21 Grams

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 186 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 186
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  1. Sep 10, 2014
    10
    21 Grams is the kind of "jigsaw puzzle, one piece at a time" movie that is extremely risky and confident, but might not always pay off. Luckily, 21 Grams' emotional payoff is one of the best I've ever seen. It carefully skips clichés of the genre, and tells its story with explosive acting and expertly crafted screenplay. It has round characters who are worth caring about, and an ending21 Grams is the kind of "jigsaw puzzle, one piece at a time" movie that is extremely risky and confident, but might not always pay off. Luckily, 21 Grams' emotional payoff is one of the best I've ever seen. It carefully skips clichés of the genre, and tells its story with explosive acting and expertly crafted screenplay. It has round characters who are worth caring about, and an ending that is completely satisfying. This movie is very underrated, and director Alejandro González Iñárritu deserves much credit and praise for creating a well-meaning and powerful tale of redemption, loss, and sorrow. Expand
  2. Feb 7, 2013
    7
    -fractured, intense, painful structure and stories reflect the presence of death -colorful characters with complex backgrounds and strong acting combine with the intensity of the structure -audience left with same discomfort and need for rest as characters
  3. Jan 27, 2013
    5
    21 Grams could have been an excellent movie. Every character did their part. The problem is the director didn't put the scenes in order, making it hard to be fully engaged in the story.
  4. Nov 8, 2012
    9
    A fantastic nonlinear thriller that keeps surprising us and is driven by a flawless performance from Naomi Watts.
  5. j30
    Sep 4, 2011
    8
    Great editing and acting performances. It's a hard movie to watch because of the subject matter, but don't let that detour you away from the movie.
  6. Jul 4, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Alejandro Gonzalez lights up the screen in this horribly beautiful piece. This is one of the most depressingly fantastic bits to cross the barnyard in a chimps age. Benicio is sad and dark, while Naomi is downright cryptic and unmistakenly brooding. This piece of cinema smashes you in the face with bits of confusion with a sick side of morose. Smile while I shove a nail in your eye is what we say.

    Kill my family and I will smile all the way to hell, but not really. Mr. Penn delivers another fantastically crafted bit of acting to add to his repertoir. If you can sit in a pile of one's own mire and whistle dixie, then this flick is for you. Turn down the lights and ready your nerves because this comes at you this way and that without a slice of sorrow.
    Expand
  7. Jul 3, 2011
    9
    Well done acting, well done story and well done directing. The film is definitely worth buying on DVD and devours the watcher in the tale it's telling.
  8. Apr 24, 2011
    9
    I'll start off by saying that, yes this movie is in fact depressing. Iñárritu creates an asphyxiating atmosphere that literally sucks you in and keeps you at the edge of your seat.
  9. Aug 29, 2010
    7
    Between "Amores Perros," "Babel" and this movie, Gonzalez Inarritu has produced some of the heaviest dramas of the past 10 years. Perhaps it is because they all deal with such shattered characters - in this case we are given a man who has just undergone heart replacement surgery which temporarily alleviates the strain ...between him and his separated wife, a born-again man who suddenlyBetween "Amores Perros," "Babel" and this movie, Gonzalez Inarritu has produced some of the heaviest dramas of the past 10 years. Perhaps it is because they all deal with such shattered characters - in this case we are given a man who has just undergone heart replacement surgery which temporarily alleviates the strain ...between him and his separated wife, a born-again man who suddenly finds himself responsible for running over and killing a husband and two girls and the woman who has lost her whole family in that car accident. Each of these characters are faced with the idea of moving on with their lives; as we watch them adjust, we see that the difficulty isn't overcoming the past - it's the realization that they don't even understand what their lives are anymore. The serious performances from the three leads (Sean Penn, Benicio del Toro and Naomi Watts) are really what give the film its depth, and even make up for Inarritu's completely unnecessary nonlinear style, which seems to serve no purpose other than to make the viewer pay more attention. Collapse
  10. caporegime
    Jun 10, 2009
    3
    So trying hard to make things complicated and ending up making this film boring enough to doze of my adrenalin of caffeine.
