Ryan Owen 07/02/2007

Rating: 5/5

Here, Iñárritu weaves four interlocking stories that are linked by the shot of a bullet, delving into isolation, youth, family, immigration, terrorism. The cast are perfect, but relative newcomer Rinko Kikuchi excels. Also, the editing pulls you into each character, and lingers long enough so that when it pulls you out, you feel a momentary loss. The cinematography and sound are sublime, working its magic most poignantly when a teenage deaf girl called Chieko is in a Tokyo disco, mixing the vivid visuals with the almost silent audio. For fans of Crash, Babel has far more depth and less contrivances than that film, and has more poetry than many filmmakers will achieve in their lifetime. Film of the year.