The emotionally and physically charged lives of three people, a college professor (Sean Penn), an ex-con (Benicio Del Toro) and a young mother with a reckless past (Naomi Watts), collide unexpectedly in this gripping suspe... more »nse thriller.
Fate brought them together. Now vengeance will take them to the heights of love, the depths of revenge and the promise of redemption. Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro and Naomi Watts give the finest performances of their careers in the film that is "tantalizingly alive!" - Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly« less
Leandro G. (leandro2929) from HOUSTON, TX Reviewed on 9/7/2010...
i dont have it
0 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Rammy M. (m5rammy) from LEBANON, OH Reviewed on 5/4/2009...
I did Not like this movie.
A number of stories that in the end weave together. Ok, but in the end ... what's the point?
Too much jumping back and forth in time with no explanation. Yes, in the end I did understand it, but again, what's the point? Did they think the story was too weak on its own and needed to be spiced up? eg One character seems to be on his death bed (in a hospital) then he's out, then he's ill and waiting for a transplant. is he getting better? worse? is this before? a relapse? etc.
Another character "has been in and out of jail", suddenly he's in jail, is this a new time? or the last time (where he learned some lesson)? suddenly he's working somewhere else, is this as a prisoner (not exactly chain gang)?
This is not like Memento where there is a clear progression backwards, or like many other movies where there is a definite "then" and "now"
The acting was fine, the camera work was fine (except when it was shaky) etc.
but if you piece it all together chronologically... there is no real conclusion. Maybe the characters worked out their issues, maybe not.
The message seemed to be (if anything) "Sometimes people die, sometimes people want to die" yeah? and? so what!?
1 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.
Kristina G. (familiagarduno) from COLUMBUS, OH Reviewed on 1/30/2009...
You must see all three films by this Director/Writer. They include Amorres Perros, Babel and 21 Grams. They are broken up scenes with a built up story that will blow your mind when it all comes together. It's like putting a puzzle together without knowing the finished picture - you're amazed when it works and shocked that it worked. You will love this story as three lives are wound together....
5 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.
Three intertwined lives
S. Calhoun | Chicago, IL United States | 12/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From the Mexican writing-directing team behind the Oscar-nominated Amores Perros comes this explosive, emotionally charged English-language drama, which interweaves stories about Christine, a single mother and former drug addict (Naomi Watts); Paul (Sean Penn), a terminally ill professor, who was (and may still be) Christine's lover; and Jack (Benicio Del Toro), a reformed ex-convict.21 GRAMS pertains to the cultural belief that when a human being dies, they weigh exactly 21 grams less which is attributed to the soul leaving the body. 21 GRAMS also pertains to the incessant questions of how individuals affect others, and what we take away with us at our death. It reveals the complex emotions of grief, loss, anger, betrayal, faith, and love of three strangers who are linked forever under unfortunate circumstances.Shot in non-chronological order, the beginning of this film is a jumbled mess that makes little to no sense. But patience and attention is awarded when various pieces started to come together towards the end. 21 GRAMS is a wonderful, powerful film which aims to rescue the audience from other theatrical offerings. Highly recommended."
Life, Death and Redemption.
Maximiliano F Yofre | Buenos Aires, Argentina | 10/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a hard film to see and understand, nevertheless is outstanding and deserves to be seen. Film director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has developed a complex, tasty and compromised "film d'art". We may trace different stylistic influences on this movie: Quentin Tarantino's (Pulp Friction) non linear time sequence and some touches of Kieslowski's (The Double Life of Veronique) casual but most meaningful encounters between different characters. Inarritu transforms an ordinary everyday issue in a strange, tangled and puzzling drama.
The story is as follows: there is a sick mathematician waiting for a heart transplant as last resort to survive; there is an ex-con trying to make a new clean life for him and his family; there is a family father taking care of his daughters. Tragedy and fate reunite all these elements into a griping tale.
