The lives of a terminally ill professor (Sean Penn) and an ex-convict (Benicio Del Toro) intersect with a woman (Naomi Watts) who lost her family in a car accident.
" Though not depressing, because nothing this good is, the film is haunting -- a walk on the razor's edge between life and death. "
" Dripping with cinematic style. "
" Is the strategy to make you work so hard to determine where you are in the timeline that you overlook what a dreary and conventional little soap opera this is? "
" Establishes [Inarritu] as a major cinematic force. "
" It grips us, moves us, astonishes us. "
" The performances, the way Inarritu deconstructs and reconstructs the narrative, the grainy, gritty feel and look, all lead to the rare sort of experience that only a truly great film can offer. "
" [An]uncommonly ambitious, superbly acted, frustratingly flawed drama. "
" One of the most riveting and moving experiences of the year, a movie of aching soulfulness and transforming power. "
" Watching it is a wrenching experience; the usual layers of distance between actors and audience are stripped away, and we not only watch their anguish, but become part of it. "
" This is a mesmerizing film that is the work of genius. "
" Challenges and provokes in unexpected ways. "
" Fascinating because of the way the story is told -- and because of the existential issues that it forces you to consider. "
" You won't soon forget the world that Gonzalez Inarritu creates. "
" If not for its show-offy back-and- forthing of time, the movie would be a banal, pointlessly depressing exercise. "
" Inarritu and Arriaga's first English-language film doesn't approach the brilliance of Amores Perros, but it succeeds on a more modest scale. "
" Every year needs a challenging masterwork, a movie that defies filmmaking convention and leaves an indelible mark on the collective psyche. "
" This is cinematic storytelling of a very high order, and the clear work of a moviemaker who has almost instantly established himself as a force to be reckoned with. "
" Tough, smart, relentless, provocative and, above all, serious. "
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