21 Grams Reviews

Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
June 24, 2006
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
August 7, 2004
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 26, 2003
Challenges and provokes in unexpected ways.
| Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
December 26, 2003
[An]uncommonly ambitious, superbly acted, frustratingly flawed drama.
Top Critic
Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
December 26, 2003
Establishes [Inarritu] as a major cinematic force.
Full Review | Original Score: A+
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
December 26, 2003
You won't soon forget the world that Gonzalez Inarritu creates.
| Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
December 26, 2003
Fascinating because of the way the story is told -- and because of the existential issues that it forces you to consider.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
December 25, 2003
The performances, the way Inarritu deconstructs and reconstructs the narrative, the grainy, gritty feel and look, all lead to the rare sort of experience that only a truly great film can offer.
| Original Score: A+
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 25, 2003
This is a mesmerizing film that is the work of genius.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
December 25, 2003
Every year needs a challenging masterwork, a movie that defies filmmaking convention and leaves an indelible mark on the collective psyche.
| Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
December 25, 2003
One of the most riveting and moving experiences of the year, a movie of aching soulfulness and transforming power.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
November 29, 2003
Is the strategy to make you work so hard to determine where you are in the timeline that you overlook what a dreary and conventional little soap opera this is?
Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
November 28, 2003
This is cinematic storytelling of a very high order, and the clear work of a moviemaker who has almost instantly established himself as a force to be reckoned with.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
November 28, 2003
Though not depressing, because nothing this good is, the film is haunting -- a walk on the razor's edge between life and death.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
November 26, 2003
If not for its show-offy back-and- forthing of time, the movie would be a banal, pointlessly depressing exercise.
Top Critic
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
November 26, 2003
Tough, smart, relentless, provocative and, above all, serious.
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
November 26, 2003
Watching it is a wrenching experience; the usual layers of distance between actors and audience are stripped away, and we not only watch their anguish, but become part of it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Carla Meyer
San Francisco Chronicle
November 26, 2003
Inarritu and Arriaga's first English-language film doesn't approach the brilliance of Amores Perros, but it succeeds on a more modest scale.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
November 26, 2003
It grips us, moves us, astonishes us.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
November 26, 2003
A capital-M movie, and the most flagrant kind: Heavy emotion, heavy style, and lite philosophy converge and choke us with meaning.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
November 25, 2003
This may be the most brilliantly made movie of the year. But you don't enjoy 21 Grams, you recover from it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
November 25, 2003
Boasts so many moments of sublime acting that it's hard to know where to start.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
November 25, 2003
Confounded my high expectations by being much too depressing for my taste.
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
November 25, 2003
Blessed with one of the strongest casts of any American movie this year, this bravura film, with its radical structure, is full of risk and reward.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
November 22, 2003
Watching Penn and Del Toro (and, to a lesser extent, the actually young and actually beautiful Watts) navigate the recesses of these damaged, ambivalent characters ... is pretty much worth the price of admission.
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
November 21, 2003
A good movie which just misses being great.
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
November 21, 2003
Using the structure of Amores Perros, Inarritu takes his complex tale of hope and redemption and breaks it into a mosaic of emotional tiles that add up to more than the whole.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
November 21, 2003
The title refers to the weight -- perhaps the soul -- the body is said to lose at the precise moment of death. But 21 Grams has no shortage of soul, wit or intelligence.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
November 20, 2003
Unstintingly explores and exposes excruciating pain, raw grief, ruinous vengeance and life-affirming resilience, creating human portraits that are uncommonly exhilarating in their honesty.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
Los Angeles Times
November 20, 2003
Watts, Penn and Del Toro have all been brilliant before, and if we're lucky, they will all be brilliant again. But to watch these three -- working alone and in tandem -- is to experience the strange, at times frightening alchemy of screen acting.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
November 20, 2003
A movie that wallows so profoundly in its own misery that watching it is like atoning for some sin you didn't commit.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 20, 2003
You won't see more explosive acting this year.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Gene Seymour
Newsday
November 20, 2003
The three leads are superb, as are Melissa Leo and Charlotte Gainsbourg in supporting roles.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
November 18, 2003
Watts, who has the most difficult scenes, is splendidly mercurial; what's surprising is that those professional storm clouds Penn and Del Toro are here as powerfully restrained as she is electrifying.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
November 18, 2003
It's one of those motion pictures that haunts your thoughts and won't let go.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
November 17, 2003
This film has great performances all around, especially from Naomi Watts in maybe her best role yet.
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
November 12, 2003
It's a startlingly crafted movie, with several extraordinary performances.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Elvis Mitchell
New York Times
October 28, 2003
You won't come out unaffected, because the depths of intimacy that the Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu plumbs here are so rarely touched by filmmakers that 21 Grams is tantamount to the discovery of a new country.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
October 8, 2003
A sad movie about the irony of inescapable destiny, it left me captivated and trembling.
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
September 10, 2003
This movie knocks you out with an astonishing blend of hyper-realism, visual complexity and powerful themes.