The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
[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.
Ultimately, Crash succeeds in spite of itself. Its color war starts to feel obvious and schematic. Its coincidences and cliches become like a pileup on the 405 freeway, but there it is -- you find yourself rubbernecking and can't manage to look away.
Haggis shows a lot of promise as a director: his film is never dull. But he needs to unlearn some of the bad lessons he picked up working in TV, which demands that everything be neat, symmetrical and underlined.
The actors, especially Chris Bridges (aka rapper Ludacris), Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Michael Peņa, and Larenz Tate, are adroit at conveying Haggis's candid observations about the crazy ways we live and think.
Haggis's drama is about much more than interlocking front-end collisions. It's about the way we learn, often badly, about one another and how it may take a bad confrontation to peel away the misperceptions.
And so Crash raises the question: If racism is so pervasive in our society, why do we need such an elaborately contrived plot to drive home the message? In other words: How many racists does it take to screw in the point?
Its emotional lows and wicked below-the-belt punches make it a soul-searching film, a manipulative movie with a lot of stars and a writer-director staying on message throughout: We need to know each other better than this.
You will watch much of Crash in dread. That's not so much because you know things are going to get worse -- they do -- before they get better, but because you know Haggis is getting to the nut of things.
Haggis writes with such directness and such a good ear for everyday speech that the characters seem real and plausible after only a few words. His cast is uniformly strong; the actors sidestep cliches and make their characters particular.
So much feeling, so much skill, so much seriousness, such an urgent moral agenda -- all of this must surely answer our collective hunger for a good movie, or even a great one, about race and class in a modern American city. Not even close.
Crash is hyper-articulate and often breathtakingly intelligent and always brazenly alive. I think it's easily the strongest American film since Clint Eastwood's Mystic River, though it is not for the fainthearted.