  11. LeviS.
    Jan 22, 2009
    10
    Easaly one of the best drama movies I've seen to date. The non-lineair structure makes it unique and keeps you focused on the movie, the story is very dark and emotional, but it doesn't exceed the limits of what's good and the visuals of this movie are just stunning,it looks like Iñárritu carefully selected the lightning, background, clothing of the actors and Easaly one of the best drama movies I've seen to date. The non-lineair structure makes it unique and keeps you focused on the movie, the story is very dark and emotional, but it doesn't exceed the limits of what's good and the visuals of this movie are just stunning,it looks like Iñárritu carefully selected the lightning, background, clothing of the actors and camera type, to optimise the colors, brightness and contrast, which makes it truly a piece of visual poetry. Expand
  12. PaulW.
    Mar 6, 2008
    2
    Grams is a completely boring and uncompelling story about people who are instantly forgettable because we have seen them all before. Much of the character's actions are either clichéd or too unsympathetic to be gripping. The movie plods so much that it actually slows down real time, the story jumps around like a frog on speed and the soundtrack, if you can call it that, Grams is a completely boring and uncompelling story about people who are instantly forgettable because we have seen them all before. Much of the character's actions are either clichéd or too unsympathetic to be gripping. The movie plods so much that it actually slows down real time, the story jumps around like a frog on speed and the soundtrack, if you can call it that, didn't take more than 1 guitarist recording some feedback from his guitar while he was taking a nap on it. Expand
  13. lewis
    Nov 20, 2007
    9
    My favorite movie , great picture, awesome acting , it shows the sad reality of life and the struggle for a better one after we fall.
  14. jw
    Aug 11, 2007
    9
    (9.5) Naomi Watts did not win the Oscar that year. An uglified Charlize Theron did instead. Forgetting the last two presidential elections, this may be the worst voting result in history. ...Penn and del Toro aren't exactly slouches either, are they? Their bookending performances only serve to highlight the travesty. One cannot shine so brightly in their company and not come away (9.5) Naomi Watts did not win the Oscar that year. An uglified Charlize Theron did instead. Forgetting the last two presidential elections, this may be the worst voting result in history. ...Penn and del Toro aren't exactly slouches either, are they? Their bookending performances only serve to highlight the travesty. One cannot shine so brightly in their company and not come away with a statue. Expand
  15. IsaacC.
    Jul 4, 2007
    6
    Arguably the best film of 2004. Benicio Del Toro as usual acts the socks of everyone else around him. Although the story is far too conveniently artistic to ever be considered as anything resembling any kind of reality it grips you and shakes violently from start to finish. My one grievance with this film is that although the rewards for those who are patient enough to accept the Arguably the best film of 2004. Benicio Del Toro as usual acts the socks of everyone else around him. Although the story is far too conveniently artistic to ever be considered as anything resembling any kind of reality it grips you and shakes violently from start to finish. My one grievance with this film is that although the rewards for those who are patient enough to accept the initially incomprehensible first half hour on good faith are great, on second and third viewing the film becomes slow, the tension is gone and the story becomes trite. As someone who continuously re-watches my favourite films with little or no loss of enjoyment I am left with one question: Is a film worth watching if you can only see it once? Expand
  16. oldboych
    Jul 13, 2006
    5
    acting was over and the actor are too emotional. and why can the girls in this film seem very stupid? very loyal and sure with a math prof and poor ex-prisoner. In my opinion they better leave the guy in that situation.
