Crash

Crash Image
Metascore
47

Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

User Score
2.0

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 93 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: The immediate subject matter of Crash is the strange lure of the auto collision, provoking as it does the human fascination with death and the tendency to eroticize danger. Most motorists will slow down to stare at the scene of a collision; they may feel their pulses quickening and becomeThe immediate subject matter of Crash is the strange lure of the auto collision, provoking as it does the human fascination with death and the tendency to eroticize danger. Most motorists will slow down to stare at the scene of a collision; they may feel their pulses quickening and become exquisitely aware of the fragility of their own bodies. The characters of Crash carry this awareness a step further, cherishing and nurturing it. For them, a car collision is a sexual turn-on, and a jolting life-force they come to crave. (Fine Line Features) Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 22
  2. Negative: 6 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    100
    However, as with Dead Ringers, Cronenberg approaches a touchy concept with a mixture of icy tact and cinematic daring, always informing the wilfully perverse material with a penetrating intelligence and (almost subliminally) very black wit.
  2. Compared with the novel, the movie might seem predictable. But compared with other movies, it stands alone.
  3. You may well hate Crash, but if intensity is what you seek in a darkened theatre, you'll hate missing it even more.
  4. The New Republic
    Reviewed by: Stanley Kauffmann
    60
    None of the people in the film is realized as a character: Cronenberg has no interest in character. Each person is given a dab of characteristics and is then sent off to copulate. [21Apr1997 Pg 26]
  5. Cronenberg has said that he made the film to find out why he was making it. You may watch it for the same reason.
  6. 40
    For all the director's visual flair, his trademark flashes of gallows humor and his few good moments, there's never a sense that he's made Crash his own.
  7. Cult auteur David Cronenberg crashes and burns--his talent, that is--in Crash, a vain attempt at a techno-age Persona.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 9
  2. Negative: 2 out of 9
  1. Joe
    Jan 24, 2007
    10
    Outstanding film - one of the most powerful and fully realised of Cronenberg's whole career. Excellent performances all round. Haunting, Outstanding film - one of the most powerful and fully realised of Cronenberg's whole career. Excellent performances all round. Haunting, intelligent and long-lasting. Expand
  2. MathewB.
    Sep 19, 2007
    10
    A Post-modern masterpiece of cinema. Driven by the eye rather than ear. Deceptively complex. Demands a lot from the viewer.
  3. Mar 31, 2016
    10
    Strip way the abstract concept of love and what's left is primal desire fueled by need. But human beings don't like being told they'reStrip way the abstract concept of love and what's left is primal desire fueled by need. But human beings don't like being told they're animals, so they allow their imaginations to construct fantasies to help them justify those needs. J.G. Ballard's novel Crash was pornography for philosophs, with technology as the illusion of choice. A secret society indulges in car sex, leading to accidents as erotic set pieces. The novel and David Cronenberg's film adaptation implicitly state that crashing cars during intercourse allows us to feel genuine sensations as opposed to the numbness of society, jobs, and conversation. It's a far out, all or nothing premise. What's disturbing to audiences isn't that Crash condemns such amorality, but that its characters are stretching their battered and scarred bodies into something new. Very little is discovered about these people besides their extreme proclivities. To give you an idea: the character named Ballard (James Spader) winds up sticking his dick into the serrated leg wound of a crash survivor (Rosanna Arquette) and walks away happier for it.

    Anyone willing to go along for the ride may feel repulsed, but Cronenberg has used grotesque images in his work to show mankind's ability to transform itself. If it weren't automobiles, which summon up the right metaphor for full throttle sex, it would be computers (eXistenZ) or television (Videodrome). Cronenberg has made frequent claims that his work has little to do with technology, but he continually returns to the concept of a “new flesh” forged from manmade industry. Whether you see the fusion of Flesh and Other in his movies as a blessing or a curse pretty much sums up your definition of 20th Century Disease: Are we so bored with life that we resort to self-mutilation to define ourselves, and is that really any better?

