Sporting the improbable cast of Sandra Bullock, Ludacris, Brendan Fraser, and Marina Sirtis, among others, I liked it. I’ve never seen Magnolia (which FilmGuru says was similar but “more stylized”) but I have seen Traffic and this movie has the same kind of “telling one story by following seemingly unconnected threads” approach.
The theme is racism, and is bludgeoned to death in the first half of the movie. Haggis had some cool points to make, but in the same way that not all of the character-threads needed to be so neatly tied up, he needn’t have been so heavy-handed with the message in the first half. That said, he kind of makes up for it in the second half of the movie, which features little “twists” which are sometimes visible from miles away, sometimes not, sometimes nice, in their incompleteness.
I really liked that this movie set up characters who, while “typical” in some aspects, avoid being stereotypes. The characters were pretty great. And considering that the story is completely secondary in this movie, I think that’s pretty high praise. I don’t know if I’d see it again in theatres; everything looks too blown-out-of-proportion, seems to take itself too seriously when you’re watching it on the big screen. I’d definitely rent it, though. I gauge it at approximately seven out of nine, maybe 6.8.