to a good night in, so much hinges on the plot revelations that you'll need to leave a lot of time before watching again to get the same buzz.

Judged purely by what it is rather than what it tries to be, it remains my favourite of 2005 - no question.
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on 3 August 2016
An excellent film that is constructed, in part, like films such as Cloud Atlas, Syriana, Magnolia, Grand Canyon to name a few - where a few separate stories about different people's lives interlink ingeniously to a patchwork quilt of emotional tales.

There are a good number of moments which grab you right by the throat, completely unexpectedly (unless you read the wrong review on here before you watch it!) as there are reviews which for whatever reason contain the most inconsiderate spoilers of those magic moments. Why people do that I just cannot fathom. Some people are that stupid and uncaring.

The script/screenplay are extremely clever. Not just the interwoven stories, but in many of the scenes we are played with. A scene will use the "norm" of the way hundreds of situations in other films are shot, so that we anticipate something happening which then does not happen. Once again I will not describe the scenes, out of respect for viewers that have not yet seen it.

Watch it, it's fantastic, but beware of idiotic reviews if you've not yet seen it!!!
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on 31 May 2011
This is a film similar to "Traffic" and "Magnolia" in as much as it has separate storylines running alongside each other, clashing at then end. It tells the stories of several different families/individuals living in LA. When I saw that rapper Chris "Ludicris" Bridges has a part in this film my heart sank, another rapper turned movie actor. I was so wrong, he is fantastic in his role as Anthony, a car jacker with a conscience. He won't rob other black people but thinks it perfectly alright to rob white, rich people at gun point. Bridges brings a touch of comedy to the role especially when he acidentally mows down a poor Chinese man. Racial inequality is the background theme to this film and each individual storyline touches on this issue. Matt Dillon is a policeman who oversteps the mark when pulling over a black movie director and his gorgeous wife. Sandra Bullock plays a spoilt housewife who shouts at her maid for not emptying the dishwasher and for taking too long at the grocery story. When she has her locks changed she assumes the locksmith will sell on her key to his "homies" just because he has tatoos. Her husband is the DA who surpresses any news stories that do not suit his agenda. An Iranian family struggle to defend their store against robbers and the father assumes everyone is a "cheater". There is a harrowing scene when Anthony discovers the van he has stolen is full of Cambodians chained to the sides, the going rate for a human being is much less than that for a car. People trafficking isn't a subject I'd see tackled in a film before and it is shocking. The characters in this film are all three-dimensional showing their good and bad sides. My review has made the story seem complicated but it was an engrossing watch. Probably a film you will watch more than once.
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A Persian father is booted out of a gun store in Los Angeles because of a verbal battle with the white all-American shop owner about Bin Laden and 9/11. Farad (played to a tee by the brilliant Shaun Toub) simply wants to defend his small general store against further racial attacks and thieves. His beautiful and sophisticated daughter Darii (played by Bahar Soomekh) steps up the counter to defend her rattled father. She demands bullets for the gun she is going to buy for him and randomly asks for the 'red box' behind him. But the shop owner (a fantastic Jack McGee of "Rescue Me") doesn't tell Darii how much 'bang' for your bucks the red ones give. And so a sequence of events begins that will eventually see a child in the arms of her Latino father with his face contorted in agony as he holds her limp body to his chest...

Interlocking something like nine different stories into one cohesive unit and then trying to deal with the explosive subject of racism within 'everybody' was always going to be a tall order. So why did Don Cheadle and all the other Hollywood big names believe in it so? Ten minutes into 2004's "Crash" and the answer is obvious - the simply stunning script Director Paul Haggis co-wrote with Bobby Moresco.

The dialogue comes at you with a ferocity and brilliance that is in your face in every angry and difficult scene - yet it's also loaded with subtle undercurrents of truth about how people really are - and what they really think - on all sides. No one in this movie is clean or perfect or even wrong - most are just good people placed into a cauldron that all too often pushes them to make presumptions and take sides - glaring suspiciously at people from different ethnicities from behind the safety of their metal and glass - voyeurs in a city where no one walks and very few touch each other...

Brendan Fraser and Sandra Bullock play the District Attorney and his wife - a wealthy woman who wakes up angry every day and doesn't know why anymore (both give blistering performances). Their Lincoln Continental is boosted one night on the Strip by two mouthy black youths constantly arguing about colour and its place in the community (stunning work from Ludacris and Larenze Tate). The DA calls in his assistant to handle the political fall out ("Either I lose the black vote or I'm perceived as soft on crime..."). But when the blabbering duo run over a Chinaman standing by the door of his locked van because they're not paying attention - it sets in motion a chain of events that will eventually bring one of them back to the van to look at the human cargo chained to the floor in the back...