  17. AmurabiM.
    Jun 23, 2006
    7
    Sordid, grim, powerful and sad. That´s what "21 Grams" is. A story of grieving, fault, guilt and redemprtion. Guileermo Arriaga´s script feels a little bit overwrought and forced, there are so much misery in this world, that you can feel depressed and miserable. His fragmented narrative tris to be an existential puzzle, full of spirituality but that interpretation loses weight Sordid, grim, powerful and sad. That´s what "21 Grams" is. A story of grieving, fault, guilt and redemprtion. Guileermo Arriaga´s script feels a little bit overwrought and forced, there are so much misery in this world, that you can feel depressed and miserable. His fragmented narrative tris to be an existential puzzle, full of spirituality but that interpretation loses weight because that fragmentation. Alejandro González Iñárritu is an ambitious director; he can do whatever he wants because he has a personal style. His collaboration with Arriaga is prolific but it feels a little bit pretentious. "21 Grams" is, above all, a great work of actors. They can manage the lacks of the writing, doing a terrific performance. "21 Grams" worth as a work of a team; as cinematographic value, the movie is a regular fall season movie. Expand
  18. PaulF.
    Apr 17, 2005
    10
    This was both Sean Penn's and Benicio Del Toro's best movie period. Among many things I enjoyed the mixed time sequence though seemingly chaotic it made perfect sense at the end. The acting could not have been more perfect but better than that was the movies spiritual message which was tremendously positive. This is hard to do in a movie dealing with such dark subjects. I highly This was both Sean Penn's and Benicio Del Toro's best movie period. Among many things I enjoyed the mixed time sequence though seemingly chaotic it made perfect sense at the end. The acting could not have been more perfect but better than that was the movies spiritual message which was tremendously positive. This is hard to do in a movie dealing with such dark subjects. I highly recommend this movie for anyone that is interested in deep thought and spiritual issues. Expand
  19. T.M.
    Feb 28, 2005
    9
    I didn't care for this film the first time I saw it. II found the ending too protracted and the characters inconsistent, and overall I was disappointed. because I knew it had garnered much critical acclaim. But then I watched it a second time, understood it much better, and fell in love with it. Now I consider it one of the best films of 2003. Moving, powerful, profound, ironic, I didn't care for this film the first time I saw it. II found the ending too protracted and the characters inconsistent, and overall I was disappointed. because I knew it had garnered much critical acclaim. But then I watched it a second time, understood it much better, and fell in love with it. Now I consider it one of the best films of 2003. Moving, powerful, profound, ironic, stark, realistic, and accurate in its portayal of American social classes. The actors took the meat in their roles and made from that it a unique, unforgettable stew. Expand
  20. DavidC.
    Jan 31, 2005
    10
    Concentrate from the start and you will be rewarded with a very powerful move about redemption and a man's attempt to become a good person.
  21. JayS.
    Nov 9, 2004
    10
    Brilliant and earthshattering. If this didn't win best picture and Watts best actress for this, there's no justice. Toro and Penn are pitch perfect. The best movie I've seen in 3 years.
  22. GunterP.
    Nov 1, 2004
    9
    Maybe the best movie from last year.
  23. TyS
    Aug 29, 2004
    10
    The most amazing film I have seen in ages. As a reviewer put it best when he said "you can taste it ". SUPERB !!!
  24. JedG.
    Jul 15, 2004
    10
    Excellent.
  25. MaggieM.
    Jun 29, 2004
    9
    Beautiful, dark, and superbly acted. My only problem was the abrupt ending.
  26. GinoE.
    Jun 5, 2004
    7
    It starts like a complete mess, but after a while it starts to make sence. Never I've seen so many short scenes switch from time to time. Not everyone will understand this movie and I can't blame them. Mr. Arriaga really tryed to make it as complex as possible. The performances are great! No doubt about it, but the wole leaves you in a very depressed state. And somewhere deep It starts like a complete mess, but after a while it starts to make sence. Never I've seen so many short scenes switch from time to time. Not everyone will understand this movie and I can't blame them. Mr. Arriaga really tryed to make it as complex as possible. The performances are great! No doubt about it, but the wole leaves you in a very depressed state. And somewhere deep inside you know that you would have felt much better if you didn't watch it. But if you really need to depress yourself, and none of your friends and relatives are up for the job...this is the one! Expand
