User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 173 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 173

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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 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 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. 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.