Babel is much like Crash with its use of intersecting storylines, but plays out its premise on a more widespread, global scale.

Babel begins with a child's mistake, an accidental shooting that thrusts Cate Blanchett's character into critical condition in a foreign country, unable to get the help she needs. The action is fueled by a series of similarly trivial incidents, all brought on by some form of miscommunication that results in grave circumstances outside of the character's control.

Each story, while effective, unfolds by means of conceit, alerting us all the while of the writers looming over each plot twist, meddling with our emotions just to illuminate the film's heavy-handed biblical reference. In the end, we're left with a highly implausible, stammering story about the perils of language and a dark lesson about what happens when different cultures fail to understand one another.

Unsurprisingly, this symbolism-soaked script managed to snag an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, undoubtedly prompting unforeseen numbers of future filmmakers to produce similarly contrived creations. Sigh.