7.7/10
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21 Grams (2003)

A freak accident brings together a critically ill mathematician, a grieving mother, and a born-again ex-con.
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 30 wins & 76 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Carly Nahon ...
Claire Pakis ...
Laura
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Nick Nichols ...
Boy
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Gynecologist
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Loyd Keith Salter ...
Fat Man
Antef A. Harris ...
Basketball Guy
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Freddy (as Marc Thomas Musso)
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Storyline

This is the story of three well-meaning but flawed people: Paul Rivers, an ailing mathematician lovelessly married to an English émigré; Christina Peck, an upper-middle-class suburban housewife, happily married homemaker with two young daughters, with hiding a secret past; and Jack Jordan, an ex-convict who has found in his Christian faith the strength to live a law-abiding life and raise a family. They will be brought together by a terrible accident that will change their lives. By the final frame, none of them will be the same as they will have learnt harsh truths about love, faith, courage, desire and guilt, and how chance can change our worlds irretrievably, forever. Written by Miguel Cane (Stepford@yahoo.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This Fall, fate weighs in. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, sexuality, some violence and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 January 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

21 gram  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$274,454 (USA) (21 November 2003)

Gross:

$16,248,701 (USA) (19 March 2004)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Katrin Cartlidge originally cast as Marianne but she died shortly before filming was to start. Melissa Leo, who had previously auditioned for the role, was invited to audition again and won the part. See more »

Goofs

On one occasion when in Church, there is a close view of Jack, standing for a hymn. The audio is congregational singing. Jack is not singing, but the black guy to his right is singing enthusiastically, but not anything like what the rest of the church is singing, See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Michael: Check, please.
Cathy: Look Daddy, a volcano.
[Cathy blows bubbles into her soft drink]
Michael: It's very pretty. Drink up your volcano. All right. We're going. Mommy's waiting.
Cathy: Daddy, please. Just one more minute.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Paul Murphey is credited twice for video assist operator. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Can We Mix The Unmixable? (Remix)
Remix by Sebastián Escofet
(P) 2003 Varèse Sarabande
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User Reviews

 
Extremely good, extremely powerful
21 March 2004 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

I'm actually the opposite of a drama fan- but this movie really touched me, and although it's quite tough to take in, I loved it.

I think above all, one has to bow to Guillermo Arriaga, the writer, as "21 Grams" features probably the best script I've ever seen. I guess the story itself is not that new, but the way how it's done is simply excellent. The first, say, 30 minutes are just scraps- moments in the lives of the three main characters that mean absolutely nothing to the viewer (yet). Adding to that initial confusion is the fact that these scraps are not in temporal order so that in the beginning personally I wasn't sure I'd be able to follow- it was more like a music video that's just not making any sense at all. But then the pieces begin to come together just beautifully until in the end you can see the whole picture. Usually in these episode movies everything comes together at once somewhere in the middle of the film, but in "21 Grams" the viewer puts the pieces together one after another- like a jigsaw puzzle, and every bit as satisfying when everything's completed. This truly is a masterpiece script-wise, and I've never seen anything like it.

That brilliant script is supported by excellent actors. Sean Penn, Naomi Watts and Benicio del Toro are delivering the most convincing acting performance I've ever witnessed. Like when Christina (Watts) screams at Paul (Penn) trying to get rid of all of her anger, frustration, grief and hate: I usually think these emotional outbursts don't seem real on screen, but in this movie it is just deeply touching. I haven't seen "Mystic River" yet, but if Sean Penn was as good as he is in "21 Grams" then the Oscar finally really went to someone who truly deserved it. And Benicio del Toro really is every inch the wonderful actor his reputation claims (I saw him for the first time but had heard a lot of him before, so I was very curious).

Finally, thank you, Mr. Inárritu for putting everything together this nicely. You've made a very impressing 100 % quality movie.


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