Crash (1996)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

After surviving a brutal car wreck, commercial director James Ballard finds himself slowly drawn to a mysterious subculture of people who have transformed automobile accidents into erotic events. Like the J.G. Ballard novel that inspired it, David Cronenberg's study of the sexual dimension of man's relationship to technology was a magnet for controversy, drawing a NC-17 rating and criticism from several sources, including studio owner Ted Turner, who attempted to prevent the film's American release. But though some have leveled charges of pornography, James' descent into this fetishistic underworld is approached with cold, scientific detachment. Characters like Vaughn, the charismatic group leader who stages recreations of celebrity car crashes, seem more like driven researchers than sexual renegades, which is undoubtedly part of the film's point. This impression is reinforced by the pristine cinematography by Peter Suschitzsky, which proves particularly haunting during a crucial accident scene, and Howard Shore's superb score. Far from exploitative, Crash in fact proves less transgressive than the original novel, but is still undoubtedly not for all tastes. ~ Judd Blaise, Rovi
NC17 (For numerous explicit sex scenes)
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Fine Line Features


James Spader
as James Ballard
Holly Hunter
as Dr. Helen Remington
Elias Koteas
as Vaughan
Rosanna Arquette
as Gabrielle
Peter MacNeill
as Colin Seagrave
Deborah Kara Unger
as Catherine Ballard

Critic Reviews for Crash

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (11)

For a movie obsessed with the connection between sexual intercourse and car accidents, David Cronenberg's Crash could hardly be more stationary.

Full Review… | April 3, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

While the director remains firmly behind the wheel for the first hour or so, he cracks up toward the end with sequences that send the film and the audience into a ditch.

Full Review… | September 8, 2008
Top Critic

It's a dark, disturbing, languorous movie, as ludicrous, hermetic and repetitive, perhaps, as Ballard's original, but admirably assured and true to itself.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Mr. Cronenberg, for once oddly inhibited by brazen subject matter, has made a meticulously stylized and controlled film that leaves many of its characters' ideas muffled and lacks the true audacity its material demands.

May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | April 12, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

"Crash" doesn't extend beyond its most immediate sensationalism. When the movie does attempt to find a theme, it slams into a brick wall of mumbo-jumbo.

Full Review… | January 22, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Crash


A perversely disturbing and highly uncomfortable film that bursts with overwhelming sexual intensity as the characters engage in a compulsive fetishistic psychopathology that is strangely telling, even if it will probably leave most viewers repulsed and make them never want to see it again.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

outstanding cronenberg work, more disturbing than anything i've seen since...'dead ringers'! don't watch if you're at all frightened of driving!

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

In my opinion, this film is a masterpiece by Cronenberg. Features a frightening performance from Elias Koteas.

Graham Jones
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

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