  27. SteveY.
    May 30, 2004
    10
    After reading the reviews from the "professionals" and then the reviews of the "amateurs" (I obviously am in that group), I find it hard to believe that anyone would have walked away from that movie without realizing the realities of life that occur everday. I don't know the director (had never even heard of him or his work until this film)... but this film is reality regardless of After reading the reviews from the "professionals" and then the reviews of the "amateurs" (I obviously am in that group), I find it hard to believe that anyone would have walked away from that movie without realizing the realities of life that occur everday. I don't know the director (had never even heard of him or his work until this film)... but this film is reality regardless of how detached some may have felt the characters were from a true personality. Admittedly, we weren't given enough about Penn's character's background nor Watts's, however the events that surround them are very real and I think that is what the true meaning of this movie was. I suffer from CHF (heart failure myself at the age of 33). I have a 5 year old daughter that I absolutely adore and I love my wife. Jesus, the events of that movie could become my life at any given moment with the right order of events occuring. My point is simply... it was real. It was also depressing and I cried and it moved me deeply but not because I can relate to Penn's character having heart disease... but because of the death of the little girls. And del Toro's performance was absolutely stunning because there are people that no matter how hard they try everything they touch turns to shit. I've often thought of what I would do if my wife or child were taken from me and 21 Grams made me confront those thoughts again, however it also showed me what the other side of the coin could possibly look like through del Toro's character. Anyone, professional or amateur who didn't "get" that movie or found that the timeline was confusing needs to either experience life for a few more years and revisit this film or for the old timers who didn't like it, they should put down their cup of coffee, get a good night's rest and try watching it again and try paying close attention to it the second time... it was a movie that demanded equal attention from your brain and your heart equally. The events within 21 Grams could happen to anyone in an instant. This was simply a brilliant movie as heartbreaking as it was for me on a personal level. It was a tragedy in its truest form and an artistic masterpiece reflective of human kind's collective soul. Expand
  28. BitBurn
    May 23, 2004
    7
    Deep & depressing...in a good way!
  29. BenA.
    May 2, 2004
    6
    Great ensemble performance. The characters were well made. The director made sure that we cared about all the characters--not just the likable ones. Many directors neglect to do that. However I'm getting rather sick of the chopped up timeline. It's overdone. It's good when it's necessary, but this movie could have been better without it I think. It had a good premise, Great ensemble performance. The characters were well made. The director made sure that we cared about all the characters--not just the likable ones. Many directors neglect to do that. However I'm getting rather sick of the chopped up timeline. It's overdone. It's good when it's necessary, but this movie could have been better without it I think. It had a good premise, but it didn't click as much as it could have. Expand
  30. DamianP.
    Apr 15, 2004
    3
    The story was drab and the director's style annoyed me. Best avoided.
  31. ShawnA.
    Apr 2, 2004
    6
    Great acting but really depressing, I walked out of this feeling like crud, that's not the way i felt when i walked out of Boys Don't Cry or Schindler's List. So it's not just the subject matter that made me depressed, it's just the movie.
  32. AlanB.
    Mar 31, 2004
    10
    A deep exploration into the darkest side of the human condition. This film will affect you whether you prepared for it or not. Oscar worthy performances from all three leads and an intruiging visual style make this "21 Grams" a must-see. But beware, it's heavy.
  33. TimW.
    Mar 29, 2004
    2
    BORING and unbelievable!! Naomi Watts is so overrated.
  34. JohnM.
    Mar 29, 2004
    10
    Difficult but profound movie that raises the curtain on the very meaning of life. Haunting!
