Crash

Not to be confused with David Cronenberg's Crash, this 2004 ensemble drama was the directorial debut of Paul Haggis, who wrote Million Dollar Baby. It's annoying to see titles recycled so quickly, but Haggis and cowriter Bobby Moresco use the metaphor of collision as well as the earlier film did: their script, a complex of interfacing story lines set in Los Angeles, pivots on the characters' racism and xenophobia, playing tricks with our own biases and ultimately justifying an extravagant array of coincidences and surprises. The actors, especially Chris Bridges (aka rapper Ludacris), Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Michael Peña, and Larenz Tate, are adroit at conveying Haggis's candid observations about the crazy ways we live and think. With Sandra Bullock, Brendan Fraser, and Thandie Newton. R, 100 min.

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