Main actress and actors in the film perform greatly. Sean Penn, as the feeble hearted mathematician, is able to express and transmit the anguish of nearly dying man. Afterwards he shows the compulsive need to find who his donor was. Benicio Del Toro, as the ex-con, presents a very convincing mask of a tormented man trying to overcome his addictions and drawbacks in order to have a new opportunity. Last but not least, Naomi Watts, as the widow of the donor, gives a performance full of subtleties.
Viewing this movie in DVD gives the unique opportunity to go back to previous scene when you get lost. A tasty dish for movie fans. Enjoy! Reviewed by Max Yofre. "
Like a grisly roadside accident...we couldn't look away
Just Bill | Grand Rapids, MI United States | 12/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We watched 21 Grams last night.
To counteract the severely intense, tragic film we watched Leno's monolog about half-way through and, after the movie was over, Seinfeld Season Five's "The Marine Biologist." Even with humor during and after, we still went to bed feeling depressed.
This is not a film for the faint of heart (or even faint of mind). It requires one to suspend all hope and pay attention to the slow, choppy unfolding of the story.
As others have noted, this film unravels in a distinctly non-linear fashion -- story lines overlapping, backing up, coming at you from the past (or the future - hard to say which), all interspersed to tell the tale of three couples whose lives intersect in tragic, unexpected ways. (Remember Memento? This film owes a lot to that ground-breaking effort.)
Death, drugs, tragedy, sex, hopelessnes, spiritual and emotional devastation -- all these themes and images are pounded into the viewer from people whose lives have forever fallen apart.
Sean Penn is riveting, as usual. But so are Benicio Del Toro and Naomi Watts (who, I think, turned in the performance of her career).
All I could think about while I watched the movie was this: Life turns on a dime. At any given moment, my life could take a turn like the lives of these characters. Many lives take that turn every single day, and the downward spiral begins. That fear of sudden devastation chilled me to the bone the whole time I watched film. So, in effect, even though this isn't a traditional thriller or horror movie, it still scared the hell out of me.
I'm not sure this is the kind of movie I'll be able to watch again. But I'm definitely sure it's one I'll never be able to forget."
Great performances wasted in 21 Grams
Russell Fanelli | Longmeadow, MA USA | 04/17/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"21 Grams is a film you want to like because the acting is so good. Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro, and Naomi Watts are all at their best and their best is wonderful to watch. Unfortunately, director Alejandro Inarritu lets his experiments in filmmaking get in the way of the work of his talented cast.At the heart of this story is a traffic accident. Del Toro, an ex-con who has found Jesus, turns a corner on a busy street with his truck and kills a father and his two daughters. Instead of stopping as Jesus would have done, he drives on and tells his wife of the accident. She urges him not to go to the police and goes out and wipes away all evidence of the tragedy. This retelling of the story is accurate, but the viwer only learns about it in bits and pieces. Inarritu plays fast and loose with our conceptions of time and story telling and in the process, will lose all but the most dedicated movie goers, as is evidenced by the many unfavorable reviews on Amazon.com.The performances of the entire cast were good enough to keep me watching closely until the final credits. We have to work at piecing the entire story together and it makes the two hour film seem much longer. For this reason I think Inarritu's experiment has failed. Instead of tantalizing us with bits and pieces of the story line, he antagonizes us. It seems as if he has turned a tragedy into a jigsaw puzzle. It was no fun putting this puzzle together. The film adds up to 21 Grams, not enough weight to justify two hours of our concerted effort playing hide and seek with the director.On the plus side, is there a better actor working in films today than Benicio Del Toro? Naomi Watts and Sean Penn are also at the very top of their game. Some viewers will enjoy the film just to watch great acting. Others may find Inarritu's experiments with filmmaking fascinating. The rest are going to be very unhappy they attempted to take the measure of 21 Grams."
New edition but where are the extras?
David B | MX | 10/04/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"FAr from Special edition, not even a commentary from writers! only the " 21 Grams: In Fragments" - An Insightful Look at the Making of the Film
and besides, this edition looses the DTS track that had the previuos BAREBONES edition"