Crash - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Crash Reviews

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Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
February 23, 2015
[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.
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Joanne Kaufman
Wall Street Journal
January 6, 2014
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.
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
February 15, 2013
Haggis moves seamlessly between all these stories and has structured them in such a way that his characters reach a crisis point simultaneously, followed by melancholy clarity.
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David Ansen
Newsweek
July 7, 2010
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.
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Ken Tucker
New York Magazine/Vulture
December 9, 2005
It's smart, therefore, that Haggis has written such novel, precisely observed, often unpleasant characters as the ones Bullock, Dillon, and Cheadle inhabit.
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
September 26, 2005
Any relation to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
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Andrew Sun
Hollywood Reporter
August 30, 2005
Enjoy the wonderful performances by a cast very committed to the cause.
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Geoff Andrew
Time Out
August 11, 2005
An already over-eventful narrative -- what, another crash? -- teeters into melodramatic implausibility.
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
May 13, 2005
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.
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
May 12, 2005
I found Mr. Haggis' moralistic tales too facile for my taste.
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
May 6, 2005
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.
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
May 6, 2005
This is the rare American film really about something, and almost all the performances are riveting. It asks tough questions, and lets its audience struggle with the answers.
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
May 6, 2005
The best parts of Crash are as good as they are because they confront us with behaviour we might be capable of under the same circumstances. And we're not bad people. Are we?
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
May 6, 2005
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?
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
May 6, 2005
Crash, Paul Haggis' flawed but riveting tale of racism in contemporary Los Angeles, has moments so powerful they're instantly seared into your memory; you'll watch without blinking, barely breathing.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
May 6, 2005
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
May 6, 2005
Crash isn't set half-a-century ago, in some place of dusty roads and Skoal-spitting sheriffs. It takes place now, in Los Angeles, that most modern of American cities.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Peter Debruge
Miami Herald
May 6, 2005
Contrived, obvious and overstated, Crash is basically just one white man's righteous attempt to make other white people feel as if they've confronted the problem of racism head-on.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
May 6, 2005
An ambitious and often wonderful movie, an expansive look at urban life -- the fractious, noisy whole of it -- filled with witty, biting and insightful writing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
May 6, 2005
Haggis bends back one full day to unravel the tangled threads leading to the crash, and, in turn, the tangle justifies the existence of his varied and polyglot ensemble.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
May 6, 2005
One of the finest American movies to engage our diverse richness and our casual and not-so-casual ethnic hostility.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
May 6, 2005
Characters come straight from the assembly line of screenwriting archetypes, and too often they act in ways that archetypes, rather than human beings, do.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
May 6, 2005
The characters and individual dramas remain interesting in a personal way, but the overall conception of Crash is hackneyed.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
May 6, 2005
The theme is racism. Let me say that again: The theme is racism. I could say it 500 more times because that's how many times the movie says it, in every single scene.
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
May 6, 2005
Cheadle serves as the movie's Greek chorus, sorting out the fender benders that serve as a metaphor for a city where, Haggis implies, racial profiling rivals moviemaking as a leading activity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
May 6, 2005
What emerges from the movie's emotional fender-bending and concentrated irony are moments of awe-inspiring reach, the kind of full-throttle acting that demands attention.
| Original Score: B
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
May 6, 2005
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
May 6, 2005
Crash wants to be taken seriously as a meditation on our anxiety-plagued times, but the coincidences are too pat, the tugs on the heartstrings too insistent.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
May 5, 2005
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
May 5, 2005
Audiences may cringe as Haggis taps into the kind of offensive images that surreptitiously seep into the brains of even the most open-minded. His point is simple: No one is immune.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
May 5, 2005
A grim, histrionic experiment in vehicular metaphor slaughter.
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
May 5, 2005
Lop off a few characters, tighten the narrative geometry, and Crash might have a sledgehammer impact. As it is, the film is content to tap you on the shoulder and ask you to take a look around.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
May 5, 2005
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.
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
May 5, 2005
Haggis challenges our common conceptions about race and allows no character to escape his own hypocrisy.
| Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 5, 2005
Like that nerve-rattling collision of metal and glass, Crash will leave its audiences jarred awake, feeling bruised.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
May 5, 2005
Crash has been crafted to deliver a wake-up blow to our complacency.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
May 5, 2005
A gorgeous mosaic of a movie that is actually about our fears of each other, set in the bright light of Los Angeles and the dark places in our hearts.
| Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Gene Seymour
Newsday
May 5, 2005
Dark, fluid thriller seasoned with acerbic dialogue and rueful observations that may strike uncomfortably close to home.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
May 5, 2005
An intricate, explosive ensemble crime drama set in a modern urban pressure-cooker of racial and class hatreds.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
May 5, 2005
People collide as well in this literate, engrossing and occasionally funny look at race relations in Los Angeles.
| Original Score: B+
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
May 5, 2005
Not just one of the best Hollywood movies about race, but, along with Collateral, one of the finest portrayals of contemporary Los Angeles life period.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
May 4, 2005
Despite its preachy moments, the film is a knockout. In a multiplex starved for ambition, why kick a film with an excess of it?
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
May 4, 2005
Haggis knows how to grab the viewer's attention, via intense confrontations as well as by planting dramatic seeds that bear fruit in, more often than not, grimly unexpected ways.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
May 4, 2005
The stunning, must-see drama Crash is proof that words have not lost the ability to shock in our anesthetized society.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
May 3, 2005
Full of well-observed supporting riffs, Crash might've accumulated more frisson had it cast a clearer eye on how social tension actually plays.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
May 3, 2005
Crash's strength is that it deals intelligently with serious subjects.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
David Denby
New Yorker
April 25, 2005
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.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
April 25, 2005
I think this is the kind of film that starts arguments and stimulates passionate discussion about topics that still make most of us cringe.