    Cronenberg seems to think so. His final image of two crash survivors groping each other and whispering, “Maybe next time, darling,” while an overturned automobile rests beside them is an optimistic one—a happy ending for a married couple that's communicating better now than they ever have before. The three sex scenes that open Crash show how desperate this modern husband and wife are at the start, having extramarital sex in public places, then coming home to sadly **** each other and describe their increasingly banal affairs. Since we're given almost zero insight into Ballard or his wife Catherine (Deborah Kara Unger), with no hobbies or defining characteristics, we're left with blank slates. That's 20th Century Disease for you: marriage, perfect clothes, a lovely house, affluent but non-distinctive jobs (he's a commercial filmmaker), and sex devoid of mystery.

    The characters are treated with all the sympathy of amoebas seen through a microscope, and are less important than the sensations they pursue. Vaughan and Catherine fondling each other in the back seat while Ballard drives through a car wash, gazing at them in the rearview mirror, feels like a head trip back to the womb. When they stop, minutes later, to visit a car accident that's all hunks of smoking metal and busted-up, non-communicative survivors, Vaughan rages through taking photographs—and somehow his gum chewing seems the sleaziest thing here. It'd be grotesque if Cronenberg weren't viewing it all dispassionately, with that passive, obsessive, strangely Canadian voyeurism. It doesn't feel icky because it asks the question, “Let's see how it all works,” and that these weird beings are forging some sort of new community out of their collective desires.

    The minimalist storytelling feels hermetically sealed, somehow. As if giving the characters any passion outside of what Cronenberg is interested in would humanize them and make them vulnerable to our judgment as audience members. Instead, we're told that this is the world they're in, without excuses or pity. The cinematography and score, by longtime Cronenberg partners Peter Suschitzky and Howard Shore, respectively, feel distant and tinged with an unusual combination of grayish metal and sensual longing. This provides the essential soulful quality of Crash, and elevates it above a story of sick individuals resorting to the most primitive mating rituals as fantasy or escapism. Cronenberg takes them seriously, and if he takes himself and his thesis a little seriously too, at least he parcels out a certain kind of egghead intellectual humor. When Ballard questions Vaughan about “the reshaping of the human body by modern technology,” Vaughan snickers that his B.S. theory was a clever ruse to get curiosity seekers through the door. In other words, psychobabble is cheap. Just shut up and **** me.
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  4. Jan 10, 2016
    7
    It´s a good a movie.
    It just it has a controversial aspect and many people will find this film offensive.
    It doen´t deserved a 1.7, the
    It´s a good a movie.
    It just it has a controversial aspect and many people will find this film offensive.
    It doen´t deserved a 1.7, the cinematography and the performance are great but the dialogues are so strange as if it were written by David Lynch (Yes,that mean it has a slow pace).
    At the end,Crash is not worse than fifty shades of grade or Showgirls...it´s just,bizarre and unique. I can´t recommend it.
    Expand
  5. Sep 28, 2015
    5
    Crash is a film I do not have many good things to say about and yet still cannot downrate it because I do like the cast and always enjoy theCrash is a film I do not have many good things to say about and yet still cannot downrate it because I do like the cast and always enjoy the signature Cronenberg material sensuality that conveys highly distinct tactile sensations via light and sound. That said, Crash is a boring movie and not so much edgy as something to be endured. Crash does not feel cool or adventurous and yet most of the film is action; it is like a pornographic movie -- not much plot but just goes through different scenarios, yet does not feel sexy and so does not create tension. The vibe is corrupt, uncool, and dystopic like a glam rock band playing in the mid 90s to a bored audience in a half-filled stadium that needs to be torn down. They smash their gear and we can only think that it was not worth it, what a waste. I would like to think this was all intentional, because I like other Cronenberg films, but cannot really recommend it except to the curious ones that want to see something different. Expand
  6. Feb 26, 2013
    4
    An undoubtedly important film but it's hard to care about characters defined only by their controversial sexual preferences. It is easy toAn undoubtedly important film but it's hard to care about characters defined only by their controversial sexual preferences. It is easy to become disengaged with the film and that says a lot, given the subject matter Collapse
  7. JoshC
    Nov 20, 2006
    1
    This is Cronenerg's worst film along with M Butterfly. So empty and shallow, David should be ashamed of himself.The only people I would This is Cronenerg's worst film along with M Butterfly. So empty and shallow, David should be ashamed of himself.The only people I would recomend this film to is insomniacs. This film may cure them. Expand

See all 9 User Reviews

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