Critic Consensus: A raw and unsettling morality piece on modern angst and urban disconnect, Crash examines the dangers of bigotry and xenophobia in the lives of interconnected Angelenos.
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Issues of race and gender cause a group of strangers in Los Angeles to physically and emotionally collide in this drama from director and screenwriter Paul Haggis. Graham (Don Cheadle) is a police detective whose brother is a street criminal, and it hurts him to know his mother cares more about his ne'er-do-well brother than him. Graham's partner is Ria (Jennifer Esposito), who is also his girlfriend, though she has begun to bristle at his emotional distance, as well as his occasional insensitivity over the fact he's African-American and she's Hispanic. Rick (Brendan Fraser) is an L.A. district attorney whose wife, Jean (Sandra Bullock), makes little secret of her fear and hatred of people unlike herself. Jean's worst imaginings about people of color are confirmed when her SUV is carjacked by two African-American men -- Anthony (Chris Bridges, aka Ludacris), who dislikes white people as much as Jean hates blacks, and Peter (Larenz Tate), who is more open minded. Cameron (Terrence Howard) is a well-to-do African-American television producer with a beautiful wife, Christine (Thandie Newton). While coming home from a party, Cameron and Christine are pulled over by Officer Ryan (Matt Dillon), who subjects them to a humiliating interrogation (and her to an inappropriate search) while his new partner, Officer Hansen (Ryan Phillippe), looks on. Daniel (Michael Pena) is a hard-working locksmith and dedicated father who discovers that his looks don't lead many of his customers to trust him. And Farhad (Shaun Toub) is a Middle Eastern shopkeeper who is so constantly threatened in the wake of the 9/11 attacks that he decided he needs a gun to defend his family. Crash was the first directorial project for award-winning television and film writer Haggis. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi … More
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as Jean Cabot
as Det. Graham Waters
as Sgt. Ryan
as Jake Flanagan
as Dist. Atty. Richard ...
as Peter Waters
as Off. Tom Hansen
as Graham's Mother
as Lt. Dixon
as Motorcycle Cop
as Officer Hill
as Ken Ho
as Lara's Friend
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Critic Reviews for Crash
[Crash] is familiar enough that it slips easily into our film-watching faculty without any fuss, yet [Haggis'] handling of it -- his muscular belief in what he is doing -- makes us hope that his next screenplay will be a bit less safe.
[Crash] is sharply observed and frequently extremely funny as well as artfully orchestrated.
[Haggis] makes his directing debut with a screenplay that often seems rigged and contrived, but comes to life via excellent acting and a philosophical argument that bigotry and benevolence are inextricably intertwined.
Instead of heartwarming messages about forgiveness, it honours ambiguity and brings us close, closer than is comfortable, in fact, to what Americans today are really thinking about one another.
Crash is a movie with problems, but those simply make Haggis' vision, his clear reflection of us, so powerful.
Audience Reviews for Crash
After re-watching this, I have to conclude that it did not deserve the Oscar for that year. Nevertheless, it is definitely worth watching.
Solidly entertaining racial soap opera melodrama.
This well intentioned story of intertwining lives in the cultural melting pot that is Los Angeles is an ambitious attempt to explore the grey area outside of political correctness. Nearly all of the characters display racism to various extents but it's done so in a way as to create three dimensional characters without demonization. It's sensitively directed and well played by all concerned with Terrence Howard in particular bringing depth to his black studio exec who suffers humiliation at the hands of the LAPD. Paul Haggis cut his teeth on TV comedy drama and it is very apparent here; the unlikely series of coincidences that unites the characters seems overly contrived and there is one too many of the kind of pop music montages that are the hallmark of lightweight American TV drama. It is well meaning and nicely executed but the need Haggis shows to tie all of the themes up in a nice big bow for the audience seems just a little patronizing.
|Anthony:||Time is money.|
|Graham Waters:||It's the sense of touch.|
|Graham Waters:||In the real city you, you walk, you know? You brush past people. People bump into you. In L.A. nobody touches you. We're always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much that we crash into each other just so we can feel something.|
|Daniel:||So she reaches into her backpack and she pulls out this invisible cloak and she ties it around my neck. And she tells me that it's impenetrable. You know what impenetrable means? It means nothing can go through it. No bullets, nothing. She told me that if I wore it, nothing would hurt me. So I did. And my whole life, I never got shot, stabbed, nothing. I mean, how weird is that?|
|Graham Waters:||Well, fuck you very much. But thanks for thinking of me|
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