Crash came out in 2004 and, after a ridiculous Oscar marketing campaign, walked away with the statue for Best Picture in early 2005. This movie shocked the world and beat out one of the most incredible classes of nominees. Crash is loved and hated by so many that it regularly appears at the top of worse winners of all-time. I could spend the entire review telling you how poorly received this movie was, but that would just fuel that fire and never fan the flames of how impactful Crash turned out to be.
I won’t name everyone in the lineup because that eats up the rest of this space; however, I will tell you who I loved and why then explain the characters I disliked and what they did to tick me off.
Sandra Bullock, America’s sweetheart, is in the movie about five minutes and demanded top billing on the poster. She plays a bitch and spends most of her screentime yelling, being a spoiled rich brat, and a racist. Her character blames the recent carjacking as the reason, yet she seems to act this way all the time.
Michael Pena has a simply amazing story arc. He is not the first name on the marquee, but wow, the story with his daughter is emotionally charged. You will have to fight the tears when you see the man cry out in agony when he comes face to face with a loaded gun in front of his family. I am still emotional when I think about his character and the ending of his story arc.
Terrance Howard and Thandie Netwon have by far the most intense storyline. Their lives intersect with Matt Dillion’s police officer character, who is the ultimate definition of scumbag. He is so dirty that he could have his own movie or TV show, and they would never run out of racist things for him to do. Howard’s character suffers the most, and his performance was worthy of nominations over Dillion, yet Matthew was hailed for his character’s portrayal.
Don Cheadle is a cop who has to figure out the murder of a young man. There’s a lot of shady stuff going with the district attorney. Within the department, so despite his best intentions in his professional and personal life, his past will rear its ugly head and force him into a career-altering situation.
Shaun Toub plays an immigrant shop owner who is as racist as Dillion’s character. He thinks the world owes him everything, but he is just a terrible human being. Lucky for him, he gets a second chance at redeeming himself, but it came at such a high cost. I absolutely hated his character, even though there are people like that everywhere you go. Society builds these monsters and then act all shocked when they act out.
Ludacris also stars in the movie as a thug who steals cars. He has no direction in his life except wherever his gun points him. His character has zero redeemable qualifications; however, he does a complete 360 at the end of the film and does the right thing for the first time in forever.
Like I mentioned in the opening, Crash is a love it or hate it kind of movie. You may hate it because it won, or you may love it because it is real. These stories happen every single day across the big cities in America. They probably happen in the small ones too, but a handful of these events just don’t have space or coincidence to occur.
It’s been years since I watched this film and watched it alone since my wife didn’t care for it the first time. I can sit back and read all I want about the film and what it did and didn’t do for people. I enjoyed it and wouldn’t be opposed to watching it again someday. I would never consider the worst best picture of all-time, but then I’m only me. 7/10