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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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The movie is set in Los Angeles over a two-day period and follows several unrelated characters as they come to terms with racial prejudice and crime. Some stories eventually overlap; others do not. The characters are presented honestly with all their flaws and a few redeeming qualities. The large ensemble cast is excellent; standouts are Don Cheadle as an honest police detective who has problems at home and at work, Sandra Bullock and Brendan Fraser as a wealthy couple who are carjacked, Matt Dillon as a racist cop who takes care of his ailing father, Terrence Howard as a TV director whose wife Thandie Newton is the victim of abuse, and Shaun Toub as a Persian shop who takes revenge into his own hands.

Although each scene is only a few minutes long and we quickly move to another vignette, the writing is so good that we really come to know and care about the characters. Just when I thought I knew what would happen next, I was surprised, and the whole film was riveting. The plot and dialogue are completely real; there's a constant feeling of tension and isolation, and an unusual and calming soundtrack ties everything together. I didn't expect to like this movie, but I did. It paints a grim picture of Los Angelinos, but it's so well written and the acting is so good that I found it very satisfying.
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on 22 March 2006
The whole point of this film is that it examines extremes of prejudice in all their forms. If that means it delivers its message with a sledge hammer then that is what the makers intended! It is a film about choices some of which appear good and some bad, but by the end of the film you are questioning your own morality because all the people you felt sorry for you end up hating and vice versa.
It shows extremes of behaviour and bigotry that you may find distasteful but then it explores the reasons and experiences that have brought those individuals to do the things they have. As other reviewers have said it is difficult to explain without giving away specific plot lines so i agree that this is a film that you must watch and make up your own mind.
As for the reviewers who have criticised the racism and bad language HELLO! this is the real world! if you really think that there are no racists, no people with prejudices and no one who swears in the world, then you obviously dont live on this planet.
This is not a film for the faint hearted or easily offended so be warned, but if you like a challenging subject, and a film that makes you reconsider your own morals and beliefs, whilst treating you as an adult, then this film is for you. Anyone else should pull their curtains, lock their doors and crawl back under their duvet because the real world is obviously not for you.
This is the best film I have seen since hotel rwanda, so please watch this film with an open mind and draw your own conclusions, but for me it is a stunning and thought provoking piece of film making and worthy of 5 stars and a bucket load of oscars.
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on 28 November 2015
A film about racism, prejudice and the common negative assumptions we all make every day.

Crash is a film about people, rich, poor, good, bad, black, white and every other shade of human being that inhabits Los Angeles. This racially and economically diverse group of people pursue lives that collide with one another in unexpected ways. They say that anyone on earth can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries and crash shows just how simple that can be.

Primarily Crash is a film about racism, prejudice and the common negative assumptions we all make every day. Each of the main characters is faced with an event that will change their perception not only of their own lives but also the assumptions they make about the people who share the city of angels.

There's a police detective whose mother can't quite kick her drug habit and whose brother already has three strikes and a warrant out for his arrest. Two car thieves who are constantly theorizing on society and race, a district attorney and his irritated and pampered wife. He doesn't want it made public that they've been car jacked by a black person because it might lose him the black vote. Then there's a racist veteran cop powerless to help his sick father, a successful Hollywood director and his wife who come to realise that success doesn't bring immunity from racism, a disillusioned father who buys a gun to protect his shop and a locksmith and his young daughter who is afraid of bullets until he gives her his special protective cloak.

Although the blatant racism and bigotry may make us feel uncomfortable it is nonetheless a very realistic portrait and though few of us admit it we have all at some time or another made the same assumptions, if only in the company of those we feel comfortable with.

Crash has a message for everyone, if you get it, you're sure to be a better person.
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This is definitely one of those films that you have to step back from and think – what the hell was that all about! On face value it seems like a film that’s only concerned with racism, but of course, there’s more to it than that?
So, we see the lives and actions of several blacks, whites, Iranians, Hispanics and other mixed races. We have: several police officers, a District Attorney, Store owners, a film director, a Locksmith, a maid, a health worker, husbands, wives, girlfriends, mums, dads, siblings – yes quite a mixture!
I had a good think about this film the next morning and the pennies slowly started to drop!
The film explores some of the reasons for racism – ignorance, fear, anger / revenge, simply the power to apply it, peer pressure, institutional racism, acceptance of white supremacy and force … and so on!
The film also looks at the outside influences on these characters lives – are they all just nasty people? There’s an awful lot packed into this film which needs chewing over to get the best from it?
Once I had got my head around it, it became a much better watch than I had originally thought; I could see why it won so many awards. Yes, a very entertaining film indeed.
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on 16 March 2006
I watched Crash with increasingly mixed emotions, the films subject, racial predjudice, is at times uncomfortable to watch. However, as the film progressed, the characters developed, and the image you had of them turned round. Its difficult to review without giving away any of the twists, so my advice is, watch it and be prepared for a bumpy emotional rollercoaster ride.
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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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on 10 March 2006
I wasn't going to write a review of this! I was simply going to buy the DVD but I saw Jason's well written and argued review and would not like anyone to be put off buying or even seeing this brilliant, brilliant movie which I was so pleased to see win the best movie Oscar 2006 vs the worthy but less good Brokeback Mountain.
The film examines the differences between black and white (metaphorically and literally) and good and evil in a totally absorbing and involving way - Jason comapres it to Short Cuts but that is only the similarity of structure - the only film that I can compare it to at all is John Sayles' excellent City of Hope (for which David Strathairn should have won an Oscar many years before being nominated for Good Night, and Good Luck!)but this gains on the ensemble casting and production values.
It also rightly won Best Original Screenplay for an extraordinary storyline that twists and turns like a thriller but is at the same time totally believable - thriller writers please note! I've never lived in LA but I have lived in New York and I recognised so much of what is good and bad about American society in this movie. That this film can be made gives
us all hope that the good can overcome the bad.
But please don't watch this movie for the message, watch it for pleasure - you won't be disappointed!
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on 25 July 2014
One of the more outstanding films made in recent years. Brief synopsis:Los Angeles citizens with vastly separate lives collide in interweaving stories of race, loss and redemption.

delivered promptly.
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An Altmanesque exploration of LA’s clashing sub-cultures that appears to be about race, but is actually much more. People judge each other, live up to their stereotypes (often knowingly), but are occasionally surprised or challenged. Perhaps surprisingly, Crash is never judgemental. It observes rather than lectures.
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on 30 October 2006
I could not let this go without saying how wonderful a film this is. Thoughtfull, intelligent, I nearly cried at one point (not easy for a 40 year old male to admit to!).

Bear with it as it takes a few minutes to get going, like a soap opera take time to get to know the characters.........you will be rewarded.

Reminded me about life's priorities.
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