21 Grams - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

21 Grams Reviews

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August 18, 2015
A hard movie to watch, Penn was excellent
½ August 3, 2015
The performances and the story are both very good in this well made drama.
July 31, 2015
It may seem slightly odd, bizarre and confusing in its non-linear structure, but as the story progresses, you can begin to piece things together quite nicely. It is superbly directed, and acted tremendously by the three leads.
June 26, 2015
Great emotional drama with three phenomenal performances from Del toro, Pean and Watts.
½ June 20, 2015
One of the worst films I have had the misfortune of watching.
June 7, 2015
As good as a movie can get. A very serious drama.
April 30, 2015
½ April 13, 2015
"21 Grams" is about sad people doing sad things, wishing they could be a different sad person for just a minute so that they can escape the pain they so constantly feel. Their lives never pick up -- they were never that great to begin with -- and so the film acts as a mangled study of truly messed up people, sometimes compelling and sometimes so downbeat you may as well give up and moan into a judgmental pillow. It is not a film to lift your spirits; see it for the emotions it brings, the jaw-dropping performances it contains. When reflecting on our pampered lives, the fact that people like the characters in "21 Grams" may exist reminds us how lucky some of us are, even if our ease is short-lived or tinged with a little bit of depression. We don't look down upon these people; we emphasize with them.
Told in a non-linear fashion, "21 Grams" focuses on three characters with the fixation of a subtle Altman film. They are Paul (Sean Penn), Cristina (Naomi Watts), and Jack (Benicio Del Toro). Paul is unhappily married to Mary (Charlotte Gainsbourg), who longs for a baby but is rendered hopeless due to Paul's dangerous heart condition. Cristina, once a happily wed woman with two lovely young daughters, has lost her husband and kids in a bloody hit-and-run, turning back to past drug addictions to make herself feel something besides nothing. Jack is an ex-convict who is trying to curb his criminal and alcoholic ways through faith, but is failing miserably. These people are all connected in some way or another, but to reveal the source of their crossing paths would strip the film of the pleasures you won't have.
Despite being one of the most depressing movies I have ever seen, "21 Grams" is still one of the best acted, bringing together a magnificently emotive ensemble and giving them what are perhaps the most rewarding (at least to watch) roles of their careers. Penn is a man torn between two equally devastating lives: in one, he is a sick man with a desperate wife clinging to his side; in the other, he is the co-dependent to a mentally unstable drug addict. Watts, in a performance so harrowing it would be a wonder if she didn't suffer while piecing together her characterization, is gut-wrenching as a woman so broken that we can only ask ourselves why she isn't shattered into a million pieces below our feet. And Del Toro is an embodiment of human suffering as a man who wants to atone for his sins but falls immediately after he stands up once again.
Everything about "21 Grams" is phenomenal, but despite its triumphs, I still have reservations about Gonzalez-Inarritu's decision to edit the film in inconsequential order. Some movies have done it well ("Memento", without a doubt), but in "21 Grams"' case, it's a loud concern that undermines the connected stories. Because we don't get to see characters develop in the usual sense, it's harder to grasp them as people, grip their personal stories as if they are our own.
If "21 Grams" isn't perfect and isn't tempting to embrace, that's beside the point. This is a frustrating but visceral film that overwhelms us with its sorrow, its despair. It doesn't feel good, sure, but one rarely gets the opportunity to experience something this exhilarating.
March 29, 2015
The acting is absolutely great (I had to hold my breath several times just because of the fine performances) and while the story is extremely depressing, you can't help but want to know what will happen next.
March 21, 2015
Superbly acted by the entire lead rolls. The way the story unfolded can not miss a second where you will be in a labyrinth. A true classic. Here as well we should tell the critics that the directer sure knows how to tell a story better than any one in the world !
March 17, 2015
powerful performances r the fuel that makes this 1 go.
March 13, 2015
Good but not great. I normally like interwoven storylines but in the end it didn't have the great emotional pull I was looking for. Plus the editing was all over the place. I know what they were trying to do but at times it was just too much.
½ March 4, 2015
La culpa, el remordimiento y la venganza entrelazan la vida de tres desconocidos en este rompecabezas hecho película.
February 22, 2015
Confused, tired, disappointed, left hanging, that is how I feel about 21 Grams. Another feeling I had was a headache from trying to figure out all the supposed hidden meanings, and the closing monologue.

The back-and-forth-in-time scene sequence didn't work for me. I don't necessarily believe movies should be linear (two of my favourite movies are Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, and they are not linear in their scene sequence), but 21 Grams overdoes the non-linearity. I kept feeling like I was cheating, as if I was skipping forward in the movie. A linear storytelling would have worked a lot better, and made me feel more surprised when the story took a twist.

There were too many loose ends in the movie (I won't mention them, to avoid spoiling the movie for others). I just felt like I was left hanging.

I couldn't grasp the implication of the 21 grams concept, even though I thought I understood the idea before the movie started. I left the movie feeling confused, and quite bitter, as I felt ripped off as the supposed deeper meaning was fairly lame or unfathomable, and the movie fairly pretentious.
February 14, 2015
Gripping and mesmerizing!
February 11, 2015
Between a 7/10 and 8/10, its boldly atomized narrative, its labyrinthine circularity and its no-nonsense performances make 21 Grams... well worth the weight.
January 22, 2015
The non-linear storytelling really makes this a powerful film. Combined with introspective performances and assured direction, the movie is an emotional ride.
January 13, 2015
Can't believe I'm just watching this movie. All-star cast. Movie is fantastic with twists and turns around every corner.
½ December 28, 2014
The title of the movie and the last line with "21 grams" do not fit well in the movie theme at all. Resurrection or something better would have made the story line more sense and match 100%. 21 grams do not really mean that much at all
December 25, 2014
Though Watts gives a good enough performance to make this movie watchable as does Melissa Leo, this is a really dry, stale piece of work that makes you suffer more than any character in the movie. del Toro and Penn are good but sometimes go into over acting moments as does Watts but the script is all out of whack. Movies sometimes can benefit to the mystery of being out of order and letting the audience piece the puzzle together but this one is just not even a fun one to do so. Alejandro's crowning achievement is most definitely Birdman as I did not like Babel all that much either
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