ming movie reviews

in about 100 words or less

Crash (2004)

US 112m, Colour
Director: Paul Haggis; Cast: Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, Michael Peña, Brendan Fraser, Terrence Howard, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Thandie Newton, Ryan Phillippe

crashCrash is a dark social drama that interweaves a number of brief and melodramatic stories to explore racial problems in Los Angeles, California. Interestingly, and unlike “race” movies with a message, Crash doesn’t take sides, and does little to differentiate between the victims, villains and heroes, but rather, looks at the underlying problems which stem from ignorance and intolerance. A great ensemble cast, including a stellar performance by Matt Dillon as a deeply troubled cop whose character gets to the heart of this moving and thoughtful film (Klaus Ming January 2015).

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3 comments on “Crash (2004)

  1. SJHoneywell
    01/01/2015

    This is a film that gets a lot of complaints specifically because of the other films it beat for Best Picture. It’s a much better movie than people remember even if it really didn’t deserve to win the top award over any of the other four it was nominated against. That’s not the fault of the film or the filmmakers. Crash, despite its unfair reputation, is well worth seeing.

  2. Anthony Lee Collins
    01/01/2015

    I admire many things about this movie, most especially the acting and the intent. Three things about it drove me crazy, though (and I haven’t seen it since it came out, so I may be fuzzy on details).

    1) The writing. The plot depends on a series of incredible coincidences, and the wrtiing wasn’t good enough to distract me. You can have a great movie built on a series of coincidences (Only Angels Have Wings is a classic example), but this wasn’t it. I was constantly aware of the screenwriter moving his chess pieces around.

    2) The narration. As I remember it, there’s a narrator who comes in at some point to talk about how atomized and unconnected people are in LA, whereas based on the movie itself the reality seems to be that there are twelve people in the whole city and they run into each other constantly.

    3) And, yes, it won an award that it didn’t deserve, and I do get cranky about that sometimes — though I’m much more annoyed about A Beautiful Mind, which beat Gosford Park, Mulholland Drive, and The Two Towers, if I remember correctly.

  3. Klaus
    01/03/2015

    In response to both of your posts, I’ll start by noting that I was indeed surprised by how much better this film was than my memory of it.

    I had remembered it as being both highly improbable and heavy handed – to the point of being manipulative.

    Though I agree that there are some pretty blatant stereotypes, It still works from the perspective that discrimination is a really complex issue that is often portrayed as good versus bad in the movies.

    I think Crash, despite its flaws, handles this topic in a pretty original manner and at least succeeds in making this point.

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This entry was posted on 01/01/2015 by in 1001 List, 2000s, All and tagged .
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