The Best Movies of the 2000s

#25.  Crash [2004]: Paul Haggis’ brilliantly filmed drama about race relations in post-911 Los Angeles was as much a slap in the face, as it was a breath of fresh air.  With strong performances by a coterie of fresh and established faces, the film did a wonderful job of questioning notions of a post-racial society.

Shot from several different perspectives, the movie examines the lives of several main characters portrayed among others by Don Cheadle, Terrence Howard, Brendan Fraser, Sandra Bullock, Matt Dillon, Ryan Phillippe and rapper turned actor Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges.   The film chronicles each character as inevitably their paths cross, ultimately crashing into one another.  Complexity ensues as each interaction reveals a different racial bias.

Indeed, Haggis uses a sledgehammer to get his point across.  At times the story seems far-fetched.  Yet it is effective in getting across the point that all of us, regardless of ethnicity hold preconceived notions about others based upon their cultural backgrounds.  Critics complained that the movie was an unrealistic portrayal of race relations in this country.  Although this criticism has some merit, it misses the point.  Crash is a movie that forces us to re-think the cultural lenses through which we view our fellow citizens as well as the society at large.   In conveying the message in a compelling way it strikes just the right tone.

2 thoughts on “The Best Movies of the 2000s

  1. I am usually on board with (or at least understand) your selections, but not this time.

    Crash was nothing more than a 2 hour long commercial. I honestly consider it to be one of the most overrated movies to come out during my lifetime.

    • Sam,

      Thanks for the comment. Crash is on the list for one reason: it is an assailing critique of race relations in this country. Contrary to public perception, we all still harbor certain racial biases and I think Crash does an excellent job of exposing them.


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