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21 Grams
21 Grams
Actors: Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro, Naomi Watts, Danny Huston, Carly Nahon
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2004     2hr 4min

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 »

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Movie Details

Actors: Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro, Naomi Watts, Danny Huston, Carly Nahon
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Creators: Rodrigo Prieto, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Stephen Mirrione, Guillermo Arriaga, Robert Salerno, Ted Hope
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Universal Studios
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/16/2004
Original Release Date: 12/26/2003
Theatrical Release Date: 12/26/2003
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 2hr 4min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 11
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: Spanish, French
See Also:

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Member Movie Reviews

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 VANDALIA, 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.

Movie Reviews

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."