21 Grams (DVD)

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Award-winning film by the director of 'Amores Perros', Alejandro González Iñárritu. Shot mainly with a hand-held camera, and following a non-linear plot line, the film captures the immediacy and confusion of the moments before, during and after a horrific accident that causes the lives of three disparate people to become interwined. Sean Penn plays Paul Rivers, a mathematics teacher facing up to his pending death from a heart problem, while his distant wife Mary (Charlotte Gainsbourg) hopes to become pregnant from artificial insemination. Naomi Watts is Cristina, mother of two little girls who has overcome a drug-dependent past to achieve a stable, happy marriage and family life. Benicio del Toro plays Jack Jordan, an ex-criminal who has now found Jesus and is struggling to provide for his wife and their two children in a poor area of the town. When tragedy strikes, all three characters must re-evaluate their lives in the face of death. The title refers to the 21 grams a person loses at the moment of death, thought to be the weight of the human soul.

Product Details

Movies & TV
7 Jun 2010
Region 2
Icon Home Entertainment
119 min
Age Restriction
Supply Source


21 Grams
Release Year
Running Time
125 min
Dramas / Crime / Essential Cinema / Guns / Prison / Revenge / Theatrical Release
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (AMORES PERROS) directs this staggeringly intense drama concerning three families whose lives fatefully intertwine through a series of tragic events. With jumbled chronology that jumps from one shocking event to the next in an increasingly chaotic maelstrom, 21 GRAMS is relentlessly gritty in its content and its aesthetics. The title refers to the amount of weight that a human body loses at the moment of death, but the story begs the question: How much is gained?

Paul (Sean Penn) has less than a month to live, stalled on the waiting list for a heart transplant, and his wife (Charlotte Gainsbourg) is determined to get pregnant with his child before it's too late. Meanwhile, Cristina (Naomi Watts) is a happy mother with a loving husband and two daughters but she loses her family in an instant to an unpredictable accident. Finally, Jack (Benicio Del Toro) is an ex-con and born-again Christian struggling to support his wife and two children while battling his own guilty conscience. When these three parties come together, explosively, they make each other behave in impulsive, violent, and destructive ways. 21 GRAMS takes viewers on a jolting journey through sickness, suffering, morality, revenge, and last but not least, the sometimes welcome peace of death.
Theatrical Release: November 21, 2003 (NY/LA)

This movie screened in October 2003 as part of the 41st New York Film Festival organized by the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
Cast & Crew
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Benicio Del Toro / Clea DuVall / Charlotte Gainsbourg / Danny Huston / Melissa Leo / Sean Penn / Naomi Watts
Guillermo Arriaga Jordan
Gustavo Santaolaya
Ted Hope / Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu / Robert Solerno
Director of Photography
Rodrigo Prieto
Movie Critics
Chicago Sun-Times
"[T]he film is a virtuoso accomplishment of construction and editing."
Roger Ebert (26 Nov 2003, p.63)
Entertainment Weekly
"...It's a startlingly crafted movie, with several extraordinary performances..."
Owen Gleiberman (21 Nov 2003, p.58-60)
Film Comment
"...The film is full of engagingly high-strung performances..."
Alissa Quart (1 Nov 2003, p.74)
Los Angeles Times
"...There are few movie pleasures as satisfying as an actor soaring to meet the challenge of his or her gift. It's a pleasure that's delivered threefold in 21 GRAMS..."
Manohla Dargis (21 Nov 2003, p.C6)
Movieline's Hollywood Life
"...[A] complex, time-fractured narrative....The most shattering performance comes from Naomi Watts..."
Stephen Farber (1 Dec 2003, p.113)
Rolling Stone
"...That Inarritu shapes something redemptive out of blasted lives is proof that he is a filmmaker of rare and startling grace..."
Peter Travers (11 Dec 2003, p.214)
Sight and Sound
"Inarritu remains primarily a poet of the visible world..."
Paul Julian Smith (1 Mar 2004, p.70-1)
Total Film
"Watts and Del Toro - both Oscar-nominated for their roles - positively roar with restraint, while the lesser known Melissa Leo matches Benicio every step of the way..."
Kevin Harley (1 Apr 2004, p.43)
USA Today
"This is cinematic art in its highest form."
Claudia Puig (21 Nov 2003, p.1E)
"...Inarritu cements his reputation as a boldly talented filmmaker with his first English-language project, 21 GRAMS..."
David Rooney (15 Sep 2003, p.21-32)