Jamie Kennedy's favorite movie review site
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Advertisement

Overall Rating
3.75

Awesome34.72%
Worth A Look: 24.31%
Just Average: 26.39%
Pretty Crappy: 10.42%
Sucks: 4.17%

13 reviews, 66 user ratings


Latest Reviews

My Zoe by Jay Seaver

Nomadland by Rob Gonsalves

Stylist, The by Peter Sobczynski

Hidden Man by Jay Seaver

Writer's Odyssey, A by Jay Seaver

Endgame (2021) by Jay Seaver

Tom and Jerry by Peter Sobczynski

Stylist, The by Rob Gonsalves

Rumble Fish by Jack Sommersby

Saint Maud by Rob Gonsalves

subscribe to this feed


21 Grams
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Unfashionable Observer

"'21 GRAMS is too outrageous and contorted a film to be taken seriously.'"
2 stars

21 GRAMS is a movie that, in a perfect world, would be great on account of the performances of its three leads—Naomi Watts, Sean Penn, and Benicio del Toro. Unfortunately for the talented trio, the movie’s storyline is so overwrought, confused, and desperate that their intense performances flounder like inaudible screams.

This movie tells the story of how the lives of a former drug addict and single mother (Watts), a terminally ill mathematics professor (Penn), and a spiritual ex-convict (del Toro), are tragically made to interconnect as a result of a car accident that leaves a father and his two daughters dead. As confusing and preposterously dreadful as this sounds, it’s even worse on screen.

21 Grams is a very misguided film. It tries entirely too hard to reel us in with three overwhelming, unbearably tragic stories; so much so that we are not so much shocked or saddened as we are numbed by the almost gratuitous nature of the plot. We cannot relate to any of the characters because most of our lives do not approach the sheer amount of tragedy that befalls someone like Christine--Naomi Watt’s character--who not only loses her husband and her two little girls, but also unwittingly falls in love with the very person who receives her dead husband’s heart through transplant. And I won’t even mention her murder plot that has a born-again Christian as its target!

21 Grams is too outrageous and contorted a film to be taken seriously. Of course, Watts, Penn, and del Toro take it seriously—very seriously. But in the end, it is all for naught, as the movie falls far short of making any contribution worthy of its unsettling plot. The movie tries to make the very lucid point that somehow, we are all metaphysically, spiritually connected—both to our loved ones and to the strangers that pass us by on the street. The suggestion is that our lives are not merely our own. They are fickle things that can change at the drop of a hat, and not necessarily one’s own hat. While this is certainly a valid and interesting point to make, I question whether director Alejandro González Iñárritu really needed to go to such tragic extremes to make such an uncomplicated, sometimes self-evident point. Indeed, his last movie, the visceral and evocative Amores Perros, has many of the same themes, but without the blatant outrageousness that characterizes this film.

Indeed, this was one of the problems with Clint Eastwood’s MYSTIC RIVER, which, unsurprisingly, also starred Sean Penn. Both movies demand such large emotional investments of us that we cannot help but be skeptical of the director’s ultimate vision. However, by the end of the movie, we find that we are correct to react that way, as 21 GRAMS fails to redeem itself of its emotionally overburdensome plot. Too little is gained for the many tears it asks us to shed.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8348&reviewer=352
originally posted: 12/13/03 21:03:52
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

