Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 167 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 41
  2. Negative: 5 out of 41
  1. At the very least, look for it on 10-best lists next month, and there's every chance it will be a strong contender at the Oscars. Filmmaking so sensitive and intelligent deserves its weight in honors.
  2. Reviewed by: Rob Fraser
    21 Grams strives for greatness, and that's precisely what it achieves.
  3. Mr. Penn has been praised lavishly for his work in "Mystic River," in a role that was no reach for him at all, but this is one of the stand-out performances of his career, layered and exquisitely nuanced. And, remarkably, he's only one-third of a stellar ensemble.
  4. A devastating and weighty picture.
  5. 70
    Uprooted from their home soil, González Iñárritu and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga can't quite manage to make this gloomy, improbable stew of romance, film noir and pseudo-metaphysical speculation hang together.
  6. 63
    The fragmented style is distracting and ultimately annoying, robbing the story of its suspense and drive while contributing nothing except self-conscious style.
  7. 30
    The kind of bad movie that makes a reviewer feel terrible. It has been put together with great sincerity, and yet, impassioned and affecting as some of it is, 21 Grams is also an arrogant failure. [24 November 2003, p. 113]

See all 41 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 60
  2. Negative: 9 out of 60
  1. Sep 10, 2014
    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. LeviS.
    Jan 22, 2009
    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
  3. Jul 3, 2011
    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. Expand
  4. j30
    Sep 4, 2011
    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.
  5. Feb 7, 2013
    -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 Expand
  6. IsaacC.
    Jul 4, 2007
    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
  7. PaulW.
    Mar 6, 2008
    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

See all 60 User Reviews