"Alejandro González Iñárritu, the almost unreasonably talented Mexican filmmaker…the film is a virtuoso accomplishment of construction and editing. As you watch this film, you are absorbed and involved. Sometimes deeply moved; acting does not get much better than the work done here by Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro and Naomi Watts, and their individual moments have astonishing impact."
"Wow. I was totally blown away by this film. By the powerful performances from Sean Penn, Naomi Watts and Benicio del Toro as strangers brought together by a car crash. By Alejandro González Iñárritu's direction, which asks us to piece together a puzzle with increasingly devastating results. And by Rodrigo Prieto's cinematography, which sets a perpetually raw, tense mood."
"…a sweeping tale of the human condition that examines how previously unrelated lives are thrown together by a tragic accident. Ambitously tackling universal themes of life, death, redemption and love, the Focus Features release, which stars Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, and Benicio Del Toro as part of an ensemble-like cast, has one of the most complex narrative structures seen on screen."
…Iñárritu delays that understanding for reasons that go beyond creating mystery and suspense, although he does that, too. For all the movie's gritty texture (it was filmed in Memphis) and dark emotional drama, watching 21 Grams has some of the fascination of solving a cosmic jigsaw puzzle.
"Del Toro makes Jordan's battered humanity so natural, so lived-in, that the part just becomes more fascinating, especially in the film's domestic moments."
"What distinguishes AGI (Alejandro González Iñárritu) from the majority of young, flashy, testosterone-fueled auteurs is his wary but unmistakable sense of compassion."
"The fragmented form adds to the anxiety and dread that hangs over 21 Grams, keeping us unsettled and alert for danger. Alejandro González Iñárritu isn't interested in half-measures. He's like a boxer always going for a knockout. 21 Grams keeps you stunned!"