  35. JulianM.
    Mar 29, 2004
    2
    What is the point? Sh.t happens even to rich people and poor people have even more sh.t happen and have terible lives? If Penn is a math professor why does his apartment look like something out of Achitectural Digest. There is nothing, NOTHING that gives any insight into the characters' personalities or their relationships. It's just a bunch of sketched figures who we're What is the point? Sh.t happens even to rich people and poor people have even more sh.t happen and have terible lives? If Penn is a math professor why does his apartment look like something out of Achitectural Digest. There is nothing, NOTHING that gives any insight into the characters' personalities or their relationships. It's just a bunch of sketched figures who we're supposed to fill with portent and importance - It ranks with the pretentiosness of a really bad French art film. The performers do what they can with next to nothing. Supersized downer with a heaping side of pretension. Expand
  36. LowCompanion
    Mar 23, 2004
    3
    In its snotty art-student way, this movie is no less sudsy & cliche ridden than your average soap opera. Every plot twist is choreographed a million miles off for anyone who has seen their share of "dark" indies. The central deux ex machina is, as in "Amores Perros," an obvious, silly Tarantino-ism. Worse, the film is coated in a thick grime & has the most ridiculous, "I AM AN IMPORTANT In its snotty art-student way, this movie is no less sudsy & cliche ridden than your average soap opera. Every plot twist is choreographed a million miles off for anyone who has seen their share of "dark" indies. The central deux ex machina is, as in "Amores Perros," an obvious, silly Tarantino-ism. Worse, the film is coated in a thick grime & has the most ridiculous, "I AM AN IMPORTANT MOVIE!" soundtrack in memory. Expand
  37. GregT.
    Mar 22, 2004
    7
    This is a greatly acted film, but grim, grim, grim. This film is about grief and loss. It is depressing and suffering is the persistent theme. I don't really understand the purpose of this film other than to realize that we are all dying.
  38. FernandoA.
    Mar 18, 2004
    9
    Excellent movie; however, check out Amores Perros from the same director. It is even better!
  39. ThomY.
    Mar 17, 2004
    10
    Unbelieveable. The film's fragmented style illustrates the randomness and structure that ties the three protaganists together.
  40. TylerC.
    Mar 17, 2004
    10
    This movie had everything! It had a lot of drama mixed with what 21 grams actually meant. It also had Naomi Watts beautiful breasts. How lucky Sean Penn is!! He sucked on her breasts!!
  41. GregS.
    Feb 25, 2004
    10
    The best film of the year. Absolutely emotionally devastating. Lives are stripped to the bone, and the trio of Del Toro, Watts and Penn are magnificent.
  42. StephenS.
    Feb 2, 2004
    8
    After the heights of ?Amores Perros?, I didn?t think Mexican director Inarritu would adapt to Hollywood actors and North American settings. If anything, the tart combination of Hispanic drama and North American surroundings suits his temperament admirably. The plot resembles a rococo Almodovar story, one step short of absurd - guy sporting surgically inserted heart has affair of the heart After the heights of ?Amores Perros?, I didn?t think Mexican director Inarritu would adapt to Hollywood actors and North American settings. If anything, the tart combination of Hispanic drama and North American surroundings suits his temperament admirably. The plot resembles a rococo Almodovar story, one step short of absurd - guy sporting surgically inserted heart has affair of the heart with widow of previous owner of heart. But Inarritu is buoyed by a fine script, great actors, and a commendable grasp of modern film grammar. He slices up the sub-stories and time-frames relentlessly, not pretentiously. Few scenes look superfluous, or drag on ten seconds longer than they ought to. Sit back, don?t try to figure everything at once, and it falls together (almost too neatly, in fact) in its own sweet time. The quality of the work suggests sustained heartfelt effort on the part of Inarritu and his writer Arriaga. When a director gives so much of himself, you can see everything he makes while the streak lasts. Nobody should be surprised by the Benicio Del Toro and Sean Penn performances, but what a show by Naomi Watts, full of edgy intelligence and explosive vigour. Expand
