Crash Movie Analysis: All You Need to Know in a Nutshell

An elevated view of clapperboard; film reels; film strips and camcorder on blue wooden backdrop.

Students who are assigned a Crash movie analysis frequently have more questions than answers.

If you have conflicting feelings after watching this 2004 American drama film, you are not alone. However, you shouldn’t worry, because here you will find everything you need to know to make your Crash film review just perfect.

Positive or negative review?

The first thing you should know when starting your Crash film analysis is that you should not make it totally positive or totally negative. Yes, this movie received three (!!!) Oscars and was included in several lists of the best movies of all times.

However, it was reasonably criticized for reinforcing racial stereotypes and indirectly promoting the idea of white supremacy. Paradoxically, the movie motivating spectators to end racism on a personal level is full of prejudices and underlying motifs of white privilege. These are the questions you may ask in your film analysis essay:

  • Why are all white characters in the film socially and economically secure?
  • Why does a Hispanic character Daniel go with a shaved head and heavy tattoos?
  • Why do Asian characters lack development and only exchange racial insults with others or are run over by a car?

Memorable scenes

The second thing you should remember is to minimize the Crash film summary. Most tutors will not appreciate a complete retelling of the plot. It would be better to express your stand and discuss only the most memorable episodes to support your claims. Here are some impressive scenes you may include into your Crash movie analysis to show that everyone has racial stereotypes:

  1. People do not trust a Hispanic locksmith Daniel, assuming that he is a member of a gang on no other grounds except the fact that he has many tattoos and a shaved head. A white middle class woman, Jean, is afraid that Daniel will give copies of their keys to the members of his gang. A Persian shop owner, Farhad, does not believe Daniel and refuses to change a shattered door of his shop. Because of that door, Farhad’s shop is robbed.
  2. Daniel’s daughter is afraid of sleeping in her bed when she hears a gunshot in their street. Daniel wants to comfort his child and tells her to use an imaginary cloak making her invisible. Later on, the girl tries to save her father with that ‘invisible cloak’ from angry Farhad who decides to take revenge for his shop.
  3. Tom Hansen is a white policeman who is irritated by the racist remarks of his partner Ryan and asks to switch his partner. However, Hansen kills a black guy, Peter, thinking that Peter draws a gun on him, whereas in fact Peter does not.
  4. Ryan is a white policeman who makes racist remarks and sexually molests a black woman, Christine, when searching her, but later saves Christine’s life by pulling her out of a burning car.


All You Need to Know in a Nutshell: characters.
So, this condensed information is enough for writing an excellent Crash movie analysis. Mention strengths and weaknesses of this movie, express your main stand, discuss the most memorable scenes to support it and use the table of characters to avoid any confusion in your Crash drama movie analysis.

Comments (2)

Wow, I’m the first to comment? I thought the movie was excellent! All I saw was how much that we are alike as human beings. We all want to help our parents (the little girl, the 2 cops & the shop owners daughter). When we as human beings realize that we all have more in common than differences, then we can all understand each others differences. Families love each other regardless of race or culture! That’s what I got out of it!


Why are all white characters in the film socially and economically secure? Um…. the white couple whose car was stolen were well off, but the white cop whose sick father couldn’t get decent health care and was in excruciating pain every night was hardly socially and economically secure! And the Hispanic dad’s tattoos were from when he was younger — they don’t exactly rub off. (eye roll)