21 Grams

Rated 4.0 The title refers to the purported weight we immediately lose when we die. Director Alejandro González Iñárritu (Amores perros) explores the theory that this effect comes from one’s soul departing to the other side. He does this by entangling the lives of three strangers after a tragic accident takes the life of a man and his two children. Paul (Sean Penn) receives a heart transplant and must face his own mortality. Cristina (Naomi Watts) is a happily married mother of two young daughters who is crushed by personal loss and seeks revenge. And Jack is a reformed ex-con enraptured by newfound religious zeal (Benicio Del Toro in an Oscar-caliber performance). Iñárritu fractures time into an intriguing nonlinear rumination on redemption and on the dark side that lies within us all. He treats the story like overturned jigsaw-puzzle pieces that he randomly shows to us one by one in an initially confusing fashion that eventually emerges as a haunting mosaic mural.