  43. KyleA.
    Jan 31, 2004
    10
    I STRONGLY suggest that anyone who wishes to see this film first rent Inarritu's other great film, Amores Perros. The plot-sequencing of that film will help to prepare you for this incredible drama. If you can make it through the first slightly-confusing hour of this film, it's worth it, because the payoff is incredible. The plotline, if played in true chronological order, would I STRONGLY suggest that anyone who wishes to see this film first rent Inarritu's other great film, Amores Perros. The plot-sequencing of that film will help to prepare you for this incredible drama. If you can make it through the first slightly-confusing hour of this film, it's worth it, because the payoff is incredible. The plotline, if played in true chronological order, would be excellent in itself, but the fact that Inarritu completely slaughtered the sequence, except for the last 20 minutes or so, makes it all the more enthralling and irresistable. The director makes it so that every other scene is climactic, slowly leading up to the ultimate climax when the characters finally realize themselves. The acting in this film was incredible. Naomi watts gives her best performance yet as a damaged woman recovering from the death of her husband and two daughters. Sean Penn and Benicio del Toro also act terrifically as their relationships with their women slowly dissintegrate over time. As in Amores Perros, all of the characters are in some way related, but their relations to one another are not revealed until the later scenes of the film, just before the climax. This is a MUST-SEE film with excellent plot-structure, acting, and cinematography. Expand
  44. LiamS.
    Jan 19, 2004
    3
    This movie suffers from the plot technique of revealing the end of the move at its mid-point. This for me ruined what would have otherwise been an excellent plot. As it was, I found the acting memorable and the storyline disjointed and unnecessarily complex, given the rather simple underlying story.
  45. Elliott
    Jan 16, 2004
    10
    Best movie I saw this year. The challenge of structuring the film together was exhilarating. Naomi Watts delivers what is far and away the best performance by anyone this year, male or female. What an astonishing and fascinating film this is. Truly, genuinely, a masterpiece.
  46. WAKOJAKO
    Jan 14, 2004
    8
    If you're looking for a great Sean Penn performance this season, this is the one. Superb performances all-around (not that Oscar will notice, of course) but an amazing experience. Some will find the editing a bit daunting, but I found it fascinatingly engrossing. Certainly one of the year's better films.
  47. MarcK.
    Jan 7, 2004
    8
    Unlike Memento, I think the non-linear structure worked here (although a different non-linear structure than Memento), and I liked it very much. Strong performances by Watts and Penn, with Del Toro perhaps getting a Supporting Actor nomination. My major quibble with this film was that I think it ran about 15-20 minutes too long at the end, and should have been tightened up. Also, I Unlike Memento, I think the non-linear structure worked here (although a different non-linear structure than Memento), and I liked it very much. Strong performances by Watts and Penn, with Del Toro perhaps getting a Supporting Actor nomination. My major quibble with this film was that I think it ran about 15-20 minutes too long at the end, and should have been tightened up. Also, I figured out one of the final plot twists, based on the non-linear structure, so when we finally saw it play out, it had no impact on me. Expand
  48. PrestonF.
    Jan 5, 2004
    10
    A wonderfully sad film!
  49. TonyB.
    Jan 4, 2004
    10
    One of the best movies I've seen in a while, should definitely win some Oscars.
  50. HowardT.
    Dec 31, 2003
    3
    Pure agony. A mess.
  51. HYC
    Dec 30, 2003
    10
    A must see.
  52. EvanM.
    Dec 14, 2003
    10
    This film is the reason why we go to the movies. To get involved with the characters and in the story. With outstanding direction and acting, this film is truely an independent film landmark.
  53. StuartQ.
    Dec 1, 2003
    10
    A great film! After seeing MYSTIC RIVER, I thought that was Sean Penn at his best. but he may even surpass that performance here in 21 Grams. Naomi Watts does it again. And Benicio Del Toro may be the best in a movie full or outstanding lead and supporting performances.