2/27/19 Courtney Love The sex scene between Sean Penn and Naomi Watts was filmed while her nipples were erect. 5 stars
12/28/17 morris campbell bleak & potent 4 stars
2/04/17 Aidan Butler Sean Penn character destroys logic of movie 3 stars
1/01/13 Davie bummer. 2 stars
11/25/10 Sia Shar one of great movies of the 2003 and the decade 5 stars
9/17/08 PAUL SHORTT CRUSHES ITS CHARACTERS UNDER ITS FOOT, THEN STEPS BACK & WANTS YOU TO LOOK AT THE MESS 1 stars
7/19/08 Shaun Wallner This movie was Awesome!! Loved It. 5 stars
12/21/07 Wendell O. Maness I love blood, want to drink it, love this movie 5 stars
12/05/06 andrew worst movie ever. boring and sux 1 stars
11/24/06 Charlene Javier Loved it as well 4 stars
6/24/06 MP Bartley Superb acting, but jumbled narrative is all veneer and no surface. 4 stars
4/12/06 anthonyuk superb and again sean penn shows his class 5 stars
11/21/05 Taylor Fladgate 4 Stars - but be sure to be ready to be depressed. Whoa. 4 stars
9/19/05 Indrid Cold Great use of a fractured narrative to spice up an otherwise ho-hum story. 5 stars
8/18/05 ES Broken time lines inmovie generally mean the director wasn't sure how to film it 3 stars
6/12/05 Agent Sands Plot order is as if PA dropped the script & had 2 shuffle it back together in a hurry. 4 stars
5/06/05 Vince Top notch cast and performances, editing seems random and as a result story is tedious 3 stars
4/09/05 K. Sear Nothing new but it delivers where other attempts fail. 4 stars
12/07/04 Orion Fascinating. More deeper that you think at first glance 5 stars
11/08/04 Matthew Wow..what an awesome movie! Naomi Watts rocks! 5 stars
9/02/04 Impey not too shaby 2 stars
8/28/04 capitalbliss Fantastic, I found the filming a little different but the movie is great!! 5 stars
8/11/04 kc finished the movie feeling...eh... 3 stars
7/31/04 Brad Gripping, great performances. 5 stars
7/16/04 Jim & Deborah incredible movie/fabulous directing and acting / "outside the box" so to speak. 5 stars
5/25/04 michele excellent! Del Toro's acting is hypnotic 5 stars
5/22/04 Monster W. Kung Good acting, but plot is tedious and the absurdly bleak and fractured approach don't help. 3 stars
5/16/04 elizaveta a really great out-of-order film. Sean Penn rocks, as ever. 5 stars
5/12/04  Shaun Rose Excellent movie with agreat cast, I reccomend to anybody who hasn't seen it 4 stars
4/22/04 Alex A good movie about life 5 stars
4/19/04 Phil M. Aficiando Mind jumbling pysche beater; great acting helps a lot, but.... 3 stars
4/06/04 A F Tried to hard to mess with the sequence 3 stars
4/04/04 Charlene Javier Proves that Amores Perros is no fluke! 5 stars
4/03/04 Vince Chan Finally, a non-linear movie that actually makes you THINK! 5 stars
3/31/04 The More You Know Like a challenge? Watch it - but be prepared! Josh G's take on it is helpful. 4 stars
3/27/04 Frank Lynch 21 Grams is a pretentious bore. 2 stars
3/24/04 Shelley Shea Sean Penn can do no wrong. 5 stars
3/24/04 Margie LOVED IT, LOVED IT!!! Naomi should have won the best actress oscar!!(I question the end) 5 stars
3/21/04 othree loved it, sadly, raw reminder of human natures +cast 4 stars
3/16/04 Holly Beeman I almost feel like it would have been more powerful in sequence, but he's got the tech! 4 stars
3/10/04 Matt Good performances but the story was just too slight to merit the style. 3 stars
2/27/04 Reini Urban +story, + cast, -camera 4 stars
2/26/04 Troy Butler Extremely emotional, ... amazing performances all round!!! TOP NOTCH!! 5 stars
1/29/04 Rapunzel Gladstone Poorly told story that would far and away be none too compelling if told well. 2 stars
1/27/04 marzio arigoni@rtsi.ch a punch in your stomach! Great performances, especially Watts and Del Toro, and editing 4 stars
1/26/04 Chloe Brody Not Sean's finest performance, but really powerful. Naomi deserves the Oscar! 4 stars
1/24/04 Smitty The most beautifully acted lousy movie I've ever seen 2 stars
1/22/04 Betty White Heavy, dark drama with grand performances. 4 stars
1/21/04 HAL You must think to understand this film and our thoughts are not linear. Fine film. 5 stars
1/20/04 Chronology The movie was based intense emotions and ideas, but is ruined by mixed chronology! 4 stars
1/20/04 Cheerleader who ran out of TP& has to wipe her ass with her pompoms Falls apart at uh, ending, or rather would if it had an ending. 2 stars
1/18/04 Gretchen Seitz "---" sucks! Since when is "no taste" a burnable in hell offense. 2 stars
1/18/04 the Grinch Typical movie you'd expect Sean Penn to be in...good script, but In The Bedroom it AINT 2 stars
1/17/04 john wonderful, great acting, camera technique, fine editing, beautiful work 5 stars
1/16/04 john bale Brilliant yet difficult gritty drama about Fate, great actors, grungy sets and camerawork 4 stars
1/11/04 KCobain Awful and depressing. Walked out after 45 minutes. 1 stars
1/02/04 Admiral Piett Sean Penn sucks donkey dick. 1 stars
12/31/03 --- Anyone who doesnt like this movie has no taste and should burn in hell 5 stars
12/29/03 ownerofdajoint if you like deep overlapping plots then you'll think this is a great movie;which it is 5 stars
12/19/03 AXE k 1 stars
12/14/03 Slo. Zombie This review just SUCKS !!! 21 grams AND Mystic river are two masterpieces of modern cinema! 5 stars
12/02/03 re A GREAT FILM 5 stars
11/30/03 Todd Stein A great film, interesting study of humans 4 stars
11/29/03 ajay tried to be cool with Memento-editing but it was overdone, confusing and masked a bad story 2 stars
11/22/03 smartmusician GREAT!!! 5 stars
11/21/03 benice save your money, worst movie of the year. 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:


Discuss this movie in our forum

USA
  21-Nov-2003 (R)
  DVD: 03-Oct-2006

UK
  N/A

Australia
  22-Jan-2004




Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Privacy Policy | | HBS Inc. |   
All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast