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Crash

A dramatic film directed Paul Haggis about race relations in Los Angeles.

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"We crash into each other just so we can feel something."

  • Mar 30, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5
Crash is probably one of the most thought-provoking, well-written and beautifully acted films I have seen this year. In a collage of collisions, traffic and human, the disturbing underbelly of racism in LA is exposed in all its forms, each plot line producing outrageous events and even more surprising resolutions. With a cross-section of the public, multi-ethnic characters, cops, the advantaged and the disadvantaged, Crash manages to reach beneath the smooth exterior of everyday life, revealing the fractures that run through day to day relationships, the cherished prejudices, offensive remarks and outrageous attitudes that often go unchallenged, perpetuating more of the same misinformation. The acting is finely nuanced, Don Cheadle's disaffected police detective, Graham, Matt Dillon's jaded and racist cop agonizing over an ill father at the mercy of an uncaring health provider, a bickering black couple (Thandie Newton and Terence Howard), who are humiliated by police officers (Matt Dillon and Ryan Philippe), the husband's manhood put to the test and found wanting, an Iraqi shop-owner, confounded by his new country and a language he cannot navigate.

Brilliantly scripted and acted, this film is an example of the quality Hollywood should be providing instead of trite comedies and lackluster superheroes, as potent as Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing", exposing, transforming, confounding in every scene. With all the obvious disaffections of our society, absolutely nothing is predictable, the characters challenged at every turn, their precious beliefs transformed by changing events. Stereotypes abound, as do personal epiphanies, death defeated by a fickle choice, an astonishing exercise in the vagaries of fate and the promise of hope, no matter how spectral in the broader perspective. There are no facile answers and all issues aren't resolved, but the film is a wake up call to those deadened by the endless cacophony of daily defeats and the helpless rage that accompanies almost every endeavor. In moments of personal challenge and an almost overwhelming failure to achieve harmony on even the most elemental level, Crash reminds us of our humanity and ability to transcend our basest responses to crisis. Luan Gaines.
Crash

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More Crash (2004 film) reviews
review by . December 13, 2010
After watching the film Crash, it takes a look at the all the the parallels that each character faces in the harsh glare of reality and sees where every dilemma is put forth in every situation. In society the film talks about race and class against a multicultural society where cops are around every corner where they put you right on the spot to see how life out in the real world can be just as dangerous. Crash was indeed an excellent film illustrating that a person can have two sides, their professional …
review by . March 25, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
The Detective Without Any Answers...
WARNING: This review contains some spoilers!   2005 was a year in which making socially relevant and topical films became a popular trend in Hollywood. Many of these films focused on particular issues, such as the ongoing conflict between the U.S. and the Middle East (Jarhead), corruption within the oil industry (Syriana), sexism in the workplace (North Country), intolerance towards homosexuals (Brokeback Mountain), the psychological inner workings of terrorists (Paradise Now), or political …
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
One of the most thought-provoking movies you'll ever see, with some exceptional acting by a huge cast. Everyone needs to see this film, especially Americans.
review by . April 29, 2009
With the success of such films as Pulp Fiction and Sin City there seems to be a new style of telling a story where there are separate tales intertwined with characters crossing over between the tales. This film takes it a step further and seems to be like a soap opera with several plots happening at the same time with characters constantly crossing over between the plots. The director performs a masterful job of this and creates an excellent tale of many separate lives that reach a crossroad and …
review by . November 09, 2008
Crash
Sometimes there is a reason for people to be angry; sometimes there is no reason for people to be angry. But anger, hatred, and evil, are all Entities that do not recognize the boundaries of color, religion, race, creed, sexual orientation, or social status.     'Crash' is one of the most powerful movies I have ever watched. The script doesn't miss a chance for picking on people because of exterior perceptions and stereotypes, and no one is exempt from the hate. The plotline …
review by . January 02, 2009
DVD
The movie, set in Los Angeles, follows several unrelated characters as they come to terms with crime and racial prejudice over a two-day period. 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 …
review by . May 12, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
"Crash" is a film that revolves around racism and bigotry, and as such it's no surprise that it's become such a controversial film. It was a major achievement for it to garner the Best Picture Oscar (which arguably "Sin City" actually deserved, but one doesn't expect the Academy to bestow awards to those films which truly deserve them), but although it did, and although Roger Ebert proclaimed it the "Best Film of 2005" (though the film actually premiered in 2004), "Crash" has been viewed rather …
review by . October 26, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
CRASH is a movie about race and ethnicity in L.A. However, the film is more than that. It's also a movie about how we are all connected to each other and that despite the differences in our skin color, cultural heritage, and lifestyle choices we are more alike than we would like to admit.    The movie is an ensemble film that examines a wide variety of people in different parts of L.A. The film illustrates how their lives interact, or crash into each other, and how the varied …
review by . July 26, 2006
The acting in this film was very good. The cinematography was also excellent, along with the soundtrack.    But has the general American population grown so completely ignorant that the only way they can recognize and detest racism is when it's displayed in a trite and totally implausible movie filled with impossible character interactions and no-way-in-hell-would-that-ever-happen coincidences? By far the most moving character in this film was the latino locksmith, mainly because …
review by . January 09, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
First: throw your stereotypes out the window. They simply don't apply here.    To say that "Crash" is a movie about race relations is true, but it also sells the film completely short in terms of the effect that it has and the stories that it tells. It's almost unbearably frustrating, even infuriating to watch, because it's honest, and it is the film's honesty that makes it well worth seeing.    The story is a complex one, interweaving the lives of several …
About the reviewer
Luan Gaines ()
Ranked #109
An artist/writer, I have traveled the world, walked on the moon and learned the complicated language of humanity, the enormity of the universe... all through the written word. My first passport was a … more
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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...
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