  54. BradleeJ.
    Nov 26, 2003
    9
    A truly exhilarating film! I'm still pondering certain plot angles hours after the screening, and few movies can boast the kind of character depth and introspection that this one does. I can see Oscar consideration for all categories, with Naomi Watts easily at the front of the Best actress pack. Where I wanted the frantic scene pacing to settle down, it tightened up neatly and A truly exhilarating film! I'm still pondering certain plot angles hours after the screening, and few movies can boast the kind of character depth and introspection that this one does. I can see Oscar consideration for all categories, with Naomi Watts easily at the front of the Best actress pack. Where I wanted the frantic scene pacing to settle down, it tightened up neatly and mostly to satisfaction. I could start to quibble over a couple of untied strings, but really, this is very close to screen perfection! Expand
  55. Missy
    Nov 24, 2003
    10
    This movie is superb! No question about it. Ranging from acting, to editing, cinematography, and music...everything is incredible! It's the darkest drama I've seen this year. You won't come out unaffected.
  56. AndyHernaD.
    Nov 24, 2003
    10
    You must see the Movie.
  57. JohnY.
    Nov 23, 2003
    6
    Great performances, but the movie gets lost. The disjointed structure only exists to make the story seem more interesting than it really is. "Amores Perros" is much better. Still, Watts deserves an Oscar nod.
  58. MarieK.
    Nov 23, 2003
    3
    I wanted to like this movie, I wanted to like the acting. I'm a Sean Penn fan. Instead I found myself wanting to leave in the middle out of boredom, mostly because I didn't care about the characters. In their attempt to make the characters unique and memorable, they went overboard and made them cartoonish. (Does no one ever comb their hair? -- my goodness -- so staged!) The I wanted to like this movie, I wanted to like the acting. I'm a Sean Penn fan. Instead I found myself wanting to leave in the middle out of boredom, mostly because I didn't care about the characters. In their attempt to make the characters unique and memorable, they went overboard and made them cartoonish. (Does no one ever comb their hair? -- my goodness -- so staged!) The movie is both contrived and manipulative, and not the least bit organic. It touches on important subjects like death and religion in a flippant manner -- let's throw this in for *drama*. I felt like the flash forwards, backwards, etc were an afterthought to try to make the movie more profound. Didn't work. I really really wanted to like this movie, I'm very disappointed. :( Expand
  59. JerryH.
    Nov 4, 2003
    9
    This is a brilliant film. Thank you to all involved. The actors should win awards, the writer should win awards, the director should win awards, just amazing. I hesitate to give it a 10 only because I feel that when I see it again, I'll like it even more and then give it a 10. This film has amazing poetry and soul. Don't get caught up in the whole 21 grams debate, just watch This is a brilliant film. Thank you to all involved. The actors should win awards, the writer should win awards, the director should win awards, just amazing. I hesitate to give it a 10 only because I feel that when I see it again, I'll like it even more and then give it a 10. This film has amazing poetry and soul. Don't get caught up in the whole 21 grams debate, just watch this story of people broken but still hopeful, dead but still alive. Expand
  60. WilliamM.
    Oct 31, 2003
    10
    A stunning film. I found mself thinking about Guillermo Arriaga's screenplay for hours after the screening. The story is not told in a linear fashion, but rather in a style which reveals temporal slices of the plot in initially jarring ways, but ways which eventually enrich and enhance the overall narrative. It makes you confront the notions of death, sorry, religion, life, and hope A stunning film. I found mself thinking about Guillermo Arriaga's screenplay for hours after the screening. The story is not told in a linear fashion, but rather in a style which reveals temporal slices of the plot in initially jarring ways, but ways which eventually enrich and enhance the overall narrative. It makes you confront the notions of death, sorry, religion, life, and hope in a thought-provoking way. The three lead actors, incidentally, deliver phenomenal performances. If Naomi Watts & Benicio aren't nominated for Oscars.... I was also extremely pleased to see Melissa Leo ("Homicide") playing Benicio's wife. What an excellent actor. Expand
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 41
  2. Negative: 5 out of 41
  1. A stunning virtuoso performance by director, cast and crew. This movie knocks you out with an astonishing blend of hyper-realism, visual complexity and powerful themes.
  2. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    50
    Too-laborious meditation on life and death.
  3. It’s forceful, to be sure, but in a lurid way that suggests a telenovela that’s been baking in the sun too long.