Critics Consensus

Despite the surprisingly distant, clinical direction, Crash's explicit premise and sex is classic Cronenberg territory.



Reviews Counted: 51

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 56,138


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.2/5

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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


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

Critic Reviews for Crash

All Critics (51) | 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.

    Apr 4, 2011 | Rating: C- | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Sep 9, 2008

    Todd McCarthy

    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.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    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 | Rating: 2.5/5
  • "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.

    Jan 22, 2002 | Full Review…
  • So far from being involving or compelling, so intentionally disconnected from any kind of recognizable emotion, that by comparison David Lynch's removed "Lost Highway" plays like "Lassie Come Home."

    Feb 14, 2001 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…

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 repelled 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

I seem to have been the only person who HADN'T seen this movie so I decided to give it a watch and at the end of it, I kinda wish I had remained a Crash virgin for the rest of my life. Don't get me wrong, I love gratuitous sex on many levels but this film just didn't deliver any real plot to me. So they were in a car crash, then they became nymphs? If there is any poetry in this movie it was lost on me. Half a star for the idea, which was original, half a star for the Cronenberg name and then one massive star for the tattoo sucking scene between Spader and Koteas.

Unknown Hobo
Unknown Hobo

Super Reviewer

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