Later that night the corruption-free Detective Graham Waters (a hugely affecting Don Cheadle) is called upon to check on a homicide - the body of a black boy dumped in the grassy scrubs overlooking Hollywood. As he exits his car Graham sighs at his mixed race lover and homicide assistant Ria (fabulous work by Jennifer Esposito) engages in a slagging match with an arrogant Chinese woman who's crashed her car recklessly into the back of someone else ("Maybe your 'blake' lights are broken!" Ria shouts at her - racially mimicking her bad diction). All this and Graham's mother (Beverly Todd) is never too far away from a needle and his brother AWOL somewhere in the City Of Angels with two strikes and a third warrant that will jail him for 20 years. Also on his mind is an adjacent case of a white cop with a history of shooting black men and getting away with it - the trigger-happy William Lewis found with $300,000 hidden in a tyre in his trunk. But then back at the scene on the hillside - Detective Graham Waters freezes as he recognizes something about the bloodied body...

Earlier that day Officer John Ryan and his rookie partner (Matt Dillon and Ryan Phillippe) enter their squad car for another weary round of confrontations. A 17-year veteran of the city beat - John Ryan appears to be a racist cop who can't get a break for his aging father whose living with him - Dad battling a urinary tract infection that makes his nights a draining physical agony. His younger more idealistic partner despises Ryan's remarks and abuse of power - none more so - than when they stop a well-to-do Black TV Director and his beautiful wife (Terence Howard and Thandie Newton as Cameron and Christine Thayer) on Ventura Boulevard driving a car that is similar to the one reported as stolen from the white DA. There ensues a hands-on search that sees Ryan become far too friendly with what's beneath Christine's cocktail dress. She cringes as her black husband apologises and appeases the wholly unnecessary humiliation. They scream at each other at home and he boils inside on set - as everything seems to be bringing out the street thug in him that he left behind decades ago...

A Latino father (Michael Pena) who works as a Locksmith tries to comfort his 5-year old daughter Lara who is hiding under her bed because of bang-sounds she heard in the darkness outside. He tells her that they moved to this better neighbourhood to get away from those bullet-things - and better still - Dad has a magical cloak given to him by a fairy when he was a child that he must now pass on to her. Its 'impenetrable' Dad tells her - she smiles as he clips it around her. Lara will use it later (dialogue above) to jump in the path of a bullet when Farad uses his gun in a moment of madness - having found a receipt in a dumpster for the Latino man he believes cheated him by not fixing his lock properly...

The cast is magnificent - especially the women - both Bullock and Newton going to places they found horrible and unsettling. Loretta Devine, Nona Gaye, Karina Arroyave, Marina Sirtis, Beverly Todd, Alexis Rhee and Ashlyn Sanchez as Lara - they are all 'so' good.

I wish I could say the BLU RAY print is a marvel - far from it. The Director and DOP decided on hand-held shots a lot of the time to give vibrancy and capture the differing shades of Los Angeles. And as a lot of the scenes are either at night or in the enclosed spaces of homes - the grain is terrible. When it gets to the daylight and open surroundings - it looks gorgeous - but that's only every now and then. Having said that - this is not a film where you're looking for visual perfection - it has you too riveted for that.

Audio is 5.1 Dolby Digital, DTS-HD Master Audio 6.1 and Subtitles are English For The Hard Of Hearing. Extras include a feature-length commentary by Director Paul Haggis, Don Cheadle and Bobby Moresco, Deleted Scenes and three featurettes - "Behind The Metal And Glass - Making of Crash", "L.A. - The Other Main Character" and "Unspoken". The extras show how Don Cheadle's initial interest and standing in the acting community brought such A-Listers on board - it also features detailed discussion on characters and the difficulties in the script by Producer Cathy Schulman. Mark Isham also compliments the movie with a wonderful score and it's dedicated to Anita Addison - a TV and Film Producer and Lifelong Friend of Paul Haggis who died in 2004.

There are exchanges between characters in "Crash" that are so cutting edge and bristling with rage and anger - that it's sometimes a hugely uncomfortable watch - and that is part of the point. It isn't perfect by any means - some of it feels a bit too preachy - and after all the preceding excellence - I felt it ended rather poorly. But there is also humanity and redemption - the scene where Matt Dillon pulls Thandie Newton from an upturned burning car is one of the most charged and yet tender I have ever seen (career bests for both).

Winner of Three Academy Awards including Best Picture - "Crash" is properly great filmmaking.

"How far can bullets go?" 5-year old Lara asks her father. Watch "Crash" and find out why we must daily challenge the need for bullets at all...
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