-> ''"They say we all lose twenty one grams at the exact moment of our deaths. Twenty one grams. The weight of a stack of five nickels. The weight of a chocolate bar. The weight of a hummingbird."''
-->-- '''Paul'''

''21 Grams'' is a 2003 American drama film directed by Creator/AlejandroGonzalezInarritu and written by Guillermo Arriaga. It stars Creator/SeanPenn, Creator/NaomiWatts, Creator/BenicioDelToro, Creator/CharlotteGainsbourg and Danny Huston.

Like Arriaga's and González Iñárritu's previous film, ''Film/AmoresPerros'' (2000), ''21 Grams'' interweaves several plot lines, around the consequences of a tragic automobile accident. Penn plays a critically ill academic mathematician, Watts plays a grief-stricken mother, and del Toro plays a born-again Christian ex-convict whose faith is sorely tested in the aftermath of the accident.

''21 Grams'' is presented in a non-linear arrangement where the lives of the characters are depicted before and after the accident. The three main characters each have 'past', 'present', and 'future' story threads, which are shown as non-linear fragments that punctuate elements of the overall story, all imminently coming toward each other and coalescing as the story progresses.
!!This film provides examples of:

* AbusiveParents: In an EstablishingCharacterMoment, Jack not only lets his son hit his daughter, but forces her to take another hit, quoting scripture. Then hitting his son for his act to begin with.
* AdultFear: Cristina having her entire family wiped out in a hit-and-run.
* AnachronicOrder: For example, [[spoiler: The reactions of the other two in the motel after Paul shot himself]] is seen about a half-hour in. Though the plot becomes more understandable about an hour in.
* ArtisticLicenseBiology: [[WordOfGod Iñárritu and Arriaga]] even admit that they used the "losing twenty one grams" motif as a form of this.
* TheAtoner: Deconstructed with Jack. He genuinely wants to do good and atone for his actions, but comes across as condescending, hypocritical, and selfish, not really thinking how his actions will affect his family.
* BabiesEverAfter: Rare dark example. [[spoiler: Christina is pregnant with Paul's baby, but the news is broken at the same time he dies.]]
* BillyNeedsAnOrgan: Paul, due to a heart condition.
* BittersweetEnding: Albeit a borderline DownerEnding. [[spoiler: On one hand, Jack reunites with his family after his BSOD, but Paul, in the midst of having a heart attack due to his heart failing him, shoots himself in the chest, leading Jack and Christina to rush him to the hospital. It's too late, Paul dies, and the conflict between Paul and Christina is unresolved.]]
* CityWithNoName: The city that the characters live in is unidentified, though implied to be Memphis, Tennessee (where the film was shot.)
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: Jack and Paul both attempt suicide, the former in prison, the latter in the climax. Paul is the only one who succeeds.]]
* FakeAmerican: Naomi Watts as Christina.
* GreyAndGreyMorality: Jack is a man who wants to do good, but comes off as selfish and hypocritical, Paul is stalking Christina, and it may seem that Christina is the most sympathetic main character, [[spoiler: until she ropes Paul into trying to kill Jack.]]
* HeelFaithTurn: Jack Jordan (Benicio del Toro), but whether he's really better than before becomes a critical question of the film.
* TheHeroDies: [[spoiler: Paul]]
* HolierThanThou: Jack, or at least he tries to be.
* HyperlinkStory
* {{Irony}}: Mary's (Paul's wife) motivation is getting his sperm so she can have his child. [[spoiler: Christina is the one who ends up impregnated by Paul.]]
* OffTheWagon: Christina
* RRatedOpening: The first shot is Paul smoking a cigarette next to a sleeping Christina. Both are naked.
* ShootTheShaggyDog
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism: As per the director's [[Film/AmoresPerros other]] [[Film/Babel works]], this is far on the cynical end.
* StalkerWithACrush: Paul follows Christina around for a while without revealing how he knows her.