Screened as part of NZIFF 2005

Crash 2004

Directed by Paul Haggis

Adrenalised panorama of Los Angeles life with Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock, Matt Dillon, Ryan Philippe. “Racism collides with its targets during one thirty-six-hour period in Los Angeles. Alive with bracing human drama and blistering wit… The acting is dynamite.” — Rolling Stone

USA In English
113 minutes 35mm / CinemaScope



Paul Haggis, Bobby Moresco. Based on a story by Paul Haggis


J. Michael Muro


Hughes Winborne


Mark Isham


Sandra Bullock
Don Cheadle
Matt Dillon
Jennifer Esposito
Brendan Fraser
Thandie Newton
Ryan Phillippe


Toronto 2004


In this adrenalised panorama of looming apocalypse in Los Angeles, the daily dramas of Los Angelinos don’t merely coincide; they collide. White cops, black and Hispanic detectives, Korean accident victims, black TV director, Middle Eastern store keepers, Mexican locksmiths, black car thieves, the white DA and his spoiled rotten wife: all are trying to keep their heads aloft in an environment toxic with racist paranoia and, to a Kiwi eye, riddled with guns. Like the equally operatic Magnolia, Crash is a feast savoured by terrific Hollywood actors usually starved of the complexity and dramatic edge built into every one of its voluble, keyed-up characters. “Not just one of the best Hollywood movies about race, but, along with Collateral, one of the finest portrayals of contemporary Los Angeles life period. Fresh as a daisy, unencumbered by genre and corrosively funny (Haggis co-wrote the vivacious screenplay with Bobby Moresco, who, like so many Hollywood Turks today, comes out of hipster TV), the film appears on casual inspection to be a kind of six degrees of racial separation, whose dominant mood is unbridled fury played for both entertainment and tragedy… Haggis caters to no racial pieties, left, right or center. Instead, all his deeply prejudiced characters get their due as individuals struggling to carve decent lives out of chaos.” — Ella Taylor, LA Weekly

“The characters run afoul of each other, say things better left unsaid, and get into terrible trouble. And yet the movie isn’t exasperating in the way that movies about steam-heated people often are. Crash is hyper-articulate and often breathtakingly intelligent and always brazenly alive.” — David Denby, New Yorker