I watched Crash twice, once by myself (my husband was in Iraq) and once with him before allowing my children, 12 and 15, to view it. It is, without a doubt, one of the most intelligently made movies on racism ever. Great ensenble cast and the situations are so unbelievably nuanced and well-scripted. Yes, the language is a little raw but my kids hear the same stuff in school every day. There is one sex scene but it's very tastefully handled; actually, no sexual body parts are displayed at all, a rarity in modern film making ;-)
When it was over, I bet we spent an hour going over the situations that were presented, talking about what the characters' motivations were and how they could have handled the situations better. When Matt Dillon confronts the HMO administrator, why does she react the way she does? Well, maybe because he insulted her over the phone the night before. Sandra Bullock's character was a great study in the typical suburban housewife who undergoes a change of heart. Your heart breaks for Don Cheadle, a cop with a drug-addicted mother and a carjacking brother. Both characters are portrayed sympathetically and there is no stereotyping, another rarity...
This is a GREAT movie and it deserves to be seen by everyone who is concerned about the direction of our society. Like me, you may want to view it first to determine your tolerance for the language used. Another reason to watch it first is because there is so much content there. You need to see it without interruption so you can wrap your head around the complex moral and ethical situations presented. There is no portrayed violence whatsoever. The one scene where there is a shooting occurs inside a car and you see it happening from the outside.
The other thing that I found really unusual was the score of the movie. Instead of the heavy metal, hip-hop or rock and roll music that you would expect, there is a beautiful, Enya-like score laid over the really emotionally intense scenes. My daughter asked me to check and see if it was available on CD, it was that good.
I almost gave it an On rating but know that would be stretching my credibility. However, I felt that the positives of this movie far-outweighed the negatives and give children so much more food for thought than the typical dreck that Hollywood keeps shovelling in their direction. We've pretty much stopped going to the movies because it's such a wasteland out there that I don't feel like gambling $40-50 on an evening of pseudo-entertainment anymore.